Content Marketing Research

The content marketing research process is critical to creating a successful content marketing strategy. This step marks your opportunity to gain insight into what content topics and formats your audience wants, how they want their information delivered, and which channels they prefer.

It’s also essential to evaluate what other companies in your industry are doing with their content marketing efforts so you can stay ahead in your niche.

Keep reading to learn how to harness the power of content marketing research, and subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more marketing strategies.

What is content marketing research?

While it might sound like a simple question, the answer is a bit more involved. Content marketing research is a multi-phase process that every organization should conduct to develop and deliver high-quality content to meet their business objectives.

5 steps for conducting content research

The five steps below will help you understand what content marketing research entails and how to approach it in a way that will support your overall content strategy.

Steps for content marketing research

1. Determine your goals

Determining your goals is the first step in the content research process. It’s crucial to develop a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish with your content and outline how you plan to achieve it. This way, you can ensure your content is relevant and engaging for your audience.

2. Dive into your market and the competition for inspiration

Once you’ve developed a strategy for your content, review the current market landscape for your industry and identify any trends that may affect how people behave online or topics they’re most interested in reading.

You can do this in several ways, including:

  1. Use online tools: One option is to look at what content is trending online right now by using tools like Google Trends or Ahref’s Content Explorer tool. These tools allow users to search by topic or keyword, analyze their data, and see what pieces have performed well in the past few months.
  2. Browse influencing platforms: Another way is by following industry influencers on social media platforms. Get a comprehensive view of what interests your audience so you can provide more relevant content in the future.
  3. Source inspiration: You’ll want to research sites that cover topics related to your industry, as well as those that don’t directly correlate but inspire you with ideas and information. Industry-specific reports or reports from similar sectors can help you understand how customers’ expectations evolve.

3. Define your audience and identify category trends

After diving into your marketing landscape, look at the competition to identify trends in consumer behavior or attitudes toward certain topics. This insight will show you how to best position yourself against competitors when creating content around these topics.

Once you’ve established your company’s position, identify who will read, listen to, or watch your content — and how they want to receive it. Defining an audience will help narrow down potential topics so that more people can relate to what you say.

Once again, you can use tools like Google Trends and other analytics platforms to find out what topics are currently trending among those audiences and which ones have been trending consistently over time. This information will help you dictate future decisions around topic trends.

4. Conduct content audits and a gap analysis

Conducting content audits and gap analyses will give you a clear picture of what you do well and what areas require improvement.

  • Content audits: Content audits are a great way to understand your content marketing needs. A content audit can help you determine what topics are missing from your site or what information needs updating. It can also help you identify further opportunities for creative content to boost engagement. You’ll also better understand how often people share your content, what terms people use when searching for information about your brand and industry, and how you are currently doing against competitors regarding content quality.
  • Content gap analysis: A gap analysis is a great way to improve your content. It lets you see how well you perform against specific goals and objectives set by your team or organization. In addition, it will help you identify gaps in your current content strategy to engross your audience with superior-quality content.

To conduct a content audit and analysis, you should:

  1. View all of your organization’s publicly available content. Remember to include everything from blog posts to emails to videos and so on.
  2. Create a list of each piece of content’s title, description, authors (where applicable), and date published/updated/archived.
  3. Review all content for quality issues like proper formatting and grammar, accuracy, relevancy, readability, and more.
  4. Analyze your overall structure and flow. Is your content easy for readers to navigate? Does it contain logical information architecture? Are there any dead links or pages you should remove entirely? Do you have any duplicate pages that should merge together?
  5. Inventory content by assessing search engine optimization (SEO) quality, conversions, and strategy alignment with your goals.

5. Revealing best practice principles and processes

Understand there are no fixed rules with content marketing. However, there are some general principles that have proven effective over time by many brands. If you follow those tried-and-true methods closely, they can help guide your efforts in creating high-quality content that attracts readers and drives traffic where you want it to go.

Keep these three tips in mind as you begin revamping your content:

  1. Focus on creating valuable content that solves problems or provides solutions.
  2. Post consistently according to your platform’s ideal frequency.
  3. Split test with headlines, descriptions, images, and more.

Jump-start your content marketing with WebFX

There’s no better time to upgrade your content marketing than right now.

WebFX offers custom content marketing services that let you focus on what matters most to you while we take care of the rest. With our team of experts and years of experience in digital marketing, we can help you build a strong foundation for your content strategy that will grow with you over time.

Contact WebFX today or call 888-601-5359 to learn more about how our services can benefit you!

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