Content Ideas … Sweet Spots for Successful Content Marketing Results
It happens to all of us. Coming up with something new and different is very difficult. Finding those content ideas sweet spots can be most frustrating.
Check out our thoughts on creative marketing.
It seemed like every single content marketing idea that I had just come up with was already readily available on Google. So it was important to identify a customer sweet spot or sweet spot strategies.
And when it came to social media content and content marketing these names—Neil Patel, Kevan Lee, Belle Beth Cooper, and Garrett Moon—kept popping up again, and again, and again.
When I was a budding content marketer, I was distraught, and yet curious. How were these people able to come up with all these content marketing ideas and topics—some of which had barely germinated in my mind? Were they extraordinarily creative? Were they even mortal?
There’s a reason B2B companies are spending 55% of their annual marketing budget on content production and creation.
It pays great dividends.
Be trend spotter
Be like Nostradamus from time to time by making predictions about the direction of your industry.
It may feel a bit risky—will readers come back and call you out if you turn out to be wrong?—but it’s a great way to expand your horizons when coming up with new topics to cover.
You don’t need a crystal ball to make this work.
Just stay informed about your industry and share educated predictions with your audience.
More ideas for you: Amazing Ways to Create Winning Ideas for Change
Improve on others topics and work
You probably already have a list of blogs and publications that you look up to and hope to emulate one day.
Why not start emulating them right away?
Have a look at their top posts, and come up with similar ones, but better. There’s a reason why these blog posts did well for them, and if your target audience overlaps with theirs, you can be sure that this will be a win.
Backlinko’s Brian Dean calls this the skyscraper technique. Here are four ways that you can make your post superior to the original (Thanks, Brian!):
Make it more detailed
Go for broke, and find 100 ways to do help your audience instead of just 50. Making a comprehensive guide gives your audience a one-stop solution for what they’re searching for, shows your expertise and builds your credibility.
Bring it up-to-date
A list post that did well in 2015 will likely do well again in 2016, and the year after, and so on. Build on what you know already works with your more recent knowledge.
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Make it more visual
An infographic that visualizes text content that resonated with readers will certainly attract more attention. Heck, infographics are some of the most-shared types of social media content, and content with visuals included about every 100 words can grow your shares by 30%.
A big reason for running out of writing inspiration feels like you must hold in your emotions.
Here’s the thing: Readers appreciate it when you do, and it makes your content a lot more relatable.
Go ahead and express how you feel about stuff from time to time. For example, are you excited about that upcoming trade show, or are you dreading it?
Expressing your emotions should open up many new possibilities for spicing up your blog.
Content ideas … share inside stories
Let readers in on how your company operates by occasionally sharing inside stories about interesting happenings.
Giving them a glimpse “behind the curtain” will keep them engaged and give you a lot more interesting fodder for your blog.
For example, in the weeks leading up to an important product launch, create posts about how the company is preparing.
When important new employees come on board, share the news.
Content ideas for blogs … listen to what your customers are asking
Think that it’s hard to come up with content marketing ideas for your niche? Try doing it for a pool company, and you’ll realize the true meaning of hard.
Back in 2009, Marcus Sheridan’s company River Pools and Spas was able to use content marketing to dominate the pool industry. His solution for coming up with topics is exceedingly simple: To answer his customers’ questions.
“The problem in my industry and a lot of industries is you don’t get a lot of great search results [online] because most businesses don’t want to give answers; they want to talk about their company,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.
Be personable and show your personality
Writing blog posts is much easier when you keep it personable. Still, because it represents your company, your blog should maintain an adequate level of professionalism.
Spice up blog posts with occasional quips about how you’re thinking or feeling about certain topics. Write as if you are having a face-to-face conversation.
Everything else will fall into place from there.
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All too often, B2B blogs merely skim the surface of the topics that matter to their audiences. Generic, fluffy posts are easy to churn out, to be sure, but they leave a lot to be desired.
Your industry blog will be far more compelling when you delve deeply into topics from time to time. If you’re worried about holding your audience’s interest through such topics, create a series of posts to break things up into digestible chunks.
