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Feb 13

How to Generate Endless Blog Post Ideas for Content Marketing

By bonusadm

The business practice of content marketing is really the business pertaining to plans. Blog site
post recommendations, newsletter or ebook thoughts, ideas for courses or whitepapers– we need
them all.

And we need a lot of them!

In most cases the overall focus of our web content will be established by business purpose. Small
business weblogs must focus on subjects that uphold the product offering.

So as to support the business enterprise, along with a financially rewarding blog, web content
creators take a static topic area and write about it repeatedly again in (hopefully!) fresh and
highly engaging ways. It’s a bit just like rotating a gemstone and explaining how the light bounces
off of assorted features.

As content areas become saturated, and competition for attention increases, it’s more important than
ever to be adept at finding topics closely related to our main subject areas.

Within this post content, we’ll look at how data can augment our creativity and help us discover endless
web blog post ideas.

A Data Driven Approach to Blog Post Ideas

Sometimes, often early on in the life of a blog site, it’s less troublesome to come up with blog content concept
ideas making the most of creativity, industry, and intuition knowledge.

It’s the honeymoon phase of blogging! We really should take pleasure in it (Likewise, create a scrapbook– we’ll
need some of that creativity down the road!).

At some point we’ll run out of ideas, or we’ll be asked to justify the ideas we do have.

Visitor communications are a substantial support at this moment. Ask your customer success team what they
think your clients have an interest in.

To make that input practical, try the 10 × 10 exercise suggested by Stephanie Liu from Lights, Camera Live:

  • Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half.
  • On one side write the 10 most frequently asked questions about your product or service.
  • On the other, write the 10 questions people should be asking about your product or service but aren’t.
  • Now, you have a list of at least 15 – 20 things to blog about.

Reinforce and Simplify Your Blog Content Concept Creation.

Google Analytics or other tools track site visits, and social signals help gauge audience interest, so we can
iterate on our current blog post ideas.

To track site visits to a particular blog post, you’ll need the Behavior section of Google Analytics.

Apply a filter to limit the results to only your blog pages.
 

This data will show you which of your posts draw the most visitors. And, the Average Session Duration will tell
you if they stuck around long enough to really engage with the content.

Social engagements help us to see what audiences are interested in.

For example, our most shared posts at BuzzSumo this year are lengthy guides or research reports.

Social engagement statistics for blog post ideas BuzzSumo

Social engagement is a great proxy for audience interest. When we know that content about one facet of our product
is grabbing social attention, we can increase our connection with our audiences by leveraging that topic.

In addition to looking at analytics and social shares, it’s also critical to drill down into industry sources–
reading, researching, and documenting trends as we go.

To truly benefit from this approach, consistency and commitment are required.

Ann Handley, author, speaker, and Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, recommends collecting and recording five
writing ideas each day.

Here are a couple of sources to get you started:

  • Amazon’s book previews: Look at chapter titles
  • Google Trends: Use the explore option for your subject area
  • Hashtagify.me: Look for variations of your topic areas in hashtag form
  • Conference agendas: Look at the titles of keynote speeches and workshops
  • Google’s “searches related to”: Located at the bottom of each search page
Google_related_searches_blog_post_ideas
  • Pinterest’s auto suggest: Look at the topics suggested at the top of search results  >>>>>>>
pinterest auto suggest blog ideas

Finding and qualifying blog post ideas is time-consuming, especially if you write many posts a day or work for multiple clients.

The BuzzSumo Topic Explorer is one way to save time. It suggests related topics, popular content,  AND a key question for any subject you write about.

The Topic Explorer adds a layer of artificial intelligence to our platform, allowing content creators to expand their reach (and their blog post ideas) to new subject areas.

Topic-Explorer-3_blog_post_ideas

The Topic Explorer’s question suggestion is curated based on relevance. Each related topic includes additional subtopics to explore.

Once you know your audience’s preferred content formats, it’s easy to combine them with related topics to generate new blog post ideas.

For example, our audience likes original research and “How to” posts.

And, for our main topic area, “content marketing,” The Topic Explorer recommends the following related topics.

