Actions You Need to Take to Understand Your Customers - dummies

Actions You Need to Take to Understand Your Customers

By Stephanie Diamond

One of the main reasons that personas are hard for content marketers to create is that you just can’t sit quietly in your office and look at data. You need to take action to gather everything you want to know.

Here are some actions you need to take:

  • Meet actual customers on a regular basis. Customer feedback is crucial. You need to know what they think, how they view your company, and how and why they use your products. Meeting real customers can be frightening to some. You don’t want to say anything that might upset them. But if you can be regularly in touch with some of your clients, you can learn almost everything you need to know about how to make your products better.

  • Dig for special data. You need to look at the data that is currently being collected by your company. Unfortunately, you may not find what you need. For this reason, you must be proactive and request the type of data that you require. Don’t assume that it doesn’t exist. The more likely scenario is that no one has ever requested it before.

  • Look at content consumption. One key piece of data for every piece of content that you own is what the prospect has done with it. For example, if it’s a video, was it watched to the end? More than once? Was it forwarded to a colleague? When you see how the content was consumed, you can get a better handle on whether it hit the mark and how interested the prospect is in receiving more.

  • Review sentiment analysis. What is sentiment data? It’s user-generated content about your company and its services. This is also called opinion mining. You can set up a formal system to analyze this data, or if you are working on a smaller scale, you can look at actual customer comments.

    For example, you may have lots of comments about your customer service on Twitter. If you see that the majority are complaints about how long your company takes to get back to customers, the sentiment is negative. On social platforms, not all publicity is good publicity.

  • Do what you ask your customers to do. This should be a hard-and-fast rule. You may think it’s only tangentially related to content creation, but if so, think again. You and your team should use your websites, landing pages, and blogs in the exact way you ask your customers to use them.

    Although this seems like common sense, you’d be surprised at how little most content marketers know about the actual workings of their own sites. For example, if something is hard to understand, you want to add content right in that spot online that makes it easier. If you haven’t used the site, you don’t know what you need to add to make it better.

  • Make sure that content creators know your keywords, and keep content creators updated about any revisions you make. It’s important that all your content creators know what keywords you are using. It helps them shape the content they create and makes them aware of what you are trying to accomplish. Also make sure to keep them abreast of changes. This may seem like a small detail, but it will help them generate new ideas suited to your audience.

  • Make support people and sales your front line for feedback. When you get your customer service people and sales reps to give you constant feedback, you are giving yourself a competitive advantage. You want to continually create content that solves problems. By knowing what people are struggling with and by providing answers, you are directly affecting customer satisfaction.

  • Talk to all your company stakeholders. The last thing you want to do is miss out on the wisdom that other departments can provide about your customers. Engage them and let them know what you’re doing. You will also establish some good will around the company by seeking out others’ advice.