Have you ever read a piece so good that it seems like the writer stole the words out of your mouth?
All your thoughts, problems are addressed with clear, definitive solutions that leave you wondering if they’re mind readers. And most importantly, how you can leave the same effect on your audience.
Well, there’s a way to do it right. And it’s through the Voice of Customer research
What is Voice of the Customer (VoC) Research?
Voice of Customer research is the process of gathering data on the pain points, expectations, complaints, and preferences of your customers. Think of it as a bridge that helps you close the gap between customers’ expectations and the actual experience.
From product development and customer experience to content marketing, VoC data can help you identify key areas for improvement.
Organizations that use a content strategy achieve higher win rates—in fact, up to 27.1% more— than those who don’t. This shows that investing in content marketing with a substantial idea of what your audience wants (thanks to VoC data) gives you a better chance of highly improving your ROI. Who doesn’t want that?
Some core information to take note of are:
- Common keywords, phrases, and the exact language of your customers
- Pain points and recurring problems
- Expectations, preferences, and aversions
- Behavioral pattern
Before you craft your content, you’ll need:
- An objective
- Actionable questions that tie to your goals like: What is your biggest challenge in managing projects/using product X for scheduling? What content format do you prefer when searching for a solution? How often do you want to hear from us? What topic would you like us to cover that we haven’t?
- Specific persona(s) you’re trying to reach
- VoC tools like survey software, social listening tools, CRM tools, and feedback system.
- A centralized team to manage the VoC program
Once these are in place, let’s dive into how to discover the content your customers crave.
10 Ways to Find and Create B2B Content Your Audience Wants
- Conduct customer Interviews
Having in-depth conversations with your customers is an ideal way to gain a deeper understanding of their needs.
Customer interviews give you clear insight into the exact language and emotions of your customers, which other sources of VoC may not capture. This feedback can help you create content that speaks to their emotions and addresses their problems and objections.
Groove took this approach to understand the challenges, language, and expectations of their customers better. This helped them identify customer pain points, decision triggers, trends, and exact phrases they used to craft their copy. Within some weeks, their conversions increased by 100%, from 2.3% to 4.7%. This interview also helped them to discover a new target audience.
Information and clips from customer interviews can be used to create marketing copy like testimonials, blog posts, case studies, success stories, and landing page copy.
You can go beyond existing users to interview new customers and churners.
- Tap into Social Media
Social media is one of the largest sources for gaining real-time insight into the needs and challenges of your customers.
People often discuss brands on social platforms, and B2B customers are not left out. In fact, 84% of B2B executives use social media to make purchasing decisions. They readily give suggestions, express their dissatisfaction, and ask for product recommendations from their social network.
These activities give you a chance to identify areas for improvements in your brand offerings and content marketing. To discover ideas for B2B content on social media:
- Create or repurpose content from posts/topics with the most engagement. Pay attention to shares, comments, and clicks.
- Conduct polls, quizzes, and Q&A sections for ideas/suggestions
- Review comments, direct messages, and mentions for questions, buzzwords, complaints, or trends
- Identify industry experts and influencers and keep track of topics they’re discussing and questions your target audience ask
- Publish relevant user-generated content
- Invest in social listening tools to track, analyze, and respond to conversations and mentions about your brand.
- Analyze website activity
Customers are searching for and also leaving specific information on your website. This translates tons of untapped content ideas you can take advantage of.
To make use of these ideas:
- Create content on questions readers are asking in your blog comments.
- Repurpose popular existing content into other content format
- Create new content from sections of old posts with high traffic & engagement.
- Analyze your website search queries for topics, keywords, or phrases that your readers are searching for on your site which you have little or no content on.
- Use heat maps to optimize your content based on areas readers give the most attention to.
- Run customer surveys
Surveys & feedback forms help you keep your finger on the pulse of your customers. Their response provides you with the information you need to spot problems and streamline processes. You can tap into surveys to find data points for original research.
Wrike’s viral content “Swearing in the Workplace”, was drawn from a survey. Their goal was to create content that’ll generate brand awareness and establish Wrike as a thought leader.
The work management company asked business professionals about their opinion on swearing at the workplace and received over 1,100 responses which they turned into an article. Wrike’s research got over a hundred media mentions and a segment on NBC’s Today Show.
Survey responses that reflect customers’ needs, opinions, and expectations can also help you create engaging, share-worthy content that appeals to your audience.
