How To Leverage User Insights for Better Content Creation
Your customers are telling you more than you can ever begin to imagine. Listening to what users are saying and hearing them are two different things.
This is an eternal balancing act in life and business, akin to the following scene from Jim Carrey’s Bruce Almighty.
In essence, you might be aware of what your customers or users are saying, but you might not be using their reactions, voices, opinions, and sentiments for churning better content or creating better campaigns.
In this short guide, we will see how user insights can help you create better content, so that you can fashion powerful content marketing campaigns.
Part 1: Use Analytics For User Insights
You don’t have to find out the hard way that there is a difference in what your research team finds and what your users want. That’s why user analytics are so important. There are several tools and methods out there such as Google Analytics, usability testing, A/B testing, Heuristic evaluation, HCI design, heatmaps and usability audits, to really listen what your users want. Your website traffic, email subscription rate, time on site, bounce rates, etc. are also important listening factors.
Now let’s see how you can use this data to create better content.
- Greater website traffic from some keywords allows you to understand the niche crowd that is attracted to your site.
- If people are leaving your website after reaching a particular web page or blog post, get to the bottom of it. A few bounces here and there are nothing to worry about, but if it’s a key page or a case study, you should be worried.
- Your headlines can kill your content’s chance at success. A/B testing is a great way to churn better headlines. When Priceonomics tested out their headlines, they found a significant difference.
- The Washington Post uses a tool called Bandito and see how phenomenally it has changed their content strategy over the last few years.
Headline in 2014
Capitals hope Olympic disappointment won’t negatively affect Alex Ovechkin
Headline in 2016
They were strangers at the starting line. Less than 20 minutes later, they were eternally linked.
Is it me or does the latter feel like Buzzfeed?
However, if your users want Buzzfeed-style content, who are you to differ? Even the Washington Post has to bow down to their readers wishes by making use of insights from their analytics tool.
- Heatmaps help you find what your users are spending the most time reading. For instance, if they are spending most time reading business use of your software / services, you might want to highlight it more than any other content on your page.
Part 2: Social Media
Outside of your website, your social media accounts are one of the most important indicators of your customers’ / users’ intent. As your business grows, the number of followers multiply and you are deluged with comments from users, you need powerful social media monitoring tools. From politicians to big brands, everyone is using sentiment analysis to gauge public sentiments on various topics.
- One of the oft-cited examples of using sentiment analysis is Expedia. When they found people hated their new commercial, they found a way to address the problem through a funny new commercial.
- Social media also allows you to keep an eye on your competitors’ content, industry hashtags, keywords or phrases related to your industry, and so on. These insights can help you come up with more nuanced and competitive content the next time.
- Learn how to find themes or patterns on social media, like the kind of language being used with your brand mentions. This can help you find the primary age group, ethnicity and culture of your audience, and hence come up with content that they like.
Part 3: Customer Reviews / Complaints
Sometimes, reviews can come from the least expected avenues. Your customers / users / website visitors may be telling you something important. In the following example, Yotpo sent me an email on how their application would work for one of our clients. I could click on the link and see their application live in action on our client’s site. Neat huh? This drove me to check out their content and offerings. I eventually ended up praising their marketing team for their case studies and website, a first in my case.
In Yotpo’s case, the experience was positive, so it wasn’t a problem. In fact, negative reviews are also not a problem. The problem starts when your customers don’t leave a feedback or if they do and you ignore them.
Find out what your users are saying over email, review sites, social media, on the phone with customer service, and all possible channels. For instance, you might find out that most queries to your customer service department are due to a particular feature, so a) you create a help guide or tutorial video, or b) fix the feature making it more user-friendly, whichever is more viable.
You can get insights from your users from many sources including but not limited to: website actions, forums, blogs, comments, social networks, online behavior, PR, tests, customer service department, research, and so on. Most companies focus on improving the product or offering but don’t leverage user insights to create better content.
How about you? Are you leveraging user insights to create a better content strategy? I’d love to hear your thoughts to keep the conversation going!
Lead/Featured image: Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_ramcreative‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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