Marketing content is an essential part of any business’s marketing efforts. It helps to attract and retain customers by providing valuable information and showcasing your brand. But how do you create marketing content that brings results? Here’s a guide on how to create a research-driven content plan that provides value to your audience:
Why You Need a Research-Driven Content Plan
A content plan is a roadmap for your marketing content. It helps to keep you organized and on track, ensuring that your content aligns with your business goals. By conducting research and gathering data, you can create a content plan that is backed by evidence and more likely to be effective.
Research-driven content plans provide the opportunity to identify key topics and trends related to your industry or target audience. This can help you create content that resonates with your customers, providing relevant and timely information. You may also discover new ideas for content or learn how to repurpose existing assets into more effective formats.
Your research should also include competitor analysis. This can provide useful insights into what types of content are resonating with audiences, as well as the topics and formats that your competitors are using. By understanding the competition, you can plan more strategic content to give yourself a competitive edge.
What Is the Difference Between a Content Plan and a Content Strategy?
A content plan is a specific plan for creating and publishing content, while a content strategy is a broader plan for how content fits into your overall marketing efforts. A content strategy includes the goals, target audience, and overall message of your content, while a content plan outlines the specific details of what content will be created and how it will be published.
A content plan may include topics, keywords, headlines, types of content, and platforms for sharing. A content strategy should also consider how the content will be promoted to reach its intended audience and measure success. Ultimately, a well-crafted content strategy helps you create effective and cohesive content that works in harmony with your larger marketing goals. It is important to have both a content plan and a content strategy to ensure that your content is optimized for the most successful outcome.
For example, if you are running an email marketing campaign with the goal of increasing sales, you will need both a well-crafted content strategy and a detailed content plan. The content strategy should outline how the emails will be used to engage your target audience and build a relationship. The content plan should include topics, headlines, copy points, images, and calls to action that work together to move the reader down the sales funnel. Having both elements in place will ensure that you are maximizing your efforts and achieving desired results.
Content Planning: How to Create a Research-Driven Content Plan That Brings Results
Creating a research-driven content plan that brings results requires some careful planning and consideration. Here’s a template to follow:
1. Who Is Your Content For?
Before you start creating content, it is important to know who your target audience is. Conduct market research to understand the needs, interests, and demographics of your audience. This will help you create content that is relevant and valuable to them.
Your target audience should also be segmented into various groups to more accurately target them.
2. Where Will You Publish?
Decide where you will publish your content, such as on your website, social media, or through email marketing. Use data and analytics to understand which channels your audience is most active on and consider how the tone and format of your content will vary across different channels.
3. What Problem Does It Solve?
Conduct research to understand the problems and pain points that your target audience is facing. Create content that addresses these problems and offers solutions. This will help you create content that is useful and valuable to your audience.
4. Why is Your Business Different?
What sets your business apart from the competition? Use data and customer feedback to understand your unique value proposition and highlight it in your content.
5. How Will You Create Content?
Decide how you will create your content, such as through writing, video, or podcasts. Use data to understand which formats are most effective for your audience and consider the resources and time required to create different types of content.
3 Types Of Research-Driven Content Plans
There are three main types of content plans that businesses can use: brand awareness, keyword rankings, and conversions.
1. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness content plans are focused on building your audience and increasing recognition of your brand. This type of plan includes content that is educational, entertaining, or inspirational in nature.
2. Keyword Rankings
Keyword-based content plans are focused on optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. This type of plan includes content that is optimized for target keywords and uses SEO best practices for maximum visibility.
Conversion-focused content plans are designed to lead potential customers down the sales funnel and convince them to make a purchase or subscribe to your services. This type of plan includes content that provides educational information and persuasive content such as case studies, product reviews, testimonials, and calls to action.
Content Planning For Brand Awareness
Brand awareness content is designed to increase the visibility and recognition of your brand. This type of content should be engaging and informative and help to build trust and credibility with your target audience.
As you’re planning for brand awareness, consider which types of content will resonate the most with your audience. This could include blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media updates, and more. You may also want to create content that is more evergreen in nature, such as guides and tutorials that will remain relevant for a long time.
Make sure to include links back to your website or landing pages so people can learn more about your products and services. With an effective content plan, you should be able to reach more people and create more brand awareness over time.
What Is TOFU Content?
TOFU (top of the funnel) content is the first point of contact a potential customer has with your brand. It is designed to introduce your brand and provide valuable information to the reader. This content should be general in nature, providing a broad overview of your product or service and helping the reader to understand what makes you unique.
