Monitor your industry for great content

There are new tools for monitoring competitive activity, beyond keywords. Sites like crayon.co not only help you to monitor the pulse of the market, get creative ideas, and identify trends – it actually will alert you to competitive activities such as new case studies, blog posts, infographics, webinars, YouTube videos, press releases – even changes at the executive level.

Customers are a great source of inspiration for content

There are numerous tools to monitor consumer sentiment, online conversations, and influencers including Social MentionHootsuite, and Buzzsumo.

However, with the emergence of dark social, and a variety of ways that traffic arrives at a site that we label as “Direct” – it’s important to get a sense of what content and topics are engaging, what people are sharing, and why – and how to use it to your advantage.

A clear way to find out is to ask the source itself – your customers.

Everyone loves water cooler topics. Conversation starters that people gravitate towards when they are online, at a party, with their friends, or – at the water cooler at work.

The most popular topics in social media are news, entertainment, sports, business, technology, science, politics, and health.

How do you use survey data to generate your own content?

In an age where the ubiquity of mobile devices is changing the way consumers interact with brands, and talk about topics in various communities, circles of friends, and influencers – it’s even more critical to get a pulse on their sentiment, outside of typical social channels and blogs.

A well-designed, mobile-optimized survey can quickly get the pulse of the public, and with advanced reporting and analytics, you can easily and quickly understand how people feel by age, gender, location – even how a group’s answer to one question may influence their responses to another.

Take a look at this survey done on the #ApplevsFBI controversy. Completed within hours of the story breaking on the evening news, over 1,000 Americans weighed in on the topic of privacy versus security.

Upon announcement of a referendum date for the potential British exit from the EU, over 750 mobile users in the UK responded within 1 hour to answer questions  like should Britain stay in the EU, will it help or hurt the Economy, will the Brexit be good or bad for jobs?

Through a mobile survey, which reaches millions of users in minutes, you can find out the type of content people like to consume, collect feedback on important issues, even get a sense of when and where they like to consume and share content.

Ultimately, surveys can help you:

  • Identify when, where, and what types of content people want to see
  • Get a better understanding of attitudes and perception about current/breaking news
  • Get unique data from your target audience
  • Create compelling stories

Services like NewsCred and Relevance can help you then refine and scale your content production, and publish it to reach the right people that will make an impact on your business.

This originally-authored article first appears on Relevance.