Sometimes, you read an article online and you think the writer must know how you think. Whether it’s a blog post, a graphic, or a video, it informs, entertains, or inspires you. Most of all, you can relate to the content.
How do you make sure you publish content like this? How do you find out what your audience cares about? It’s simple: market research. Start by experimenting with the following free tools. With practice, they’ll help you build a more loyal, engaged audience through strategic content creation.
This site has more than 200 million unique visitors per month, and the topics discussed cover every industry. You can also see which posts are popular by looking at the number of votes on the left-hand side of each post.
To discover trending topics that will resonate with your target audience, enter your keywords in the search box. You’ll see a list of related “subreddits” that cover topics from every angle. It doesn’t take long to find authentic questions that will inspire new content ideas.
The Quora platform focuses on answering questions, so it’s the ideal market research tool. When someone asks a question related to your industry, you can be sure there are many other users who have the same question.
To find content ideas, type your industry keywords into the search box. For example, search “parenting” and you’ll see many questions related to this niche industry. In this example, someone asked: “What is it like to parent a child with autism?” You can create an article, video, or eBook based on this question alone.
Out of all the social media platforms, Facebook has the broadest demographic. This makes it an invaluable market research tool for any business owner or marketer. To get the best inspiration for relevant content ideas, start by searching Facebook Groups.
Input your industry keywords into the search box and then sort by groups. This will lead you to exactly where your target audience is discussing industry-related topics. Once you’ve joined a relevant group, search the posts to find topics under discussion. Remember to take note of the language people use and the questions they ask.
BuzzSumo is an effective tool for finding out which websites and publications are receiving the highest search engine rankings and publishing the most influential content. To focus on content in your industry sector, simply enter your search terms and you’re shown the most popular content currently online.
Which topics haven’t been addressed? Can you create content that tackles a topic in more depth? As well as showing you the types of content that are currently trending, you’ll get a feel for how the most effective titles are written.
How often do you click on a link from search engine results pages and end up reading a blog post that doesn’t quite answer your question? Your target audience has the same problem. One way to find content ideas is to search blogs in your industry sector and find gaps in the information out there.
Alltop is a news aggregator site that can simplify this process. It collects all the headlines from the leading websites and blogs, covering topics from every industry sector. When you find a blog relevant to your business, read through a few of the most popular posts and take note of what the writer isn’t saying. Look in the comments section for questions from readers and conversation trends. This will help you find fresh ideas for content your target audience really needs.
Any business can use these tools and resources to conduct market research for content creation. You could pay money for focus groups and more sophisticated tools, but it’s not always necessary, considering the wealth of information already out there.
Next time you’re stuck for content ideas, use these platforms as your starting base. You’ll soon come up with original content that your target audience needs and want to share, which will boost your credibility and maximize your online visibility.