Every child is a content marketer; the problem is staying a content marketer when you grow up.
You might recognise the above quote; well you might not as I have amended it ever so slightly. The famous quote from one of the greatest artists of all time, Pablo Picasso, should read “Every child is an artist; the problem is staying an artist when you grow up”
What does this have to do with content marketing I hear you say, the connection here is creativity. Being a content marketer is a bit like being an artist, you need to be creative and think outside the box. As children we are encouraged to use our imagination but as we grow up the reality of life takes over and our imagination becomes a distant memory.
Coming up with content ideas for Social Media and Blogs
I see it most weeks with clients who are running their own businesses; too caught up in the day to day management they forget how to be creative. Don’t get me wrong, creating great content ideas is not easy, even professional journalists struggle but it CAN be done, and on a regular basis.
One client in particular stands out; they really wanted to embrace Content Marketing, He wanted to start blogging and using Facebook to engage with his audience and promote his brand online. However, he was really struggling to create content and had no idea what to post, update, or tweet! They spent hours trying to come up with content.
We gave our client a few tips, which are summarised below:
Sources for Content Inspiration
It’s not always easy to come up with a content idea that will lead to an interesting post and get lots of Like and Shares. So we recommend you get organised before and create a list of resources to help you find great ideas for content. Here are a few to help you along the way:
1. Customer Conversations
Everyone within your organisation (as well as you) has spoken to a customer or potential customer at some point; it is your/ their role to understand how they think, what problems they face and what they want. Use questions that you have been asked by customers to create content, if one customer has asked it, you can guarantee potential customers are thinking it. Take time and meet with staff and thrash out questions you have been asked, write them down and generate topics for content. For example:
Travel Agent Operator:
Question from Potential Customer: Hi, we are interested in travelling to South America next year on holiday but we aren’t sure what destinations to visit, would you recommend anywhere in particular?
Content Idea: 7 Places You Have to Visit in South America Blog or Post stunning mages of destinations in South America on Facebook
Übersuggest is one of the best and most user-friendly tools for getting keyword suggestions. Literally, all you need to do is type in a keyword or phrase and it will automatically provide suggestions of related keywords. For example, we entered “reboot iPhone” into the search bar below –
It generated over 281 keywords or phrases but we whittled it down to a few here below.
How can you use this?
This list has generated numerous opportunities for content for writing a blog, creating a how-to video, or a manual on how to “reboot iPhone without power button working”. Übersuggest scrapes Google suggest, which is powered by search volume data from Google users and is one of the most powerful, accurate and FREE keyword suggestion tools on the planet!
3. Trending Topics
With the growth of the online world, the word “Trending” has become more and more prevalent. Everyone from Facebook to BBC News has a trending section on their website. And you should be using it. They sap the most popular topics from around the world in real time and post them online. It is a world of content just waiting to be explored. Find something that your audience might be interested in or something in your industry and share your opinion on it.
Check out the below links and started creating some relevant content now!
4. Google Analytics
Every business that has a website should have access to their Google Analytics accounts. (If you don’t, call your web developer now). Google Analytics tracks and generates reports on all traffic to a website. This tool can give you a great insight into your user’s online behaviour and viewing habits.
If you have a search bar feature on your website you must set up site search in Google Analytics. It can give you all sorts of insights and ideas that you may never have thought of before. This reporting measure will inform you how people interact with the search functionality on your website, in other words it will give you the exact search term users have entered into the search box.
These insights will be very useful in creating content, for example on a boat hire website, the search term “boat license” is searched over 100 times a month. This indicates that a lot of users want information on boat licenses, thus creating content (blog: 7 things you need to know about boat licenses) around boat licenses could be valuable and relevant to their audience. Check out the screenshots below, the Site Search section is found under Behaviour in Google Analytics, get utilising it now!
Google Analytics allows you to determine your website most popular pages. In the Behaviour section of Google Analytics, the tab Site Content allows you to view your most visited pages. Typically on most websites, the Homepage will be your highest viewed page so you should pay particular attention to the next highest ranked pages. If it is a particular blog post or product, perhaps you could try creating similar content or content that compliments the product.
Wait a minute; you need to consider these points before you begin:
Now that you have some really fantastic ideas for content, you need to think a little bit more strategically before you write and publish it. See this checklist below:
- Objective of the Content: Think about why you are posting the content, if you don’t have a good reason for posting it; it’s likely that it is not very good. On the other hand if it is to educate your audience, encourage a purchase, or generate traffic to your website, go full steam ahead.
- Does it match my business goals: What is your business trying to achieve, do you want to grow sales by 25% online or do you want to expand your social media reach? Your content can contribute to helping you reach those goals? For instance if your goal is to increase online sales, you should try and create content that informs and educates your audience about your products and services (not all promotional content).
- Know your target audience: In order for your content to work, it must be centred and written for your target audience. You must be aware of your audience’s needs, what they like, what they will react to and how they can be influence (it isn’t easy but is possible)
- Is it valuable for my followers: Ask yourself the question, if I seen this on Facebook or received it in an email would I find it interesting, valuable or relevant? If the answer is no, bin it and start again.
- Emotional appeal: The aim of content marketing is to create emotions that trigger action, whether it is to sign up for an email newsletter or purchase a product online, we want to influence consumers by evoking emotion. Aim for your content to add interest via emotional appeal, whether it is humour, fear, appreciation, sadness, shock or happiness.
In summary, there are endless resources to inspire you to create content for your website blog, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube Channel. Harness them and start creating relevant, valuable content for your audience.
I started this blog with a quote from an extremely influential person in history so I will finish it with another.
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein
If you are a business owner or senior manager, have a go at creating some content, as Einstein states, it’s contagious and will only benefit your organisation.