5 easy ways to create great content, without wanting to break anyone’s head
There are umpteen facts floating around about the power of content marketing. From improving search rankings to driving relevant traffic and leads, good content can be a game changer in the online competitor space.
In its 2015 Benchmark Report, Hubspot found that companies with 400+ published posts get double the traffic than those with 0 – 100 blogs.
400 blogs? Really? That seems like a super daunting number from any angle. How long will it take to write that much content? Do you have enough (valid and bankable) ideas to create 400 blogs? The answer is yes.
Technically, creating just one good blog a day for the next one year can let you hit the number. While one blog doesn’t seem like a lot, doing two a day will double your pace in reaching your content goal!
All you need to do is follow our simple content creation guide, albeit judiciously, and you’ll be on your way to achieve your content goals before you know. That brings us back to the starting line of our content marathon.
And let’s go.
Start by chalking down specific goals from your Content creation activity. It may be sales or leads for one or many of your products and services. Your content marketing schedule will entirely revolve around these goals that you set today. If you are selling a single product (for example T-shirts) and have variants like slogan tees, graphic tees and superhero tees, you content goals will revolve around each variant too.
This goal sheet is a sacrosanct document in your content creation activity. Whenever you create content, you’ll need to go back to your goal sheet to check on a few questions –
- Does the content educate my customers?
- Does the content delight my customers?
- Does the content compel my customers to explore my product offering?
- Does the content make a user want to come back for more?
If you are saying yes to one or more questions, then the content is fit to roll.
So how do you create ideas and variations in your content? Here are 5 ways to do it.
Identify your source of inspiration
There are blogs you like and there are blogs you love. Writers who you like to go back to. Writers who somehow make the most sense with content that rings the right bells. We all have them. We all like to follow them. Now let’s take your inspiration a step ahead.
Compile all your favourite blogs using an aggregator like Feedly. These can be blogs from your industry, sector, product line and even those from your competitors. This gives you a single window to keep track of the content you love and even learn to improvise on what’s working for others. The great thing about Feedly is that it also allows you to automatically categorize the incoming content, making it easy for you to source specific content for specific needs.
As a next step pick, out your favourite content headlines or create new ones and mark them out to one or more goals from your goal sheet. Do this once a day, everyday, and you’ll never run out of blog topics for the entire year!
Listening to social channels
Social is where you customers ‘hang out’. And it it’s the place where you get to discretely listen to what they are saying and device a way to give them what they are looking for. What most companies don’t realize is that social is not only a medium to disseminate your content but also a place to find content that will make your brand come alive. For example if you are an ethnic wear brand and your customers are following what ethnic clothing leading actors are wearing on the red carpet, you can devise content that interests them and draw them into your world about ethnic wear without overselling it.
Another interesting place to look for topic ideas is QnA sites Quora. While it is not only customers who may have questions, you’ll notice Quora to be a place where industry leaders hang out personally answering questions. Now all you need to do is spin off a topic from one of the answers from questions and answers that have the most upvotes!
Look up trends and keyword research
When you take up keyword research for SEO strategy, it will give you a clear view of the exact terms customers are using to find your brand or service. While you use the primary keywords to optimize your site, the long tail keywords are great for content creation for your blog. Let’s say you recommend shopping destinations within a city and know that your customers use ‘Silk sarees in <location>’ as one of their prime search terms. An insightful 2000+ original article on Top 7 tourist destinations in the city (with one being a popular silk saree store) can be a great way to lay the bait.
Another free tool that content marketers often use for the “now” audience is Google trends. As Google says “Trends gives you a glimpse into the topics the world is searching for.” Though many blogs recommend that you create content as per the trending topic, it is not always possible as a brand owner to do so unless you have a team of experienced content marketers on board 24×7 to look this up. We recommend instead use it to understand search patterns.
Did you know that, for example, “birthday party ideas” and “baby shower ideas” tend to peak in January! You can use an insight like this to create topical content for a particular period.
The content idea tool you didn’t know you had – Your own website
The way users act on your website can also be a great insight into what they are looking for. All that data which is hidden within Google Analytics can be a great source for re-marketing old content and creating a new set.
Here are 3 great ways to use Google Analytics for content checks.
- Behaviour insights: Go to Behaviour > Site Content and drill down to your blog page. Sort for the blogs with maximum page views over a period of time. Since this blog topic has continued to attract visitors to your site, can you re-package the content in the form of an infographic or add new tweetable insights or updates which can make it a hot topic for you?
- Catch search trends: If your site has a search bar, explore your site search stats to see what people are looking for. A trend on pattern in site search is a great way to know about your user requirements. It is also a good way to create spin off content for your blog.
- Outbound links: The third often-missed way is to look for the click pattern on your outbound links. Outbound links add value to a blog article citing authentic references. You can ‘tag’ your outbound links and then get click data on them in analytics. People are leaving your site and going to an external source because they want more information about the link topic. Creating topics around such links can be a great way to get new ideas for content
Create content for your influencers – So that they can bring in your customers
The primary job of good content is to attract relevant traffic. As much as you share it on your social channels and spread it out via your newsletter, the true magic happens when your readers begin to like and share the content with a bigger audience. Among them are the crème – the real ‘influencers’ who’ll help your content reach the world (or its subset of your customers). Gaining a share, link or tweet from them can get your content a great deal of visibility.
It’s not as simple to get an influencer to link to you or share you content. You’ll need to study their content habits to create something that they’ll find useful. Then, ask them nicely in a highly personalized email if they would like to help.
Tip: You can mention them in your content and link to their site as a first step.
Getting links from influencers is an art that can be perfected over time by understanding what makes them tick and how tailoring your content for them can be beneficial for both of you.
And on the final word, no matter what content you create, it should be ‘adaptive content’. The new buzzword in the content marketing industry that is touted to be one of the most important factors influencing content consumption this year. It is about ensuring that your content adapts automatically when disseminated out of various media like social channels, newsletters and also adapts for mobile, laptop and desktop perfectly.
With so many sources of ideas and inspiration, it is easy to lose track until you take time out every month to understand your content metrics and if it yielded the results you envisioned. Keep half a day at the end of the month to track if a content’s share stats on social channels is directly proportional to the traffic, leads or conversions it brought in.
So hopefully, with these tips will help you say goodbye to the blank white screen and usher in a productive period of quality content. No more breaking heads!
We would love to know how you create you content. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.