The web is saturated with content. Much of it is little more than a basic overview of a subject re-purposed into a multitude of forms. Research based content delivers a distinct advantage, but delivering that content is a major issue.
The costs of prospect focussed content production are low. If AI-generated content continues to improve at its current rate those production costs will go lower still. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, levels of content saturation will continue to grow.
What this ultimately means for the search engines is an interesting topic discussed elsewhere.
Content For New vs Existing Customers
We have discussed the benefits of existing customer-focussed content vs prospect content elsewhere on this blog. It is far easier to reach out to existing customers and/or prospects with some awareness of who you are and what you do.
If you intend to target those using a search engine to seek out information, then most topics (and keyword phrases) are already well covered. The chances of ranking a new prospect focussed piece of content on Google are low. There are opportunities to rank on other search engines but Google has by far the largest share of search.
Investing in research-based content will improve the chances of prospect focused content ranking on Google. That said, it will remain difficult against established competition with (perceived) higher authority.
Benefits Of Research Based Content
The three main benefits of research-based content are:
- Research as a distinguishing factor
- Target prospects needs
Original research sets your content apart from the rest. It is not the same old content regurgitated in a different form. It has depth, it makes the prospect think, makes them compare, gives them insights.
That is of value and it raises the perception of you as a supplier. You become someone who may be worth talking to. The customer may perceive that you can bring a different approach to the challenges they face.
If you know the customer or prospect (see ABM/ABS below) and you know the challenges they face that should focus your research. Unlike most prospect focussed content, it is no longer hit and hope. Focus your content on a known target customer (or group of customers) problem. Research the issues and outline a potential solution.
If your content addresses a problem, is credible and has some depth it builds trust. Your business will be perceived as a thought leader with something valuable to contribute.
Account Based Sales And Marketing
Of course, organic search results are not the only way of reaching prospects. There is a valid argument that if a customer has some issue they are unlikely to dive straight into a search engine. Why? Because most of their queries will return the same old fluff content (see above) that delivers no depth or value. Often, there are other sources of information they will consult first.
If your business is using an Account Based Sales approach, your carefully created research-based content will probably reach its target. If an Account Based Marketing approach runs in parallel then suitable contacts in your CRM can be reached directly via email or other means.
A business running a target driven approach to marketing with no focus on key accounts (existing or prospect) and a marketing department isolated from the rest of the business is unlikely to succeed with a research-based content approach. To be blunt, that approach is the prime reason so much fluff content exists. That is why research-based content is a distinguishing factor.
There is no doubt creating research-based content is time-consuming. It generally requires engagement by various parts of the business. You need to invest time upfront to identify areas where customers are having difficulty, where your business can help. We suggest the potential returns generally justify those costs.
Should you need any help with your content strategy or content production please get in touch and we will be happy to help.