What is Content Planning & Research

What Is A Content and Research Plan?

Put simply, a great content and research plan answers a fundamental question: what do you want to say?

Marketing and communication often starts with the idea that the most important question we have to answer is “what do we want to say?”  This isn’t true.  The most important question is “what does our audience want to know?”

A Content and Research Plan can be incredibly helpful for us to understand how we can develop content that both supports our marketing, brand, sales and customer experience efforts, while it also answers that most important of questions.

A Content and Research Plan is a multi-faceted approach to understanding your audience, their needs, and how your products, services and overall experiences can help them.

So – what are the components of a Content and Research Plan that can help a business develop a more holistic Content Strategy?  We see it through four key foundations:

Content Marketing Analysis

The first component is to understand the general market trends, and where a business can differentiate for the topics, platforms, and the general trends that are affecting the market place.  Generally speaking, in order to develop a market analysis, the business can go through a PESTLE analysis – which includes (Political, Environmental, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) trends.  The overall goal is to get an understanding of where there may be opportunities. competition, and threats in order develop differentiating value for a content-driven experience.

Audience Persona Sizing And Development

In order to understand the minimum viable audience for a particular strategy, the business must first understand the various segmentations of the target audience. Here the business can look at geographic, demographic, socioeconomic and even behavioral factors as a means of establishing the high level profiles of a TAM (Total Addressable Market), a SOM (a Service Obtainable Market) and a SAM (Service Addressable Market).

Then, of course, specific research into these segments will help to develop the specific answers to the questions that these audiences are not finding answers for, and how our business may be able to help.  Audience Persona Research looks to develop specific profiles of our target market as part of our plan.

Customer Journey Mapping & Experience Mapping

In the ideal world, a business should be able to develop specific experiences that would lead a customer naturally to their particular product or solution.

Of course the world doesn’t work quite that way. However, the goal for businesses is to establish as many touch points as they can in order to connect and facilitate the customer’s journey in the most optimal way possible.  Once a business understands the needs and wants of a specific audience, they must audit and examine their current experiences against an ability to meet those needs and wants. This is a where a Customer Journey Map can provide true value to a Content Plan and Research approach.

Competitive and Threat Analysis

Within a content strategy, it’s not just the competition for a business’ products and services that are important to understand. Marketers must also understand the competition for attention, and the ongoing loyalty of that attention.  Conducting a Content Plan and Research also means understanding the competitive nature of which other resources are vying for the attention of customers.  This is an entirely different research approach than product/service competition (though it may logically include those companies).

Do You Need A Content and Research Plan?

If your business is trying to understand how it can compete better, and develop a longer-term relationship with both prospective and current customers, you need to develop an ongoing content and research plan.

This planning is an ongoing process, not a singular project, so begin an approach to a Content Plan and Research by looking at how it can be developed as an ongoing process.

If you need some help, TCA is here.

Our Clients:

Are some of the world’s leading brands. They are looking to evolve their marketing strategy and operations to build audiences.

They Say Some Nice Things

“TCA’s full-day training program was immediately valuable. The message of inspiration is backed by solidly practical guides, studies, tools and detailed experience. We immediately put some of their story mapping practices into place, and they have not only been embraced, but become a key component of our marketing planning processes.”

– Kelly Levoyer
Director, Marketing Editorial, SAS

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