What if we told you that you can easily create marketing content that accomplishes your business goals? Developing valuable content is easier than you think.
The first step is understanding this: Content isn’t pushed by content creators; it is pulled by content consumers.
This motto is the finger on the pulse of the Internet and you need to get on board—consumers now pull the content they actually want as opposed to being force-fed. It’s the reason why cable stations are going to be replaced by services like Netflix and Google Play. It’s the reason why Top 40 radio stations will be replaced by services like Spotify and Pandora. It’s the reason why need-driven content is going to rule content marketing. The quicker you embrace this, the quicker you can create a strategy that benefits you, your organization, and your customers.
There is a definitive freedom that comes with this knowledge. You no longer need to guess the kind of content that you should be generating—your visitors are begging to tell you what they want, so…let them! Chances are your organization already has a foundation in place to start identifying these topics, which brings us to Tip #2….
Tip #2 – Right there, under your nose: that’s where you’ll find topics.
You have access to one of the easiest ways to pull topics, and it’s staring you in the face on a daily basis. Your sales and customer support representatives, along with the tools they use to communicate and store their customer interaction, are treasure troves of information. These sources are on the front lines of what your customers (and potential customers) need, so plan on allocating a large portion of your research time in this area.
Here is where you can discover the most common questions that are repeatedly asked via traditional channels: online chat tools, phone calls, support tickets, and so on. Use common inquiries to build well-structured and informative blog posts, videos, or whitepapers to whip up content that effectively meets your audience’s needs. Provide the answers to questions. Become the content that is searched for.
Granted, this takes a little legwork on your part, but not to worry: you’re about to let a machine do the work for you in our next and final tip. Onward. . .
Tip #3 – Let technology identify the most relevant topics automatically
Implementing user tools such as a Q&A platform or a forum, which allows your users to post information that other customers and visitors can engage with, is the most effective way of putting the first two tips in action. It engages the primary source of your content marketing topics with the proper tool to give you detailed analytics on what to write about.
Before diving into how these tools effectively identify content topics, understand that tools like Q&A or forums are doing much more than that…they’re creating content for you. This is content that you don’t need to think about at all, and it is phrased in a way that is not only relatable for your other users, it is likely what they’re searching for when they have similar questions. We’ve seen this with many Answerbase customers who draw consistently growing traffic from search engines, reduce duplicate questions being asked, and monitor what the actual demand is.
Now, back to identifying valuable topics. Your Q&A software or forum should be tracking and reporting what content is most visited, followed, shared, and leading to the most conversions. This takes away the guessing game away, because you know what content topic is valuable based on real user interaction, and, it creates a pipeline of topics to focus on. Observe which topics are accomplishing your business goals, and optimize them to satisfy the needs of future visitors with similar interests.
The right tool will have both a system optimized for search engines (this is critical) while also having built-in analytics tools which will allow you to easily see what the most popular questions or topics are. Make sure you have a Q&A platform or forum that either provides this information for you or allows you to integrate the necessary third party analytics tools to accomplish your goals.
Well, there you have it: three tips to help you identify the content marketing topics you should be focusing on. The end goal here is to create a reactive process to identify customer needs, and simply supply that demand. Unless you have an omnipotent oracle on your team that can accurately predict future needs consistently for years (let’s face it, you don’t), we encourage you to put a process in place, and we’re happy to provide you with the first few steps.