Read your audience’s mind: how to learn what content they want before creating it
Content marketing is the biggest trend that you should be paying attention to right now. It’s all about creating great content that draws your audience in, gets them interested in your brand, and ultimately gives them the push they need to spend. It works for existing customers, brings in new customers, and finally raises awareness with audiences who have never heard of you before. But if you want content to work for you, it has to be something that your audience wants to see. Here’s how to learn what they want you to create before you make it.
Understand keyword searches
Most businesses think about keywords that describe their business and go from there. You should be attacking things from the other angle. What do customer search for when looking for a business like yours? Use Google Trends to discover what kinds of keywords are most popular. You can think about questions and topics within your industry. What questions would a customer ask that are related to your service or product? You can also use the ‘related terms’ feature at the bottom of every search page to find out what customers are searching for. Long tail keywords are best. Use these as a starting point for your topic research.
Now that you know what to search for, use these keywords to find out who in your industry is getting the most attention. The content that they generate which ranks highest in searches is going to be the most useful for customers. You can use these ideas as jumping-off points. Copying their content is not helpful, and won’t get you very far. Instead, think about how you can build on them. Let’s say that you sell knitwear, and a rival is doing well with a post on how to style wooly hats for winter. You can kick it up a notch. Make your content cover all four seasons, or add extra ideas and infographics. Include high-quality images that are lacking in their article. Remember this as your content motto: “Anything you can do, I can do better!”.
Know your niche
Where do people go when they want to talk about your niche? Is there a particular forum or site where people might be discussing it? Maybe lots of your customers are in the same Facebook group? Go to where they hang out and try to get into things as if you were also a customer. Understanding where real customers hang out is very important. When you do a search, for example for “knitwear forum”, you might be getting the wrong end of the stick with the results. You need to spend the time to discover where customers are really talking. Now look at what they are talking about. Which questions come up time and again? Which threads are the most popular? You can even ask them yourself about what they would like to read.
Rehash your successes
When content is successful, it can be recycled and remade into something equally useful to your audience. Let’s say that your article about how to style knitwear for all seasons really kicked off, and lots of people have been reading and sharing it. How do you capitalise on that success without having to come up with a new idea? Remix it! Make an infographic or a flow chart which helps customers decide what style is best for them. Create a podcast where you interview a woolly hat expert. The sky is the limit with pushing this content on!
How do you know whether you have become a mind-reader? When your audience responds to your content. Celebrate your successes by creating even more content that they will love.
Bio: Elizabeth Lee is an experienced content marketer and social media specialist working at PACK & SEND – transportation experts. Elizabeth believes that amazing content is key to growing faithful audience and often seeks for new, untapped ideas online.