Most people will think of ‘keyword research' when the word “research” is used in a content marketing context, but it's more than just search engine optimization (SEO). Don't get me wrong, keyword research is vital in researching your content. Keywords are the language of your audience and keyword searches connect your potential customers with your content.
Your brand's audience is online even as you read this, searching for information and real-time answers to their questions. They are chatting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, becoming involved in Google+ circles and LinkedIn groups. Good content answers the questions they have, and what better place to discover those questions than where your audience is searching and socializing.
Do you know who your prospective customers are? Do you understand their frustrations, their desires and aspirations and the problems that are keeping them awake at night? When you've conducted your research carefully, and with a plan, you'll develop a persona or personas of your ideal client. You'll understand how your visitors feel, how they think, what they buy and the answers they're requiring before making a buying decision.
Do you suffer from writer's block. When you've done proper research, you'll discover that the copy nearly writes itself. Knowing your audience helps you speak directly to them, their questions and concerns, just as if you were in front of them.
When you've done your homework, researching you content well, you can expect more opt-ins, social media shares, higher search engine rankings, improved conversions and clickthroughs.