How to Generate Ideas for Effective Content Marketing

Internet business owner? You’re tired of hearing “content is king“… but find it difficult to keep publishing.

You’re looking to generate more leads. Perhaps, that’s the reason why you’re trying to blog consistently. Perhaps, that’s why you’re stepping up your Facebook Page or Pinterest for your biz.

You hear this advice over and over and over and over. Pat Flynn tells you to be everywhere. Neil Patel told you that “your most valuable marketing channel is your blog.”

Unfortunately, it’s you have little time to keep up with constantly producing content. You know the success stories. You know that Intercom and Neil Patel use content to nurture their prospects. Regardless, you’re stuck. You don’t know where to start.

You’re not inspired to spend your personal time or your money to produce content, because you DO NOT feel strongly about a topic.

Website content brings big results for your internet business. You will not only drive leads, great content also increases sales. Think of content as information you give to your prospects, before asking them to buy anything.

Content before buying is the formula. It’s about warming them up. Regularly serving great content is like going on dates, before proposing for marriage. They got to know you before you asked them to buy. It’s a sneak peek. That’s why Buffer tirelessly publishes blog posts for you.

The Internet as well as the offline world will never run out of content ideas for your website, blog, or social media accounts. That’s why our eyes and ears are glued to them.

Look at your glowing rectangles: your smartphone and laptop. The reason your customers and prospects keep looking at them is there’s something new to see and listen to. They keep unlocking that iPhone, hoping that there’s something shiny in their email inbox or Twitter feed. Whether that’s breaking news or a funny video, they know their Facebook feed has it.

The next time they unlock their device and scroll down, you want the customer’s eyes on your new content.

Now, imagine a business that doesn’t publish regularly. Doomed. Kaput.

How can you drive strangers to your website if you’re not showing up on their feed? If you’re nowhere to be found on a Google search, they’ll go to your competitor’s website. How would you keep past and existing clients engaged if there’s nothing new and noteworthy to hear from you?

Content is huge for your business goals. The irony is that as valuable as it is to create content, it can also be the hardest thing to do for any business. It’s not always about the “writer’s block.” The key is to create content that is most likely to work.

Especially if you’re a founder, how do you get content ideas? Aren’t you too busy working on strategy and building the product? How will you write content… heck, how do you even identify what topics to publish about?

Understand what works

Some articles perform better than others. Some tweets trend while most don’t. Take advantage of this data!

Start by checking out the analytics. Some things you need to look out for:

  • What are trending topics?
  • What keywords are being used on hashtags and posts?
  • What are influential people talking about?

If you’re on Twitter, for example, your Twitter Analytics will tell you which posts are working or being shared far more than others. Another tool is BuzzSumo. You can look at what’s performing best about a topic.

Answer what is being asked

What are the most common questions people tend to ask about your business? What did they ask on your most recent sales call?

By answering questions, you add a unique flavor to topics that are already in demand.

FAQs can be found everywhere. Check your past emails, Quora question history and other medium you like to use. There might be customer issues you missed, that you can answer and turn into pieces of content.

I was advising a client over Facebook Messenger… Her reaction is “I should print this conversation!”

Your digital conversation history shows you recurring subjects. Whenever great insights pop up, look at them closely. You’ll see common conversation patterns. At some point, you’ll feel that you have to publish an article about a topic, instead of manually answering it 7 times a day… over and over and over.

Don’t just read! Practice what you’re learning: free video presentation – How to Generate Effective Content Marketing Topics from Quora.

Take inspiration from what works

Sure, there’s no shortage of content. Your social feed literally doesn’t end. Ever.

That doesn’t mean that you just copy paste everything. Remix them then add your own flavor. Make it your own. Add your unique voice into the subject.

You don’t want to just add to the noise. You want to add your unique, meaningful voice.

Some trends just appear out of nowhere. Popular videos like Gangnam Style got 1M views in a matter of days. Memes never go out of style. There’s always something new that finds itself highly relevant, even just for 3 months. More than enough to change the future of your business. You can also check out trending TED Talks for inspiration. Be among the TED speakers who create multiple hits, always updating their game to what currently works.

The sources are endless. To start you off, here are some good sites to check for trending topics:

To add to that, check this out. This infographic about how to write compelling content when you don’t have an idea should jump start you into coming up with ideas and start drafting one:

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

5 tools for generating content ideas

Coming up with content ideas is not something you just pull out of nowhere. Remember the “what works” concept? It should be based on real data about what people already read.

There are tools that can be used to discover and develop content ideas. I already mentioned some of of these tools, but let me expound more:

1. Google Trends

Google Trends is where you can take a lot at what topics people are currently talking about. Trending topics are what can grab your reader’s attention. No one wants to read old news, you know. You have to keep yourself up-to-date at what’s buzzing.

This is a helpful tool that shows current events and news. You also get a peek of what’s trending in business, in the startup world, as well as what people are looking for at a particular time.

You can search by keywords. You will be presented with topics about that keyword, or related content based on what people are looking for. Once you know what people are talking about, you can cater your content ideas based on that. Or even tweak it a bit so you can produce the type of content your target customers are looking for.

2. Quora

Where great minds, and influential people, converge. One of the leading Q and A sites, where there is an answer to anything and everything under the sun.

Experts and thought leaders are on Quora now. Startup business owners like you can get tips and lessons from the people who’s been there and done that.

Have a question to ask? No problem. Just add your questions on there and you will get answers the soonest possible time.

Have thoughts to share? Everyone is welcome to post answers, provide tips and share their ideas.

Mark Zuckerberg answers questions on Quora. He’s with Barack Obama, Jimmy Wales, and Justin Trudeau. You can join them too.

If you don’t know how Quora works yet, here’s an explainer video about how this FAQ site works:

3. Facebook and Twitter

At the time of writing, people are paying attention to Facebook and Twitter. Can’t ignore them.

If you look beyond what people recently had for dessert or where they went for vacation, you will find that these two social giants are full of content ideas.

Ok, so people are buying this and that gadget. And they seem to like that new product. People are liking and following that new startup. A hot topic is flooding the newsfeeds. There must be something in those stuff! And you definitely have to be on that same boat.

Take advantage of the time you spend liking or retweeting your friends’ posts. Gather content ideas from recent, trending and hashtagged posts on these social sites. You will never run out of topics to write about.

4. Buzzsumo

BuzzSumo is a web app that lets you see the most shared posts within your topic choice or even your industry. If you want to know what topic is performing best that is related to yours, then this is the tool for that.

It doesn’t “beat around the bush” as they say. It gives you straight up the most relevant content on the topic that you chose. On top of that, you can view backlinks and how many times the content has been shared on social sites.

Another good thing about BuzzSumo is that you can filter results if you want written articles, infographics, videos or all of them in one result.

5. Google Keyword Planner

For the marketing-savvy, Google Keyword Planner can be a useful tool especially if you already have an existing keyword. This tool helps you check if the keyword you have is of value. How popular the keyword is and how many people have searched for it. Aside from that, it also gives you related keywords, other keywords that people are searching for.

Marketers use this to gather keywords not only for their articles but also for SEO purposes. If your primary goal is to check how competitive the keywords you plan on adding to your posts, then this is the tool for you.

Over to you!

Ideas for website content are everywhere, hiding in plain sight.

Seriously, you don’t have to look far. If it works, it works for you just the same.

Remember the last post you shared on Facebook? That has traits of what works, so don’t let those patters get past you. Collect them and use as inspiration.

Ok, if you’re ready to begin click here to practice what you read with this free video presentation: How to Generate Effective Content Marketing Topics from Quora.

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