Coming up with topics for blog posts, videos, podcasts and any content within your content marketing mix is something you will need to do if you’re going to create regular content. One of the best and most engaging ways to do this, is to ask your audience for ideas on what subjects you should cover. There are lots of different ways to ask your audience to find out what they want, let’s discuss a few.
Warm Them Up
Almost all website audiences are used to the one-way communication that most businesses / people provide to them. They get emails, they sit and watch a presentation, and they read blog posts. But they aren’t used to real quality engagement, which requires you to start small, warming them up by always ending every blog post, every social media post with a short question to encourage more and better engagement.
Reward your audience members who engage with you by thanking them, and by acting excited about their contribution. Give them special recognition, a prize or a discount coupon for coming up with such a great idea or question.
Send an Email
Use your email database to your advantage, when you are trying to come up with new ideas, fire off an email to ask for their input. Make it fun for them to respond by inviting them to a free Facebook brainstorming group, or by offering points toward products and services for good ideas… or even just thank them publically as people will do almost anything for recognition.
Monitor Discussion Groups and Forums
Your audience utilizes other online real estate besides your own. Go to other places such as Facebook groups, discussion forums and other places where they like to hang out and read their discussions. Any questions they ask can become topics for your content creation activities.
Conduct a Survey
One of the best ways to ask questions of your audience is to send them a survey. With a short survey you can also get a little extra information about them, plus input into what types of topics they’d like to see you cover. Make it worth their while by promising and delivering a surprise at the end of the survey.
Utilize Social Media
Use your various social media accounts to ask questions of your audience. You can also send a poll via social media, or you can post an infographic with information and a question such as: “What is the next topic you’d like me to cover?” If you can give them a couple of choices to choose from, you’ll be much more likely to get more answers.
Have a Contest
Let your audience pick the topic by giving them five topics you want to create content for, then let them vote on which one they’d like to see the most. The winning topic gets created, and the ones who voted on the winning topic get special VIP invites to submit more questions and maybe ask a question live or filmed (video) event.
Ask Leading Questions
If you ask a question is a certain way you can lead the conversation in that direction, for example if you would like to create content about a specific topic, for example instead of asking them to select between various topic ideas, select a topic yourself and then ask them what they would like to learn about this topic.
By engaging your audience and asking questions you’re guaranteeing higher and higher audience engagement as they have a perceived ownership in what you are creating. Never be afraid to ask them, it doesn’t mean you don’t know what to create content about, it simply means that you care deeply about your audiences needs and as a content marketer that’s invaluable.