online survey tips for public relations PR

Surveys offer a valuable tool to better understand how customers feel about a brand, the company’s products and how they compare to competing products. That information helps brands improve products and market their wares more effectively. To collect data that’s worthwhile, it’s essential to craft questions that motivate customers to participate in the survey and elicit informative answers.

How to motivate users to participate?

Completing a survey demands a small investment of time from the survey participant. Because of that, survey sponsors would be wise to remunerate them for providing information. I, personally, do not take surveys that do not offer some type of payment.

Providing free merchandise can motivate people to complete surveys, even if they don’t really need the rewards. If the reward and the survey are relevant to the user’s circle of friends and family members, you can try a referral program, which allows you to access more data from a larger number of people.

Understand the market better by using surveys.

We commonly perceive surveys as a way to evaluate how people feel toward an already-released product. But that isn’t their only application.

Marketers frequently use questionnaires and surveys to research markets before launching campaigns. That strategy provides a clearer understanding of the target audience’s demographics and helps tailor campaigns to a narrower slice of the population, creating a demographic precision that makes campaigns more efficient.

PR and corporate communications departments use surveys to assess sentiment toward the corporation or to obtain feedback about corporate programs or industry issues.

Collect feedback.

Feedback from product purchasers is undoubtedly the most widespread type of “survey,” and there’s a good reason for it. Product evaluation surveys can extract valuable information and detailed opinions about the product from people who own it. This is essential for the optimization and improvement of a service or product to better meet the needs of existing customers. It’s more efficient to invest time and money into keeping your existing clients, rather than attracting new ones.

Use feedback to understand campaigns better.

Data from surveys may also be used to assess the effectiveness of an advertising, marketing or public relations campaign and to uncover customers’ pain points. This valuable information can then be applied to future campaigns.

The most effective surveys ask customers to provide detailed feedback that describes how they feel about your product. Try to find:

  • The features they like about your product or service
  • Features they would like to add to your product or service
  • Issues with your products that you failed to resolve
  • How you can improve the customer’s experience with the product
  • Issues that your clients previously had with your competitors

Turn your clients’ feedback into testimonials.

Ask customers for permission to use their feedback as a testimonial in future campaigns. Their honest opinions about your product can impress potential customers.

Craft a survey that works for you. A well-designed survey can provide valuable data, including demographic information about your audience  and what customers appreciate about your service or product.

Choose a tool.

There are now many services that  help marketers develop survey questionnaires and conduct the survey:

  • Typeform
  • Client Heartbeat
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Google Forms
  • Survey Gizmo
  • Survey Planet

While most of the services are relatively complex and demand some time to fully master, they feature user-friendly designs that offer a good user experience. Google Forms is fairly basic compared to others, but that may be an advantage if you’re short on time. It’s crucial to be sure you have a valid sample before evaluating survey data.

Reviewing the questions and answer choices from previously-conducted marketing or PR surveys will provide insight into the best types of questions and how to construct good questions with valid answer choices.

Surveys on social media

Social media is also an option for conducting surveys.

Marketers can collect information from potential customers in a more low-key manner: by asking people on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others. This strategy requires less time from users, and responses often transform into meaningful conversations about the product. Information from those conversations will tell you quite a lot about the quality of your campaigns.

Implicitly ask about the customer’s behavior.

In order to improve future campaigns, try asking questions that delineate the customer’s reactions or behaviors to specific important events or products. This will improve your understanding of customers, and allow you to craft better campaigns.

Additionally, questions regarding behavior aren’t hard to answer. Customers don’t need to conceptualize their relationships with a product; they only need to describe it.

Use surveys to test branding, positioning and naming.

Use a survey to analyze how people feel about your company’s name and slogan. Ask mostly closed-ended questions, but ask two or three open-ended questions to let potential customers express their feelings. Consider these questions:

  • What comes to mind when you hear our slogan/brand name?
  • How easy to pronounce is the name to you?
  • How relevant to your needs is the name?
  • If this product were available today, would you consider purchasing it?

Asking closed question lets you easily quantify the results of your survey. Responses will be rationally structured, which enables you to process the data quicker. Answering brief, closed-ended questions doesn’t demand enormous intellectual effort from survey participants, which means that you’ll likely yield responses from more people, assuring a valid sample.

Surveys offer a worthwhile way to fill information gaps about how consumers feel about products and companies. You may examine reports from multiple sources: ads, heat maps and web analytics. You may know customers’ behavior, but don’t understand why they choose to behave in a particular way. If designed correctly, surveys help you find answers to such questions.

Why is one particular article your company has published so disproportionately interesting to your followers? Why do specific advertisements fail so miserably, while others perform well?

These and other questions can be answered once you collect the right data from surveys and analyze it along with other factors.

That’s why survey questionnaires have become a vital source of information that helps marketers improve their decision-making.

Bottom Line: While surveys fill critical gaps in understanding customers, marketers need to focus on designing a survey strategy, developing appropriate questions and motivating customers to spend time answering those questions. Online tools and resources are available to help marketers accomplish those tasks and gain the full benefits of surveys.