The term 'Content Marketing' is everywhere - it's constantly written about in blogs, tweeted about thousands of times every day and is basically a theme which marketers and businesses can't afford to ignore.

Buyers can access a wealth of information online these days about products and services; in numerous forms and formats. Blogs, case studies, peer reviews, surveys, e-books, landing pages, social media channels....and the list goes on. Buying habits are hugely influenced by all this content which is why we all need to be 'doing' content marketing and getting it right.

We need to understand what our target audience’s interests are, what questions they have, who influences them, and what types of content they respond best to. Establishing a clear picture of all of this information needs to be backed by research which can then help us formulate content marketing plans and strategies.

Content has to be relevant for your audience, an idea could be hugely interesting and engaging, but not aligned with your brand’s core messaging or objectives. Therefore it's vital that your content has just the right balance between representing your brand but also directly addressing your customer's needs and interests. 

Thankfully, there are many tools around which can help you research which content/ keywords you should be using for your target audience. Here are my favourites:

Buzzsumo: Lets you search for the best performing content for a given keyword, including the number of social shares the piece received.

Followerwonk: Allows you to search Twitter bios for keywords and explore overlap between your brand’s followers and your competitors.

Hashtagify: Instantly identify top hashtags and influencers to maximize your success on social media.

I recommend you also check out this content marketing infographic from Digital Information World with top tips and facts to help you shape your content strategy for this year and beyond.