Have you decided to embark on a content marketing strategy but don’t know where to begin? The key to a well-informed, effective strategy is comprehensive research, however many marketers don’t know how to conduct it.
In content marketing research, you want access to the information of experts, through sources like industry body reports, peer reviewed articles, survey results and studies. At the same time, you also want to gain an insight into the world of the customer through sources like online forums, social media and SEO tools.
Regardless of what sources you use to begin your content marketing research, your research should focus on three key areas.
1) Your market conditions
Your first area of research should be into the market your product or service exists in. Use research to answer the following questions:
- What is the current state of your business environment?
- What new technologies are changing the nature of your industry?
- What opportunities are emerging, for example in new product development or new territories or sectors?
- What are the limitations of your business environment?
- What social and distribution channels are available to you and what data exists on best practice?
2) Your audience
Next you should focus your research to the audience you wish to target. Use research to answer the following questions:
- Who are your audience?
- Where do your audience exist online, and are they satisfied with their existing channels?
- What are the concerns and challenges of your audience and how can your content help to solve them?
- What do your audience like, what don’t they like?
- What are the values and attitudes of your audience?
3) Your competitors
Lastly, it’s time to cast an eye towards your competitors and aim to answer:
- Who are your major competitors and what are they doing?
- If they excel, why do they excel?
- If they struggle, why do they struggle?
- What capabilities do these competitors have that you can’t match?
- What capabilities do you have that they can’t match?
The research you gather in these areas should inform every recommendation you make in your content marketing strategy including what content your brand should create, how often it should be created, and where it should be distributed. If you’d like help creating a well-researched content marketing strategy, contact Lush Digital.
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Lessons from the world’s best content marketing projects [podcast with show notes]