Today’s content marketing landscape looks different than it did in the early years. Today, there is much less talking to your audience and much more talking with your audience.
The bottom line: if your content is not engaging, you’re missing out on important interactions with your audience.
One very easy way to begin an engaging conversation with your audience is with a poll. In this post we are going to cover how to easily create a poll and display results with Formidable.
What is a Poll?
A poll is content. Engaging content. A poll helps you listen to your audience while they are engaging with your site.
A poll is different from a survey. How? A survey asks multiple questions, whereas a poll asks one question. Surveys require a larger time commitment. A poll? Not so much. Polls are fairly irresistible. Who doesn’t want to talk about their preferences?
Next time you are at the water cooler or coffee bar at work, test it out. Ask someone their preference on a particular topic. Most people will gladly give their opinion and more. Wink wink on the “more” part.
Because polls only ask one question, they tend to garner more responses than a longer survey. They are easier to answer. Plus, people want to see the results. Surveys don’t often lend themselves to immediate feedback, whereas polls allow people to see how they stack up against others in their tribe.
Why Are Polls Used?
Polls allow you to listen to your website visitors. If you are listening to them, hopefully you are learning about your audience. Listening to your audience and learning their preferences will give you an edge over your competitors who aren’t doing this. Most importantly, though, polls engage your users.
People want to engage with what is meaningful to them. Part of this has to do with wanting to know how they stack up against their tribe. People are constantly self-monitoring. They want to know if their perception of self lines up with how their tribe perceives itself.
The tribe mentality concept as it refers to marketing was coined by Seth Godin in 2008 with his book “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” published in 2008. A tribe in marketing terms is essentially a group of people connected around a certain lifestyle choice. When a brand is able to connect to a tribe and be seen as a thought leader and influencer, the brand will flourish.
People want to know how their tribe thinks and how they stack up within their tribe. That’s why polls need to also show pollees their results.
People want to engage with content that is meaningful to them. I recently took my fifteen year old daughter to a Twenty One Pilots concert. Prior to attending the concert, she knew very little about the guys who call themselves Twenty One Pilots. Twenty One Pilots weren’t very meaningful to her yet. After the concert, however, she began looking up YouTube videos and social media about the band. She wanted to engage with them.
How to Know What’s Hot to Poll
Staying abreast of your audience’s preferences and trends by doing such things as engaging with them on social media, integrating (instead of isolating) customer service and support, and watching your email marketing campaign performance will help guide you into what makes an engaging poll. Ask:
- What is my tribe concerned about right now, personally, as well as what regards our tribe?
- What is my tribe feeling insecure about right now? (This is where your tribe will be incentivized because they want to know how they stack up with their poll response against their tribe.)
- What polarizes my tribe? (Engaging content is content that is not designed to be passive or easily overlooked.)
- What unites my tribe? (This is where poll users may give answers that are so obvious but they are irresistible to answer.)
- What might/ might not my tribe want to dip their toe into? Is there an issue or product or philosophy that my tribe wants to begin to engage with, but it is so new it is going to take some first adapters? Polls can plant seeds and give first adapters credibility.
How to Easily Create a Poll and Display Results
Formidable makes it very easy to create a poll and display results. The secret to an engaging poll is to not show results at the outset. Part of the motivation for answering a poll is seeing the results. If you show the results with the poll question before the user answers, you’ve removed much of the incentive for answering.
Step One: Build the Form to Ask the Question
The beautiful thing about building a poll form is there is only one question on the form. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Make sure to make the question field “required.” Otherwise, users can submit the form without answering the poll just so they can see results. Embed your poll using shortcode on a page or widget in the location of your choice on your site.
Tip: The * can be toggled on and off from the “build” tab without going into the field options to require any field.
Step Two: Create the Graph
All the directions you need to know for inserting a graph can be found here. Here’s how it looks while creating a pie chart.
My favorite is the Formidable 3D pie chart. The bold colors draw users into the vibrancy of the results.
Step Three: Redirect Users to the Graph page upon Submit
Maintain the incentive to answer the poll by keeping the results hidden until submit. The redirect option in General Form Settings tab will help.
This should give some general sense of what polls can do as part of an overarching content marketing strategy. Let us know what you’ve found works for you. We’d love to see how you are using Formidable to build polls.