CONTENT MARKETING – THE DISCOVERY STAGE
Oct 19, 2015
All successful Content Marketing generally includes 3 major components: Discovery, Development & Distribution.
We will share with you how the Discovery stage helps you to better understand your audience, the content they are interested in and how to create goals that help you reach this audience.
If you’re interested in an overview of Content Marketing and how it can help build trust with your customers, read our Introduction to Content Marketing.
What is the Discovery stage?
Creating content that users are looking for requires research, preparation, analysis and an in-depth understanding of your target market. You need to know your customers interests, what content they are looking for, which content types appeal to them and where they are most likely to see this content. Simply creating a well-written blog on your website and hoping users will find it is not enough.
There are a number of ways to discover what content most appeals to customers but some of the more common steps include:
- Competitor Analysis
- Consumer Persona’s
- Social Listening
- Content audit & assets
- Setting Goals
Analysing your competitors Content Marketing efforts can give you valuable insights into how to structure your own strategy. This approach can also give you ideas on content that you can offer to your users which your competition isn’t. Like most marketing strategies; if you can offer something to your customers that is interesting, addresses a need and helps them in some way – then you can really stand out from your competition.
If you don’t know who your creating content for then your Content Marketing efforts will likely fail. You can’t just guess which topics your customers are interested in and then randomly launch content across the internet in the hop it addresses these needs. To communicate with your audience you must first understand them. The best way to do this is to create a Consumer Persona and it should represent your ideal customer.
You need to articulate their behaviours, interests, psychographics, demographics, social status, social media use as well as a number of other factors. Think of it as the collection of all the inputs you would require if you were creating an interactive ‘virtual’ version of your ideal customer. You can use this Consumer Persona to help validate other aspects of the Discovery step to ensure that your content will be effective. Spending time on this step will reap you rewards in the steps later on.
Listening is often the best way to solve a problem. Social Listening provides you the opportunity to understand which topics people are engaging with and how people rate the content that is available to them. Using this qualitative and quantitative analysis you can quickly research the available content for your industry segment, target market or location. From this, you can garner content ideas, validate the best content types to use, the best social media platforms to promote it and even the best time of day to promote your content.
Content audit & assets
Most business already have content assets, so analysing what content your business already has is an important step in creating new content. Your content marketing strategy could be based on repurposing or promoting content you already have, rather than creating new content. Do you have white papers, videos, slide-packs, FAQ’s or articles that you provide to your customers but don’t promote online? Well if your audience is looking for this content then you might already have the raw material to start the development of your Content Marketing.
Like most activities, you wont know your own success unless you have set yourself goals. Goals provide yard-posts in which to measure your performance against your desired outcomes, as well as allowing you the opportunity to adjust your approach to meet your outcomes. Many business fail at Content Marketing because they either haven’t set goals or haven’t set realistic goals.
Some of the more common Content Marketing goals include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Generating sales leads
- Converting leads into customers
- Increasing retention while driving new sales
All of these can be achieved with the right plan, realistic timeframes and an adequate budget.
Gaining a deeper understanding of your consumers and their needs will only benefit your business, not only with your Content Marketing activities but also your Social Media marketing, brand marketing and even your customer service. Taking shortcuts with this first stage of the process will likely result in costly mistakes when creating or distributing your content and may affect your ability to achieve your business goals.
Contact us if you are interested in starting your own Content Marketing campaign. We’ll be happy to help with advice, tools and knowledge on how to achieve the best results for your business. Feel free to look around our site for some information and tools to get you started. We’re here to help.