Creating and repurposing content is great, but it only really works if your audience finds your content helpful.
So how to do you find out what they care about most, or what they really need solutions for?
Well, you ask them!
In this podcast episode and blog post we look at eight really effective ways to ask your audience what they want, and how to repurpose their answers into valuable content….
Press ‘play’ below to listen to the episode:
Or keep reading to find out more…
As content marketers we want to be creating great content that we know for sure is closely aligned with our audience’s needs.
If we’re not giving our audience what they want or need, then we are going to be in a constant uphill battle when it comes to growing our audience and boosting engagement.
We’re putting all the time in, but it’s just not clicking and the ROI isn’t there.
In order to create content that our audience wants to consume, and position ourselves as the trusted leading authority that we want to be known for, we need to understand who our audience are, and we need to know what content we can create that will be helpful to them.
We need to do research, and that can involve actually asking them – seems so obvious yet it can be overlooked!
This is so important because if we involve our audience, we create relationships and build a community while positioning ourselves or our brand as the solution to their problems.
If our audience feels heard they are more likely to engage and an engaged and involved audience is more willing to move down the marketing funnel to that all-important final action stage…
Another benefit is that if we know where some of our audience is, we get to know them, and we create content that solves the problems that they want to solve – using the right tone and terminology that they resonate with – this will help us to attract a broader audience of people just like them!
We’ll draw in those ideal clients that didn’t even know we existed until we started to create content that’s perfect for them.
Here are eight ways to you can go about asking the right questions…
1. Run a poll on your social media platforms
People love answering questions. Everyone has an opinion and people often aren’t afraid to share it on social media – it’s called social media for a reason! So make the most of the social and interactive features on the platforms.
Keep your poll simple, quick and relevant with the option to elaborate on their answers.
There are poll features on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram within Stories and Reels – where you can quiz your audience.
LinkedIn polls do get a little overused, so don’t start doing a poll a day! But they are useful and can be effective.
You can find more ideas and tips in our Ask, Curate & Create: A Genius Way to Maximize Content blog post. We look at how Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon use social media to ask their audience what they want to see, then build responses into their shows.
2. Set up a survey
If you want more in-depth responses, you could invite your audience to take part in a survey.
Social media polls are obviously just a quick, simple way to ask a question, but a more in-depth survey allows you to ask multiple questions across a wider range of question types, you can allow for multiple-choice or longer-sentence answers.
You can gather data too, for example, names and email addresses, which is a good idea because it is a way of getting new leads to nurture.
You can also gamify your survey, or find an incentive for people to complete it.
Our Content 10x Repurposing Effectiveness Scorecard is a great example of a survey.
It’s a win-win situation, because not only do we get loads of useful insight from our audience – we also provide them with something in return. Because people who take it receive valuable, tailored feedback that relates to their answers.
You can find out lots more about scorecard marketing at, Content Repurposing for Scorecard Marketing.
If you don’t go the scorecard route there are other great software options out there. Starting with something simple like SurveyMonkey or a Google Form.
Facebook, LinkedIn and private membership groups, and Discord and Slack communities are great places to find brilliant content ideas, as well as ask your audience what they want.
We have a blog post called 5 Way to Dig for Content Gold that looks at how great groups are for getting to know your audience better.
If you run the group, you have the freedom to jump in and ask the questions you want answers to as and when you need.
But if you are a member of someone else’s group – a group where your audience are, then it’s important to stick to the rules and don’t come across like you are obviously doing research for your own content...or even worse, like you’re selling! Basically, don’t come across as divisive and self-serving.
Group etiquette is the key here. You don’t want to get kicked out. That’s not good for content ideas!
You might get all the answers you need just observing the conversations taking place without even asking too many questions.
4. Arrange calls or one-on-one chats
Contact a small subset of engaged people who you trust and know will provide the insight you are looking for.
It sounds so obvious but how often do you jump on a call with your existing customers or engaged members of your audience to find out what problems they have right now? This is not a high-volume idea, but it’s likely to glean quality and in-depth feedback.
5. Run a focus group
This will provide in-depth insight.
Ensure that everyone invited has a clear understanding of what you want to cover during the session, provide space for discussion, and be prepared to moderate it effectively so everyone isn’t talking over each other. You’ll want to record the focus group so you can play it back and pick out all the key themes that emerge.
You can also work with external organizations that will run focus groups for you.
One-on-one conversations are good, but you might find different topics emerge when people talk in groups.
Similar to the survey, and one-to-one, you’re asking for the time of others, so think about how can you incentivize and reward them.
6. Run a Livestream
This might sound intimidating for some, but for others, this is totally within your comfort zone, so you need to go with what you think is best for you and your audience.
The great thing about a livestream is that it provides more ways to interact with your audience than almost any other type of content since it’s two-way. It’s one to many, with no geographical limitations.
You can run livestreams on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram... you could host a live Space on Twitter too.
To ensure you get the level of interaction that you want, warm up your audience beforehand.
Send them tips and hints about what you want to talk about, deliver value during your livestream, and give them time to think about their questions. Treat it like a conversation more than a formal presentation and your audience will feel more comfortable and willing to share!
You could run occasional livestreams, or make it a regular thing. And if you want to learn more about how to Iivestream and effectively repurpose it, head to Livestream Repurposing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.
7. Ask your email subscribers
Email marketing has so many benefits, but possibly the biggest is that it gives you a direct relationship with an audience already willing to have you in their inbox every week – or however often you email them.
Just occasionally ask questions and invite a reply.
For example, ask them; what is the one thing you are struggling with right now, or what is the biggest question you want answered right now?
Then encourage them to respond by replying to your email.
The people who reply may just be the ones that you invite to jump onto a call with you, for a one-on-one conversation. Help them, and they help you too!
You can also include a poll or more in-depth survey using Survey Monkey or Google Forms.
8. Ask at the end of your long-form content
Always ask at the end of your longer-form content what your audience would like to see, hear or read about next.
Finish off a blog post or video or podcast by asking the question… “thanks for showing up guys, I’d love to know what else you’d like me to cover, please comment, tweet, email etc…”
Make it easy for people to respond using the channel that they are most comfortable with.
And of course, it’s important that you respond to and interact with all the comments and responses you receive. Let your audience know that they are heard and how much you value their input…
Repurpose the answers into valuable content
No blog post of ours would be complete without a repurposing angle!
All these responses, interactions, and suggestions from your audience are perfect repurposing material, providing you with exactly what you need to inform your content going forward.
Our audiences grow and change over time, so we can never assume we know exactly what they want, unless we ask.
So, in the spirit of practicing what we preach, please do let us know any topics you would like to hear from us in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you!