An overlooked benefit of doing content marketing

Two weeks ago I participated in a #Hootchat about content marketing. The Twitter chat began by asking participants to define content marketing. The majority rallied around the idea of educating, informing, helping, and engaging a targeted audience with your brand’s story and relevant content.

What surprised me was that nobody defined content marketing in terms of better understanding your audience and their aspirations. By ignoring the research aspect, they are missing out on the biggest opportunity offered by content marketing and social platforms.

What surprised me was that none of participants defined content marketing as a market research tool. Why not use content marketing to test the appeal of an idea, to refine a concept or a product, or to better grasp what motivates your customers and what challenges them? Why not use content marketing to discover and identify new niches or product opportunities?

Any business gets a lot of qualitative data through what their audience is saying online. Perhaps it’s time to adopt a more strategic approach by including market research as a component of content marketing and social media initiatives. What do you think?