What You Should Know About Content Feedback Loops

By Ron Sela
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Introduction - Content Feedback Loops

Hi, thank you for choosing to view this article! Do you mind if I ask you a quick question before divulging valuable insights on feedback loops that you can start using immediately? 

My only question is, are you here reading this article today because you are a:
 

  1. Marketing professional who successfully uses Feedback Loops.
  2. Marketing professional who wants to successfully use Feedback Loops.
  3. Marketing professional who spends time reading valuable articles that add success to their business.
  4. All the above. 

The above question is a very simple example of a feedback loop, although I am not able to collect your answer. I do know that you are another human being, reading this article because it pertains to your individual life. 

That knowledge takes the walls down just a little bit, right? In an instant, we are no longer two people in different locations of the world, who have no personal connection whatsoever. 

Instead, with the answer to a simple question, we are now two individuals, most likely both marketing professionals, interested in feedback loops, and sharing our information together. 

It feels much better than only sending our words off into the unknown, or feeling as though we are not cared about. The truth is, there will never be a replacement for your audience, customers, or common courtesy in your business.

Unleashing the Power of Marketing Feedback Loops

The above example is a decent starting point because it allows you to think of the new possibilities which could be opened, simply by asking for an email just below the multiple-choice options. 

If that were the case, then the 5-second efforts on both parts would lead to a knowledgeable audience, and how to reach them in the future with more information that may benefit them. 

Once the effects of feedback loops were thoroughly researched in the 1960s, they were implemented with a close watch, and proven productively measurable many times over, in areas including, military strategy, psychology, economics, and engineering. 

Today, this extensive proof leads us to an era where with wise effort, and routine, anyone can apply feedback loops to all areas of their lives. Though similar strategies started in the 60’s, the importance they play in business and marketing is on the leading forefront today. With the intricate workings of the digital world, such strategies continue to grow in complexity and also ability. 

In short, the least you need to know is that feedback loops are a cycle where a portion of the output is utilized again for the input and gains knowledge in the form of factual data which provides a continual foundation for improvement. 

This can go both positively or negatively, but for the sake of our purposes, a good example can be a business making profits, finding statistical proof in “why” they are doing well, combining it with customer feedback, then taking a portion of the profits to reinvest in opportunities which in turn produce even more income.

Feedback Loop as Tool for Behavioral Change

Though the feedback loop strategy is nothing new, it is still considered among the best-proven tools for behavioral changes, both personally and professionally speaking. The workings of a feedback loop start with evidence or proof. 

The second and third rotations are relevance, and consequences, finally saving the last step for action, before beginning the strategic loop again. 

Now that we have a briefing on feedback loops let’s put them into action for marketing purposes. Whether a business is thriving most the time, doing so-so, or continually spiraling downward, marketing content feedback loops are often the missing link that allows sales to elude even the strongest of teams. When laying the proper groundwork, it helps to get back to the basics.

Q.) What is your number one marketing asset?

A.) Your Customers. 

With a Feedback loop as your vehicle, getting better acquainted with your clients is a given, thus resulting in higher customer satisfaction rates, and a much further marketing reaches through social platforms, and brand awareness.

Strategic Tools for Managing Feedback Loops

Let’s look at the two top priorities in a purposeful marketing feedback loop: 

  1.  Ask
  2. Listen 

If you are thinking of marketing, as a one-time effort, that is a myth the feedback loop strategy can quickly debunk. There are several tried and true highly effective marketing feedback formats, the most popular include:
 

  • Surveys, done post-transaction, periodically, or situationally. For example, an NPS survey can be done shortly after a transaction, to gain insight on whether the customer would recommend the product or service, or, a pop-up survey can be used as someone engages on the website, asking one question, such as, which of these items would you use? 

Followed by less than six options to select (more than 6 becomes a task). Both surveys are non-invasive while giving tremendous insight into two different areas.
 

