Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful piece of your content marketing strategy. It helps you increase your visibility online by connecting you with an audience searching for what you’re providing. But SEO isn’t likely to pay off unless you know what your audience is searching for.
That’s where consumer insights come in handy. When you know what people are talking about and searching for online, your content ideation becomes your brand superpower. You can create compelling content that aligns with your audience’s needs.
Then — Boom! — instant matchmaking that will make you look like their hero.
Here’s how consumer insights can help you find your SEO sweet spot and rise in the rankings.
Create Content Around Trending Topics
What does your content ideation process look like? Are you playing copycat with your competitors? Or maybe you’re having brainstorming sessions to toss some idea pasta at the wall and see what sticks?
There are lots of ways to come up with content ideas. Arguably, the most effective way is to use data to drive your content ideation. Data helps you see a good topic “in the wild” before you put time and effort into fleshing it out. You can see whether it’s a topic people actually care about without your own bias getting in the way.
Using consumer insights to help with content ideation brings data into focus. Going beyond basic social listening and media mentions, consumer insights turn data into intel. For instance, Linkfluence combines artificial intelligence (AI), data science, and human expertise to make sense of all the data it collects from social media and other online sources.
The result: you’ll have a better idea of what people are talking about. Look for common denominators in their conversations, such as topics and keywords. You can verify this data against other tools, such as keyword tools that show the monthly search volume of keywords and see if it’s a popular term.
Based on your findings, you can create engaging social media content and blog articles about those topics.
For example, let’s say you’re a cookware brand and want to create content that drives website traffic. Your consumer insights found that lots of people in your target audience are currently trying home delivery meal kits. When you check your keyword tool, like UberSuggest, you see that “meal kits” gets 18,000+ searches each month!
In the example, you’ll also notice this is a highly competitive term, both for organic searches and paid traffic. This word might be hard to rank for, but your keyword tool may have other suggestions that are more achievable.
UberSuggest offered several alternatives that have much lower difficulty ratings:
Bringing this process full circle, it all started with consumer insights — knowing what your audience is talking about. This pointed your keyword research in the right direction. The next step is to build your content marketing around a keyword you can rank for to get in front of your ideal audience.
Match Your Content to User Search Intent
Learning how your audience is talking about a topic is just as important as the topic itself.
For example, if you see the phrase “red sports car,” there’s a lot you can read into this.
Do people want to know the best red sports car out there? Do they want to know its social implications? Are they decorating a man cave with red sports car pictures and accessories? Or are they in the market for a red sports car?
The answer to each of these can vary drastically — and so will the content you create based on that term.
That’s why intent matters. In SEO, search intent refers to the why behind the user’s search. Search intent affects everything from the type of content you create to the format and angle you take. For instance, someone wanting to buy a red sports car will need in-depth comparisons of cars on the market, whereas someone wanting to decorate with red sports cars is looking for products, not actual sports cars.
In general, the reasons people search for content online usually align with one of the following:
Google knows all, or at least, lots of people think it does. That explains why there are more than 8.5 billion Google searches every day. Many people turn to Google or other search engines to find information. It might be about the day’s weather, current headlines, or help with a specific problem. The goal is to find an answer to whatever question they have, then walk away feeling more informed and enriched. There may or may not be any need for further action.
Remember the days before GPS and Google Maps, where everyone would go to Mapquest and print directions? Today we use our smartphones for this, but many people still rely on search engines to find their way. They might type in the name of a local business, for example, to locate its address, phone number, or even its website.
Navigational intent can also refer to locating a specific URL. For instance, if you type Facebook into Google, the first result is Facebook’s home page. Google guesses that most people are trying to reach the website.
Search engines provide a means to navigate the internet. When you’re not sure about a specific URL, just type in the company’s name and Google handles the rest.
Purchase intent is sometimes separated into transactional intent and commercial intent. The ultimate goal is to make a purchase, either immediately or after a user researches their options.
The internet has become a massive marketplace, offering everything from groceries to personal products to live animals and more. Retail eCommerce sales surged nearly 28% during the pandemic, and buying online continues to remain strong.
