Content Writing Tips-How to Research like a Pro!
Great content is the key to successful digital marketing. And every content marketer aspires to get his or her content viral and shared extensively on social media.
But with the sheer volume of content out there on the internet, even those with the best writing skills can see their content lagging behind. Simply writing something, no matter the type or domain of content, isn’t enough to make it to the top of a Google search.
Well, a huge part of it has to do with competition.
While statistics can vary, the number of blogs out there stands at around 350 million. Out of these, around 2 million put out blog posts every day. There are also around 200 million active websites, and the daunting task of a writer is to create successful content that stands out from among all these.
This is where an often underrated aspect of content writing comes to the fore.
Good research skills help you deliver exactly the content your audience wants and can mean the difference between the top and bottom of a search result.
Why Is Research Important for Content Creation?
1. To Improve Quality
Done right, in-depth research can lead to excellent insights into the behaviour of your potential customers and also into your competitors.
Learn how people spend, why they choose to spend, and why they might end up choosing a competitor over you. This will help you determine consumer needs and wants and identify problems in your own content.
Research reduces the time your brand takes to reach consumers and also helps you analyze the effectiveness of the impact of your content on your target audience, leading to improved quality.
2. Making Them Stay
The path taken by your potential customer that starts from simply giving your content a cursory reading to turning into an actual buyer is a long one.
The modern consumer is thorough when it comes to researching the products he/she buys, and it is, in turn, expected that content creators deliver quality every single time.
Simply turning your audience into customers isn’t going to help you!
You have to make sure they stay long enough to become advocates of your brand by constantly putting in research about their changing desires.
3. The Right Message for the Right People
If you’re thorough enough, your research will help you deliver a focused, clear message right across to your target audience.
In 2018, audiences have been identified to have much shorter attention spans and prefer brands that avoid going on and on about their products.
Don’t brag and drag! A short message, delivered powerfully, will ensure your content is remembered long after everyone else.
4. Who Are You Creating For?
When you know your target audience well enough, you will know exactly what kind of content they want to see from you.
- Is a particular post getting significantly more attention than others?
- Are views consistently low for a certain piece of content?
- Keep tabs on consumer reactions, and hone your content accordingly.
How to Conduct a Research?
Now that we’ve gotten an idea about why research is important, let’s take a look at how to actually go about it, shall we?
Consistent engagement with your audience is crucial to successful content. Interact with them, solve their queries. Become a part of their communities and forums and see how their attitudes fluctuate.
This will give you an idea about whether you and your brand are headed in the right direction.
2. Know Your Competition
Know what others are doing right, what they provide that you don’t.
How long have they been doing this?
How many of your potential consumers are they taking?
How does your content compare?
All these questions are extremely important, and you should take them into account while researching for a content.
3. Track Trends
Use social media – Facebook, Twitter and other forums such as Reddit and Quora, to find out what people are actually talking about.
Ask yourself questions related to these trends.
Why is a certain blog post trending?
Can I create content that feeds into this trend?
Is it possible to make something entirely new out of this?
Questions like these will keep your content unique and fresh for your audience, and keep them coming back for more.
Exchange ideas and information; tackle issues with your sales and customer success teams, as they generally know what goes on in the field.
Get together; find out what works and what doesn’t, what your audience wants and what might turn them away from your content.
5. Survey Your Audience
Audience surveys are extremely important, so always remember to conduct them regularly.
Surveys are tools to directly collect feedback from your target audience, and help you understand their expectations and requirements. They help you measure consumer awareness and satisfaction.
By this point, you have an idea of what research can do for your content, and how you should do it.
But there are some other things to keep in mind as well.
*What are they?
Always credit your research and content!
With so many articles, blogs, websites, and forums around us, nothing is 100% our own.
You might come across a snippet of information you find interesting. Or an article that you draw inspiration from. It’s okay to read something and learn from it.
But it is never okay to plagiarize!
When you use something for own research, remember to cite your sources. Even if your source is something as common as Wikipedia, give credit where it is due.
With everyone having access to the internet, people know quickly where the content has been drawn from and can lose faith in your own.
So What Now?
You know how to research now, so finding a topic for your content will become much easier.
But remember to add a catchy headline.
People are drawn to a content by a headline more than anything else, so even the best content might go unread without one. Keep that in mind!
To get you started, here are some tools for headline generation:
- SE Ranking, a tool that helps you find synonyms for your headlines.
- Portent’s content idea generator, which gets you unique ideas for your blog posts.
- Hubspot’s blog topic generator.
These are just some of the tools you can use to help yourself become one of the best content writers in your domain. Also, you would do well to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach, figure out what works best for you and your writing!
Putting in extra effort might seem like a daunting task at first, but giving time and energy to your consumers will pay off in the long run.
Follow the research tips mentioned above and you will see your content flourish and rise towards the top of search engines.
For more information about writing tools for content marketing, check out this blog.
It provides information about the creative process, and more tips on research.