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How to Use Surveys in Content Marketing

A woman smiles as she sits by a window and looks at her phone

Surveys provide a simple and effective tool that can provide useful data. In fact, 89% of market researchers favor online surveys over other qualitative methods, reporting that they use them “regularly.” Aside from revealing insights about your audience, these surveys can turn into content for your site, blog and social channels. Using surveys in content marketing can be beneficial. Here are some pointers to create an effective survey and generate marketing material from it. 

How to use surveys in content marketing

Creating an effective survey

With simplicity, effectiveness and low financial risk among its benefits, surveys should be a staple in every marketer’s toolbox. But how do you know what questions to ask? 

The key is to determine your brand’s goals. Are you looking to better understand your customers? Boost engagement? Steer brand perception? Generate leads? Convert prospects? Drive traffic to an e-commerce store, website or blog?

Once you flesh out what you want to gain from the survey, your team can determine which questions to ask.

A few things to consider when creating your survey:

Identify your target audience

Knowing whom you want to survey. If you want to survey expectant mothers who shop for high-end strollers, for example, that will provide feedback on the most sought-after features and benefits. If you survey gift-givers on the same topic, you’ll get different data.

Your target will change your results.

Keep the survey short

Shorter surveys tend to have a higher completion rate and are more likely to generate thoughtful and detailed responses. If the entire survey isn’t visible to provide a quick glimpse of how long it will take, consider using indicators, such as “1 of 8” to demonstrate progress and deter survey takers from abandoning the task before finishing. 

Use mostly close-ended questions

Most of the surveys should ask multiple choice or checkbox questions to provide you with quantitative data, although you may want to include one or two free-response questions near the end of the survey.

Choose non-leading wording

Surveys should be designed to reflect respondents’ experiences without outside influence from marketers. Rather than asking, “How easy was the simple assembly?” ask, “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “very easy” and 5 being “not easy at all,” how was your experience assembling the product?”

Limit each question to a single subject

Lumping two questions together may provide inaccurate feedback for unrelated items. Asking, “Overall, how would you rate the product and customer service?” should be broken into separate questions.

If you’re concerned about a lack of responses, consider including an incentive to encourage customers or prospects to participate.

Generate content from your survey results

Once you’ve got the results of your survey, you can incorporate the data points into a variety of types of content

1. Articles and blogs

What interesting tidbits did you take away from the survey results? Include them in a piece on your company’s website or blog. When Trader Joe’s surveyed customers for its 13th Annual Customer Choice Awards, the grocery chain published the results on its website, shared links to the story on its social media platforms, and announced the results on its podcast. 

2. Press releases

When global cybersecurity provider Confiant surveyed its customers to determine its Net Promoter Score, the company released a detailed press release to promote its ranking. In addition to distributing the release through multiple newswire hubs, the company shared additional details on its website

3. Social media posts

After a survey found that 91% of customers would recommend Xactly and gave the company a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, the software development giant created a post with the results that it shared on social media. 

4. Marketing videos

RingCentral collected over 3,000 data points from 536 customers in a survey and compiled the information in a detailed video slideshow. The information was presented by the company’s Senior Director of Value Acceleration and shared on the company’s YouTube channel

5. Case studies

After compiling the customer survey results, Cardinal Health shared a case study about why a company ultimately selected Cardinal Health products over the competition. The PDF included bullet points about what the customer named as the most valuable attributes for multiple products. 

6. Create an infographic

Software provider DDI System created a visually appealing infographic from the results of its 2018 Customer Satisfaction survey. The graphic included statistics about benefits gained, ROI, most valuable features and quotes from satisfied customers. 

7. Emails and e-newsletters

Welkom Homes used a design poll to ask what people wanted to see in an A-frame design. It incorporated the results into an email to subscribers with teasers about how the preferred build was taking shape.

Implement these tips to turn the results of your customer, client, or prospect surveys into useful content. The simple and effective asset can give you another source for content and maximize the survey’s use.