- Product reviews & testimonials
Reviews & Testimonials are a goldmine of VoC that offer insights into the minds of your users—their overall satisfaction, language, challenges, and opportunities for improvement.
They also act as social proof that influences purchasing decisions. A survey by OnTarget Consulting & Research, G2, and Heinz Marketing found that 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase a product or service after reading a trusted review. This is because customer reviews give prospects an unfiltered view of the capabilities of a product from real users.
Third-party review sites such as Capterra, TrustRadius, G2, and CompareCamp are good places to set up your company profile, especially if you’re in B2B Saas.
You can draw from product reviews to create persuasive, informative content for:
- Case studies
- Ebooks & Whitepapers
- Use cases
- Website & sales copy
- Testimonials for landing pages
- Blog content
- User-generated content for social media
- Knowledge base
- Expand FAQs into long-form content
Common questions about pricing, product usage, and more that pop up while interacting with your customers make up FAQs. Examples: Can I filter contacts into segments on your platform? Will I lose my email list if I export from Brand X? What CRM systems do you integrate with?
These questions reflect the challenges your audience have and what they want to know. If you already have a dedicated FAQ section, you can further expand these questions into full blog posts, guides, and other informative content.
Some places to find frequently asked questions include:
- Inbox (social media, emails,etc)
- Customer interactions with the customer support team
- Website, forums, and social media comments
- Direct messages
- Anticipated objections & doubts
- Competitor’s FAQs
- Product reviews
- Direct interactions
Another way to source content ideas is through direct interactions with your customers. This includes email, live chat, phone conversations, direct messages, and in-person.
Questions or conversations about specific products or services can give you an idea of what content would delight, educate, and entertain your customers.
Some ways to encourage customer interaction are to:
- Provide quick communication options such as live chat, online chat, chatbots, phone call, etc
- Follow up on conversations
- Ask for and act on feedback
- Promote familiarity & trust by introducing your team (with names & faces)
- Solicit reviews & testimonials
- Communicate with your customers in their preferred channels
- Provide support before, during, and after sales
- Create segments to nurture customer relationships.
- Online forums and Q&A sites
Buyers often have questions about a product or topic and may rely on forums to get answers from other users. Industry forums & Q&A sites like Quora, Reddit, etc., can help you uncover conversations around your industry or brand.
With this, you can reel readers in with relevant content that addresses their pain points.
Search for spaces or topics relevant to your niche within these forums, and then scroll through questions and answers for ideas.
For example, if your company offers CRM software, searching for the term “customer experience” will give you results like the image above. From this, you can create topics such as:
- The ultimate guide to customer feedback (+ templates)
- 30 Feedback Questions to ask your customers
- How to ask for customer feedback in 5 easy steps
- 10 discount strategies that drive sales and customer loyalty
- Customer incentive programs: 8 common mistakes and how to avoid them
- 12 creative ways to offer customer deals without hitting your profits.
You can also develop these topics into product-related content such as “10 feedback tools for ____” with your tools as the best option.
Aside from searching for relevant topics, ask questions around specific topics to get feedback that can serve as content ideas. Not all questions will inspire your next content, but some could align with your brand essence.
- Talk to customer-facing teams
Employees that deal directly with customers like the customer service & support, customer success, and sales teams can offer insights into what matters most to your customers. They can dig into existing customer data or previous conversations to identify common problems, language, and trends.
They can also ask questions while interacting with your customers to understand their needs and how best to meet them as they evolve.
Information gleaned from this can help you develop blog posts and user onboarding or knowledge base content like:
- Installation guides
- Troubleshooting steps
- How-Tos and step-by-step guides (video tutorials & blogs)
- Product descriptions
To take it a step further:
- Analyze competitor conversations
Although not a direct source of Voc, your competitors’ content can give you an idea of what’s going on in the market.
Their landing page content, comments on their website, and social media can provide additional insights into the needs of your target audience and the type of content they engage more with.
Also, scanning competitors’ reviews on review sites can help you understand what customers love about your competitors’ products and why they’re dissatisfied with yours.
Gathering customer feedback & conversations can be tasking. To get the best results with minimal effort, you must invest in VoC tools to help you pull data from various Voc sources for the success of your content marketing.
Remember, you don’t have to create content on all ideas you gather. Stick to relevant recurring themes that align with your customers’ needs and business goals. With this, you can start creating actionable content your readers need and love!