One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is creating a steady stream of content. And not just any content will do; your content needs to be well written, engaging and needs to leave people wanting more. This is no easy feat!
Yet the potential benefits of creating amazing content are huge. According to this infographic from Demand Metric, content marketing drives around 3x as many leads as traditional marketing.
Assuming you could use some new leads for your business, keep reading! This post will outline some strategies you can use to create ridiculously good content that actually works to attract new customers.
Step One: Find content ideas you know will work
The first challenge in creating excellent content is coming up with topic ideas.
Following are three strategies you can use to find hot topics that have already proven successful.
1) Use Buzzsumo to find popular content ideas: It’s impossible to know how a piece of content will perform before you put it in front of your audience. But there is a strategy you can use that will greatly increase your chances of getting traction.
Using a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find the most popular content in your niche or industry. Simply type in your topic, keywords or a competitor’s website URL, and see which posts and pages have gotten the most social shares.
Of course, you don’t want to simply re-write this post! Your audience wants to hear your unique perspective on the topic. Instead, use what you’ve found as inspiration, and create a brand new piece that will resonate with your audience.
2) Mine your analytics to find topics that have already worked with your audience
Your website, email and social media analytics can be a goldmine, if you know what you’re looking for. Here’s why: Your audience has already told you what they love!
Using all the resources at your disposal (Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, etc.), figure out which topics and content-types have worked well in the past. Look for posts that have received tons of engagement, page views or conversions. And if you find one that’s succeeded at all three, you’ve definitely found a winner.
3) Use social bookmarking sites to find trending topics
My favorite bookmarking site for finding hot topics is Reddit. Using a tool like SnoopSnoo or Reddit’s own search feature, you can track down relevant subreddits (basically Reddit groups relevant to your industry) and monitor threads to see what topics are currently trending.
Subreddit for discussions about Facebook
Once you’ve found a relevant subreddit, you can sort posts by ‘top’ or ‘hot’ or even ‘controversial’ to find the ones that are outperforming the rest. Based on what you find, create your own blog or social media content to answer the questions or addresses the issues you’ve identified.
Step Two: Create content that hits its mark
Arguably, the hardest part is already behind you. You’ve already identified a great topic, and are inspired to start writing/creating. Now it’s time to put pen to paper and create amazing content your audience will love. Here’s how!
1) Make good content better
At this point, you know which blog posts have already performed well in your niche. Now’s your chance to use your knowledge and skills to improve on that content.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Add your own unique spin or twist on a popular topic (e.g., “Kim’s Favorite Tools For Monitoring Social Media”)
- Inspired by a popular post, write your own post but make it longer and more in-depth
- If you find one of your old posts did well with your audience, but DIDN’T do well in Google, do some basic on-page SEO and link building to increase your rankings
- Re-write an old post, but update it to include recent facts, statistics or other data
- Add images, videos, quotes or research to existing content to make it more interesting
2) Choose a killer title to entice clicks and views
Neil Patel is the king of content creation. Visit the Quick Sprout blog for inspiration for your own titles
Some research suggests that traffic can vary by up to 500% depending on your headline. This means your blog post titles have a lot of heavy lifting to do!
Some title formats that tend to do well include:
- How-To’s: e.g., How to Stay Productive
- Benefit-Driven titles: e.g., How To Make More Money While Working 3 Hours A Day
- Lists: e.g., Top 10 Ways To Be Productive At Work
- Questions, especially How and Why titles: e.g., Why You’re Not As Productive As You’d Like
You can also use Buzzsumo to find amazing titles for your blog posts. Simply look through the most popular content in any industry – remember, you just want to see what types of titles have done well – and then spin the title to work with your topic/industry.
For instance, if you find that a post called “How To Fix Your Relationship When You Want To Give Up” has proven popular, spin it to make sense for your industry (e.g., “How To Stay Productive When You Want To Give Up”).
For more help with creating killer headlines, see my post A Quick And Easy Formula For Writing Clickable Blog Titles.
3) Write like you talk
One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is that your audience gets to know you…the REAL you. They don’t want to hear a bunch of industry lingo or dry, academic writing. They want to read stuff that’s simple, straightforward, and insanely useful!One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is that your audience gets to know you…the REAL you.Click To Tweet
A good rule of thumb is to write in a conversational style; in other words, write the way you talk. If you want, look at other people’s writing to get inspired….just don’t try to be exactly like them!
Remember: Your audience wants to get to know YOU, so show them who you are through your writing.
What strategies do you use to come up with amazing content? Share in the comments below!