Is your company looking to stand out and stay top-of-mind with its audience?
Many companies want to generate creative content, and some are turning to surveys and polls to gather useful data to distribute through a variety of channels. Douglas Karr, CEO of DK New Media, and John O'Connell, senior public relations manager
of HNTB, shared their tips for how companies can be successful when using these tools in the “Stay Top of Mind through Creative Content Generation” webinar presented by PR Newswire and Zoomerang.
Karr urges companies to stop selling and instead look at ways to provide value, capture the audience’s attention and build authority. This can be done through “feeding the senses” with text, audio, video and kinesthetic elements.
Often, we see companies put out information once and then discard it. Companies need to repurpose this material; they don’t need to reinvent it, but rather tweak it to entice their entire audience. One way Karr recommends doing this is by repurposing.
You can turn:
• Survey results into a whitepaper;
• A whitepaper into an infographic or presentation;
• A presentation into a blog post;
• Blog posts into a webinar; and
• A webinar into a survey.
After creating all this content, the information can also be shared through press releases, social media, landing pages, and traditional media placements. Then, companies can track their analytics through the various distribution channels.
O’Connell recommends generating themes for surveys and polls based on timeliness, newsworthiness and potential for generating worthwhile discussions among key audiences. He suggests using survey results to extend a company’s story.
An example of a survey conducted by HNTB that generated content was a question on public transit. The survey found that, “More than four in five (83 percent) Americans agree public transit and high-speed rail infrastructure should receive a larger share of federal funding than they do now. However, Americans were far more likely to choose high-speed rail over driving or flying for a trip to a city in their region in March 2009 than February 2010 (54 percent versus 38 percent).” That information became the basis for materials that could then be repurposed as part of a larger content strategy.
Does your company already use surveys and polls to generate content?
Getting feedback from your customers is essential. It’s also a challenge. How do you reach them? How do you get honest, helpful critiques? A survey is a typical way to get this feedback, but in today’s fast-paced world, the survey must be delivered in an atypical way. Optimize your next survey by employing social media and Twitter and using these tips.
1. Don’t ask for the moon: Ask only for the exact information you want.
2. Keep it short: If you follow step one, your survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Tweet your most interesting questions with a link to the survey to drive traffic.
3. Keep it simple: Avoid atypical sentence formation, jargon, abbreviations and lengthy sentences.
4. Form answer options the same way: Short and simple answer options such as multiple choice or “yes” and “no” make gauging responses easier.
5. Put your most important questions first: This ensures that your most important questions get answered.
6. Try it, and then try it again: Have trusted employees or customers test out the survey first.
7. Ensure anonymity: Post a notice of security and anonymity to guarantee the most honest and helpful answers.
7. Choose an appropriate time to release the survey: Twitter is most active at 12 p.m. EST (lunch time on the East Coast), which coincides with 9 a.m. PST (start of work day) and 5 p.m. in London (end of the work day). Release and tweet about your survey at this time to reach the largest audience possible.
8. Remind customers: Retweet the survey to maximize the number of participants.
9. Give participants incentive: How will taking the survey benefit customers? Tweet about incentives to drive participants to the survey. Offer additional incentives for retweets.
10. Reach out directly: Contact industry influencers and ask if they will promote your survey via their own Twitter accounts.
11. Use your results: Put the answers you receive to use. Congratulate yourself on things done well, and create a plan to improve weak areas.
Want to read more about creating survey success? Check out this article on wikiHow.