B2B content marketing is very popular nowadays. It’s one of those buzz terms that marketers just love to say. Not only are they talking about it, but if you ask, most of them will say it is a key component of their overall marketing strategy.
But why is it so popular all of a sudden?
In a recent post for Lander, Juan Pablo Castro states that, “Indeed, content marketing-done correctly, can be a very effective way to attract new leads.”
The key to this success it to identify content topics and ideas that will appeal to your audience. According to Castro, “What happened was that much of this flood of content became dismissively viewed as noise.”
If your content is just noise, then no one is going to listen. There are a lot of companies online that are doing just that – producing content that doesn’t resonate with their audience.
Let’s talk about how you can avoid doing that. We will talk about 3 ways you can identify content ideas that will hit home with your target market.
Understanding Your Audience
Matt Haag, Owner and General Manager of SimpleData explains that “the first thing you must do in order to identify ideas or topics that will make your audience take notice is to understand them. If you don’t know what their dreams, fears, or goals are – how can you produce content that will speak to them?”
Messages have to be actually relevant to what the wants and needs of your audience – not just the message that you want to share. It all comes down to identifying your target audience and demonstrating value to them. You have to know as much about them as possible in order to give them what they want. Before writing a single piece of content, you have to develop an in-depth understanding in order to connect with them in way that matters.
This information will be your customer profile or persona. You can use it again and again to write content that is important and relevant to that market. According to a recent post by Dan Shewan, “You can get a hell of a lot more granular about your audiences simply by exploring your Google Analytics data. Here, you can learn a great deal about the people visiting your site. You can see basic demographic information such as age, gender, and location, as well as valuable interest data that shows the topics they’re interested in.”
With this information at your fingertips, you can really start to develop a complete image of your target market. With this in hand, then you can start to produce content that matters to them.
This is so simple and so basic that some marketers and business owners seem to forget about it completely.
One way of the best ways to identify content ideas is to straight up ask your target market. “You want to keep them happy with the information you offer them. You want to keep them interested and engaged. You want to keep them involved in your virtual community. And you want to sell more of your products and services to them. So what can you do? It’s simple: Ask them what they would like you to write about,” Castro recommends.
One way to do this is create a survey and ask people to fill it out. This also happens to be a great way to build your mailing list and nurture prospects.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of creating a survey and emailing it out, another great way to ask your target market is on social media. It is just as effective as emailing and engages your audience in a way that goes beyond the regular posting schedule.
Listen to Social Media Chatter
In addition to engaging your target market on social media, you can also use it to find out what people are sharing and talking about.
There are many ways to do this and many social media sites to tap into. You should be listening to what your target audience wants by seeing how they are engaging with each other and with the competition.
A great online tool to use in order to find out what popular on social media is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo examines real-time data from a variety of social media outlets. Just type in the industry or niche your business is in and it will identify topics that are gaining in popularity. BuzzSumo also allows you to filter your results by language, time such as week or month, country, and type of content such as article or videos. Then you can see what topics are being talked about the most and identify the prevailing opinion on any subject. This gives you exactly what you need to add a fresh perspective or reinforce a message with your touch.
You Can Audition Your Content
“This is another powerful technique that Larry Kim uses to regularly develop content that knocks it out of the park,” say Shewan.
Any content that you have produced or topic ideas that you come up with you can be tested on your audience before it goes live. A great way to do this is through social media. You are basically auditioning your content ideas to see which ones will do better than others. If your idea gets a ton of shares and likes, then you know you are on the right track.
Twitter is typically the preferred outlet to audition content as Facebook has changed their algorithms to give preferential treatment to paid placements. Twitter is quick, easy, and best of all free. All of your followers are guaranteed to see your tweet and if your profile is public many others who aren’t following you will see it as well.
Create an infographic or teaser of your topic in some way then share the link. You can use Twitter analytics to gauge how many likes, retweets, overall engagement rates, impressions and other metrics occur as a result. When you find content ideas that spark a reaction, you can build your content ideas around those topics.