How to use UX Research Methods to Validate Your Content Strategy
Simply having a content strategy does not in any way guarantee success. Even if there has been a team of workers who have spent countless hours conceptualizing, formulating, and planning a well-rounded approach, how do you really know if it will resonate with your target market? As a top digital marketing firm, we wanted to share How to use UX Research Methods to Validate your Content Strategy which will help ensure that you don’t end up in the position of having a strategy fall flat after launch because it wasn’t properly tested.
The primary purpose of content marketing should be to put customers first which means providing them with valuable information they want and need and placing it in front of them to be discovered. This in turn can lead to a purchase decision or conversion.
The idea of a UX strategy is to also put users first, by creating services, products, or experiences that help users accomplish goals or tasks. Understanding how people think and what motivates their actions is a critical building block in designing experiences and creating content that provides value which is why combining these two disciplines is so effective.
Ways to use UX Research Methods for Validation
There are four primary methods utilized by most businesses for UX research:
Looking at content consumption and social habits are both valuable methods to understand and build customer mental models. Similar to a buyer persona, a mental model compiles data surrounding behavior and actions to craft an assumed thought process. Social channels, web analytics, or web discussion groups which can be found on Reddit or LinkedIn can all provide useful information to help build a thought process for the mental model. The benefit to the business is a better understanding of how the audience thinks and solves problems which can direct the type of content being created.
Field research and conducting research can help create better buyer personas. This information should be gathered and then reviewed from the buyer’s perspective rather than the business point of view to better understand and identify opportunities that would appeal to the buyer. Understanding the customer’s activities, goals, challenges, and problems can be learned in conversations, surveys, or simply by observation. This allows a better understanding of how content will be consumed and when.
Turning Data into Strategy
Once data and information have been compiled and analyzed, more in-depth buyer personas and mental models can be created. These, in turn, will be invaluable in creating the content strategy. By using insights and feedback, the strategy will have a better focus from the start.
This information should be periodically reviewed and considered during the entire process from the content calendar topics to media buys to creating assets that support the overall strategy. By not only understanding how the audience thinks and solves problems which will enhance content creation, delivery of that content should be driven by the personas and understanding when, where, and how that content should be delivered for the best results.
Testing can and should also take place to validate the research results. Content testing is a fantastic way to determine of the copy itself, bereft of images and elements, can communicate information effectively. This type of testing should happen earlier in the planning phases to confirm that content topics, ideas, messaging, and approach will resonate as expected with the personas that were used to plan them.
This is different compared to usability testing, which is a common aspect of UX research. The focus instead is on confirming the framework created based on research prior to full-scale implementation.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that using UX Research Methods to validate your content strategy is smart business. UX research methods are invaluable in marketing especially when it comes to designing and implementing a content strategy because they help to uncover a market’s needs and priorities by listening to the biggest expert on the subject; the audience.
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