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Three ways to employ user feedback to get content ideas for your business

Content Ideas

Face it, when it comes to our websites, and our content, conversions are what matter. We need people to sign up to our email list. We need people to submit contact forms or purchase our books, courses, plugins, or any other thing we are selling.

Copywriter Nikki Elbaz says,

“You can tweak the copy. You can tweak the design. But if you’re not communicating how you can solve the customer’s needs, conversions will stay stagnant.

“Often the most effective way to discover what makes your people buy from you is – of course – customer interviews.

“But how can you run interviews that help your conversion goals? And how can you separate the golden nuggets from the other stuff? It all starts with a single step.”

The single step, she says, is your goal. Your goal, to make your content better, is to get inside your customer’s head. To do that, user feedback, or interviews, is invaluable.

Nikki would advocate for interviews, but we are going to discuss other ways to get user feedback that can help us make better decisions about the topics for our content.

So, how can you employ user feedback to find content ideas? Today we are going to take a look at three simple ways.

Finding content ideas from your email list

When surveying clients, you have a couple of ways you can use an email, onboarding emails, and an email survey.

When you get a new subscriber, do you have a welcome email sequence? This is a great place to find out things your audience may need help.

A while back I wrote an article about a welcome email series with a handful of tips. One thing I talked about was using that time to ask a question to your new subscriber.

Person Using Macbook Pro on Brown Wooden Desk
Person Using MacBook Pro on Brown Wooden Desk | Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

You are, as it were, in a sort of honeymoon period. What you can do is ask a specific question about what they are struggling within their business.

Groove says in its “You’re in Email,” that they ask a simple question, “why did you sign up for Groove?”

From that question, they receive data that can help them learn why people sign up.

With a 41% response rate, we get *massive *amounts of qualitative marketing data about the “decision triggers” that drive people to sign up for Groove.

Aside from that, this email accomplishes three important things:

It establishes a relationship between the customer and me (the CEO). ” Alex Turnbull, GrooveHQ

Well, you can do the same thing with content. Asking a simple question can help you gather data on what people need help with.

Questions you might ask:

  • What are you struggling with in your business? We wanna help!
  • How can I help you solve a pressing need in your business?
  • What caused you to sign up for our email newsletter today?
  • How can we help you be a better business owner?

Listen to the answers you receive. Do any of those give you topic ideas for your content? You are on your way.

In addition to using the welcome email, periodic surveys can be helpful.

Just like the welcome emails, simply draft an email to send your audience. It could be quarterly or yearly, but something regularly.

This can be in the form of a traditional survey. I think there is a place for that, but it should be a short survey.

Mailerlite has a fantastic blog post on how you can implement surveys in your email.

When trying to get data for content, it is best, I think, to keep questions to a minimum. One thing that is certain is that you use open-ended questions.

Further, you can use surveys to help receive customer feedback. If you can utilize a customer feedback survey, try to ask questions that will help with getting data for content.

Running user feedback surveys on your website

Ever wondered why someone has come to your website? Have you ever wondered what it is they are looking for, what kind of information they need to learn?

There are many ways to run surveys on your website. Several tools are available to make it an easier experience for both you and your reader.

HotJar and Mopinion are two SaaS-based tools you can implement on your website.

Hotjar touts “The fast & visual way to understand your users.” While the software allows for heatmaps and visitor recordings, there are several ways to get customer feedback including feedback polls and surveys. You can implement these right on your website.

Screenshot: www.hotjar.com
Screenshot: www.hotjar.com

Hotjar has a WordPress plugin which allows you to implement the software right on your WordPress website.

What should you ask your website visitors? Hotjar has an excellent article on some of the places on your website and questions to ask.

There are other options for website feedback.

Sprout24 has a great article on Hotjar and gives us four alternatives.

But wait, aren’t there some WordPress plugins that you can use? Of course. There is always a plugin for that. IsitWP has an article that mentions several WordPress survey plugins, while Mopinion has a list of several feedback forms plugins.

Make sure you use your form to gather data from your users on the types of content they need. Any popup form that allows you to ask an open-ended question should work.

Photo of Men Having Conversation | Photo by nappy from Pexels
Photo of Men Having Conversation | Photo by nappy from Pexels

Have a conversation with a user

This point is going to seem a little underwhelming to you, but why not hop on a call with a member of your audience. We all have folks who follow our company who support us. They may feel they have nothing to offer, but they do!

Fire up your Zoom (or Skype), invite them on a call. Map out about five open-ended questions and have a conversation with them about their answers. If you don’t have a chance to get in a video call, try a chat via Facebook or some other Instant Messanger software.

Sometimes we can get a lot of information just by talking to our audience. Yup, having a face to face conversation can really help.

Ask for their opinion about how you can help your audience. Limit your time so you don’t take up too much of theirs.

I have hopped on a call for other business owners and have had readers on calls with me to learn more about their needs.

This kind of conversation is the equivalent of brainstorming and can be very valuable. Sometimes my best ideas come from someone who has given me an idea.

Wrapping it up

This process is gathering user feedback. We collect that in a lot of different ways. OptiMonk has a helpful article on various ways for user feedback.

User feedback is vital to your business or product. You can use the process to gather info from users on the type of content you can create. Often, basic user feedback or customer interactions can yield valuable information on content topics.

You can get started rather quickly by using one of the three options I mentioned above: Emails, Website feedback, and Video Calls or chats.

How do you gather topics for your content? Where do your ideas come from?

Drop them in the comments below!

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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