How To Find Out What People Want From Your Content
No matter what type of business you are running, or which sector you are in, you no doubt understand the power of content. While we already understand the importance of creating great content, and content that is SEO friendly, where people sometimes struggle is with how to find content people want. Of course, we all want content that Google will recognise and will see us being bumped up the rankings, but it needs to be interesting content that your (potential) customers want to consume.
If you want your content to be consumed and digested then you need to know what are people looking for and what are people searching for. There is no need to blindly churn out what you hope will turn into popular content: there are active steps that you can take to ensure this.
If you want to know how to find content that people want and to see your engagement sky-rocket, read on and let us help.
The types of online content
Before we dive in and start looking at how to produce interesting content that people actually want to consume, it is important to realise that there are numerous forms of content to consider. For many, the automatic go-to is written content in the form of web pages and blog posts. while this is certainly a popular form of content and one that many creators are familiar with, it is vital not to neglect the other forms that exist. Other types of online content to consider are:
- Video content
- Social media posts
- How to guides
- Case studies
When you realise quite how many types of online content there are, it opens up an array of possibilities. Many are used to sticking to the constraints of say a 500 word or 2000 word blog post. These certainly have their place and can be extremely effective, but the likes of ebooks allow you to say a whole lot more whereas videos and images can see you experimenting and getting a little more creative. Popular content comes in a variety of forms so don’t restrict yourself to just one type.
How to find content people want
Regardless of the types of online content that you decide to use, the challenge is how to find content people want. It is extremely easy to fall into the trap of producing what we think will be popular content based on a hunch. As business owners, we all know our businesses better than anyone else but that doesn’t necessarily translate to knowing what makes interesting content. Yes, we know all there is to know, but do we understand what our customers really want to hear or read about?
The other easy trap to fall into is producing content for the sake of producing content. We may read that Google likes fresh content on a site and that will help us to move up in the rankings, so we start to produce a huge quantity of content purely for this reason. With this approach, there is rarely consistency between looking at what are people looking for and what is being produced. Of course, you want to be different. You want to produce popular content that actually gets consumed. Here’s how you can do just that:
Know your competitors
Regardless of the niche that you operate in, you’re going to have a whole host of competitors. Before you head over and start to explore what they are doing, you need to know which of your competitors are posing the biggest threat or taking the most significant part of your market share. Those that are successful are clearly doing something right, and you can safely bet that their content marketing strategy is an integral part of that.
So, when you know who these competitors are, it’s time to start a little spy work. What interesting content have they produced? In terms of popular content, just how popular is this? Well, you can find out by looking at blog posts and social media posts to see the levels of engagement, the comments, and the shares. Once you see the types of online content that are performing well, the next step is to go away and do it yourself – only better! It is not about stealing popular content – it is about putting your unique take on it and showing yourself as being an authority figure.
Take note of your social media
The chances are that your business has some form of social media presence. It could be that you perform well on Facebook or that you see great engagement with images on Instagram. You may even be a little more adventurous and have found yourself embracing TikTok. No matter what the platform, your social media accounts help to give you an understanding in terms of what are people searching for and what makes interesting content. How? It’s all about engagement.
Looking at your own social media can be a little hurtful at times. You may think that you have produced the best piece of content in history only to see that it has fallen flat. This is all-important though. By looking at what is succeeding, and what is failing, you can understand what are people looking for and what are they actually engaging with. In terms of types of online content, if you get social media content right you can reach an extraordinary number of people in an amazingly short period of time.
If you are producing any form of online content, the chances are that you are already familiar with keyword research. Alongside the use of backlinks, keyword research is perhaps the best-known method of achieving your SEO goals and getting your content seen. In terms of Google picking up your content you need a great title that is relevant to your keywords and you need to ensure that you are not simply stuffing the keywords in the rest of your content. Overly using keywords could actually see Google push you down the rankings meaning that your content is rarely seen.
SEO aside, keyword research can show you just how popular certain terms are. Using the likes of Adwords, you can see monthly search volumes for keywords. This shows you the answer to what are people searching for and allows you to produce interesting content that meets the needs of those searchers. You can identify topics that are popular by search volume, but by then targeting relevant, less competitive, long-tail keywords you still have a great chance of ranking for popular terms.
Reach out and ask
If you already have an online presence then the chances are that you already have an audience. If you want a real measure of if your content is interesting then who better to ask than this audience? Not everyone is keen on leaving feedback so it may mean that you need to offer some form of incentive to get the information that you need, but what you get in return will be invaluable.
Make sure that you make it easy for your audience to let you know what they think. Enable comments on your blog posts, your YouTube videos, and social media posts. Monitor the comments that you receive and be sure to respond as and when appropriate and use the comments to identify the content that people want.
Look at your best performing content
If you want to know how to find content people want, a great starting point can be looking at the most popular content that you have previously produced. Looking back may not fill you with enthusiasm, but you need to understand that your content performed well for a reason: you need to find exactly what that reason was. You can take a look back at all of your previous content and find out exactly what your audience liked best and what they’d rather not see again.
The key to uncovering the information about your popular content (and content that wasn’t so popular) can be found in metrics. To see how any content has performed, you need to consider engagement metrics such as:
Then there are awareness metrics to consider. These look at the number of impressions and the overall reach of your content. If you have great reach but few clicks, it suggests that you have interesting content but that your headline is failing to get people to read on.
When considering how to find content people want, if you have looked at the step above, you have proven that you already know how. If you have interesting content that has performed well in the past then you know that you can produce similar content in the future. You have already shown that you have an understanding in terms of what are people looking for and you have gone on to produce popular content on the back of that. What that means is that to repeat your success, you don’t need to start from scratch. You can repurpose your existing content.
You already have some good stuff that has performed well so there is no need to constantly reinvent the wheel. Instead, why not take that popular blog post and use it to produce an infographic? Why not look at that ebook and consider turning it into a how-to series? You have already done the handwork with the original piece of content. There are plenty of opportunities to keep the content working over and over again for you.
It’s one thing to know what are people searching for, but you need to be sure that those people are your kind of people. They have to be the sort of people who will not simply engage with interesting content but will go on and buy your product or service. To know the content that is going to work best for your business, you’re going to need to drill down and understands exactly who your customers are.
An audience persona is something that represents your ideal customers. They are created by analysing data that reveals their behaviours and personality traits. Once you have this information you will understand what will make interesting content in their eyes. You’ll also know the types of online content that they prefer to engage with and on what platforms you are going to find them. This information is invaluable in the quest to produce popular content – you are left knowing who you are producing for and exactly where you are going to find them.
While there is data out there that can help you to discover what are people looking for as well as showing what makes for interesting content, there are times when you can follow your instincts. This may go against what we said at the very start of this post, but the truth is that you know your business better than anyone so why not play around and try out various types of online content? Now, we’re not saying that you should head into this without a plan. You still need to review your existing content marketing strategy to see what has and hasn’t worked in the best, but this approach can still give you a little freedom.
There is, of course, that your content could fall flat in its face. Conversely, you may stumble upon something that works exceptionally well. If the latter is the case, you then have a starting point for future content.
Knowing how to find content people want is, of course, a key part of your content marketing strategy. You need to ensure that what you are producing is giving you the desired results for your business. There are times when you may know exactly what your audience wants to consume, but you need help to produce it. Perhaps you have a killer headline, but you need assistance to build upon this. If that’s the case, then the services of a copywriter could be ideal for you. Why not let Content Conga take on the creation of your next online content?