Executive's Corner, Owned Media
Published By:

Technology has given us a lot of great tools to help us confirm what kind of content we should be creating. There’s predictive analytics, analyzing past content and countless other ways to decide.

However, one of the best ways to find out what your audience wants to read is to ask them straight out.

The wants and needs of your audience are a very important part of choosing content to create. While it would be great if you could have them fill in your editorial calendar for you, that’s way too much to ask for.

The more work you’re asking of your readers, the less likely they are to do it.

You want to find quick, low maintenance ways for readers to give you feedback on your content. That means reducing friction as much as possible and using 15-minute email surveys sparingly.

Here are a few things you can start with:

Social Media Polls

Any time your audience can share feedback in just one or two clicks, it is a great start for a high response rate. The response will be even better when you’re going out and meeting your readers on their favorite social channels, instead of waiting for them to come to you.

So social media polls are kind of golden nuggets. Twitter polls, surveys in Facebook groups and simply asking questions on social media lets your readers weigh in on what you create.

You could be as straightforward as asking “which of these topics would you like us to write about next?” You could also take a more subtle approach by asking questions about your readers’ lives and jobs and use that to determine what content they might want.

Email List Welcome Email

Most brands pretty much ignore their email list confirmation and welcome emails. They are missing out on great opportunities to build the relationship with a new subscriber. Right at the beginning is when your subscribers will be most engaged with your emails. You want to milk that as much as you can and engage them in conversation.

Use your welcome email to get to know your subscribers better and ask them about their problems. You can add a “P.S.” to your existing welcome email to hit ‘reply’ and open up to you, use a dedicated welcome email or add a new email to your existing nurturing campaign.

The key here is to be subtle. If you come right out with a vague, open-ended question like “What would you like to read about?” the recipient may not want to answer. That’s a lot to think about.

But if you say, “What are you currently struggling with most right now?” that’s getting insight into what they’re doing, thinking about and having trouble with. Those are the topics your content should help them with.

Host Discussions

Finally, hosting full, in-depth discussions will give you a ton of insight to use for determining content topics. Some of it could even be turned into user-generated content when you get to the creation stages!

Simply start a discussion in a Facebook or LinkedIn group, Twitter chat, Blab, Periscope or literally any other interactive platform where your readers hang out.

Once you start a conversation about a general topic, sit back and observe where your audience takes it. The specifics that they decide to focus on will tell you what’s top-of-mind for them.

While this is more time-consuming for your readers and you’ll likely have less people respond, the depth of the insights you’ll get when you can have a real-time conversation will be worth it.

Take Away: Constantly Solicit Feedback

If you’re still holding on tight to those quarterly email surveys to your readers, don’t worry. I’m not asking you to say goodbye, but your content strategy should be constantly evolving, and you need feedback in order to do that.

Supplementing your traditional market research with immediate audience insights and opinions can help you understand your readers so much better.

revcontent-98%-of-sites-get-denied-are-you-in-the-2% revcontent-98%-of-sites-get-denied-are-you-in-the-2%

Sponsored Resources

Want more resources

View all Resources

Most Read


Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.
Chad Pollitt Partner, VP of Audience Native Advertising Institute
Pam Didner Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
Chirag Ahuja Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
Jayson DeMers Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
Erik Deckers Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
Bernie Borges CEO Find and Convert
Jessica Stephenson VP Marketing ExactHire
Michael Ferrari Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
Larry Alton Freelance Writer and Editor
David Tile Founder & Director Nimble Media
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
Kelsey Libert Marketing VP & Partner Frac.tl
Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
Joydeep Bhattacharya Relevance Contributor SEOsandwitch.com
Jonah Bliss Founder CMO ContentIntent
Andrea Lehr Promotions Supervisor Fractl
Fernando Labastida Co-Founder Content Propulsion
Dan Moyle Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
Dennis Yu Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
Arnaud Roy VP Marketing Augure
John Rugh Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
Gini Dietrich CEO Arment Dietrich
Justin Spicer Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
Michael Becker Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
Anna Johansson Freelance Writer
Amanda DiSilvestro Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
Sujay Maheshwari Founder & CEO Netcurate.com
Kelly Coulter Online Marketing Strategist
Taylor Radey Senior Consultant PR 20/20
Rodger Johnson Public Relations Leader & Consultant
Simon Penson Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media
Danielle Wolter Nolan Co-Owner
Jason Falls Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
John McTigue EVP Kuno Creative
Yogita Arora Content Strategist Zoomph
Jordan Teicher Associate Editor Contently
Jonathan Crowl Digital Marketing Writer & Editor
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Writer & Professional Speaker Skyword
Katherine Halek Content Strategist Signazon.com
Amanda Drinker Dooley Community Product Marketing Manager Netline
Anton Rius Digital Marketing Consultant More Than Metrics
Matthew Zajechowski Outreach Manager Digital Third Coast
Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
Peter Chen Digital Marketing Consultant DigitalRelevance
Luana Spinetti Multi-Specialized Freelancer
Kyle Harper Writer Skyword
Elad Natanson Founder appnext
Maël Roth Content & Inbound Marketer Park7
Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Douglas Karr Founder & CEO MarTech.zone & DK New Media
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel
Dan Fahrner Director of Marketing Services SmallBox
Asaf Rothem Marketing VP & Partner BrightInfo
Jonha Richman User Acquisition Manager

In case you missed

Read more of the latest news and insights from thought leaders in content promotion and distribution.


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.

Champion Sponsor

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsor that helps make our site possible.

Cision Logo

© 2017 Relevance | Content Promotion News & Insights

Connect with RELEVANCE

Thank you for subscribing Your subscription has been confirmed.