When people think of keyword research, they usually think of search marketing – either organic search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC) search advertising. However, keyword research also plays a vital role in a content marketing program.
Content marketing involves providing the information your targeted prospects crave – usually for free. By providing expertise, you build trust over time. When your prospects reach the point where they are ready to do business, they come to you and not to your competitors. Content marketing is all about pulling your prospects in and building trust.
It stands to reason that your prospects need to find the content you provide. One effective way to help prospects find your content is through an organic SEO campaign. But content marketing isn’t just about driving traffic to your website. It’s about drawing highly targeted prospects to your content and then delivering the information they seek. And professional keyword research can help you do just that.
Keywords, Your Prospects and Your Content
Developing an understanding of your ideal prospects means you need to know everything you can about them, including, but not limited to, which keyword phrases they use when conducting a search. Armed with this information, you’ll have a better understanding of the types of problems they face and hope to solve.
In a content marketing program, you’re not just looking for keywords with the most volume and least competition (or lowest cost-per-click rate for paid advertising) as you might in a search marketing program.
While that information is useful, you also need to know which specific keyword phrases coincide with the information assets you can provide now or develop in the near future. Once you identify those keyword phrases and integrate them into your program, you will attract the right prospects. Even better, once they arrive, they will better relate to – and value – your message because it “speaks their language.”
Keywords, Locations and Trends
If you operate within one or more specific regional areas, data developed from keyword research needs to be refined further to discover the exact phrases and variations that prospects in your geographic area(s) of operation are most likely to use. Professional keyword research can provide you with that information. In some cases, down to the city level.
Another aspect of keyword research considers trends.
Because content marketing programs take time to pay off, include related keyword phrases trending upward in popularity – even though those phrases may be less popular at the moment than an alternate phrase that’s in decline.
This strategy helps assure that, while developing your content assets, you will continue to attract prospects and extend the longevity of your content marketing efforts.
The Keyword Research Process – And Its Value
The keyword research process is one of discovery. It’s a filtering, drill-down approach, much like an inverted pyramid that progresses from the obvious to the “Aha! I hadn’t considered that, but it makes perfect sense.”
Professional keyword research offers high value returns for any type of online marketing campaign. In fact, the results can often suggest new product lines or service offerings.
In content marketing, keyword research can help uncover problems for which your prospects are desperately seeking solutions: problems you may not have considered. Addressing those problems and offering solutions then becomes the basis for developing your content. Your content takes on a sharper focus, provides greater value (or, at the very least, the perception of providing greater value), builds a stronger degree of trust over time and, as a result, improves the overall effectiveness of your program and its return on investment.
Do you use keyword research to drive your online marketing strategy? If so, what results have you seen?