The most-cutting edge tech companies at the top of their industry have one thing in common: their products are highly valued by their users. Depending on how their market behaves, these tech companies are quick to adjust and refine their products to meet user standards.
So what can you learn from how tech companies operate to create amazing content? A huge part of it revolves around mastering your usage of something known as “the feedback loop”. By applying the concept of the feedback loop, you can better understand what is valuable to your audience and make the best choices for scaling your brand.
Let’s start by understanding what we mean by the feedback loop and how you can use it to your advantage. A feedback loop is a concept used in programming to help coders create more agile products. Feedback loops work in a system where parts of the system’s current output become input for future operations.
It takes four steps to complete a basic feedback loop:
Positive VS Negative Feedback Loops: Why Not All Feedback Loops Are Alike
When using feedback loops with your content, it’s not best to think of it the way a programmer might think of code. Feedback loops can be either positive or negative, and knowing the difference is just as important as utilizing feedback loops to begin with. So what’s the difference between these two types?
Negative feedback loops look at negative feedback to regulate the product and maintain its optimal state. On the other hand, positive feedback loops take previously effective actions and re-apply these to yield better results.
So how do these differences between negative and positive loops really apply in real life? What makes tech companies so successful with their projects is that they view code as a living thing. Rather than keeping their existing product static, the technology is a sophisticated, constant work-in-progress driven by user input. And this is where feedback loops -- both positive and negative -- come in.
For instance, apps are constantly evolving. Once an app is deployed, developers closely study user feedback. New features and design updates accommodate positive feedback loops, while bug fixes serve as negative feedback loops. As the app software runs and user feedback comes in, the developers have a better sense of what to include in their next update or even their next app.
Applying Feedback Loops to Content Marketing
Content marketing is similar because you also need to utilize your feedback, both positive and negative. Your brand isn’t built on one piece of quality content alone. Your brand is determined by how consistently you publish high-quality works, which attracts audience attention and response.
When your audience leaves feedback on what they enjoy versus what they do not enjoy, you will have a more efficient time figuring out what topics to cover as you publish one article after another. A content feedback loop might look something like this:
What else can we learn from tech companies and how they operate? There are three things we can observe from their ways that we can apply to how we manage our content:
Tech companies are often spot-on with the products they create. Even in a rapidly-changing industry, they know what the pain points of their target audiences are and build products around these problems. For developers, their primary concern is to create a solution of value for their users.
These days, content can refer to a lot of things: website copy, tweets, videos or images you share on various platforms. When we think of content, we generally mean words, knowledge, or information. However, content that creates value for its audience is different.
Valuable content is meaningful. It’s content with a larger purpose and is created for a specific audience in mind. Valuable content is still composed of words, knowledge, and information but they are designed to inspire or educate clients and customers.
In other words, valuable content is something your audience can genuinely care about.
When you create content, you have to channel the same precision that many coders and developers have. Identifying exactly what your audience needs to hear will allow you to craft evergreen, useful, and engaging content.
Some attributes of valuable content include:
Customer feedback is essential to every creative endeavor. Products in the market are always judged by how other people review it. When people decide to download a new app on their phone, a lot of them pay attention to the reviews from other users. More than 70% of people read at least one review before deciding to install the app.
Developers who spend time reading app reviews would learn what users download the app for, what they love or hate about the app, what problems or bugs users encounter, and even what users think about their latest update release note. When they pay attention to these small details, they improve the satisfaction of app users worldwide.
Content marketing should be the same. You have to put the needs of your target audience first. Compared to a product-driven campaign, content marketing creates a deeper connection between customers and businesses. Think of it like this: Traditional advertising shouts at prospects while content marketing engages them in a conversation.
These days consumers want to be heard. They want to voice out their opinions and participate in meaningful conversations. Tapping into this desire can cultivate a relationship between customers and your brand.
Remember, good relationships can bind customers for life.
If you’re not sure how and where to start listening to your audience, here are a few great places to start:
Will your brand stand the test of time? If you are constantly evolving and reinventing yourself, then maybe it will.
Take tech giant Apple for example. Their line of products have continued to change over the last few decades to meet consumer demands. Clunky models were replaced by sleeker versions and the interface of their gadgets has improved immensely over time. Even as the brand evolved, they were able to maintain their original concept and adapt it into fresh designs.
None of us can predict the future, let alone foresee what customers will want in the next few months. Brands that can seamlessly evolve don’t have to be afraid of missing out on these trends because they have a vision they want to achieve. For your organization to stand-out and last long, you have to be open to new, scary, or challenging things.
Even with content, you have to take some risks. The competition over audience’s time and attention is tough, so brands who stay still are often left behind.
Imagine: You run a local gym and have many members who are young professionals. What are your options for content creation?
You can choose any strategy or combine multiple ideas. It all depends on how well you understand your customers and what they need.
Evolution doesn’t mean you change and conform to what everyone else is doing every season. It means staying true to what makes you relevant while revamping everything around it. Experimenting and paying attention to what works with your audience is the best recipe for evolving your brand and its content.
Listening to audience feedback and picking up new ideas from various industries are just two of the ways you can explore with content to make it more engaging. Remember to keep an open mind and take inspiration from various sources so you can create refreshing, compelling content for your brand year-round.