Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing
Coming up with new topics for your content marketing campaign can be tricky, but it’s not nearly as hard and most site owners and marketers seem to think it is! Here are five content marketing research tips to help you take your content marketing to the next level and always have a source of great topics on hand.
1. Read popular industry blogs.
By following popular industry blogs, you’ll get a better idea of the kind of content being created. What industry trends are getting a lot of attention? Who are the biggest names in your niche? What topics have been written about to death and which ones are new on the scene? This will help you come up with topics for your own content marketing campaign and make sure you’re writing content that is relevant to your industry. Content marketing research helps ensure that your content is relevant to your audience and chances are if popular industry blogs are focusing on a particular topic it’s worth your attention!
For example, if I were to spend most of my time writing about article directory submissions, I would be out of touch with what is really going on in SEO. Submitting articles to low quality directories is no longer a good content marketing tactic, so writing blog posts about which article directories a site owner should submit too wouldn’t help build my reputation or my SEO. It’s content that no one is going to find useful or want to share.
2. Subscribe to your competitor’s newsletters.
In addition to being aware of content trends in your industry, part of content marketing research involves finding new topics to write about. By reading what your competitor’s are writing, you’ll have a better idea of what they are NOT saying. What niche is being ignored or underdeveloped that you could take and run with? What angles aren’t being examined that you can take to help set your content apart?
3. Keep track of customer service and sales questions.
Why not learn what kind of content your audience is looking for right from them? Have your customer service and sales teams keep track of the questions they get and use those as starting points for your content marketing efforts. Chances are if one person has a question about your product or process than other customers do to. This way, your target reader is actually doing your content marketing research for you! You don’t have to hope your topics are on point—you’ll know.
4. Understand who your buyers and influencers are.
The person who does all the research about your company and products might not be the person with the ultimate decision making power. Your content marketing research has to take into account who your buyers and influencers are so you can create the right content for each audience. For instance, a marketing manager might be the one doing all the research about marketing automation software, but the VP of Marketing is the one that approves the purchase. What are these two people looking for in a marketing automation software solution? What benefits are the most important and what needs are they looking to meet?
5. Identify key stages of your buying cycle.
Don’t assume that one piece of content is enough to keep your audience interested and engaged with your brand. You want to guide them through the buying cycle and have resources ready every step of the way. What are the key stages of your buying cycle? When do you lose leads and what kind of content do you need to propel them one step closer to conversion? Content marketing research can help you determine what kind of information a potential customer would need each step of the way.