You spent some time putting together a quick content strategy and published a couple posts, but now you’re out of ideas. And now, you don’t know what to do next.
When your content is relevant to what your audience is looking for, they’re going to find it. When your content provides answers and solutions to people’s wants and needs, you will give much value.
All the while, you and your team are spending hours creating content for your audience, but every time you hit publish, it seems like nobody’s clicking and nobody’s interested. And you’re left thinking — is it worth the time and energy?
If you work in marketing, I’ll bet you’ve experienced these pains before.
Well, I’ve got some tactics you can start using today to help you find more topics.
We’ve decided to share some tactics for finding content ideas in 2021.
Read on to find out more…
1. Visit Quora to see which questions have the most followers
Brainstorming new ideas for your blog can be hard—you can spend hours online looking for inspiration and find nothing.
But did you know you can find out what questions your audience is actually most interested in, by using Quora?
Quora is a question-and-answer website where user can ask a question of their own or follow questions shared by someone else.
Users can post a question regarding any topic, and other users can respond with their thoughts or opinions. As you can guess, Quora is a marketing goldmine for finding content ideas that people are interested in and curious about.
The key to using Quora is learning to understand how it can help you to find trends that can be turned into a blog post.
For example, let’s say that you work in SaaS. Your topic area would be “SaaS,” and you would make sure that you are following each trending topic on Quora involving SaaS. You would stay updated on what’s on people’s minds and understand what types of problems they’re experiencing.
You would also check out which posts have the most views and upvotes, which would give you a good idea of what type of content is popular.
Quora is an excellent medium to find out what your audience is interested in learning. Create content based around those things, and your content is sure to be popular!
2. Look at BuzzSumo for top content topics
When you start creating content for your company blog, you’ll probably be able to come up with a few topics right away that you *know* your audience is asking—but at some point, you’ll run out of ideas and struggle to brainstorm new ones, resulting in empty Google Docs and editorial calendars.
To create content week after week after week, you need multiple ways to come up with new content ideas.
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool for doing content research and coming up with keywords, which can help determine the specific type of content you may want to create.
If a piece of content has been shared over and over, you may want to create something similar. But don’t copy it; see if you can improve it and give it your spin.
When it comes to searching for keywords, you need to come up with terms associated with your industry. For example, type “content distribution tips” and see what new keywords show up.
We get that coming up with new ideas can be hard. Although, don’t be afraid to use a tool, like BuzzSumo, to inspire you.
3. Check your Google Analytics to see which topics are most popular, then create a remixed version on the same topic
As content creators, we can struggle with producing topics for a piece of content. And this can be one of the biggest struggles when developing content. Google Analytics can play a crucial role in finding a solution to this challenge.
If you’re already publishing content, you can use your Google Analytics to identify what topics have been the most popular amongst your audience based on traffic numbers, then come up with similar ideas on the same topics.
To do this, you can review the All Pages report by navigating to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. With this, you can see what topics are popular with others and then remix it to come up with a piece on the same topic.
For example, after seeing the results of our research [above], we would then find a way to create more LinkedIn related content.
Another way to find out the interests of your target audience is the search feature on your website. When looking at what visitors are searching for, you can get an in-depth look into what their interests are.
You can find these search terms by going to the “Behavior” tab in Google Analytics, then opening up the “Site Search” tab and reviewing “Search Terms.”
By doing this, you can then take it a step further and create a remixed version of the topic, but with your spin. And, as a content marketer, not only can you find the terms users are interested in, you can also measure the value to your audience, based on how many have searched with similar topics.
If you want help taking a deep dive into topic generation, Google Analytics is your friend. And if you’re not entirely sure how to navigate Google Analytics, check out a few of these great (and quick) resources: Moz and OrbitMedia.
4. Type a keyword into AnswerThePublic
Creating great content isn’t always easy.
And anything you can do from a research standpoint to gather some extra insight into your audience or the topic you’re writing about is worth doing.
One of the tools we’ve used for this is AnswerThePublic. It can provide you with Google suggested searches for your topic (you know, the autocomplete suggestions when you’re searching) to give you some more insight on the topic itself.
For example, if you’re a marketer looking to help B2B customers grow their sales, it would make sense to do keyword research around “B2B sales.” This will give you an indication of what B2B customers are thinking and the challenges they might experience.
Users can enter a general topic, and the tool will return several keywords in question form. Each result is a question. These results are categorized according to the type of question (what, when, who, where, why, etc.).
By default, you’ll get a visual representation of the list of questions. Each question will include the main keyword you entered, but it will appear as a question in different situations. And it can give a lot of long keywords that can be used to create content and boost your chance of ranking in Google.
AnswerThePublic is excellent when you have no clue where to take your topic, and all you have is a simple keyword. Use this tool and you will go from no idea to hundreds of ideas, within seconds.
Discovering what others want can be tedious. AnswerThePublic saves you time and energy, while giving you massive information that would take hours to generate.
5. Check out your competitors
One of the best ways to be successful with content marketing is to go above and beyond what everybody else is doing.
Take a peek at what your competitors are creating. What topics do they cover? How often are they publishing something new to their blog? What are they promoting the most? Do they have any content tagged as “featured” or “most popular” on their site?
If they’re promoting a certain topic heavily, it might be worth writing about. Plug it into AnswerThePublic, do some Quora searches and go through the research phase, to dig deeper.
Trying to come up with new and different topics, that you hope to be popular, can be time-consuming. So, try getting your ideas from topics that have done well in the past. Go to your competitor’s website and look at what the popular content is. Most sites have a list of their most popular posts. Look for topics with a high level of comments and shares. That’s where to look for inspiration.
Producing quality content is the easiest way to get ahead of your competition. But sometimes you need to get inspiration from your competition’s ideas to get ahead. And then use that inspiration to produce similar work, that is better.
Finding content ideas is a process, but you can start using these tactics today if you want to find more content ideas. Once you have the ideas down, you’ll be able to generate content that not only pleases your audience but also grows your traffic and engagement.
Here’s a quick recap of the 5 tactics again:
- Visit Quora to see which questions have the most followers
- Look at BuzzSumo for top content topics
- Check your Google Analytics to see which topics are most popular then create a remixed version on the same topic
- Type a keyword into AnswerThePublic
- Check out your competitors
But these 5 tactics are just that—tactics. And tactics can only take you so far. Without a legitimate content strategy, you’ll find yourself constantly chasing the next exciting tactic or the next social channel.
To help you build your content strategy, we’ve put together a free workshop called B2B Growth Notepad Chats where Ross Simmonds (Foundation CEO) gives you a sneak peek inside his own content marketing notebook.
By the end of this workshop, you will have a solid understanding of today’s B2B landscape and ready to dominate your marketing strategy. Join the free workshop today!
[Updated Dec 22, 2020]