Content marketing is the single most important strategy you can use to get traffic, generate new leads and convert new customers. Quality content is key. Developing quality content requires content marketing research. This article presents 6 steps to a content marketing research process.
Professional athletes log thousands of hours in the gym preparing for competitions on the field, court, bike or ski run.
Athletes can’t be great at what they do without putting in that critical preparation time in the gym.
It’s the work that most people never see — all those hours of workout time — that makes the difference between a good athlete and a truly great one.
In the world of content marketing, you need to think of yourself as an athlete. Your market research is your training — it’s what you have to do, day by day and week by week, in order to be great at what you do.
Most of the time when we talk about “work” in our world, we’re talking about writing content, creating products, managing social media or email campaigns, answering emails, and taking care of our customers.
But before we can do any of that, we need to get prepared. And we get prepared by doing our research.
So what should your research process look like? What steps can you take to gather the best possible data on your target audience?
1. Get (truly) motivated
Doing market research helps you better understand what your community needs, and that information allows you to help your audience in totally unique ways.
Getting the inside track on how your audience thinks (and what it needs) not only allows you to create perfectly targeted content, but it allows you to create products and services that solve very specific problems.
And yes, that puts cash in your pocket.
But I’ll bet money isn’t the only reason you started your business. I’ll bet you started your company because you genuinely want to help people.
So remember why you need to do market research. We do our research so we can help people them solve their problems and enable them to live better, fuller, richer lives.
If you let truly important motivations light a fire under you — rather than just visions of big payouts — your research process will be a lot easier (and considerably more fun.)
2. Be a part of the community you’re researching
The best (and easiest) way to do audience research is to be an integral member of your own market.
So if you’ve got your own blog, and you have readers who regularly chime in with opinions, questions, complaints and insights, you can gather fantastic market data from that community.
If you don’t have your own audience yet, you can participate on other websites and blogs that attract the audience you’re trying to connect with.
Join the community you’re trying to serve. Take part in discussions and conversations via social networking sites, blogs, forums and other online groups.
Give freely and generously. Answer questions. Participate. Ask nothing in return when you’re a new member of the community — just provide helpful insight to other members of that tribe.
And as you’re participating and helping other community members, you can learn a lot by watching and learning.
3. Research your audience’s mindset
The first thing you need to study is your audience’s mindset — the way they look at the world.
What’s important to them? What types of people do they admire? What are their values?
Tools like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook let you gather information about audience mindset by letting you eavesdrop on their digital worlds (NOT in a creepy way). These online tools give you a daily peek into what people do and say every day — and that stuff is market research gold.
You can also do keyword research to discover more about the way your market looks at the world. Use keyword research tools like WordTracker and Google Keyword searches to find out everything you can about the topics your audience is interested in and the things they want to know more about.
Yes, keyword research is important for search engine optimization, but it’s also some of the best market research around.
Read more at: http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing-research-2/