A 6-Step Content Marketing Research Process

A 6-Step Content Marketing Research Process

Reader Comments (42)

  1. Very helpful guidelines. Although some have the opposite problem – instead of skipping the research, you can get bogged down in the research and think “I just need a little more data before I execute”.

  2. Beth, I love this list! I couldn’t agree more. I try to spend at least an hour a day in different forums and communities just watching and reading posts. I run a cigar review blog and cigar smokers are a very tight nit community. They all share a ton of information with each other so freely. It’s great to just be a part of that conversation. When I’m browsing the forums I always keep evernote open to jot down notes under my ‘Blog Ideas’ note to keep track of ideas that I want to expand upon. Just another little helpful tip there 🙂

      • Thank you for the Evernote reminder! I continuously forget about it, even though I have it installed on Chrome as an extension. I will need to try and play with it again!

        • Christy, I don’t have the extension added, but I probably should. I just have it constantly open and its always open on my iPhone. I don’t go anywhere without it 🙂

  3. “And as you’re participating and helping other community members, you can learn a lot by watching and learning.”
    Great advice. I still read industry blogs every day because it helps keep me up to speed. You need to know what is going on in your community if you want to be able to participate.

  4. Hey Beth,

    Have you ever been stuck and didn’t know why and when you tried to get unstuck, if you listened you could hear your wheels spinning? Been there, done that more times than I can count.

    It’s taken a few decades for me to pull out of this rut you’re writing about, i.e. the need for research.

    I have a razor sharp, crock-pot mind. I’m slow but I’m good. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I hate to admit it but I suffered from the delusion that I know what’s best, that I’m smarter than the rest, so why do research when I already know what the outcome is going to be.

    In my defense it wasn’t that I was lacking in empathy or that I couldn’t see from someone else’s perspective, in fact my Hartman value profile suggests that I have a heightened sense of empathy, the deficiency was in my failure to acknowledge it.

    I’ve gained some traction in this area of my life and business but it took being honest with myself and admitting that I need help acknowledging others thoughts and opinions before I started making any real gains.

    The place I still struggle with research is in interpreting what the research uncovers. In other words seeing and understanding it from others perspective and then writing about it with that in mind.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on interpreting and converting the research in a future post or get others to weigh in with how they’ve overcome this challenge.

    Only the Best,

    • I let my research guide the topics of my posts. For example, if I want to write about post hypnotic suggestions and I see that lots of my colleague’s fans comment on his videos that they want help to do better in sports, I would show them how to use suggestions to enhance their performances. I would either do that as an example within the piece or write the entire post about how to use mental cues to enhance their physical abilities.

  5. Beth, this is a great addition to your content research series. Find out how your audience see’s the world, the problems they’re having and then dig in to deliver exactly what they need. I don’t see how you can go wrong with that. Thanks for these steps!

  6. What a fantastic analogy, and so many good suggestions!

    I constantly have to remind myself that no matter how great I may think my skills are, or how well I think I may understand my audience, the research is key.

  7. One of my favourite ways to do customer research is to read the customer reviews on Amazon. It’s amazing how much you can learn from them. Every review there will either tell you what a person liked or disliked about a product, and in not too much time you can outline an entire product based on what you’ve learned.

  8. The training is integral.

    I often forget this, and when I go into a period where I am not writing regularly, when I try and crank out a few blog posts the magic just isn’t there.

    So I need to go back into my virtual ‘gym,’ and exercise by journaling regularly. For some reason, flexing the creative muscle regularly yields real results in the quality of work; and I think you’ve explained why here. Thanks, Beth!

  9. Beth, thanks for these great steps on content market research. it helps us create content that goes beyond personal opinion and that offers some sound advice. It’s critical to put context around the content and not just repeat what we’ve heard. Context comes from getting the content from several different sources and helping our readers logically and emotionally connect the dots.

  10. I struggle with feeling lazy while I’m researching. (If I’m gathering information, I’m not actually creating anything.) I think it’s important to strike a balance between learning and producing. Good post!

  11. Dear Beth,
    I have read many articles on Content Marketing, Keyword Research etc., but never have I read such an intelligent, insightful article such as yours. This is bottom line stuff and I love it. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

  12. I regularly visit not only other blogs in my niche but forums and Facebook pages. These sites have people posting about what they are trying to fix or problems that they have.

    • Thank you Troy,
      I have been focusing on articles regarding keywords, and what marketers are writing about. But I really do appreciate what Beth says with her 6 step content marketing research, it is so logical.

      Yes blogs, forums, and social sites do make sense. Troy, thank you so much for your input.

  13. Great article. A 7th important point I suggest adding: “Discover your audience’s strengths”
    In my experience, one can never really have a strategic and actionable plan without knowing these strengths.

  14. Getting involved with the community you’re researching on is one the top most criteria for content marketing research process. Contain some helpful guidelines. BTW, Nice article.

  15. Today is my first time to visit copyblogger,though have been a regular reader of Darren’s blog(problogger) i must confess this blog is like a university.Thank so much Brian.it is wonderful been here to learn.my blogging career just got better.

  16. Thanks Beth, this was a very interesting post providing some useful strategies for me to consider when conducting market research.


  17. I hate the athlete analogy. I feel that it gets over used and mis-represented. It’s an easy analogy to use because we see how hard athletes work. They get so good by practicing, so if you want to get good, you need to practice just as hard at your craft. This may partly come from my day job in sales where they compared human interaction to hours spent shooting three pointers. So nothing against you, promise.

    I also see market research as closer to weight training than to the countless hours spent on the court. You can play basketball without it, but weight training is what separates the good from the great.

    Besides the analogy, I did really enjoy the post. I’ve found blogs and forums to be the quickest way to go from clueless to smartest guy in the room. I also believe that figuring out what your audience wants and how they think is one of the most crucial parts of having an online business.

    Making market research a part of your daily routine is very important. I personally use Flipboard on my iPad to stay in touch with what is going on in my niche.

    • I love the athlete analogy. It works because it encourages people to just keep on keeping on. Something people don’t do enough of.

  18. My manuscript was written years ago, sitting in the library of congress. Was seeking a publisher to get this non-fiction to the masses, when it was recommended that I should go “ebook”. The cover is burned in my mind, which, in itself will wet the mental appetites. My problem is getting through the areas that I am unfamiliar.
    Gene F. Cooper, Gunnery Sergeant of Marines/Retired

  19. Great article. A 7th important point I suggest adding: “Discover your audience’s strengths”
    In my experience, one can never really have a strategic and actionable plan without knowing these strengths.

  20. Great article. I especially like the part about becoming part of the community you are researching. There is no better way to truly understand what you are researching.

  21. Too often we think writing is the hardest part of writing and forget the work that needs to go into it first. 🙂
    One way to harness the power of keyword research, especially if you’re writing about solutions to customer problems, is to look for phrases like “how do I” or “where do I find” or “need help with” which clearly communicate intent around an issue.

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