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Topic selection in Content Marketing: 3 ways to generate new ideas

Quality is more important than quantity in content marketing. However, without the regular publication of new content, you will find it difficult to generate ongoing inbound traffic. Therefore, you will need an action plan to guarantee continuous content production. This will ensure you always have enough ready-made ideas – for example, via systematic research, observation and inquiry.

Quality is more important than quantity in content marketing. However, without the regular publication of new content, you will find it difficult to generate ongoing inbound traffic. Therefore, you will need an action plan to guarantee continuous content production. This will ensure you always have enough ready-made ideas – for example, via systematic research, observation and inquiry.

Before we present three of the most effective methods for finding topics, we have one important piece of advice for you:

Whenever you plan content, always align your ideas with the interests, problems and needs of your target audience. This requires a change of perspective!

Anyone who pursues only his or her own interests is losing immeasurable potential in terms of reach and interactions, which, of course, also means recommendations and conversions.

Method 1: Find out what those you wish to reach are searching for

What do your customers and prospects talk about? What questions is your target audience asking that your present content has not yet answered? Although this is similar to keyword research, there are further steps you can take to gather this data:

? Analyze trends with Google Trends, trending hashtags (on different platforms), or platforms like BuzzSumo. Find out why certain content has become a trend and consider how you can add value to the discussion.

Twitter Search

Search on Twitter

? Find inspiration from popular searches and search suggestions. If you enter your keyword in the Google search bar, this will trigger additional suggestions. Perhaps these will prompt ideas for new content?

? Look at the search results in detail. What results are displayed for your keywords? Are they satisfactory, or could you provide your target audience with even better results?

The search engine expert Olaf Kopp maintains that "the type of search question essentially governs the type of content because Google uses it to provide information about what the seeker wants to find (the search intent) "- and this in turn must govern what you should provide.

You should also pay attention to content formats and perhaps consider whether a video or some form of presentation might be more effective than a text (see also Method 3).

 

Google search results for the keyword phrase 'topic selection'

Google search results for the keyword phrase 'topic selection'

Method 2: Listen carefully to customers and prospects

This method adopts a similar approach to the first but refers specifically to your existing customer community. Most likely you have already collected data and information about this group and thus will be able to empathize with their needs. It's very important to always listen carefully to this group whenever you are planning new content:

? What questions do your customers or prospects ask – via email and on the phone? Can you produce new content based on this information? However, you must remember not to disclose names and keep personal information secure at all times.

? Do they ask specific questions which may suggest how you could improve your product or service?

You could gather suggestions and use them to create new content (e.g. surveys, interviews or reviews).

? What does your target audience discuss on social media? You could use monitoring tools to track discussions and gain ideas for your content marketing. If you can produce content fast, it is also a good tactic to actively participate in discussions and contribute new content with added value. Using this method, you might even make contact with potential customers.

? Are there opinion leaders in your industry? Or bloggers who publish opinions and thereby provide suggestions for improving your product? How does your community respond to this content? If appropriate, can you collaborate, or even build a long-term relationship and work together regularly? Then, you will not only benefit from additional coverage but also gain credibility and support at the same time.

? And finally, take a look at your competitors. What do they talk about, what content do they publish and what feedback do they in turn receive from their community? Gain access to these ideas and act on them quickly. Ideally, you should at least be able to impress, and perhaps even win, some new customers.

Method 3: Revise and recycle existing content

This third method does not actually involve the production of new content. Your content does not always have to be "new"; it is often enough for it to be "updated", "modified" or "revised".

If you have access to existing content, you should do this exercise regularly.

First, because Google pays attention to new content but also because you continuously improve the quality of your content and thereby increase its added value for your target audience. This will benefit your search engine positioning in the long run.

You can modify and rework existing content by:

1. Content Optimization: You can optimize your content to meet your end goals. What do you want your content to achieve? Do you want to generate leads, or are you seeking viral distribution? Consult your existing data on user behaviour to discover further potential, and revise your content accordingly, and/or try a visual approach.

2. Content-Recycling: Use existing content multiple times, for example by creating new formats in order to access new platforms. Create infographics, display your products in presentations, or combine several texts to create an e-book. This will reduce your production costs while also expanding your content portfolio, which has positive implications for your long-term visibility and discoverability online.

Conclusion

These three methods can help you find regular new input for your content planning. Make sure to assess each idea you generate carefully before you make any decisions about implementation as not every lead will turn out to be "content friendly". However, keyword research and analyzing the results of your own content strategy are, of course, essential.

Tip: Log and prioritize your ideas. Over time, this will build up a valuable editorial calendar you can draw upon freely, saving you time and money in the process.

 

 


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Robert Weller

About the author

Robert Weller is Marketing Manager, speaker, lecturer and book author. In his blog www.toushenne.de he addresses various inbound and content marketing aspects, currently focusing on content design (which will also be the topic his second book). His first book, “Blog Boosting”, was published in 2015.

Please note: This article was originally published in German and translated.


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