Now that you have set content marketing goals for your business and figured out what each piece of content you produce will do, you might be wondering where all those wonderful content marketing ideas are going to come from…

Not to worry. You probably have more to work with than you think.

Let’s begin by looking at our users again and uncovering what they want to know.

Use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This should be your first port of call for a wealth of content marketing ideas.

Your list of your customers’ and prospects’ frequently asked questions tells you exactly what’s on the mind of your leads and answering each question with a piece (or series?) of content will fulfil a large part of your initial content marketing goals.

Ignoring the ‘what time are you open’ sorts of questions, you will notice that your answers to the FAQs could be expanded upon.

Well, now’s your chance!

  • Do they want to know how to determine the ‘right’ level of life cover? Write them a downloadable e-guide that walks them through the process.
  • Does your product have a lot of features that you haven’t elaborated upon because the designer told you the web copy should be short? Link to your new article on what problem the features solve and link to your blog posts about how your engineers thought through the issues as they developed the product feature.
  • Do a lot of your clients not understand how solicitors bill for their time? This could be an opportunity to create trust and ‘transparency’ while setting yourself apart from your competitors. Create an article explaining how most lawyers’ fees are calculated and give common examples such as wills, probate, and home purchase to show how you go about billing for services.

Use the right tools

One of the best thing about search engines is the unprecedented amount of information at your fingertips that can inspire your content marketing. You can quickly find out what your prospects are searching for and see the kind of language they use and the questions they ask.

Now before you start thinking think that sounds a bit like ‘SEO keywords’, I want you to pause and consider our approach.

Content marketing is all about generating content that will appeal to your prospects.

Be useful to your target audience

Writing content that is based on what your prospects search for isn’t about targeting certain ‘keywords’ for spammy, useless content.

What we’re talking about here is using the search engine tools to zero in on what your prospects are actively searching for so that you can better understand their needs.

The difference is that we are focussed on what your potential customers want (user needs), not on what ‘search engines’ want (SEO).

Revisit your print material

If you have already produced brochures, guides and handouts for prospects over the years, then you have a ready source of material to start sharing right now.

This content is usually well-targeted and already useful. It just needs some ‘massaging’ before you share it online and some promotion. Look for the kind of useful, helpful, informative content you’ve previously produced for:

  •  Trade show flyers
  • Front office brochures
  • Client guide booklets
  • Instruction sheets
  • Support documents

The competition

Your prospects will be looking at your competitors too. Make no mistake about that.

Closely follow the content your competitors are publishing and look for the underlying themes around what they are doing to meet prospects’ needs Use these themes to help guide your own content ideas. You can use tools like SEM Rush to help.

You could even respond to, build upon and compliment their work.

(Yes, I said ‘compliment’ them.)

Look for ways to share and build upon what others are doing in your sector and around the world – that’s where hot new ideas come from and how you can position yourself to be seen as a leader in your sector.

The next post will look at how to plan your content lifecycle so you don’t end up going crazy playing catch up all the time.

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