Content marketing strategies are generally centred on the creative process and amplifying reach after blogs, articles and videos have been published to ensure that they get attention. However, conducting research to support better decisions during these phases often gets overlooked.
Research can help you and the agency that you work with to come up with better ideas, topics and keywords for content. If you understand what your audience wants and have a clear idea about how to communicate that to end users, then everyone across the creative pipeline will be able to perform their job more effectively. This can then translate to better results, ROI and higher levels of engagement.
Research – where to start?
There are a number of simple research options available to you, ranging from short-form surveys and analysis of first and third-party data to social media polls. All of these can be mined for crucial information and insights. Keyword analysis can also uncover trending topics. Any research that you conduct should aim to deliver meaningful and actionable insights, generate data that can support new topics and ideas for use in your content, and identify the formats and channels that are best for reaching specific target audiences.
Turn research into content
The great thing about research is that it can be turned into a compelling piece of content at a later date. Original research can mix up a campaign that is already packed with editorial articles and infographics. A recent study by BuzzSumo found that “survey-based research” is the most popular type of research for brands, followed by “analysis of own data”. Audiences want to be educated and informed in 2019, so serving up interesting findings will give them the added-value incentive that they crave from content.
Original research tips
Finally, a few pointers to remember when conducting research. Always outline the sample size and be sure that respondents represent the group you want to study. Be sure to test your survey on a small sample group beforehand, and get feedback from them to save time and money. You should also use the hard evidence and data you have gathered to support any findings you want talk about.