BuzzSumo Topic Explorer example Blog post ideas

The table below shows how I might combine the two to come up with blog post ideas.

Another approach would be to look at individual questions in the related topics and work through them, adding How, Why, or List posts formats to create working titles. Infographics are also a great way to answer questions!

Any source of related topics can be put through this grid to spur creativity!

If you have ideas from conference agendas, or from Google related searches, or from Pinterest auto-suggest, add them
to your grid for even more blog post ideas.

Blog post ideas for saturated content areas

When faced with a saturated or overly competitive topic area, what do you do?

More ideas for the same saturated topic won’t necessarily help grab attention if there are already hundreds of thousands
of published posts. There are two mental models we find helpful to expand topics for saturated content areas.

Hierarchical expansion begins with a broad topic and looks to more and more specific themes. Andy Crestodina described this
concept as “niching down.”

For example, if social media markeing is the topic I write about, and it’s saturated with content, I may want to consider
narrowing my focus:

  1. Social media marketing
    1. Facebook marketing
      1. Facebook Live
      2. Facebook Advertising
        1. AB testing Facebook ads
        2. Average Facebook ad spend for an SMB
          1. Saving money on Facebook ads as an SMB
          2. Which type of ad goal is the best value for an SMB
            1. Creating an a lead gen ad for an SMB
  2. Content marketing

Lateral expansion looks at ideas that are related to each other at a similar level of specificity.  The litmus test for lateral expansion might be this:

People interested in X are also often interested in Y.

In the example above, Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing would be examples of lateral ideas. It passes the litmus test, “People interested in social media marketing are also often interested in content marketing.”

Of course, these two models are a little arbitrary! (Taxonomies are tough in every field of study.)

Laterally related topics can also be expressed as part of a hierarchy. They would simply be listed with the same level of importance.

And, specific areas of interest in a hierarchy are only “niche” in the sense that they can be considered a subset of a larger topic area. Niche areas will often have their own experts, big ideas, and areas of ongoing controversy or study.

However, the concepts of lateral and hierarchical expansion are useful for developing blog post ideas, especially if our main topic area is heavily competitive or already saturated with great content.

The Topic Explorer offers a quick look at lateral and hierarchically related ideas.

Lateral Hierarchical Blog Post Ideas BuzzSumo

For each laterally related topic, there are more specific, niche keyword suggestions.

And, additional Topic Explorer searches can produce even more related and specific inspiration.

Qualify related topics

Once you have created a massive file of blog post ideas, how do you decide what to write about?

At its simplest, qualifying a topic is binanary:

Something is either a good idea or a bad idea.

But, if you have ever tried to convince your team of either, you know that you’ll need more than a hunch to persuade your boss, client, or colleague.

Qualifying topics is done in two phases – before you publish, and after you publish. In both phases data analysis can help guide the process.

Customer questions, customer surveys, social engagement with existing content, web traffic data, industry trends and thought-leader input all help us to select the best blog topics.

If you have a file of customer questions or survey responses try running them through a text analyzer to see which themes emerge. (Thanks to Gini Dietrich who suggested this approach for developing courses.) You can do the same thing with conference agendas, etc.

For example, here is a wordcloud of topics from the 2019 Social Media Marketing World agenda, created at jasondavies.com/wordcloud (I removed the word marketing).

blog_post_idea_wordcloud

I also did simple text analysis to find the words used most in the presentation descriptions:

  1. Facebook
  2. Content
  3. Video
  4. Sales
  5. Business
  6. Live
  7. Instagram
  8. Build
  9. Grow
  10. Linkedin
     

With this analysis, I can see what industry leaders are thinking about and use these hot topics to validate blog post ideas.

For example ‘Facebook Live’, ‘YouTube content’, or ‘use of bots in marketing’ all seem like good blog post ideas.

The Topic Explorer, built on BuzzSumo’s database of more than 5 billion articles, offers social engagement data to further validate keywords.

BuzzSumo leverages machine learning to suggest topics that creators can rely on, without needing to spend time analyzing line after line of information.

Popular posts are those with the most relevance and engagement.

If you navigate to the Content Analyzer, using the button at the bottom right of the popup, you will see the most evergreen topics, or sort to see the topics with the most engagements by network.

