We are living in a content revolution. According to a 2012 study by AOL and Nielsen, 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day. More and more of this content is created by marketers with many marketing departments spending over 25 percent of their budgets on content marketing. It is little wonder why content marketing budgets have increased with 70 percent of consumers preferring to get to know a company via articles rather than ads.
But content does more than that just drive eyeballs, it helps you differentiate your brand from your competitors and creates a brand experience that spans different channels. Many companies are adopting a content strategy however too often they forget to include their customers’ perspective when creating content or when analyzing their content’s effectiveness. Marketing Tech Blog cited a report that found only 26 percent of marketers are using customer feedback to steer their content strategies.
"Only 26 percent of marketers are using customer feedback to steer their content strategy."
The key to successful content marketing strategy lies in customer feedback. The only way to actively determine whether content is effective in your reader’s eyes is to involve them in the process.
Here are three tips on how customer feedback can help you optimize your content marketing.
1. Develop content personas
When creating content, it is critical to consider the audience that you are addressing. MarketingLand notes that, “Great content resonates with very specific groups of people that react to it in very specific ways. An effective content marketing strategy must begin with those groups of readers squarely in your crosshairs.”
One of the best ways to define these personas is through customer feedback. By asking your visitors for feedback you can understand their intent, needs, wants, experiences and demographics. This critical data can then be used to create visitor profiles which help form the basis of your personas. Armed with this information you can target and create content for the right visitor profiles.
2. Create customer centric content
Recently, the Content Marketing Institute wrote that the top tactic that most marketers are focused on is creating more engaging and higher quality content. This probably comes as no surprise but as a marketer how can you ensure you are creating engaging, customer centric content? This is where customer feedback comes in. By directly engaging with your visitors for feedback you uncover your customers’ real pain points. This allows you to create specific content around your customer pain points and creates content that deeply resonates with your audience.
3. Measuring beyond clicks
Mashable recently pointed out a huge problem plaguing content marketing strategies: clickbait. You're probably familiar with this practice, as you see an interesting title or thumbnail photo, click the link and discover that the content in a blog post is utterly useless. Visitors have now caught on and the result is a decline in effectiveness. Brian Honigman, a marketing consultant, noted that it is an issue with measurement and the reliance on one metric, clicks.
According to a Content Marketing Institute report 49 percent of companies surveyed said that measuring the effectiveness of their content marketing approach is easier said than done. By pairing customer feedback with web analytics, digital marketers can determine the level of relevancy, uniqueness and alignment a piece of content creates. By tracking user engagement this provides a measure of the health of a content marketing strategy and provides marketers the ability to sustain and grow its audience. One of the best ways to do this is through leveraging an integrated solution such as the iperceptions Engagement and Audience Building framework. This type of solution allows you to get precise insights about the profiles of users at different engagement levels, the reasons behind their behavior and then use these insights to grow your audience.
Today more than ever, content marketing is an essential part of digital marketing. If done right, it can lead to a competitive advantage. But as more companies adopt a content marketing strategy it is essential to stay ahead of the competition by delivering engaging and high quality content that amplifies your brand. Savvy marketers understand that engaging their visitors to collect feedback on their content helps them ensure they are hitting the mark, and if not, they have the data to tweak their strategy.