This has the bonus of keeping your readers coming back for more.
Do interesting interviews
I know, you’re not a journalist.
However, getting out there and interviewing important people in your industry is a great way to come up with interesting topics for your blog.
Of course, you don’t have to interview people face to face.
Through email and social media, you should be able to conduct at least occasional interviews that will give you all kinds of blog fodder.
Okay, that sounds like fluff, but hear me out.
People love stories. It’s built into us—we can’t help but look for the story in everything. This is because it’s “a way for humans to feel that we have control over the world.”
And you are most uniquely qualified to talk about your stories. I don’t mean for you to make up fictional tales.
Talk about your journey, struggles, and opinions. For example, what are your goals, and how are you trying to achieve them? Groove’s Alex Turnbull managed to build out a popular blog out of their singular mission: To reach $100,000 (and now $500,000) in revenue.
A B2B blog needn’t be stodgy or overly prim and proper (in fact, quite the opposite).
Like Buzzfeed does, create posts in a list format, publishing listicles from time to time.
Listicles are easy to write and fun to read even if they are written on dry topics.
Don’t over promote
Yes, you primarily write on your B2B blog to promote your business.
However, constantly posting overtly promotional posts is not the way to go.
Tooting your own horn from time to time is fine, but don’t let that become the overriding theme of your entire blog.
Your audience will be bored to tears, and they’ll probably be annoyed to boot.
Use a variety of media
Internet users dislike being presented with walls of text.
A great way to enhance your industry blog is to sprinkle it with relevant images, videos, and other media.
Get a subscription to a stock photography service to ensure you have plenty of options at your disposal.
Include your photos, videos, and other creations too to keep your audience engaged.
Sprinkle in facts and data
Online, you can find statistics and other data about virtually any topic under the sun.
Fill your posts with data from reliable sources to make it more engaging and useful.
Don’t stop there, though. Share statistics and other data regarding your business and industry too. In other words, be your source.
Use your expertise
Since you own a B2B, you are surely very knowledgeable about topics that relate to your industry.
Kick things up a notch by focusing your attention on a very niche area, and learn everything you can about it.
By becoming an authority on a particular subject, you will be swimming with ideas that matter to your audience.
As you learn new things, additional ideas will spring to mind more easily.
Tackle tough issues
B2B blogs often tend to shy away from especially difficult topics. Not always a good move.
Getting to the bottom of something that tends to stump people who rely on your products or services requires a lot of work, but it also gives you incredible ammunition for generating interesting blog posts.
Zero in on issues nobody seems to be trying to resolve, and commit yourself to solving them.
Whether you’re successful or not, share your findings with your audience.
Share findings from research efforts
Use research to quickly and easily find ideas to share with others. Share the results, and comment on them in your posts.
Don’t be afraid to seek out surveys and polls from other sources.
Even if they are not very recent, they will probably be interesting to your audience, and creating posts around them is fun and easy.
Tie posts to current events
If a newsworthy event impacts your industry—even if only tangentially—go ahead and write an article about it.
On social media, this has the bonus of potentially having your post appear in trending topic feeds.
Don’t go too far, though. You may find yourself trying to tie every current event to your industry, and that just won’t fly.
When it makes sense to do so, however, this tactic can work wonders.
Integrate related topics
Write crossover blog posts that tie seemingly disparate ideas together from time to time.
For example, let’s say you run a business that provides uniforms to the hospitality industry.
You spend time marketing your business too, so why not write a post that explains how the right uniforms can enhance your marketing efforts?
This is great because it subtly promotes your products while allowing you to showcase your expertise in a whole new way.
The bottom line
Don’t let what you know … limit what you can imagine or maybe even dream. Confidence never comes from having all the answers. It comes from being prepared for, and open to, new ideas and questions. Prepare your mind for new ways of thinking. Only then will you take advantage of all the business lessons learned.
Need some help in building better customer insights from your customer engagement? Creative ideas to help grow your customer base?
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Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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