Fundamentally, content marketing is a quest for site traffic.

We spend a lot of time thinking about how to get more people to visit websites.

One way to do this is to appeal to a wider audience.

If your traffic drops off, writing about a closely related idea may expand your reach to more users.

The example comparison below shows far less competition and more average social engagement for the topic “employee engagement” compared to “human resources”.

If my human resources site isn’t gaining traffic, employee engagement might be a good expansion topic.

How to position multiple ideas

With endless blog post ideas in mind, we’ll need to think about how we use blog content to increase – rather than dilute – the impact of our site. We will also need to design a logical path for users through our content.

Lee Odden, co-founder and CEO of TopRank Marketing, recommends a hub and spoke model or a power page approach.

Hub and spoke

In a hub and spoke model, tiers of supporting and related content connect to each other and drive readers toward the hub or central content piece.

Consider creating a best answer post as the centerpiece for this strategy.

Here’s an example for accounting software:

Use The Topic Explorer to chose the best spoke content and be sure you’ve covered every facet by looking at the suggested questions and asking if a customer would find a satisfactory answer on your site.

Power pages are based on a similar concept, but they place the supporting materials, primary topic and related resources all on the same page.

Lee illustrates the concept this way:

Whichever layout you choose, a blog idea file filled with related topics is a must to drive business goals.

[CTA] Try the Topic Explorer

The post How to Generate Endless Blog Post Ideas for Content Marketing appeared first on BuzzSumo.

Source

https://buzzsumo.com/blog/blog-post-ideas/

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Aug 23

Strengthen Your Content Marketing Strategies

By bonusadm

content marketing strategies

Initially, let’s identify four typical material company goals and the 3 fundamental material types. After that,
I’ll show you a creative means to put all of it together.

Strengthen Your Content Marketing Strategy

FOUR CONTENT BUSINESS GOALS

Writing to achieve SEO results is a popular business goal, but it’s not the only one. Here are four different content business goals:

1. SEO— Creating content that attracts search engine traffic depends on aiming at targeted keywords, creating headlines and content that support those keywords, and generally delivering a piece that conforms to Google’s search rules. An example of this would be a nutrition company creating how-to blog posts that answer commonly-asked questions submitted to Google. But conforming to Google’s rules can also be limiting …

2. Customer service— A second content strategy would be one aimed at serving current customers. Content in this category might cut customer service costs by answering product-related questions, for example. This strategy teaches customers how to use your products, how to get the most out of their investments, and perhaps even encourage them to consume more by using your products in new ways.

3. Authority— If you want to stand out as an industry thought leader, writing only in Google-speak can hold you back. Establishing yourself as an authoritative leader in your category means creating content that is compelling and original, not something based on common keywords.

This has been my strategy. I write posts that go to new places, that push new ideas. The type of person who would hire me would be attracted to me because of the way I think, not necessarily because my posts do well in search results.

4. Awareness/Launch— Content can be critical to attract attention to a new product or service. Early in the life of a business, it’s difficult to win an SEO battle, establish authority, or connect to customers. You need to be known, and fast. The challenge is that normally a start-up doesn’t have the audience, or the resources to build awareness very quickly. So using content to create rapid awareness presents a unique challenge.

Content Marketing Strategy Examples

THREE CONTENT TYPES

Now let’s look at three broad content types. A few years ago, YouTube published a research paper proposing that companies who established the strongest brands on social media did so by publishing three different types of content.

1. Hygiene Content— This is the content that answers consumer questions. It is a staple of the “inbound” marketing model. An example would be an insurance company brainstorming every question a potential customer could have about their product and then answering those questions through blog posts or a video series.

Here’s an excellent example of hygiene content from North Face. The company provides extensive resources to help answer customer questions about preparing for outdoor activities:

content marketing strategies

The problem with hygiene content is that once somebody finds an answer (usually through search), they’ll probably leave your site. That’s why you also need …

2. Hub Content— This content is represented by the evergreen stories that might make a consumer want to click another and then another. You are drawing them into the site by providing content that is addictive, educational, and entertaining. An example might be adventure videos on the GoPro YouTube site, beautiful recipes on a niche cooking site, a podcast that explores political issues in-depth, or maybe even the wide-ranging marketing topics represented on the {grow} blog.