For transactional intent, users are in the moment and ready to buy. They know what they want and are ready to explore their options and make a decision. For instance, someone searching for “pendant kitchen lights” shows a high transactional intent. They’ve narrowed down their lighting choices and want to see what retailers offer.
The other side of this same coin is commercial investigation. This is where a user is in the consideration stage and wants to explore their options even further. An example of this would be something like “best front-load washing machines.” They’re probably looking for reviews and product comparisons to help them make a decision.
Both types of searchers are usually in buying mode. The main difference is that commercial investigation users need a little more convincing and information to figure out what they want.
How Search Intent Connects to Consumer Insights
Consumer insights come into play in this process by helping brands learn how customers are talking about a topic. This is one way consumer insights go above and beyond basic social listening. By learning the why behind mentions, brands gain a better understanding of what consumers are really talking about.
Use that insight to craft a more compelling content marketing strategy. When you know where your audience is in their interest in a topic, you can better align that topic to your content ideation.
Use the Language Your Audience is Using
Tacking on learning how your audience is talking about a topic, consumer insights can also help you hear the language your audience is using. When you know how they speak, you can create content that uses the same terminology they’re using to create more authentic connections.
Language is an evolving tool. How people spoke 100 years ago is drastically different than how we speak today. We see language differences between generations, too: Gen Z-ers use terms like “hits different” and “spill the tea” and “whole vibe,” but you won’t hear these things from Baby Boomers. Being a drip used to mean being dull and boring, but young people today see being a drip as a good thing — they use it to refer to your style, by the way.
You can also use consumer insights to see whether people are talking about a topic positively, negatively, or neutrally. AI tools like natural language processing work to uncover the meaning behind mentions. For example, someone that posts something in all caps with lots of exclamation points might be elated or angry. Capturing the sentiment behind the conversations allows brands to make strategic decisions on how to approach a topic.
Earn Backlinks from Quality Sources
Backlinking is a big part of SEO. Google views backlinks as a sign of quality. When people are willing to link to your content, you get instant credibility as being a reliable source of information. The more backlinks you have, the more authority you build, at least by Google’s definition.
Social media helps you increase the number of backlinks you receive. It allows you to put your content in front of more people. When more people discover what you have to say, you inherently gain more opportunities for people to link to you. And when your content is high-quality and based on topics people care about, they’re more likely to share it with others and link to it.
Using consumer insights to jumpstart the process can create a domino effect of SEO benefits. Better topics lead to better content, which leads to more engagement, which can generate more backlinks. All that translates into greater authority and higher rankings in search.
Find Influencers to Maximize Your Content Marketing Strategy
Want to grow your online presence even faster? There’s nothing like having an influencer promote your brand on your behalf.
Social media influencers put your brand in front of their following. When you connect with influencers that share your ideal audience, you expand your brand awareness to relevant people. They’re more likely to be interested in what you have to say. Plus, the influencers they trust are vouching for how great you are. That builds instant credibility.
Consumer insights offer a shortcut to finding influencers in your niche. Once you learn who is already talking about you on social media, you can reach out to them and see if you can collaborate together.
With Linkfluence, for example, you can discover your most engaged fans and whether they have large enough followings to help you make an impact through them. See what competitors they’re working with. Get data-driven suggestions on who to work with based on their audience’s interests, engagement, and other details.
The deeper level of intelligence that consumer insights offer removes much of the risk when working with influencers. You can partner with confidence without wondering if their following is genuine.
As their influence grows, so should your website traffic and social media following. More traffic to your website can help you climb in the rankings, especially if your influencers’ followers are engaging with your content beyond one-off hits.
Transforming Your Content Marketing Strategy with Linkfluence
From improving content ideation to sourcing the best influencers, Linkfluence leverages consumer insights to grow your brand in more than one way. With content being the beating heart of modern digital marketing strategies, brands can improve their content creation to better resonate with their audiences.
Put the power of data and consumer insights behind your content creation. Get a demo to see how Linkfluence makes it happen!