It is important for a website, service or software product creator to know what customers want to consume online.
Are you listening to what readers have to say after going through your posts? Can you see their gestures whether they are surprised, happy, flinging their hands or thinking?
Oh come on, how’s that possible? How can I see what they are doing or how they are reacting to my post? I’m not sitting in front of them.
Don’t hassle. We are going to now learn some really ways to understand what exactly customers want to consume and how they behave when they do and do not get it.
Let us start with listening posts.
Now you must be wondering how to do this. Well, it’s time to clean the dust from your company’s past purchaser data and go through it once again to compile initial assumptions basis which you are going to conduct rest of your research.
Pick out the topics and titles of the posts that you think you should research about or that will be of customers’ interests. Don’t just list down all possible topics as it’s going to be overwhelming and daunting process because you will have to track all online conversations or comments related to these posts.
Now is the time to listening posts and proving or disapproving your assumptions that you made in the beginning of the process on the basis of your study and past purchaser data.
The process of listening posts and capturing data and reviewing information is originally given by Mark Evertz in his post in Chief Content Officer Magazine. Mark is the senior content strategist and campaign strategist for Left Brain DGA, a Silicon Valley based sales-acceleration firm.
Establish a System
No matter how simple or a complex the process of collecting and reviewing data is, it is backed by a well thought and drafted process. Mark suggests researchers create a new email id for all relevant discussions, comments, reviews and results, so that you can keep it segregated from your routine job. According to Mark, Gmail works amazing for this purpose as you can segregate the mails topic-wise, which makes it a lot easier to keep a track on the developments.
Automating news gathering process will be of great help. Using a Feed Reader like Feedly.
Sett up Google Alerts, subscribing to the topic of interest and creating news dashboard is the next step. This helps you keep a track of the topics and audiences of your interest.
Participate in Discussions Where Appropriate
Take out time to hang out with other human beings discussing the relevance of your topics. You can seriously gain some insights on what’s interesting and what’s frustrating. Make sure to sign up for the email alerts, so that you can read them as and when you can.
Listen to What People Have to Say
The social media traffic on the topics of interest says it all. All you need to do is – listen to it carefully. Listen to the conversations that are happening online on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other communities. Check out these social media listening tools to get started.
Dig the comment sections to know who is seeking to gain more insights and who received it how. Use this section as a venue to ask questions to your audience and act as a curious being who really wants to know what they think about the topics and titles of your posts and information in them.
Review the Information Collected
Well, don’t just wait for more data to be collected. Start with your review process at its scheduled time. Look for hot points, odds and patterns. You may find it messy in the beginning but with the right process in place, you will start seeing similarities and patterns emerging from the data.
Breathe more life into these findings by setting your team mates to work, trying to understand the patterns and behaviors.
Now go back to your assumptions that you made in the beginning of the process and find out if your findings validate them. Fret not and be honest in your evaluation process. It will be for your good only.
Although it’s a long and time consuming process but if carried away rightly, it can really help you in accessing the right info about your content marketing campaign.