Pretty much everyone is spending more time online these days – including your buyers. They use the internet to educate themselves on how to overcome their challenges and seek solutions to achieve their goals. Any content mаrkеtіng ѕtrаtеgy dеvеlореd tо еngаgе сuѕtоmеrѕ wіth уоur brаnd ѕtаrt bу аlіgnіng соntеnt with thе point of vіеw оf уоur rеаdеr.
The internet is the key tool buyers use to determine which companies and organizations they want to engage with to purchase products and services. With access to vast information on online, buyers are now able to control the purchase process, not the sellers.
All of this means that your website must have the right information to educate your buyers and target audience on everything they need and want to know in order to persuade them to contact you and buy from you.
Delivering information both thаt thе сuѕtоmеr ѕееѕ аѕ valuable and thаt aligns wіth уоur brаnd should bе thе undеrріnnіngѕ of еvеrу соntеnt mаrkеtіng ѕtrаtеgу.
Content Marketing Strategy Consider these Findings:
Your website and digital content assets must provide all the essential information your target audience needs to determine whether you will have a shot at their business.
So, content is still King!
Unfortunately, according to resources online a survey of over 500 marketers and business owners, their number one (1) marketing challenge is creating and publishing the content their buyers want and need to make decisions.
Content marketing is the creation, publishing, and sharing of content with the goal of creating awareness, engaging your target audience, and converting them to leads that become sales opportunities.
It is critical to your business to re-evaluate your online content to determine if you are providing all the content your target audience needs to trust in and engage with you.
Effective Content Marketing Strategy
For your content to be effective, it must be:
You really should reassess and update your content marketing strategy every 6-12 months (at a minimum) to make sure your digital marketing initiatives are effective in attaining your objectives and goals.
Here are some examples:
Mapping Content to the Buyer's Journey
Matching your different styles of content to the stages of your prospective buyers' journey is certainly crucial.
Your business can not expect that your buyers will magically show up on your website, be aware of how you satisfy their concerns, and address their problems. Very few, if any, will get online and contact you to find out why they should do business with you, without a compelling content marketing strategy.
It's time to grow.
Learn more when it comes to how content marketing is generated through our Digital Marketing Strategy, tailored to help you achieve your business goals.
Some 5 years ago, as content marketing started to develop into a trend, I was trying to imagine what the future of content marketing would most likely indicate for businesses to prosper in a world where online presence was driven by web content. I was intrigued by many SMB marketers back then: what if 5 years from now, 50% of your online web site's traffic built upon on your blog's content?
How would you get ready for that? Blank stares, skepticism, raised eyebrows ... Allow us to's just say that the answers (or lack thereof) were the reason we started Scoop. It to start out with and began building content marketing software.
Moving on 5 years later, content marketing has by no means been so sizzling hot. A majority of online marketers are failing at it sadly. According to CMI/MarketingProfs' 2016 benchmark, only 30% of B2B marketers say they're effective at content marketing. According to another study by BuzzSumo, 50% of web material get 8 shares or less.
Future of Content Marketing Next 5 Years
Just about every day, we're speaking with loads of online marketers who are looking to technological innovation to assist them to conquer their most significant content marketing demands. Over the last year alone, we've seen their concerns change from overcoming the fundamental obstacle of producing content to the much more sophisticated needs encompassing content distribution and examining content performance. Enhanced competition for attention (Mark Schaefer's content shock) as well as the increasing complexity of the content marketing method are steering that modification and the necessity for technology to help
How do content marketers expect technology to help?
Over the past 10 weeks, the Scoop.it group surveyed over 300 marketers to more effectively understand this question. People also carried out dozens of extended interviews with SMB marketers to add a qualitative factor to the ongoing research.
Do online marketers expect technology to be part of the answer?"
Yes, absolutely" states Mark Schaefer. Equally quantitative and qualitative responses are clear: marketers expect and want technology to help them help make content marketing work for them.
"At present, marketing is math. To the extent that we can make use of technology to distill understanding from the numbers, we will certainly be more efficient marketers."-- Mark Schaefer
The Fears Associated with Future of Content Marketing Automation
The concerns associated with content marketing automation
The road to hell is really paved with good intentions. Content marketing automation is not regarded as a solution without risks or dangers: while some of the marketers interviewed shared some concern about their work be-coming automated, the main fears were really centered around misusing the innovation.
Technology can’t be a shortcut for building a strategy or learning content marketing methodology in the first place.
“I look at technology for content marketing being used right now as putting off fires, solving very small issues. Before buying technology for content marketing, you need a strategic vision that makes sense for the organization.” – Joe Pulizzi
“Automation as a function of unsophisticated marketing has no winner.” – Lee Odden
When it comes to addition to the prevalent concerns with new technology adoption (learning curve, complexity, risk ...), online marketers that were surveyed make known other concerns. We've all seen brands receive extreme critical remarks for making automation blunders on social media, and the chance of sacrificing control is in addition often pointed out.
Anytime it pertains to enhancement to the prevalent worry about new technology adoption (learning curve, difficulty, risk ...), online marketers we surveyed help make known other considerations. We've all seen brands receive extreme critical comments for making automation blunders on social media, and the chance of sacrificing control is in addition frequently pointed out.
Quite possibly, and more importantly is the concern of compromising content quality: web content is considered as an essentially human activity, hence many view the concept of automation and the future of content marketing and its creation as a risk of content becoming less reputable and instead evolving to be more generic and robotic.
Arguably a longer term concern, there's also an "arms race" controversy which questions the following: when most of us possess far better software and tools, just how do we identify the advantage to opposing competition?
“My biggest concern in this space is that we over-rely on automation and become lazy marketers. It’s intoxicating to let the algorithms do the work but if this is the same information our competitors can see too, how do we create competitive advantage?” – Mark Schaefer
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 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
Pinterest’s auto suggest: Look at the topics suggested at the top of search results >>>>>>>
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.
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.
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:
Social media marketing
AB testing Facebook ads
Average Facebook ad spend for an SMB
Saving money on Facebook ads as an SMB
Which type of ad goal is the best value for an SMB
Creating an a lead gen ad for an SMB
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.”
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.
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).
I also did simple text analysis to find the words used most in the presentation descriptions:
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.