3. Hero Content— This content is built to go viral. It’s bold, epic and unique. Increasingly, big brands like BMW, Nike, Chipotle, Heineken, and Red Bull are creating this type of content to rise above the noise. Typically these are Hollywood-style mini-movies meant to create massive social media shares and views.

Although this hero content might be “big budget,” it may still be a fraction of what it would cost to get similar attention through traditional advertising buys. Here’s an example of hero content from H&M (directed by the famed director Wes Anderson, with more than 10 million views!):

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Putting it all together

So, we have examples of four content business goals and three high-level types of content to serve those goals. ln this chart, we can see how these combinations work together to create 12 possible content strategy blocks. Green would symbolize “go,” yellow would indicate there is some connection, and a red box would mean there is a disconnect between that content type and business goal.

content marketing strategies - Mark Schaefer

Summarize how you might use this helpful system.

Content Marketing Strategy Checklist

Looking across the first horizontal line, you can see that if your goal is to drive organic search results through Search Engine Optimization, the focus would be on investing in hygiene content that answers questions and uses keywords that are highly relevant to your products and services. Hub content might also be useful to this goal, but you would probably never invest in hero content as a top priority.

If your goal is to serve and educate customers, useful hygiene content would be a key content investment, as well as interesting hub content pieces that keep customers on your site and build stronger relationships. Hero content? Probably not.

Establishing thought leadership requires breaking away from the pack. You don’t want to “optimize” anything. You need to create revolutionary content that makes people think in new ways and share your ideas. The emphasis would be on evergreen “hub” content and possibly even hero content.

An example of using hero content to establish authority would be Eric Qualman’s breakthrough “Social Media Revolution” video. He simply assembled social media facts and compiled them into an upbeat video in 2011. This one video turned into an annual series that propelled Eric into a book deal and a lucrative career as a motivational speaker. Here is the latest edition of that video:

Finally there is the awareness/launch strategy line. A business in this situation probably doesn’t have the time and resources to build the domain authority needed to dominate common key words and search. A new business needs to make a splash with some unusual hub or hero content.

One of my favorite examples is the “First Kiss video” created by fashion designer Melissa Coker. To break out in this crowded space she needed to create vast awareness on a small budget. With a few friends, she created a video for under $1,500 that was risky and provocative. And it worked. The little video garnered more than 123 million views and increased the annual sales of her Wren clothing line by 1,400 percent.

Another key content marketing strategy for companies in the awareness/launch phase is to use influencers to help ignite your content beyond the company’s normal audience, which is exactly how the inexpensive Wren video went viral. But that’s a topic for another day.

Content Marketing Strategies Simplified

Creating a seo content marketing strategy can seem overwhelming. But this system of viewing your starting point as the intersection of goals and content type should at least point you in the right direction. Once you’re clear on your business goal and the type of content you need to prioritize, the real fun begins!

You still need to make big decisions like:

  • Content form (written, audio, visual, video?)
  • Publishing schedule
  • Resources and budget
  • Distribution and promotion

I also want to emphasize that there is no content strategy template that fits every business. Even what I have provided here is simply a guideline. There are always exceptions!

content marketing strategy course:

Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Unsplash.com 

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content-marketing strategy
Jul 19

Increase Traffic With Content Marketing Strategy

By bonusadm

content marketing

Do not fret, your well crafted words do not have to fall on deaf ears! Here is how to increase
traffic to your blog.

Content Marketing Strategy Start with Superior Content

This may be an obvious one to you, but readers do notwant to waste their time with sub-par content. There are a plethora of websites pushing out blog posts and users have every right to be picky.

Good content marketing strategy: If you are writing content simply for the sake of ranking in search engines, it will be painfully obvious. Dislike writing or do not have the time? Find someone to take care of it for you. There are plenty of freelancers out there or you could hire on a marketing firm that offers content writing.

