Content Marketing is forever evolving to keep up with the trends, technologies, and consumer demands. It’s the role of content marketers to adapt their strategies to meet these changes. Creating a unique content marketing strategy requires in-depth research and competitor analysis.
Despite creating weekly or daily content, it will fail to reach your target audience and generate leads without carrying out this research. Therefore, content marketing research is a crucial first step to any business online.
In fact, 88% of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing as part of their wider digital strategies. Digital marketing has shifted recently, and content is the most essential factor to focus on.
Stratabeat found that 80% of executives and business owners now prefer to receive information about a company and brand through articles rather than advertisements.
This post covers what content marketing research is, how to carry out this research, and why it is beneficial to your business.
What Is Content Marketing Research?
Content plays a major role for both B2B and B2C. Your business is unique, as well as your audience so should be your content.
The content your business produces:
- Helps build organic traffic through search engines
- Allows you to amplify it through social media channels, further-reaching your target audience
Content marketing research entails:
- The analysis of online content
- Developing a unique strategy based on your findings that will ultimately achieve your business goals
The research can include a combination of things, such as:
- Analyzing the top pages that rank in the search engines
- What content your competitor is sharing
- The content that has high social shares and engagement
So, where do you start?
1. Define Your Goals
Your content needs something to aim for, and this should be specifically defined in your content marketing strategy.
For example, are you creating your content to:
- Boost brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Convert users
- Rank higher in the SERPs
Once you define your goals, you can determine the techniques to best achieve these in the content strategy. Of course, the content won’t always be the best strategy. It depends on your business, but by defining your goals, you will see what to implement that will work best for your business.
It’s also worth noting that different segments of the sales funnel require different types of content. Decide with the marketing and sales team the most appropriate form of content to deliver throughout the buyer’s journey to convert.
2. Know Your Target Audience
Before your content can even begin to achieve your set goals, you need to have an in-depth understanding of who your audience is.
- What are their needs?
- What problems do they have?
- And what devices do they use most?
There are many ways to carry out this research, and the best way to start is keyword research. This will give you an insight into what your ideal customer is looking for.
Keyword research is the process where you find and analyze search terms that people are entering into search engines like Google.
By researching these actual keywords that people are using, you can:
- Develop an effective content strategy
- Improve your overall digital marketing strategy
Another useful resource for keyword research is Google Trends. Type your main keyword into the search box, and you will see how many searches it received within a selected period.
Content that appears to be trending and engaging is worth noting—how can you make the existing copy better and in your brand’s voice?
You can also gain valuable information about what sites your users are also visiting and which social media platforms they share content on by:
This will give you an insight into what content your prospects digest and engage with.
3. Analyze Competitors
Just as you need to know who your audience is, you also need to know your competitors. Therefore, it’s important to know what others in the same industry are writing about. By analyzing their content, you’ll understand what formats and topics work well with their customers to influence your company’s content strategy.
4. Create Unique Content
An essential part of content marketing research is ensuring that your content is unique. Is there a niche that you can focus on? Researching topics that add value to your readers and are informative is crucial.
It will make you stand out from an oversaturated crowd and establish you as the expert and authority in your field. With an effective SEO strategy, you will create perfectly targeted content based on specific keywords that will attract and resonate with your target audience.
5. Measure Your Results
No content marketing strategy can be successful without measuring its efficiency. As part of content marketing research, it’s necessary to monitor and measure the results of your strategy to determine what works and what can be improved on. You need to find what your audience liked as well as what they didn’t like and why.
When it comes to website analytics tools, Google Analytics dominates. This free tool provides a robust amount of data that allows you to track useful metrics and dimensions. In addition, you can create customized dashboards to report on the information that is most vital to you and your business’ website.
6. Amplify Your Content
All of the above points make up only the first part of the content strategy. The final part is amplifying your content. By researching your audience, you can determine the places they visit online, such as Facebook and Twitter. Then, in your strategy, you should include these channels and publish to them frequently to reach your target audience.
Benefits of Content Marketing Research
Now you know how to do content marketing research, let’s look at the benefits and why it’s the crucial first step for your business.
1. Learn what content works best for your target audience
By researching what your target audience is reading and engaging with, you get valuable insight into what type of content you should include in your content marketing strategy.
Monitor the results regularly to ensure your traffic is relevant and staying on the pages. Measuring your bounce rate and pages per session will give you this information.
2. Your brand is seen as the expert
Content marketing research not only allows your business to improve its content marketing and strategies but also helps you identify any third-party sites that your target audience use as well. Within your content marketing strategy, you should include link-building techniques to these sites.
You can get backlinks to build your site credibility by writing guest posts on other blogs or other above-the-board means, known as white hat SEO techniques.
They need to be from high authority pages and direct good quality and relevant visitors to your site for Google to enlist you as the expert in your field. Your business will be seen as a leader and the go-to brand for expert knowledge in your industry with a higher domain authority.
3. Ensure you are providing the right content for the buyer’s journey
Prospecting customers have different needs for various stages of their buyer’s journey.
Through content marketing research, you will be able to:
- Find out what those exact needs are
- Provide the relevant content to nurture them through the funnel
Inform them at the awareness stage and tell them what life would be like if they didn’t purchase. In fact, almost half—48%—of marketers support between three and five of their customers’ purchasing stages with specialized content.
4. Long-term growth and web traffic
Effective content research will ensure your business’s online visibility, web traffic, and leads grow in the long run. This is a long-game approach, and results may not always be immediate, but through constant reporting, you will be able to view how your strategy and content are performing. The results—when a successful content strategy is rolled out—are remarkable.
5. Online visibility and social presence
When you create high-quality content that resonates with your target audience, you will see your social shares increase rapidly. This is essential in reaching and connecting with new audiences and does wonder for your brand awareness. You should also encourage employees to share content on social media and see what effect that causes.
We Can Help You With Our Digital Marketing Services
Schedule a free business review today to find out how we can help your business grow with content marketing research. Then, you can take these valuable insights for inspiration and let us do the marketing for you while you do what you do best—running your business.