Validating your messaging and copy before it’s released out into the wild, can save you huge headaches in the form of tanking conversion rates and confused customers.
Validating content before it is written is an essential step to ensure that your content creation efforts are focused on topics and ideas that will resonate with your target audience and align with your overall content strategy.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to validate content ideas before you start writing:
Define Your Content Goals:
Begin by clearly defining the goals and objectives of your content. What do you want to achieve with this piece of content? Are you aiming to inform, entertain, educate, or inspire your audience? Understanding your goals will help shape your content ideas.
Identify Your Target Audience:
Determine who your target audience is for this specific piece of content. Create detailed buyer personas to understand their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences. This will guide your content validation process.
Content Topic Generation:
Brainstorm a list of potential content topics and ideas based on your goals and target audience. Encourage input from your content team, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders.
Use keyword research tools (e.g., Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs) to identify relevant keywords and phrases related to your potential content topics. Pay attention to keyword search volume, competition, and trends.
Analyze content produced by your competitors or industry leaders on similar topics. Look for gaps or opportunities to provide unique insights, perspectives, or additional value.
Content Relevance and Alignment:
Evaluate each potential content idea against your content strategy and brand identity. Ensure that the ideas align with your brand’s messaging, tone, and style.
Content Format and Type:
Determine the most suitable content format for each idea. Consider options such as blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, case studies, whitepapers, or social media updates. Choose formats that resonate with your audience and align with your goals.
Audience Feedback and Surveys:
If possible, conduct surveys or seek feedback directly from your target audience to understand their interests and preferences. This can provide valuable insights into the types of content they find most engaging and useful.
Content Validation Criteria:
Develop a set of criteria to evaluate and prioritize content ideas. Criteria may include relevance to your audience, search volume of keywords, alignment with business goals, and potential for virality or shareability.
Scalability and Resources:
Consider your team’s capacity and available resources when validating content ideas. Ensure that you can realistically create and promote the content within your constraints.
Content Calendar Integration:
If you have a content calendar in place, make sure the validated content ideas fit into your publishing schedule and overall strategy. Balance the mix of content types and topics over time.
Final Selection and Approval:
Based on the validation criteria and insights gathered, prioritize and select the content ideas that are most likely to succeed. Obtain final approval from relevant stakeholders before proceeding with content creation.
Outline and Research:
Once you’ve chosen a validated content idea, create an outline and conduct any necessary research to gather data, statistics, and supporting information.
Create a Content Brief:
Develop a detailed content brief that includes the chosen topic, target audience, objectives, key messages, format, and any specific guidelines for the content creator.
Finally, assign the content creation task to the appropriate team member or writer, and provide them with the content brief. Ensure that the writer adheres to the brief and the validation criteria throughout the content creation process.
By following this content validation process, you can significantly improve the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts, increase audience engagement, and achieve your content goals more efficiently.