Content Marketing Strategy Give Blog Posts a Great Title

In order to increase Website traffic to your blog, you need to ensure users take that crucial first step
to clicking the link to open your post. Among a long list of competing results in search engines, your
blog best bet at attracting visitors to you website to get clicks is with a superior title.

A few tips on crafting an enticing blog title:

  • Do not stress on getting it perfect prior to writing. Start with a rough title to inspire
    your article and make adjustments if you find yourself heading in another direction.
  • Keep it accurate. Exaggerating a title may get those initial clicks, but it also likely to
    earn you a higher bounce rate. Set clear expectations for users to avoid disappointment.
  • Use under 70 characters. Anything longer than that will be cut off in search engine results.
    Try a Google Search preview tool (there are plenty of options) to get an idea of how your
    title will look to users scrolling through.
  • Try using numbers. Of course incorporating numbers in every title would be a bit redundant,
    but they do tend to perform better. For example,  7 Tips For Crafting a Killer Blog Titles.

Content Marketing Strategy Follow the Crowd

Not just any crowd but your crowd. Find which social platforms your target audience is present
on and interact on it. If you already have profiles set up on multiple social networks, begin
sharing blog posts on each one. Take a look at your Google Analytics (free to install!) and
see where the majority of your referral traffic is coming from.

Acompanied with the right social post text and comments, sharing your articles on these social
networks will increase traffic to your blog and the likelihood of them being shared by your
followers.

It really does not hurt to remain active across all social networks even if some are not quite so
popular, but it does start to become a disadvantage if you are unable to consistently post. Old
posts and activity give users the impression that you’ve neglected your business and will not be
responsive.

Content Marketing Do Not Skimp Out

Though our attention spans are steadily decreasing and page load times of more than 5 seconds are
painful short when it comes to content, the longer the better.

Since at this point most topics have been fully saturated with blog posts, its necessary to write
something that is better than all of the other similar articles out there. Better means a compelling
voice, more detail, and for a more great content marketing article.

Who wants to share a skimpy piece of content with little value, anyway?

Not only will longer content please human visitors, but it will also please the all-powerful search
engines. Recent updates in past years to Googles Search engine algorithm, dubbed Panda and Penguin,
are suspected to have added more emphasis on overall content length.

Embrace Variation Good Content Marketing Strategy

Nobody enjoys long pages of breakless text; not even your college professor. While it maybe too late
to redo those college research papers, It reall is never too late to change up your blog writing style.

Proper formatting and an attractive website theme allows you to go into detail with longer content,
without losing the interest of page skimmers. Make use of headers to separate your different points and
try to shoot for three sentence paragraphs over long chunks of text.

When relevant, it is also a good idea to include visual aids such as images and videos.

Content Marketing Strategy Use the Right Keywords

Although some SEO gurus will claim that the significance of keywords is phasing out, they still should
play a big role in your content marketing strategy. It is quite true that search engines have added a
long list of additional factors to their first page ranking process, yet keywords still remain one of
the primary ingredients. Utilizing strategic keywords will help you to reach the right audience and
increase traffic to your blog.

Some pointers on choosing and using keywords:

  • Think about user intent. It is always helpful to search a keyword yourself before targeting it in a blog. The results may surprise you! Perhaps what you thought was a great keyword is actually the name of an existing brand users are searching for.
  • Do not just consider the number of searches a keyword receives. Look at the competition as well! Moz Keyword Explorer offers 20 free queries per month which will help you determine keyword potential, competition, and popularity in search queries.
  • Long-tail keywords can be winners. Long-tail keywords (think kittens for sale in new york city instead
    of just kittens€˜) may receive less searches, but the ones they do receive are by more qualified searchers.
    If you were a kitten breeder in New York City, traffic from kittens for sale in new york city would be
    far more likely to convert and easier to get than kittens.
  • Treat keywords like sprinkles, not the whole cupcake. While there is no magic number for how many times a keyword should be used in a blog post, you don’t wanted to be penalized by Google for keyword stuffing.

Unlike many traditional forms of advertisement, content marketing requires that you be in it for the long haul. Increasing traffic to your blog may not be instantaneous, but it will be certainly worth it for your SEO, website, and business!

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