Content ideas for TOFU include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, ebooks, and more. These pieces of content should focus on educating rather than selling, with the goal of building trust and credibility with the reader. Additionally, make sure to include calls-to-action and links back to your website or landing page so readers can take further action if desired.
What Should TOFU Content Do?
TOFU content should educate the reader about your brand and provide value. It should also encourage the reader to learn more about your brand and consider becoming a customer. Additionally, TOFU content should be easily digestible and engaging so that the reader is compelled to read more.
As you’re creating a content plan for TOFU, consider what topics will be covered in your content pieces and how they will tie into your larger marketing goals. Think about which types of content will resonate best with your audience and create content with a unified message that is consistent with your brand.
Also, consider which platforms to use for sharing and how you will promote the content to reach more people. With an effective TOFU content plan in place, you should be able to drive more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
Example Of Brand Awareness Content
An example of TOFU content for a fashion brand might be a blog post on the latest fashion trends, supported by research on consumer preferences and industry data. The post could include an infographic on the most popular styles and colors, as well as links to the company’s website where readers can learn more. It could also include calls to action such as “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Follow us on social media” to encourage readers to further engage with the brand.
Another example might be a video showcasing the brand’s latest collection and highlighting its unique features and benefits. This could be accompanied by a blog post giving more in-depth information and offering additional visuals, such as photos of the items being worn.
Content Planning For Keyword Rankings
SEO (search engine optimization) content is designed to improve the ranking of your website in search engine results. To do this, you need to focus on creating content that’s keyword-optimized and focused on certain topics. Research keywords related to your business and industry to determine which ones will get the most traction for your website.
Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, create content around those topics and include them in prominent places throughout the text, such as titles, headings, and introductory paragraphs. Use internal links to connect related pieces of content so that the reader can find more information about a particular topic.
What Is SEO Content?
SEO content is content that is optimized for search engines. It includes keywords and phrases that people are likely to search for when looking for products or services related to your business. To create effective SEO content, you need to conduct keyword research and create content around those topics.
Use techniques like internal linking to connect related pieces of content and improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. By creating optimized SEO content, you can increase brand awareness and draw more traffic to your website.
What Should SEO Content Do?
SEO content should provide value to the reader while also including keywords and phrases that will help improve the ranking of your website in search engine results. It should be well-written, engaging, and focused on topics that are relevant to your business.
Your SEO content should also include calls to action such as “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Follow us on social media” so that readers can take further action if desired. By creating SEO content that provides value and drives traffic to your website, you can increase brand awareness and reach more potential customers.
Example Of SEO Content
An example of SEO content for a furniture store might be a blog post on the latest interior design trends, including keywords like “home decor,” “furniture trends,” and “interior design tips.” The post could also include data on consumer preferences and industry trends to support the content.
In this example, you’d also likely include visuals such as photos of furniture pieces, as well as internal links to other related posts on the website.
Content Planning For Conversions
Conversion content is designed to encourage the reader to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. To create effective conversion content, you need to understand your target audience and their needs.
Research what kind of content resonates with them and create content that is tailored to their interests. Include a strong call to action throughout your content to encourage readers to take the desired action. You should also provide an incentive for taking the desired action, such as free shipping or a discount code.
What Is BOFU Content?
BOFU (bottom of the funnel) content is the final step in the customer journey. It’s designed to persuade the reader to make a purchase. It should be tailored to the reader’s needs and interests and include a strong call to action.
BOFU content should also include visuals such as photos or videos of products being used or services being provided. This will help further engage the reader and encourage them to take the desired action.
What Should BOFU Content Do?
BOFU content, also known as conversion content, should be persuasive and provide the reader with all the information they need to make an informed decision. It should focus on the benefits of your product or service, addressing any questions or concerns that may arise in the process.
Include customer reviews and testimonials to help demonstrate why people have chosen your business over others. Your goal here should be to give potential customers the confidence they need to make a purchase.
What Should Conversion Content Do?
Conversion content should clearly convey the value of taking the desired action and make it easy for the reader to do so. Include visuals such as photos or videos to help engage the reader and further explain the benefits of taking the desired action.
Provide multiple methods for readers to take action, such as links to product pages, signup forms, or contact information. Make sure your content is optimized for all devices so it’s easy for readers to access regardless of what device they’re using.
And as always, include a strong call to action throughout your content to encourage web traffic to take the desired action. Incentives such as discounts or free shipping can also be used to encourage readers to take action. By creating conversion content that is tailored to your target audience and provides value, you can increase conversions and generate more revenue for your business.