First things first, the key ingredient to figure out what your audience is going to love is the right attitude: whatever content you create should NOT be all about you and it definitely shouldn’t be about how amazing your product is. You need to focus on what it is that your target audience actually WANTS to read, listen to and watch.
(If you’re not sure who your content’s target audience is, we wrote about it previously for you to peruse.)
1. Get SOCIAL - Speak to previous clients and gather feedback
Pick up the phone, write an email or have a coffee with clients that you have a good relationship with and ask them what problems they are currently having at work (related to your industry/specialism). Figure out what they liked about the service you provided, what they didn’t like and tell them you want to be creating tools that help them with these problems in the future (added bonus of potential repeated customers). You’ll find some really juicy ideas in there. As an example, when Josh F spoke to Hamptons Real Estate, they said figuring out how to optimise video content for Facebook was something they could use help with - wham, a series on “how to optimise your videos for social platforms” was put into the works (TBD).
2. Google Keyword research - your new best friend
OK, so we’re not an SEO agency and don’t claim to be. HOWEVER, one thing we know pretty well is keyword planning (basically figuring out how to create content around relevant topics people are searching for). We largely owe that to putting films up on Youtube and realising no one watches them unless they’re (queue generic marketing word) “optimised” for the channel. Frankly, if we can figure out how to do this, so can you...so here’s the basics you need:
i) Grab a pen and paper and write down a list of 20 or so words or phrases you want people to be searching for when thinking about your company. I.e. for Mattr it was stuff like ‘London video production’, ‘meaningful video content’, ‘youtube channel management’, ‘social media video’ etc etc . . .
ii) Open up a Google adwords account and go into their keyword planner tool.
iii) Type in the words/phrases from your list and then change your filters to LOW COMPETITION, and keywords whose volume is more than 50 per month.
iv) click on the ‘keyword ideas’ and check the list out...the aim is to find low competition keywords similar to your ideal list, which are relevant for your company and you can see yourself being able to speak about.
Oh and if that’s not enough, we suggest you look at Google Trends (that shows how often a particular search-term is searched for relative to time and location...aka trends :) ).
And if that’s not enough Soovle is awesome...it shows what people are searching for across the entire web (so bing, yahoo, youtube etc etc).
3. What do YOU like reading?
It’s all well and good asking around, but YOU also know what makes a good piece of content. Just think about which blogs, articles and channels you subscribe to and figure out why you subscribe to them. Take a look at their social media profiles, subscribe to their email list and study their website to see the tips and tricks they use to keep you entertained, keep you coming back for more and encouraging you to subscribe to their content. For example, our blog/publisher ‘heroes’ are people like Don’t Panic, Unruly, Contently, Dazed Magazine, our podcast heroes are Vidtalk and Media Unplugged and our favourite Youtube Channels are Casey Neistat and Watchcut’s -pretty eclectic yes, but together it really embodies what we are about as a company.
4. Emulate your competitor's content
Yay, another list to make! Write down who your nearest competitors are, see what they are doing, how they are using social and groups on Linkedin and Twitter to see how they promote themselves. We did this with our competitors and realised that there was an AWFUL lot of flag waving and pats on their own backs - a real eye opening bit of research that we see as a vehicle to provide better value for our clients. We also learnt that a lot of their content didn’t have a UK focus, was only talking about “virals” and were very much lumping tradition media with digital media - again all good stuff to think about for creating our own content ‘niche’.
5. User generated content
If that isn’t enough, Quora and Reddit are two of the most popular websites for you to see what real people are searching for, talking about and what is popular and well received by your industry’s community. But what exactly are these glorious banks of knowledge?
Quora: A question and answer website - you ask a question and you should get an answer someone who has some expertise in the field.
Reddit: the self proclaimed “front page of the internet” has over a billion page views per month, the 234 million users contribute and regulate the sites user generated ecosystem. One of the best features of Reddit is that there is almost guaranteed a mini site (or subreddit) that caters to your niche / subject area. Therefore, finding relevant popular content for you to emulate becomes oh so much simpler.
So there you go...5 wonderful ways to research what the hell you’re going to be figure out content your audience will love. Hope it was of use!
Shout out to Kobestarr Digital for helping us out with this post (we heart you!). If you have any more tips to create content your audience will love, then drop us an email! We may be a London production agency but we are all ears for your opinions and suggestions and want to collaborate you! Make sure you sign up to our mailing list in the footer too!