How to find content ideas for your next marketing campaignMarketing workflow tweaks and new planning tools can help jumpstart your content ideation process
Content Marketing Institute’s 2023 B2B Content Marketing Report dug into the biggest content marketing challenges today. 61% of marketers responded that their biggest outstanding challenge this year was creating content that could appeal to different stages of a buyer’s journey.
The success of any content marketing effort relies not just on the quality of the content, but the ability to stay on the pulse of what your audience needs, especially if these needs change across moments or touchpoints. And that’s where many marketers face an existential challenge: If you’re not on the pulse of your audience, how do you know what topics your content marketing should focus on?
How to find the best topics for your content marketing efforts
The best topics that any marketer should focus on fall in the middle of a Venn diagram – connecting the topics that your organization is best positioned to cover, with the topics that your audience is most passionate about.
Finding topics matched with your organization’s expertise should be a collaborative process. Ask your executives, salespeople, and subject-matter experts: “What subjects are we best positioned to lead the market on?” These could be topics relating to product launches, service expertise, or other business imperatives. Getting alignment here helps ensure your content marketing is always tied into core business goals.
What is the best process for content ideation?
Once you understand the intersection of audience and organizational needs, you’re ready to start brainstorming content topics. We recommend a three-step process:
- Research: To identify your audience’s topics of focus, you’ll want to dig deeper into signals of their interest. Search trends analysis, social listening, competitor monitoring, forum watching – all of these activities help isolate signals from noise, and avoid creating content purely from within the bubble of your own organization. Make sure to take this step before writing any content because there is so much content out there already, and you want to ensure your content won’t be overshadowed by the bigger players in your space.
- Ideate: Smart editorial angles are essential to match these identified topics with the unique voice and tone of your organization, and to publish content unique to your organization. Creativity here can pay dividends in helping your content marketing efforts stand out.
- Prioritize: If you’ve had a good ideation process, you probably have more ideas than you have the resources to publish. This is where you need to prioritize those efforts that will bring the most benefit – whether in terms of reach, engagement, or conversion. Don’t worry: any ideas you don’t use now you can always revisit in future brainstorming sessions.
If you’re still stuck, ask yourself the following questions:
- What questions does my audience have?
- What topics are my audiences trying to learn on their own?
- Where are competitors falling short in educating the audience?
- What is troubling my audience today? And how is my organization positioned to offer support?
[ICYMI: 5 ideas for more creative content marketing brainstorming]
What tools can help with content ideation?
Content brainstorming tools. There are a number of content ideation tools available online, which can help you generate new ideas for your content by simply plugging in a few keywords. They might serve up dozens, or even hundreds, of ideas, but you’ll still need a vetting process in place to prioritize the topics that are best-suited for your audience and organization.
These tools might seem handy at a glance, but the trick is whether they actually make your job easier. This process can easily become cumbersome and time-consuming, particularly if you don’t have the necessary expertise for the platforms in question.
Keyword identification tools. These tools can be useful as they can help identify keywords which your organization can rank for in search engines, to ensure your content is found by interested audiences. You may have started with a keyword in mind, but these tools can help you identify potentially more relevant keywords for your audience – and help you prioritize which ideas make it to production.
That said, search trends change quickly, and many search platforms report on data that is months old. An overreliance on a single keyword research platform could have you missing the boat on how audiences are interacting on important topics today.
Social listening tools. An often overlooked area of content ideation is monitoring what audiences are talking about online. Social listening can be done with a variety of automated tools, or it can be done manually. Either way, tuning into what your audience is talking about in discourse can help you generate content ideas that resonate with them.
But the social landscape is vast, and while it can be easier to keep tabs on a handful of trends (e.g. important hashtags, competitors), it can be difficult to surface organic insights.
Taken together, these approaches will help illuminate opportunities for your brand to be more relevant to the audiences you serve and sell to. R
What if I still need help coming up with content ideas?
Content ideation is not an easy process, and the research involved is not easy to prioritize among the many demands a marketer faces every day. That’s why Revmade helps marketers keep a pulse on audience trends, isolating the topics that matter most and crafting pitches designed to resonate. Get in touch to learn more.
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