By Kailynn Bowling, co-founder of ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.
Content marketing is a must if you want to boost your brand on a budget. But only 33% of brands have a content marketing strategy — and the brands that have a plan still struggle to come up with innovative blog topics.
The good news is that content marketing is accessible to just about anyone: All you need is the time and expertise. Done right, blogs put your brand in front of more engaged shoppers thanks to the power of search engine optimization (SEO).
But what happens when you’ve run out of things to say? Or if your brand’s blog is feeling a little flat?
Whether you’ve just started blogging or you’ve been doing it for a while, you know how hard it is to think of something new to say to your audience. Nobody wants to read a short, rehashed piece that doesn’t teach them something new. With so much noise out there, your brand needs to say something with substance. Unique, intriguing topics are the best way to connect with more customers.
If you’re in a blogging rut, try these five tips to generate effective, interesting content that won’t put your readers to sleep.
1. Research what people are looking for.
What do your readers want to know? What information do they crave? Instead of guessing what your customers want to see, do a little research to find which topics are most important to them. This way, you only spend your energy on blogs that readers will actually engage with.
And no, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy research tools to know what your customers want to see, either. You can find inspiration in so many places! When you’re in a rut, check out:
• Google Trends daily searches
• Google Analytics to see what people search for on your website
• Upvoted Quora posts
• Google autocomplete
• Social media posts by your customers
• Your customers’ emails to sales or customer service
• Twitter Trends
If these sources don’t yield anything interesting, you might have to dig deeper with your customers. Try conducting paid video call interviews with a handful of your more engaged customers. Treat this interview as a source of blog ideas and as information that can improve your business as a whole.
2. Choose topics for each customer persona.
You’ve created customer personas for your business, right? Put them to use! Instead of writing generic content that applies to all of your customers, create blog topics based on each persona’s pain points.
For example, one persona might be more worried about the cost of your products (and would want to see topics like DIYing) while another persona might want to know different applications for your product. Those are two very different needs, so make sure your topics cover the needs of every persona.
3. Do an expert roundup.
Does your brain need a break? Roundup-style posts are great for your readers, give other experts in your industry a little love and free up your time to focus on other areas of your business.
Sign up for a free Help A Reporter Out (HARO) account and ask experts to submit their opinions on a particular topic. Once you have at least 10 experts, put their quotes in a roundup post with a backlink to their site. More often than not, the quoted experts are happy to share your post with their network, putting your blog in front of more readers for little effort.
4. Attend a conference.
Conferences are the best place to hear about the latest news in your industry. If you’re lacking inspiration, sign up for a virtual or in-person conference.
Sometimes you’ll get a great idea for a unique blog when you’re listening to conference speakers. But this isn’t about transforming other people’s speeches into a blog. This is about forming your own take on upcoming trends or changes in the industry. The more unique your blog is, the better!
5. Tag-team with other businesses.
Nobody says you have to blog alone. If you have existing relationships with complementary businesses, ask them if they’d like to co-author a few blogs together. Two heads are better than one, after all.
The Bottom Line
Your goal is to create content that’s so good, it helps your readers sleep better at night. Successful content marketing requires consistency, but it gets harder and harder to generate good topics over time. It just won’t work if you rehash and recycle what everyone else is saying, so when in doubt, try these five tips to create better content for your blog.