Why Research is VITAL for Your Content Marketing Strategy.
If you’re wanting quick results, content marketing probably isn’t for you. But if you desire long-lasting results and want to carve your own strategic edge within your industry, it could be ideal…
When it comes to creating a strong brand presence online, content marketing is a necessity. It has the potential to take your business to new heights and dramatically increase your sales. However, you need to start on the right footing. Without conducting proper research for your content marketing strategy, you’ll risk wasting valuable time and money.
Without a content marketing strategy, your content will fail to be consistent, focused and personalised to who you’re trying to speak to (your ideal customers). And without proper research behind the development of your strategy, any content you do create won’t engage or resonate with them either.
Bye bye potential customer 🙁
In-depth research is an important part of gathering insights into specific actions you can take to attract and convert your target audience. The entire foundation of your content marketing strategy should rest on what comes to light during the research process.
The research phase will answer questions like:
- What type of content will my dream customers respond to?
- Where do my potential customers hang out online?
- How does my audience engage with my competitors online?
- What specific topics will resonate best with my ideal customers?
- How can I carve a unique space in my industry?
- How does my audience like to be spoken to?
Where to begin?
First and foremost, you need to ensure alignment. Set your business goals and expectations for your content marketing strategy and communicate it with your entire team. Next, get a handle on the current status of your content marketing strategy. To do this you need to take a look at your website traffic, engagement, bounce rates and more. This will help to determine what’s working and what isn’t, so you can plan to improve it later on.
It’s super important to ask your customers what they want, and determine whether or not you’re offering it. And if not, are your competitors offering it instead (we’ll talk more about this later).
Connect with your ideal customers
Your customers’ thoughts and emotions should drive around 70% of your content marketing strategy. After all, they’re the most important part of your business.
Customer research really does help you to connect with your customers on a deeper level and enables you to offer meaningful content at every stage of their journey –– building trust and loyalty in your business.
If you guess, or rely on your instincts to decide what content to create, it’s likely it won’t be what your ideal customers are looking for. But if you start with a thorough understanding of their needs you can deliver valuable, tailored content. And you’ll have the best chance of connecting with and converting readers into new customers.
How do you do that?
In order to really connect with your customers, you need to understand their motivations and emotions. When you know more about what they need and want, where they look for it and how they are feeling when they are looking for a solution like yours, it’s much easier during the ideation phase of content marketing.
To build a high-quality content marketing strategy that speaks to your customers in a unique and compelling way, you need to speak to them. Survey them and get on a Zoom call to ask the right questions that will reveal important insights.
Show some empathy…
The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to show a sense of empathy for your target audience. By understanding their biggest problems and providing them with a solution through content marketing, you’re giving them educational value, showing you care about them and are connecting with them on an emotional level. You can’t truly do this without customer research.
Think deeply about the situations your customers might be in and then define how you can address them with your content.
Do you know what topics are trending in your industry? If you don’t then you should have a look at what your customers are most commonly looking for. If there’s no one talking about it, can you? Or are your competitors creating content around these topics? If so, can you put your own spin on it and do it 10x better? What opportunities are there for you to become known for a specific topic in your niche?
You won’t know if you don’t research.
When developing a content marketing strategy for your business, it’s important to understand the content topics your ideal customers are engaging with –– before you spend time or money creating content you think they’ll enjoy.
Competitor content marketing analysis will massively help with this and aims to answer questions like:
- What type of content is my competition using?
- What do we like and dislike about their content marketing strategy?
- Is our ideal audience responding to and engaging with their content?
- Do they have authority for a specific topic in our niche?
- Where do we fit in? What could our unique value prop become?
Shape your competitive edge
By conducting in-depth research, speaking to your customers, watching your competitors and analyzing behaviors –– you’ll be on the road to content marketing success with your unique edge. You might even become a thought leader in your industry for a specific topic. Best of all, you’ll get a headstart on your competitors who aren’t conducting research. But if you don’t dedicate the time and resources into the process, you could miss the mark.