Knowing what to write alone isn’t enough, unfortunately. You need to also spend time doing research into your target market, competitors, keywords, and more in-order to develop a good understanding of what you are up against.
The exact nature of your content research heavily depends on your product or service and what industry you operate in. However, there are five key things that you need to look at. If this doesn’t make sense just yet, don’t worry. As you begin to do your research, come up with ideas for your content, and get the ball rolling, it will all start to become clear.
1. Look at Your Competitors
It is likely that your competitors have a blog or some other form of written content and looking at this can uncover some valuable information. From their blog, you can see what’s popular, what’s less popular, what has previously sparked discussions in the comments or has been shared on social media.
One thing not to do, however, is to blatantly copy content. This will do nothing other than harm your reputation and have you penalized by search engines.
2. Look at Your Target Market
You should have already performed target market research and will have lots of data as a result. Return to this data and see if you can leverage any of it to think of written content that will resonate closely with these people.
What is your audience interested in? What websites do they visit? What do they buy online? Where do they spend their time? What do they read, watch, and interact with?
3. Decide Which Keywords to Target
Keyword research—something I have already covered in-depth—is a vital part of content production. In a nutshell, tools such as Google Keyword Planner can help you see what terms people are searching for online that relate to your product or service. With this information, you can incorporate keywords into your content and rank for them.
Keywords can work wonders for written content. However, it is important to use them properly and not stuff your blog posts full of them. I recommend reading my page on it.
4. Use the Right Tools
There are many content planning tools that, when used properly, can make what is sometimes a time-consuming and stressful process a lot easier.
Tools such as Dynomapper, Coschedule, Slickplan, Bubble.us, and even Google Docs are all very valuable in their own. Even if you are working alone to produce a content plan, having the right tools behind you to produce mind maps, note down ideas, and schedule content production keeps you on the right track.
5. Look at What’s ‘Trending’
Turning to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram is a great idea, particularly if your product is highly visual or interactive.
Social media platforms are the perfect place to find out what, if anything, is trending within your industry, what customers of your competitors or saying, and how people are responding to the digital marketing efforts of others. Can’t find a trend? Why not try to start your own? Content and a great product is exactly how you do this.