In my last article, I discussed the concept of thought leadership and how important it is to a successful public relations program. If you missed it, read it here.
While it may be tempting to jump right in and develop “thought leadership” content for your customers, it is best to start out with a little research. The best thought leadership programs are developed with a firm understanding of one’s customers.
Customer feedback helps companies offer informational products and content that precisely target common questions and problems while also delivering content in the mediums customers are most likely to use. Here are some sample questions:
“What are your primary goals for 2011?”
“What are your most common questions pertaining to [your industry]?”
“How often do you use Facebook?”
While there are a number of ways to solicit customer feedback, such as interviews and focus groups, one way to accurately monitor customer opinions is to create an online survey.
One easy-to-use survey tool can be found at ConstantContact.com. Constant Contact makes it easy to create questions in a variety of useful formats such as multiple choice, Likert-scale or open-ended response.
When you get the results back, pay particular attention to the words and phrases your customers use to describe their problems and challenges. These are the words they most likely use in a Google search to discover the answers to their questions. Therefore, these are the terms you should be using to create your content in order to make it more visible in an online search.
In my next article, I will begin showing you some formats for your content and how to get it into the hands of prospective customers.