Like most content creators with a mind for search engine optimization, you understand the importance of thorough keyword research. It’s at the heart of developing an effective inbound marketing strategy. And for any given piece of content, it’s crucial in determining which keywords you should focus on when it actually comes time to write.
What you may not realize, however, is that keyword research is only part of the equation. It’s not enough to devise a list of potential topics without context. You also need to know what people are saying about those topics and how they feel about them.
This is especially important with topics where there may be some degree of controversy. And if you don’t know what side of an issue your audience falls on prior to writing? There’s a very good chance you’ll end up leaving a significant portion of your audience feeling alienated.
Let’s say, for instance, that you decide to write about non-fungible tokens (NFTs). If your audience is against them and you attempt to cast them in a positive light, you can and will lose their interest and likely their trust. Similarly, if your audience is involved in cryptocurrency and you try to claim NFTs are the same as Bitcoin, most people probably won’t appreciate the comparison.
As for where you can conduct this kind of research? That’s the good news. You have a nearly limited well of information upon which you can draw, including:
- Social media. Figure out the social networks on which both your audience and your competitors are most accurate, and pay careful attention to comments, shares, mentions, and hashtags. This will not only allow you to gauge sentiment around a broad range of topics, but also regarding your brand as a whole. For ‘trendy’ news, Twitter will typically be the best bet.
- Ratings and reviews. Although generally more useful for determining direct sentiment around your brand, customer reviews also have the potential to provide unexpected inspiration for both possible topics and the approach you should take with them.
- Customer surveys. Provided you can properly incentivize your audience to take them, surveys are easily the best way to gauge sentiment on virtually any topic. These could be offered via email, on your website, or even through your existing social channels.
Ultimately, sentiment analysis is about more than simply figuring out tone and angle. That’s really only part of it. What’s more important is that it helps you understand who your audience is and how they think.
And from that understanding, you can brainstorm more compelling topics and express them in a way that’s much more likely to resonate.