(This is the second of a two-part blog on the impact and value of survey content for clients. If you like this blog, please share it. Thanks!)
In my last blog, I weighed in on how a well-conceived and executed survey can position your clients to go far beyond simply getting “into the news.” This kind of content marketing effort allows them to make news with unique insights that were previously unavailable, and therefore start a conversation that everyone within that client’s particular industry is talking about.
In conducting such projects for our high-tech PR agency, I’ve discovered that the following best practices will make for an impactful survey:
Define the participation pool. As for targeted survey respondents, you can “go broad” or “go narrow” here. It’s up to you to accurately assess which approach best serves the client. You can go narrow, for example, by including only sales people as participants, to get an exclusive ear as to what customers are saying. Or you can go broad by allowing for a massive, general survey pool, and therefore cover a wider range of subject matter.
Strike the fine balance – with your questions. It’s tricky to pinpoint the “just right” questions. If they’re too broad, they won’t grab the attention of the media. If they’re too specific, you’ll find that too many survey respondents will decline to answer them. Striking at the desired middle ground remains a matter of good judgment, and that mainly comes with experience.
Spark debate. From your questions to the promotional headlines to the summary body of your survey report to the nuts and bolts of the findings themselves, keep asking yourself these questions: Will this inspire debate? Does it challenge certain industry assumptions? Does it lend new insights to the conversation that everyone is having? It’s about more than generating instant “buzz” and visibility for your client, although this is definitely an immediate goal. Beyond that, if you’ve constructed a really thoughtful, well-executed survey, your client will reap rewards far beyond the initial release of the results. You’ll create lasting, meaningful impact that will influence industry leaders and customers to perceive the client as a company that greatly helped redefine the discussion. That’s quite an accomplishment.
The ability to produce a groundbreaking content marketing survey for a client is a quality that matures over time, accelerated by the seasoning, dedication and inquisitive nature of the PR/communications team behind it. At W2 Communications, we’ve specialized in “making news” through this very kind of survey for years now. If that’s something that you think you’d like to pursue, then feel free to get in touch.
Joyson Cherian is an account director at W2 Communications.