You probably think you have the best industry content on the web. Maybe you’re biased, but probably not. It may confuse you why you’re not getting the reach, page views, or conversions you expected from your content marketing. Your distribution methods and channels could be the key. Today, we’re looking at content discovery and how this process puts your pieces right in front of your audience with topics like:
Content discovery is the process readers and viewers use when finding content online. What tools or platforms do they use? How do they encounter your content? What do they do when they find it? Most people looking for information online probably don’t even realize they’re using the content discovery process. It’s now hard-wired and programmed into us, especially with the ease of tools like search engines and curated feeds.
Writers and content creators also take part in content discovery when researching keywords and topics for their pieces. The process is the same for both your writing team and your audience, where each step involves:
As the marketing team, you don’t just want to think about what’s best for your brand. You’ll also want to focus on what’s best for your audience, leads, and clients. To do that, sometimes you have to step out of your role as a brand promoter, and into the role of a casual internet browser.
When you do this, you can better understand the thought processes and actions of the people you’re trying to reach with your content. When you understand your audience’s intent behind their search, you’ll have a better idea of what to create to offer more value. And audiences that find your content valuable are more likely to share it across other platforms, expanding your market reach. Consider these two most important areas of content discovery:
The better you know your audience, the better you’re going to know what they want to see from your content and how they intend to find it. But knowing your audience is more than just looking at a profile picture or knowing what they buy. Understanding your target market, or the largest group of people your content attracts, helps you figure out what people want to see and how they want to find it.
For example, a landscaping company’s target market could be anyone with a landscaping need—from cutting grass to hauling mulch and rocks—making this a broad group. But within that broad market, the company also may have multiple segments. These are smaller groups of people that have different levels of interest or different needs from the company.
So in the case of the lawn care market, you may have homeowners who want to add curb appeal to their properties or businesses that require regular grounds maintenance. The point is that understanding these audiences and what they’re looking for helps the company produce valuable content for each segment, increasing the potential for content discovery.
Search intent is the reason your audience is engaging in content discovery. Why are they looking for whatever they’re looking for? Search intent helps you understand your audience better. But it also gives you insights into the best types of content to create. The more you understand the people searching for the content and the pieces most valuable to them, the better you can understand both sides of the content development process. There are four primary types of search intent your audience may use during content discovery:
To learn more about your target audience and uncover their content discovery process, use research to answer questions like:
Demographics are the most basic informational qualifiers about your audience. They help identify your overall target market because they cover wide categories where many people fit. They answer questions like:
What struggles does your audience have? Why are they seeking solutions? If you know what’s troubling your audience, you can determine what problems they might be trying to solve. For example, to use the landscaping company again, the marketing team may find that some of the customers’ biggest pain points include pests invading their landscaping.
If pests are the problem, what are some possible solutions? Pest control options may be one. Another may be redesigning the space with plants and materials that are pest resistant, but still human- and pet-safe. The thing is, when you know your customer’s pain points, you’ll have a better idea of the type of content they’ll find valuable during their discovery process.
There are two sides to the content discovery equation: the audience looking for content and the content itself. Anytime you’re dealing with search engines, especially with something like search intent, you have to pay attention to what’s already out there. Who’s your competition for every piece of content you want your audience to find?
It’s a waste of time and resources to create content that already exists. You want your content to have a fresh angle on the topic and provide something that competitors don’t. One of the most important steps to take to analyze current content for future topics is a content audit. This process shows you what you already have out there and how it compares to competitors.
Of course, auditing your site content can be a daunting task, but CopyPress can help. Request your free content marketing analysis report today. This report compares your content with that of your top three competitors to see how you stack up against them. It also supplies a list of content gaps that show topics your competitors cover that you haven’t yet. Use these gaps to cover new angles on topics your audience wants to see to make it better than the content that already exists.
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Content audits and gap data only tell part of the story. Your audience can actually tell you the rest of what they want or need in their own words and actions. Every time someone shares your content on social media and adds a blurb, they’re giving you feedback on what they find important. Every time someone adds a comment to your blog post, they’re sharing why they find the content valuable or why they don’t.
Other ways to find out what your audience wants from your brand include asking your customer service representatives and sales teams what questions they get most often from clients and leads. You can also conduct social listening on your content platforms. Look at trigger words and phrases, like your company name, or the names of your products or services. Follow your current content around the web to see the response it gets. Doing this will show you how audiences perceive your brand and what they want more of from your company.
Content discovery doesn’t come just from third-party services like search engines and social media websites. People can also discover more content from right within the original piece. We use this method at CopyPress to help direct readers to more content that meets their interests. At the bottom of every blog post and knowledge base article, readers can find links to three more articles or posts on the same topic.
But you can also use this type of content discovery on other people’s websites to get a larger reach for your content. In marketing, this is called native content. It’s a type of paid advertising, but it doesn’t appear like a typical banner ad or pop-up. Instead, it looks similar to the “Read More” section at the bottom of every CopyPress article. The only difference? There’s usually a signifier that denotes whether it’s sponsored content or an ad.
Native advertising allows you to syndicate your content to other websites where your target audience already gets their content. It’s a win for everyone. You pay these sites to show your content so they get money. You get a new avenue to share your content with your target audience, and your audience finds the information they need through their content discovery.
The journey doesn’t end after someone finds your content. In fact, it’s only the first step. Having people find your content isn’t what turns them into paying customers. They have to open and engage with each piece and follow your calls to action to discover your brand by browsing through your website. When audiences follow your CTAs through the sales funnel, they’ll convert to valuable leads. Conversions can be anything from signing up for a newsletter to comparing your company’s offers because they’re close to making a purchase.
Paying attention to content gaps, talking to your audience, and following best practices for content creation are all steps toward successful content discovery.
Are you listening to your audience and focusing on search intent but still not seeing your page views increase? Maybe you hoped after six months you’d see some traction with your SEO and rise a few spots on the search engine results page (SERP), but it’s not happening. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re creating bad content. It could mean the rules have changed.
Marketing and SEO are two highly fluctuating fields. Best practices change quickly and it requires constant care and attention to keep your quality content in the right discovery channels. Here are some reasons people may not be discovering your content as you expected:
If you find people aren’t discovering your content, don’t panic. You can fix it by paying close attention to your metrics and revisiting and optimizing old content as necessary.
To get the most out of your marketing, you can’t have one—either content or strategy—without the other. At CopyPress, you don’t have to compromise. We help you with both. No matter your industry or content type, we create the valuable content your audience wants to see. Then we help you work on a publication and distribution strategy to push it where people discover content online. Ready to get started? Submit our contact form and tell us more about your project. We’re eager to help you make your next big content marketing strides.
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