Finding compelling content for content marketing can be a difficult process. If you’re unfamiliar with the term content marketing, it’s the creation and sharing of media to acquire customers.
Content marketing can include:
- Writing blog posts
- Posting status updates or pictures on Facebook
- Sharing videos on YouTube
- Creating infographics for blogs and social media
The more you get into the habit of developing valuable content for your customers, the better your chances of increasing sales. In fact, content marketing can develop three times as many leads when compared to paid search.
To help you develop compelling content ideas, here are some of the top places to search.
- Your Customers – The key to creating compelling marketing content is to address the issues and needs of your customers. Listen to the questions that your customers are asking you. For instance, let’s just say you own a gym. You notice members keep asking you about the best times to exercise. It might be a good idea to write a blog post on this topic.
- Your Colleagues – Ask the people that answer the phones as well as sales staff what customers are telling them. In many cases, customers are voicing questions and problems, which could make for good content ideas. Also consider hosting a formal or informal meeting to hash out potential marketing content topics with your colleagues. Discussing topics with others helps to develop compelling content. If you don’t have the time for a meeting, shoot an email around the office to solicit ideas.
- Set Up Online Alerts – Creating online alerts via Google Alerts on keyword-based issues is an excellent way to get topic ideas. For instance, an auto repair shop owner might be tracking keywords such as “auto repair” or “oil changes” to get email alerts about potential topic ideas. To find out more about online alerts, read our post on online listening.
- Your Products and Services: We’re not talking about advertising your products and services. We’re talking about developing content that helps customers use your products and services. Demonstration videos or an online guide that provides tips on how to use a product are valuable to customers.
- Alltop.com – Alltop is a website that pulls the top content on hundreds of topics from sources across the internet. It’s an excellent tool for keeping up with the latest trends. It’s main purpose is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” It’s packed full of potential content topic ideas for your business.
- Industry Trade Publications – To get a pulse for what is going on in your industry, turn to your trusted industry trade publications. Many of them now offer online and email subscriptions. They’re an excellent source for important statistics, events and emerging trends in your industry.
- Newspapers & Magazines – While readership of print publications may be declining, they are an excellent source for inspiration. Visit a newsstand or visit a few websites. Take a look at the headlines. As an example, examine this headline, “How the New Economy Impacts Your Retirement and 5 Things You Need to Do About It.” Now fill in the blanks with relevant information to your customers “How the New ___________ Impacts Your ___________ and ___________ Things You Need to Do About It.”
- Other Businesses – Sometimes businesses outside of your industry may post something that is interesting and unique. If it’s relevant to your customers, consider building off of the idea. Don’t go ripping it off entirely as it does no good to be exactly like other companies.
- Interview People – Think about getting outside experts to talk about a particular subject or practice that will benefit your customers. Setting up video interviews or even text-based interviews is an excellent source for compelling content. In fact, a video interview could be published on YouTube, your blog and even shared on social media website like Facebook and Twitter.
- Open Your Business Up to Outside Input – Let people know on your blog and social media channels that you’re open to guest postings. You would be amazed at some of the great ideas outsiders have. Plus it saves your business time in the content development department.
As you’re posting content to your marketing channels, pay close attention to your analytics. It will give you some insight into the effectiveness of the content. It can also be a springboard for additional topic ideas.