Through the Spyglass


The Benefits of Surveys for Content Marketing

Has your business ever conducted a survey? Let’s assume you have. But did you conduct a survey that benefited your content marketing efforts? Perhaps not. Let me explain what I mean and why you should be conducting surveys for content marketing.

Many companies conduct customer service surveys. This is good! But what about other surveys? What do you know about your consumer base? How is your content marketing benefiting from your survey efforts?

I recently worked with a client on their social media accounts with the focus of improving their recruiting efforts. They wanted to show the fun side of the company so that more people would want to work there. In order to do this, I developed a short survey to send to existing employees designed to show their personalities. I asked questions about their favorite office plants and procrastination activities. They were silly questions but the answers gave me content for colorful charts and graphs that I included in social media posts.

How much did this cost? $0. How much time did it take? Not too much. What kind of value did it provide? Lots! Posts referencing the survey performed better on average than prior posts that period.

In another example, one past client wanted to develop long form content related to their industry. Our team developed a survey to gain demographic information and industry trends by using this client’s customer base as a sample size (Note: You need to make sure that the customer base is actually representative of what you are referencing as a whole). From one survey we could develop a comprehensive report, several articles, presentations, and infographics.

What to Focus on When Conducting a Survey

Now that we’ve identified how surveys are beneficial for content marketing, let’s discuss what to focus on when conducting a survey.

First, you need to think about your market and what they are interested in. Say you are a cleaning company trying to get your customers more engaged online. A good survey idea would be to identify trends in cleaning. For instance, what time of year do people like to do deep cleaning? Is it really in the spring? How does this vary by geographical location?

Or what about preparation for the cleaning service? When I was growing up, I always thought it was strange that my mother would clean before the cleaning person arrived. I would ask, “Isn’t that the job of the cleaner?” So your survey could uncover what kinds of preparation people like to do before the cleaning person begins his or her work.

And what about referrals? How important are word-of-mouth referrals, online reviews, advertisements, and others for people as they make their hiring decisions? This is not only relevant to your market, but also useful in assisting your business practices. This leads to my second point.

As you develop your survey, you should consider what types of information would be useful for your business. Surveys can serve the dual purpose of entertaining your audience (through creative content) as well as helping guide your business efforts based on survey feedback. This has been the standard use of surveys from their inception, and you don’t want to forget about it as you adjust your direction to include an entertainment emphasis.

Are surveys currently a part of your content marketing efforts? If so, what purpose have they served?

Check back soon as we write about the logistics of conducting a survey and publishing the results.