Review what your prospects doNow it’s time to check out what your prospective leads do. What general industries are they in? Check out your leads from the past and scan their websites, Facebook pages, and other online profiles. Your goal is to check for trends and patterns in the types of clients you generally work with. What products/services do they offer their clients? What platforms and applications do they use to provide these products and services?
Understand your prospects’ pain pointsGo back and check what feedback you’ve received by filtering through your emails, Facebook posts/messages, tweets, blog posts, anything that your customers have submitted. Ask yourself what your clients’ pain points are and what they are struggling with. For example, if you read what customers have told MailChimp, you’ll see that their customers have tweeted requests and suggestions. In response, MailChimp incorporates these ideas into their new products. In fact, pain points are under-addressed in the eBook community; Corporate Visions reported that 60% of lead generation programs were ineffective because only 40% of content was allocated to customer pain points. Learn from this mistake and make it a point to address what your customers are looking for. Online Profits has a great visualization of how pain points can help you develop ideas for your eBook.
Openly ask your prospects what they wantDirectly asking your target audience what they want to know about is simple and effective. Use your Facebook, Twitter, or other poll platform (such as Survey Monkey, ProProfs, or LearnMyself) to host an open poll for voting on potential eBook topics. After users submit their suggestions, make sure you remind them to share it with their friends on their own Timelines. Use a poll or free-form submission field on your Facebook page or website to solicit suggestions about what topics your target audience would like to read about. If you allow users to freely submit their ideas, be sure to monitor the responses you get. Giving users the freedom to submit their suggestions publicly means that you could run into the problem of people using the submission form to complain about your brand or derail the conversation. Ian McKee of Vocanic has written a great blog post on the mixed results that these sorts of crowdsourcing campaigns can receive. He writes:
While brands performing crowdsourcing via social networks have experienced positive results, the practice can also backfire… crowdsourcing can leave a company with less control of how their brand is portrayed and exposed to criticism through competitor comparisons.The bottom line? If you decide to solicit suggestions with a public submission form, monitor the responses you get- or just make the submissions private.
Check new trends in your fieldWhen we wrote our eBook on using the Facebook Timeline for increasing conversions and ROI, we chose the Facebook Timeline as a topic because Facebook was about to force all pages to adopt the new Timeline format. Businesses expressed anxiety about what this would mean for them, especially when it came to the loss of default landing pages. Our eBook was timed to be released right before the mandatory switch to the Timeline (March 30, 2012) and we got over 1,000 downloads within the first week.
Researching what is timely is great way to get current and relevant insight on what your prospects are going to be interested in. Subscribing to an industry-specific feed can conveniently provide you a list with growing trends. Two great tools to help you discover trends in your industry are Mashable’s “Trending Topics” feature, which allows users to track specific news updates, and Google Alerts, a free tool you can use to track stories containing certain keywords.Want to get your hands on a copy of our FREE eBook Toolkit and start generating B2B leads today? Be sure to sign up here and get your copy now!