How To Find Content Ideas That Will Generate Leads For Your Small Business
From tracking industry news to conducting surveys, there is no shortage of strategies you can use to generate ideas for your business blog, website, and social media campaigns. The issue isn’t normally having something to write about, as it is deciding what topics are the most relevant to your target audience, what questions to answer, and simply where to start.
Brainstorming content ideas can be an intimidating task, but the right systematic approach can bring a wealth of great ideas that you can transform into hard-hitting blog posts and online content. You could consider writing pieces that tie into current events or address common industry trends and issues, or educate your readers by addressing specific search queries and keywords.
Buyer personas and the buyer journey
Start by thinking about who your target audience is and what kinds of content they would like to see. Use your buyer personas as your starting point and aim to create content that addresses and answers each of the pain points that you’ve identified for each persona, at each stage of their buyer journey.
If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, do so before you put pen to paper on your first blog. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. An article written without a specific audience in mind won’t gain much traction on Google, and won’t make much of an impact with readers, either.
Writing content for each stage of the buyer journey, or final is an essential part of successful sales and content marketing. It's essential to recognise the different content mediums and information to use to resonate with customers throughout their journey and create engaging material customised to the distinct needs of each phase.
Customers moving through research and awareness, consideration, and decision/conversion all require different approaches - people in ‘research mode’ want a lot of educational resources, like informative guides, discussion articles, helpful videos, and infographics that explain complex topics quickly; those in the consideration phase are looking for detailed product comparisons, customer stories, and industry insights; and finally those who are ready to convert need clear instructions on how to buy and help to choose the right supplier.
Crafting a broad asset base of targeted content to hit each stage can dramatically improve lead generation and conversions if done effectively.
Your blog articles, landing pages, and downloadable guides are digital sales assets
It’s also important to consider your strategic goals for each item of content – which should be viewed as digital sales assets that will attract customers to your business and help make you money. What are you hoping to achieve with your content? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or convert leads into customers?
Your strategic goals will influence how you present your implicit and explicit calls to action (CTAs) within your content, and the extent to which each asset is directly promotional of your business, or instead serves an indirect sales function by offering valuable information and support, without overtly making a sales pitch.
Keyword research for blog article titles and landing pages
Creating memorable and SEO-friendly blog article titles and content depends on accurate and up-to-date keyword research. Identifying the keywords that are being searched and used by your target audience will help you write catchy titles that will draw attention to your posts on Google page 1.
First, brainstorm general topic ideas you'd like to address related to the service or product you are offering. Next, use detailed keyword research tools to drill down into what terms people are searching for to find out about topics in your industry. These keywords will form the basis for article titles and become the starting point for creative brainstorming and mind mapping.
However, before you incorporate these keywords into your content, don’t forget to run these terms through a plagiarism checker to ensure they haven't been used too frequently. A topic covered too many times will simply get lost and won’t appear higher in searches – you want your content to be original in some way and to give your audience something they haven’t read elsewhere.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each article, but a good way to create an original perspective on a topic is to combine 2-3 keyword phrases into one engaging title that piques readers’ interest and gets them excited to click through and read your content.
Mind maps, ideas, and connections
After you have established the general scope of the ideas you wish to generate and the keywords to use as a framework, it's time to start fleshing out your content. Creating a mind map on paper or online is a popular method for finding hidden connections between topics, as well as tapping into deeper levels of creativity, whether working alone or in collaboration with your colleagues. Engaging with team members, or other professionals in similar fields on LinkedIn could be another source of inspiration. Keep track of all the topics you come up with and before you know it, you'll have plenty of creative and unique content ideas at the ready for writing.
Look at your competition
Another great way to find content ideas is to look at what your competition is doing. What type of content are they creating? What topics are they covering? You can use this information as a starting point for your own content creation, putting your own spin on the issues to highlight the relevance of your own products and services and how they relate to current industry trends and economic events.
You should take full advantage of content analytics and monitoring tools to track the performance of previous blog posts, written by yourself or others, to understand which topics work best with your audience. You may find it useful to use a monitoring tool such as Buzzsumo to keep track of trending issues within your industry and what articles are currently trending among your target personas.
Write compelling headlines
All content starts with a compelling headline, and many businesses find it easiest to start with the headlines before structuring them into full blog posts. A good headline should be attention-grabbing and relevant to the topic of the article, as well as include the appropriate keywords to maximise its search engine visibility.
How to turn your content into marketing content
The difference between general content and marketing content is that marketing content is written for a tightly defined audience, to fulfil a tightly defined purpose. Working with an experienced marketing agency, such as JDR, will enable you to create strong digital assets that are interesting, engaging, and compelling to your target market. We can help you align your marketing messages with your business values across all your content, to build an authentic connection with potential customers, and we can help you use analytics to track engagement levels so you can better measure results from your efforts.
To find out more about content marketing and for support using blog articles, web content, and guides to increase your visibility, generate more leads, and make more sales, please call one of our specialists today on 01332 343281.
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