December 1, 2015

How To Conduct Better Creative Content Research Using This Five Ways

The following post/article will detail five free steps that anyone can follow on their path to conducting better research, and creating more relevant content that people in your target group actually want to engage with.

If you’re new to content marketing then you may or may not be familiar with the term Creative Content Research. If you’re not, that’s ok, however, the sooner you learn how to do effective creative content research the sooner your blog will start to attract more traffic—which in turn will help you generate leads. But where do you begin in your creative content researching efforts?


  • #1 CHECKING THE AVAILABLE DATA IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS


  • Let’s say for the sake of argument that the company you work for has already been posting blogs on a weekly basis for some time. Posting blogs is a good start for any company, but what many people new to content marketing get wrong is that they let the content they want to write drive their overall strategy. Spoiler alert: your strategy should be driving your content development—not the other way around.

    A simple way to start doing creative content research is to check the data in Google Analytics to see which blog posts (if you’ve already been posting on a blog that is) are performing well.

    To do this simply navigate the left side of Google Analytics and go to:


  • Behaviors



  • Site Content



  • All Pages




  • On the right you’ll see a list of links to the articles you’ve published thus far and which ones have performed the best over time. In our example you can see that an article we published on the Africa's Reading Culture on The Internet is a top performer—which means that it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to explore writing further articles about Readin Culture, just as long as we’re remaining fresh and not writing duplicate content.

    But let’s shift the focus over to you.

    Using a fictitious example, let’s say that you work for a hardware company and that, so far, (after taking a look in Google Analytics) your best performing piece of content is an article about Framing Hammers. Does this mean that your next article should be about framing hammers? Not necessarily. But, it does mean that you’ve been able to successfully start a discussion around a topic that’s interesting to people. What you need to do next is figure out what else these same people want to talk about.

    Fb Social Media


  • #2 DOING AN AUDIT IN SOCIAL MEDIA OF READER PROFILES


  • That’s where auditing your social followers comes into play. Assuming that you already have fans on both Facebook and Twitter it should be an easy enough process to take account of what your fans are posting when they’re not commenting and/or sharing all of your wonderful blog articles. Reviewing the public Facebook profiles and Twitter news feeds of people who follow you is an easy way to give your audience a face, and while this process won’t offer you any concrete data that can inform your overall content strategy, it will give you a sense for the types of things that your audience cares about in their daily lives. By auditing your audience and taking account of what interests them you can better connect with them via a number of content marketing verticals such as tailoring your writing style and honing in on the most optimal posting schedule.


  • #3 SCRAPING WITH BUZZSUMO


  • BuzzSumo is a great free tool (and honestly one of the more important tools) for conducting creative content research. Once you’ve exhausted your options for repurposing ideas from previously successful blog posts (and after getting more familiar with the people in your target audience) it’s time to branch out and put an emphasis on your researching efforts.

    To do this start by compiling a list of your competitors and then plug their blog URL’s into BuzzSumo’s tool. To illustrate this, we’ll stick with the hardware store theme:

    BuzzSumo’s tool

    As you can see from the above example we’ve decided to scrape The Home Depot’s blog to get a sense for what they’ve been publishing and how successful those articles have been. And it turns out that DIY type of articles are something that Home Depot has been doing well, and since (in this fictional scenario) we’re also in the hardware space—and thus, competing with Home Depot for audience members—let’s see how well we can do researching for our own DIY article.


  • #4 GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNING TOOL


  • But hold on a second, because the researching aspect of writing your article doesn’t end with BuzzSumo. What’ you’ll want to do next is go to the Google Keyword planner. If you don’t have an account currently, go ahead and set one up. Once you’re all set up you’ll be brought to the keyword home page. As you can see from the example below we’re starting off our keyword search with DIY House Hold Projects.

    GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNING TOOL

    After you type in your search query you’ll want to hit the “Keyword Ideas” button to bring up a list of keywords and the difficulty you’ll have ranking for those. As you can see from the below example, “Interior design tips” has a low barrier to entry in terms of being able to rank for those keyword terms.

    Keyword Ideas

    You can iterate this process by adding more keywords to the search bar in order to hone in on better keywords that don’t have a lot of competition for rankings. So, for example, we’d add “interior design tips” to “DIY House Hold Projects.” Doing this will not only help you discover new keywords that you may be able to rank for—it’ll show you how people are searching for answers around the DIY House Hold conversation at large.



    You can even add a competitor’s blog url in the “Modify Search” section, in order to get more precise keywords. As you can see from the example we pulled up below, “Interior Design Ideas For Apartments” might be the best bet for writing an article idea around.

    Modify Search


  • #5 EXECUTE


  • Finally, we need to execute. This is where the actual writing of your article comes in to play, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First is title. You want something that’s easily digestible and shareable on social media. Sometimes title inspiration just comes to you, other times the perfect title is elusive. If you’re having a problem with coming up with a title on your own, simply go back to BuzzSumo and type in the keywords you’ve chosen into the search bar and check out the examples of the most shared articles.

    Execute

    Based on the above results from BuzzSumo going with a title such as “12 Amazing Design Ideas For Your Apartment” seems optimal.

    Once you’re done with researching and creating a title, you’re ready to begin writing your article. Just remember that Google search is more intuitive than ever so instead of keyword stuffing, make sure to keep in mind the keywords you want to rank for, and write an article that speaks to how people are searching of those terms.

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