Creating content without research and planning is like building a house without a foundation.
You might get it done, but the structure won’t be as sound as it could be. Plus, it won’t last as long.
That’s why doing your homework before you write is essential for creating effective content.
Research and planning will help you create content that resonates with readers and reaches your goals. Plus, it will save you time in the long run.
In this article, I’ll discuss the importance of research and planning for creating great content, why it matters, and 5 tips for getting started.
Why research and planning matter for creating high-quality content
When it comes to creating content, there are two important phases: research and planning. They’re both essential for creating great content that fulfills your readers’ needs.
Research is all about gathering information about your target audience. It’s about understanding their needs, interests, motivations, problems, frustrations, and goals.
It’s also about understanding the competition. What kind of content are they producing? What kind of topics are they covering? How do they approach their topics?
Research is essential for creating content that resonates with your target audience.
Without a deep understanding of them and their needs, you won’t be able to create content that truly connects with them — no matter how good the copy is or how beautiful the visuals are.
Research helps you create content that matters to your audience.
You need to know who they are before you can create something they want to read or watch.
Planning is all about organizing the information you gathered during research into something tangible — a plan or strategy for getting your message across clearly and effectively.
Planning helps make sure you don’t miss any important points in your message or overlook any key elements of your story. It also helps ensure that each bit of information is in its right place within your story arc or message arc (for video).
Planning ensures that each bit of information is delivered in its most effective format.
It helps you create a narrative arc that guides readers through the story from beginning to end without getting lost or confused along the way.
The role of research and planning in creating content
Research and planning are essential for creating high-quality content — whether it’s blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, etc.
They provide critical data points about who you should be targeting with your message (research) as well as how you should present it (planning).
Without them, it’s impossible to create truly effective content — no matter how talented a writer or filmmaker you are.
Why is research and planning important?
Research and planning help ensure that you create content that aligns with your goals — whether those goals are SEO-related or focused on engagement or something else entirely.
Research also helps you create quality content that speaks directly to your target audience’s needs and concerns.
Planning helps ensure that you stay on track while creating content. It helps you break down a big task into smaller tasks that are manageable and not overwhelming.
And it ensures that all the pieces fit together cohesively in the end so that you don’t end up with a disjointed piece of content (which would be confusing for readers).
Lastly, research and planning can save you time in the long run since it allows you to avoid unnecessary revisions down the road when you realize something isn’t quite right but don’t have time to fix it or don’t know where to start fixing it.
How do I conduct effective research?
There are several different methods for conducting effective research depending on what type of information you need:
Interviewing experts in your field or customers who have used your product/service can provide valuable insight into what your target audience needs and wants from your brand/company/product/service.
Surveys are great for getting feedback from customers or prospects about their experiences with your brand/company/product/service or getting direct feedback on specific topics related to what they like or don’t like about certain aspects of your brand/company/product/service.
Analytics can be used to track user behavior on websites or social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter so that you can identify trends in how people interact with certain types of content or how they respond to different types of messaging.
• Competitor Analysis:
Analyzing what competitors are doing can give you valuable insight into what tactics work (or don’t work) in terms of messaging, design elements, calls-to-action, etc., which can help inform how you craft your own messages.
• Keyword Research:
Keyword research helps determine which keywords are most likely to bring people to your site via organic search results (i.e., through Google).
Understanding which keywords people use when searching for specific topics related to your business or industry will help inform how you craft titles and headlines for blog posts, articles, etc., as well as where those keywords should appear within the body copy itself (in order to maximize search engine optimization).
How do I create an effective plan?
Once you have done some preliminary research into topics related to what type of content you want to create (blog posts vs articles vs videos vs podcasts vs infographics) as well as who this content is meant for (target audience), then it’s time to start creating a plan of action for developing this content:
• Brainstorm ideas:
Start by brainstorming potential topics based on the preliminary research from step 1 above as well as any personal passions or interests related to this topic area so that there is an underlying theme tying all these ideas together (for example: if writing a blog post series about marketing strategies then consider themes such as “how-to guides” “best practices” “case studies” “expert tips & tricks” etc.)
• Outline each idea:
After coming up with some potential topics then start outlining each one by breaking them down into subtopics so that each post has an overall structure before starting the actual writing process
• Research & fact check:
Make sure all facts included within each post are accurate by double checking sources used throughout each post
• Create drafts:
Start drafting each post following the outlined structure from step
5 tips for getting started on research and planning
Now that we understand why research and planning are important for creating great content, let’s look at 5 tips for getting started on these processes:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Before doing anything else, identify who you want to target with your message or product/service offering and why they would be interested in what you have to say/offer (this is where buyer personas come into play).
Knowing who you should be targeting will help everything else fall into place more easily since everything else revolves around understanding who these people are so you can create something tailored specifically for them.
2. Conduct Competitor Analysis
Once you have a good understanding of who you should be targeting with your message/offering, it’s time to analyze what competitors in the same space are doing so that you can determine what works well (and what doesn’t) so that it’s easier to come up with ideas on how best to reach out to/connect with potential customers (and differentiate yourself from competitors).
This will also give you an idea of what topics already exist in the space so that yours can stand out from existing material by providing something unique yet valuable/entertaining/informative/useful etc., etc., etc..
3. Gather Data Points From Your Target Audience
Now that you know who your target audience is and what existing material exists in the space (this could include competitor websites/blogs/social media accounts etc.), it’s time to gather data points from these people directly so that it’s easier to craft messages tailored specifically for them – this could include conducting surveys as well as gathering data from existing customer reviews/feedback forms etc..
Doing this will make sure that everything created resonates with potential customers instead of leaving things up to chance which could lead potential customers away due to lack of interest or relevance etc..
4. Identify keywords
Once you have a better understanding of your target audience, you can begin researching keywords they use when searching for information or products related to your business.
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to identify the best keywords for your content strategy.
Start by making a list of seed keywords that relate to the topic or product you’re looking to write about. You can then use these seed keywords as the basis for further keyword research.
For example, if one of your seed keywords is “social media marketing” then you could use this as a starting point for researching more specific topics such as “Facebook Ads” or “Instagram Stories” etc.
5. Outline topics
Once you have identified potential topics related to your product or service that resonate with your target audience it is time to start outlining them into separate pieces of content .
Start by outlining each piece; identify the main points that need covering as well as potential sub-points or supporting points that will help support the main points made.
Taking the time upfront when outlining each topic it will help make writing easier later on.
It also makes it easier when working collaboratively with other writers as everyone is following an agreed outline.
Creating content can be an overwhelming process. You have to come up with ideas, research topics, create content, format it for the web, and promote it.
It’s no wonder so many content creators are left feeling exhausted, with their heads spinning.
The good news is that there are ways to make the process easier — ways that can help you save time and energy while producing better content.
One of the most important steps in creating content is research and planning.
Research and planning are not just nice-to-haves — they’re essential to producing successful content that meets your goals and resonates with your audience.
High-quality content isn’t created in a vacuum. It takes research and planning to ensure it meets the needs of your target audience and provides them with real value.