  • Reviews, it’s not breaking the news that individuals enjoy sharing their opinions, especially if they feel prompted to. Asking the right discussion questions is the make or break factor with these vital bits of information.
     
  • Direct Emails, businesses have no problem sending periodic advertisements and catchy sales tactics to customer’s emails, but the truth is, a personalized email asking for their thoughts and feedback will usually gain more insight leading to additional sales than the ad does.

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Social Media and Content Marketing Feedback Loops

The power of feedback loops doesn’t stop at sales and marketing strategies, the content an individual or business is producing could be laying stagnant, or worse, deflecting the end goals. 

With social media, brands can search their names or hashtags to reveal the photos, videos, posts and comments their audience is seeing, this is the first part of understanding the content your customer base shares. 

The second step involves your content, which should go far beyond press releases and single streams of media. Galleries, videos, blogs, vlogs, and brand contributors (if applicable) should all be standard outreaches to better measure the feedback loop of the brand content

Though it takes time, specifics such as certain keywords, combinations, and formats which gain more attraction should be pinpointed and used again. 

For example, a brand may find that they get a good amount of engagement when they share certain keywords in a title, attached to a video, whereas some may find a photo and video to be their best combination. 

The time it takes to measure these outcomes pays dividends, looping back investments in time, efforts and even finances will then make measurable sense.

Content Marketing Feedback Loops with Retargeting

A content feedback loop with retargeting sets the same framework, with an entirely new intent. 

This strategy calls for the measure of activity which left the site and was able to be captured again. There are many ways to build a measurable retargeting feedback loop method; one is the use of ads. 

Through ads, a previous site visitor can leave the site and continue with their regular website habits. 

This includes reading content, scrolling, looking at images, interacting, etc., after a time gap (also measurable) a promotional ad can be placed with a click option. 

This almost acts as a digital subconscious mind reprogramming, as certain factors appeal causing the user to potentially trail back to the site. 

This can simultaneously backfire, as it is uncomfortable and unnatural to have a previously visited ad pop up with unrelated searches, even the placement and size of the ad have much to do with the psychology behind retargeting. Therefore, brands should customize their campaigns to provide highly relevant content to their audience. 

Successful feedback loop retargeting leads to the retention of previous feedback efforts. In a sense, it’s a great middle place, as the starting place was the first initial contact. 

Retargeting efforts can further optimize your funnel, thus making feedback loops as customizable as each.

Finding What Works for Your Brand

Finding what works is a matter of trial and error, but you don’t have to throw darts blindly, around 70% of companies delivering “Best in Class Customer Service” utilize customer feedback loops, this is great news because it doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. 

It is essential to take the appropriate actions to optimize areas including:
 

  • Single site visits (retargeting)
  • Abandoned Carts
  • Retention
  • Reviews & Testimonies
  • Stagnant Customers
  • Media Response

 The list will grow and change as you dive into weak areas of the funnel. The best news about feedback loops, in general, are that they can be very easy to set up, and obtaining actual voices of your audience is practically a given. 

It has been assumed that if a feedback loop is not initiated in a business today, the only plausible explanation would be “fear” of hearing what the public thinks.

Final Thoughts, 

Knowing how useful and critical these strategies are, should give a bit of relief as to why, and how they can be used for the betterment of every business. 

If you are relatively new to these statistics, you can still begin utilizing feedback loops today, remember, business improvement depends on your past, existing, and new customers. 

Starting small is an option since the entire function is based on asking and listening, followed by tracking, this can be done at any time on any level, to begin with. 

A simple email, personal outreach or media post are all examples of the feedback loop on a minuscule (yet still beneficial) scale. 

It is also important to remember, being genuine with your audience opens a door for them to be genuine back, computers and automated systems can never replace these priceless success principles.

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About Ron Sela

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Ron Sela is an all-around marketing expert with a particular interest in influencer marketing. He’s featured in a number of well-known marketing journals and a blogger at RonSela.com

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