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Question Research: The Best Kept Content Creation Secret

Jul 20,2021
Question Research: The Best Kept Content Creation Secret

Even before the COVID19 outbreak content creators and brands were struggling to create content that makes them memorable. A combination of already established names and constant changes in algorithms made content marketing a living hell for smaller businesses and newbies.


And now - the pandemic and TikTok launched an entirely new generation of creators that lifted the bar even higher. Yes, they crushed limits, changed the rules of the game, and opened so many new possibilities with their amazing content ideas. But, we're all aware that a "brand" is something completely different from an "individual".


So how do you compete with them?


You post content that resonates with your audience.


Don't roll your eyes just yet - bear with me. It's not what you think.


How to create high-quality content?


First of all - what is considered to be high-quality content?


High-quality content is content that:

  • Resonates with your audience
  • Resolves their problem
  • Answers their needs.


In other words - quality content is optimized content.


So now you're thinking about the classic SEO and keyword research.


While following basic SEO guidelines is crucial, in an oversaturated market keyword research alone won't do much. Unless you're in a super-specific niche that targets a unique buyer persona, chances are that these keywords are already covered, and the competition is too strong.


So how do you compete? How do you create effective content that will turn you into a thought leader?


The answer is "questions."


How to Run Question Research?


Keep in mind - this is not a shortcut. But it is something that will level up your inbound marketing efforts.


Here's a step-by-step process.


Step 1 - Keyword research

This research will not only help you come up with sets of keywords you want to target, but it will also help you organize your content in topic clusters.


Make sure to check if they are trending, what's the volume and how hard it is to rank for them. If the primary keyword is too hard to compete for, check out the suggestions.


Once you've created the sets of primary keywords you wish to target, you can proceed to the next step.


Step 2 - Question research

Now take each of those keywords and run them through a program like:

  • MarketMuse
  • Ask the Public
  • Ubersuggest


There are many other programs, but these are the ones I personally use.


Ask the Public and Ubersuggest offers limited free research. So if you're not ready to invest, you can start with one of these two.


But, what are these questions?


These are the questions users type into search engines to find the answers they really want.


And since it's the search engine's "duty" to show the answer that resonates the most to the query, wouldn't it be nice if you would be the one to offer the best possible answer to that question?


This is why it's important to focus on pulling out the questions for which you really feel like you can offer a unique point of view. This is a chance for your expertise to shine!


When you create a list of questions per topic, proceed to the next step.


Step 3 - Competition research

If you're not using any research and content optimization programs, simply type in a keyword into the search engine and go through the first ten articles.


What questions did they cover?


This will help you see the loopholes in their content! So no matter how big they are and what their authority is - if a user types in the question you included in the headings/subheadings of your article, your content piece will be more likely to pop up.


Benefits of question research


Question research will help you:

  • Create 10x content, aka content that is ten times better than the highest-ranking result for a given keyword(s).
  • Position yourself as a thought leader, as you'll be covering the exact questions your audience is typing into that search bar.
  • Create very targeted content that will attract your buyer personas.
  • Say goodbye to content creation fatigue. This will come especially handy for creating social media content.
  • Save time writing on general topics that are already covered. Focus your efforts on creating content that resonates with your niche.
  • Content optimization. When running a content audit, knowing beforehand what your audience is really wondering about will help you grade existing content and outline the optimization process in a much more effective way.

I am an art historian turned content strategist who spends days exploring what makes people tick on all channels of communication. I love making sense of data, exploring new AI tools and crafting compelling content that raises brand authority. This doesn’t really come as a surprise considering my background – Interwar propaganda art that earned her two MA degrees and articles in international scientific journals.

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