Since the birth of the digital marketing landscape, it has seen industry-wide exponential growth. More and more companies are shifting a significant proportion of their marketing budget from traditional to digital initiatives. For example, Mondelez, the processed foods company, has cut their spending on TV advertising nearly in half while boosting their digital marketing spending enormously.
The core of good digital marketing is engaging content. Content has to encourage people to interact with the brand and engage personally.
That is why content is king in marketing.
Settling on the content to use and the keywords to target is just about the most important decision in a digital marketing campaign. In this article, we will talk about how to do blog research and why it matters.
Knowing Your Audience
First of all, each deployment of content has a unique purpose. Marketing executives are very excited when their content manages to go viral, becoming extremely popular over a short period of time.
Viral content doesn’t happen by accident; it’s the result of many man-hours of planning and execution. Viral content usually has an innate quality of authenticity, nostalgia, or some other emotional appeal. Crafting content to go viral is quite difficult, and most attempts fail. The ones that do succeed, however, can significantly increase brand awareness and engagement.
One of the most important elements of creating content is research. Every piece of content should have an intended audience, and the marketing team needs to know everything they can about that audience.
For example, if your target market is members of the Army or Navy who are currently dispatched, you would need to account for the fact that your audience most likely only has access to VSAT equipment for satellite Internet service. That would mean they prefer fewer images and more text because it would load faster and take up less bandwidth.
On the other hand, if you cater to an audience of young professionals you need to consider a strong mobile presence, so the content needs to load properly and look correct on all the leading mobile browsers and OSs.
Here a Little There a Little: Optimizing for People and Bots
It’s not only about people. Content needs to appeal to search engines as well. Google and other search engines have algorithms that they use to determine rankings on the search result pages for search terms. Being in the top few spots is a major game-changer for a brand, as long as the content and web design have been created to match the search listing.
The things that Google rewards are usually, but not always, the same things that directly create value for consumers. Taking the extra step to make sure you have covered on-page best practices could mean the difference between making the first page and the second page of results.
Regarding traffic, the difference is typically astounding. Choosing the format and frequency of content publication plays into this: Google prefers sites with fresh, regularly updated content, but also looks for quality and community engagement like shares and backlinks. That means all of the content has to have inherent quality and shareability.
Your content does not always need to knock it out of the park, but a consistent stream of strong content will convince search engine algorithms to move the page up in the rankings.
Choosing the Right Keywords
One of the trickier and more technical parts of content creation is choosing the right keywords. In brief, more popular keywords have more traffic, but there will also be more competition for space on the search result pages.
Google has some built-in tools for keyword research and analysis if you sign up for their Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools services. That opens up the ability to use Google Keyword Planner, a free service that tracks many dimensions of keyword performance, such as the characteristics of search queries and which keywords lead to clicks to which pages.
The sheer scale of the data Google controls means that using Google Keyword Planner provides a useful first pass. You might want to use a more advanced keyword analysis tool like Moz if you want something broader, such as if you wish to measure the nature of competition for a keyword.
Regardless of the tools you utilize, doing both preliminary keyword research and on-going research to track how well you expect a keyword to work and to ensure that your prediction was correct is fundamental to deploying content. The right keyword will draw more traffic for less time, effort, and money.
The Final Word: Research is Critical
Content can completely change a brand’s performance by reaching more customers and moving them through the sales funnel. Just remember that the foundational research groundwork has to come first.
It can take a lot of time and effort to craft good content and build a strategy for deploying it, but careful planning will greatly increase your chances of success. Don’t skimp on research and spend effort on creating content that never reaches your audience. Research helps you get it right the first time.
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