Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Eight Questions To Generate Content Marketing Ideas
Posted on December 16th 2013
Developing engaging content is driven by finding original, relevant and timely ideas for your content marketing. However, this was also identified as the the most difficult challenge in the latest Content Marketing Institute survey. So where do your ideas come from? One way to find content ideas that will engage your audience is ask yourself the following eight questions.
1. What are the industry pain points?
You can start by asking your own teams, what do they think are the real challenges facing the industry. You should also talk to customers and develop buyer personas. As you gain insights into what they need and what keeps them awake at night you can identify the pain points. You can then work with your own teams to develop helpful content or perspectives on how to address these pain points. Another way to help address industry pain points is to create case studies showing how businesses have overcome common challenges and the lessons that can be learnt from their experience. Writing about pain points really gets an engaging conversation going.
2. What questions are your customers asking?
One of the best forms of content is addressing customer questions. This is even more important with Google's more semantic search approach. The more you answer customer questions the more customers will find you via Google. Talk to your sales people and ask them what questions customers are asking or mine your forums. Remember every question is a potential new piece of content.
3. What are people talking about?
What are the current topics of conversation in your industry? You can use curation tools such as Scoop.it or Storify initially to explore the latest content in your topic area. You can also search out what are people talking about in the more popular LinkedIn groups or Google+ communities. You can then identify where you can add value to the conversations taking place and interact with people to explore the issues further. Another important source of data is to research the articles that are being shared most on the various Social Networks. You can do free topic searches with tools such as Topsy and BuzzSumo. A further step is to identify the key influencers and check what they are talking about. The key is to take Robert Rose's advice when researching content ideas to "go out and see what the zeitgeist is about a particular topic."
4. What are your brand stories?
Coca-Cola say they want to develop brand stories that provoke conversations. Their dynamic storytelling approach involves developing incremental elements of a brand idea that get dispersed systematically across multiple channels to create a unified brand experience. Thus ask yourself:
- what are your brand stories?
- in what ways will they provoke conversations?
- what are the incremental content elements that you can use across channels to create a unified experience?
5. What does the data whisperer say?
According to Coca-Cola data is the new soil in which new ideas grow. Jonathan Mildenhall, their VP of Global Advertising Strategy, says "data whisperers will become the new messiahs.” There is something in this, so identify your data whisperers and talk through with them ideas suggested by the data analysis. You can also review your own content and assess what is working for you. Where is your content most shared and engaged with? What were the top five pieces of content you produced in the last year and more importantly why?
6. What are your competitors doing?
You may not have the monopoly on good ideas. It is useful to keep an idea on what is working for your competitors. In addition to researching their sites and content, you can type their name or url in Topsy or Buzzsumo to see what content from your competitors is being shared the most. What competitor content is finding traction and why?
7. What is happening outside your industry?
Read about a completely different subject and think about what may be relevant to your industry. I often find some of my best ideas come from looking outside my immediate industry. Read widely. Read a magazine or blog each week from different industry sectors and identify ideas which could be applied to your business. For example, what can you learn from the latest architectural ideas, the latest in biotechnology, the latest car designs, etc.
8. What is the latest industry news and what are the trends?
I have left this until last because in many ways this is the easiest question to address. If you are immersed in your industry you will know the trends and latest thinking. However, we can all become obsolete, you need to keep up by reviewing the latest RSS feeds, the latest surveys and industry reports. You can also conduct your own surveys to provide new insights. Every insight is potentially a piece of great content.
Hopefully by asking yourself these eight questions you will generate a wide range of content ideas for your content marketing.