Find ideas for your content marketing
Around 87% of B2B marketers say they struggle creating content that truly engages their buyers according to a report by Altimeter. That’s huge, so it’s clear that many people are missing a trick when it comes to creating high quality content to drive visitors to their website or YouTube channel etc.
We’ve talked about why content marketing is so important for your business and why you should use media like video that is visual, interactive and engaging. But how do you come up with high quality content marketing ideas? Let’s look at some techniques for getting your best material together for your target audience.
Keep an ideas notebook
Songwriters do this when they are looking for lyrics. They read the paper, note down phrases and topics that resonate with them and encapsulate the message they’re trying to communicate, then write a song using those phrases. The late yet great David Bowie used to chop up magazines or articles and rearrange the words to create lyrics and you can do the same in your niche by collecting together materials to use in your content marketing.
Use a tool like Wunderlist to keep a list of useful blog post titles that you come across, or if you need help thinking of some, use tools like these to help you:
For collecting inspiring and interesting content you come across online, try either the excellent Evernote or Pocket both of which allow you to save articles, videos and other useful content you come across. And if you find something in the real world (heaven forbid) that you want to create content from, then take photos of it with your smartphone and upload it to services like Evernote for later.
And don’t foget Google’s Suite – I have a long list of things I want to talk about here in a Google Document that I refer to when it comes to creating content. Combine that with a content marketing calendar for when to release content and creating regular content becomes a whole lot easier.
If you’re a YouTube vlogger, podcaster or simply writing articles for your blog, then it can seem a daunting task coming up with so much new content. However, repurposing your content, whether you start with a spoken interview, a blog post or something else, is the easiest way to come up with new material quickly yet one of most under-utilised techniques when it comes to marketing.
A few major benefits of this approach is that:
- You’re not starting from scratch as you already have a bunch of material to work with
- You don’t need to spend lots of time researching and preparing as a lot of the hard work is done already
- It can be cheap (or free) depending on how you want to repurpose the content – making videos can cost for example depending on what you want to do.
- Everybody prefers to consume media in different ways – some prefer video, others audio and many like to read articles of course (like this!).
Look through your existing content and identify your strongest content so you have a clear idea of what’s available to repurpose. If you haven’t got any content yet (!), then I recommend you start compiling ideas together for a number of blog posts first based no what your most successful competitors are providing their audience.
Once you have, say, a series of related blog posts, then you could take the most useful content / facts / points and repurpose them into:
- An infographic – try outsourcing on Fiverr if you can’t do this yourself
- A podcast – recording reviews, your industry thoughts and talking about facts & figures can all provide high quality content for your audience
- A video – if you’re on a budget, put together a series of slides into a presentation using software like PowerPoint or Keynote, export it as a video, then add a voice over (that can also be outsourced – that’s me by the way 🙂 ) and add some background music (which is even easier to find)
Interview influencers and leaders in your market
This is really useful whether you’re a YouTuber, or just looking to market your product or service. Get in touch with an expert and interview them! I would strongly recommend getting permission to record a video of the conversation (or at least just the audio) as you can repurpose that in a number of ways such as in a video, podcast, interview transcript and / or blog post. I use Ecamm’s Call Recorder for Skype on a Mac and I’m told Pamela is a good alternative for PC.
What type of content should I make?
Video has taken off as the leader in this field probably because it can be highly engaging if done right (just look at the growing popularity of YouTube). And if you look at video from a memory perspective, then it ticks all the boxes for something called synesthesia (which is essentially the ‘blending of senses’), something that is fundamental in creating emotional memories. Video is often colourful, has sound and uses background music to accompany the visuals to create a longer-lasting effect than other types of media.
That said, we all have preferences in how we want to consume content and your audience will inevitably respond better to some types than others. If you’re unsure what type you should focus on first, then ask a selection of your audience. Tools such as Survey Monkey can be great for gauging the likes and dislikes of your audience – see here for what we did with survey feedback from existing customers regarding this site for example.
But literally calling, asking for comments on a blog or just emailing your audience to see if they’d be more interested in a podcast, video or blog post gets straight to the point. Remember, you’re creating content for your audience’s needs and interests, not your own, so base your decision on what they say. Which brings us on to…
Base your decisions on DATA
We’ve looked at a few ways to generate quality content above, but ultimately, you’ll know whether your content is high quality or not by how your audience responds. Look at the data – watch time (rather than just views) is a good indicator on YouTube for example, downloads for podcasts and stats provided by services like Google Analytics are fundamental in evaluating whether your content is generating real results or not.
How do you come up with ideas?
The above are just a few techniques for collecting together content marketing ideas, what approaches have worked for you?
Till next time,
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