Reader-Driven Insights: Using Interactive Surveys for Audience Research & Development

Methods to enhance your editorial decision making abilities and leave a strong impression.


How can you capture the attention of your audience in today’s dynamic digital landscape?

It’s one of the hardest questions that editors scramble to answer. Today, well-written prose just isn’t enough to keep your audience happy or engaged. Instead, an interactive approach is required–one that not only engages readers, but also allows them to be active participants in the content they consume.

Enter interactive surveys – an essential part of an editor’s toolkit that personalizes their research and stands out in the landfill of information overload. Interactive surveys not only give editors more control over their data, but drive instant feedback and community engagement that flat content just can’t touch.

Editors don’t typically see the data or aftermath of the product, so it can be difficult to see the results. With interactive surveys, editors gain the opportunity to unlock insights into reader reactions, and generate ideas for future topics. Who doesn’t like getting free inspiration?

But how do interactive surveys get your research to stand out?

Here’s How

3 Smart Approaches to Get the Most out of Your Interactive Surveys

Create  a Powerful Survey Flow

A survey’s structure matters just as much, if not more, than the questions themselves. The right mix of questions should seamlessly guide the reader through a logical progression of topics. The whole point of your research is to get your reader to be honest with you. Create sequences that feel like genuine and natural conversations. It’s important to avoid abrupt shifts or jarring transitions that may leave your readers confused and frustrated.

Make sure you are keeping a good mix of question types, keeping your participants engaged and intrigued. Balance is everything. Use open-ended questions that encourage thoughtful responses, and multiple-choice questions for quick interactions to gather specific information. By alternating between these two question types, you not only cater to different readers’ needs, but you also ensure that both time-crunched and more reflective participants are focused on your content.

Leave a Strong Impression

Chances are you aren’t talking with your audience, you’re just talking at them. Take a reader-centric approach, and turn your research content into a learning journey that taps into your diverse audience. The choices that your readers make should shape the content that they consume. Take advantage of interactive decision making in order to further explore the curiosity that YOU enable. Take the Business Journals for example. This premier media platform developed a data-generating lead generation opportunity that used survey questions and a scoring system, giving an 81% email opt-in rate, and hyper-qualifying their leads all in the process.

Take it a step further by offering the option to give feedback regarding your content. Personalization will foster a sense of community among your audience, increasing chances of consistent engagement. Do this enough and you’ll bring in more data, but more importantly, more people invested in the success of your content.

Keep Your Readers Interested In You

Visibility is the first step to getting any consideration for your content. Create a well designed call-to-action to spark interest and get the readers to the entrance. Placement is half the game. Put your interactive survey in a spot that is unobtrusive, yet attention-grabbing, such as banners strategically placed, or a call to action that expands when clicked.

Your Call to Action is just as important as your placement. Let your audience know what it is you want them to do, and don’t be afraid to be direct about it. You only have so much space and time to capture and keep your audiences’ interest and secure that data. To strengthen these efforts, take advantage of instilling some FOMO in them. Let them know that they’ll be missing out on something if they don’t take this survey right here and right now.

What do YOU want to know?

Remember – the data you are collecting is only as good as the person who’s understanding and analyzing it. The only reason you should go through all of this research and testing is if you have a complete understanding of what you want to know and how to use that information effectively. Set goals and make decisions based on what you see to design your survey the right way. Understand what a good survey looks like, and bring your own perspective into the mix. Would you trust a bartender that doesn’t drink?

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” – Coco Chanel

If you haven’t gotten the memo by now, it’s pretty important to make sure that you’re using the right tools to get the proper results. For editors looking to drive reader-based insights, interactive surveys are the swiss army knife of data generation. If you aren’t seeing the results you’re looking for, maybe it’s time to change your approach. Maybe it’s time to try interactive surveys. Here’s some great examples of CredSpark clients making the most out of interactive surveys.

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