If you’ve ever run out of content ideas, you need to read this article to find ways to keep your content machine running.
Content, today, is not only necessary, it is imperative to your brand’s existence.
“If you’re not putting out relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist.”
This statement by Gary Vaynerchuk is proving to be true with every passing day for companies across industries, and particularly for SaaS and e-commerce brands.
Content Ideas for Each Funnel Stage
When a user visits your website, they are either looking for information about a product or service to know more about it or they’re looking to make a purchase.
Either way, they are seeking a solution to their problem, and here’s where the content you put out comes into play in not only helping them understand your product better but building a fiduciary relationship with your brand by offering higher visibility and transparency.
A great content only only builts trust with the customers, it makes them your loyal fans. Content that engages and targets the right audience is more likely to steer the customer to conversion.
For an effective marketing plan, target your content for customers at each stage of the buying process, with the right form of content.
While a great keyword research plan is extremely important for your content strategy, finding great topics to write for can cut down your keyword research time.
The content you put out there shouldn’t only be informative or educative, but you can add different mix to your content in order to keep your customers engaged with your brands.
This system of the content funnel allows for maximum leads to be converted into paying customers.
Top-of-the-Funnel (TOFU) Content
This is the awareness stage where the purpose of the content is to educate readers and generate leads through interactive and informative content that helps your target audience.
Address common challenges and problems of your customers, help them navigate through those problems with your content. Do not sell your product or services for such type of content.
This content is usually:
This type of content format includes blogposts, checklists, whitepapers, free e-books, videos, and even uncomplicated free trials!
TalkTravel, which is a mobile app and has an extensive list of travel guides which serve as Top of the Funnel content, aimed at travelers and travel enthusiasts.
This is an amazing way to grow your audience, answer their questions and introduce your brand.
Middle-of-the-Funnel (MOFU) Content
While TOFU content aims to introduce your brand and generate leads, middle-of-the-funnel (MOF) content aims to nurture those leads by engaging them with your brand.
At this stage, the objective is to build their interest by aligning their needs to steer them closer to the final purchase.
The MOF content is also:
This can take the form of product webinars, demos, videos, targeted email marketing and other channels.
For instance, Zendesk’s blog – The Library does an amazing job of putting out relevant content for enterprises and other customers that are looking for CRM and remote solutions, while also subtly nudging them towards Zendesk’s offerings through the Contact Sales CTA on the bottom right.
Bottom-of-the-Funnel Content (BOFU) Content
This is the decision-stage content part of the funnel. The aim here is to create content that helps your audience that has been nurtured before to purchase your product/service. This content:
- Differentiates you from your competitors
- Talks directly about your product(s)
- Enables leads to action on the trust built in previous stages
At this stage, the content is perfectly aligned with your product and therefore, can take the form of case studies, customer testimonials, FAQs directly solving possible queries, product comparisons, etc.
For instance, Marketo does a brilliant job of showcasing the tangible benefits its customers have experienced by dedicating an entire page to case studies. This allows prospective customers to see how other firms have used Marketo to drive growth.
Smart Ways to Find Content Ideas
If you are looking for inspiration to create content for your brand, these methods will put you in good stead.
1. Social Listening
An effective organic method of generating new ideas for your next blogpost is by listening to what your customers are talking about on public platforms like Quora, Reddit, Facebook groups, etc.
A simple way to do this is by setting alerts for when anyone mentions a keyword you are interested in using social monitoring tools like Mention.com or Awario.com.
How to do it?
Enter your brand or product name on awario.com and mention some phrases that describe your product the best along with the names of your top competitors.
Here, the name of the brand is Mother’s Spices, a brand producing homemade spices using organic raw materials.
Connect your social media accounts to the tool so that it’s easier to track and share the mentions.
Now, whenever someone talks about ‘organic spices’, ‘homemade spices’ or ‘cooking spices’, you’ll be able to see what they are saying and take cues from the conversation for your next blogpost.
2. Target Keywords
When you are building your blog, the first thing to keep in mind is whether it’s SEO optimised.
Using a keywords research tool is essential to find out the keywords that are searched often on Google but fall on the lower side of the competition radar so that you get maximum results.
Online tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush allow you to search for top keywords in your space and provide you with the search volume and keyword difficulty.
This is how it looks like on SEMRush:
The keyword ‘organic spices’ has a decent search volume of over 7k and a keyword difficulty of 68%, which is a little higher for you to beat if you are just starting out. It’s always better to look for keywords in the KD range of 30-50.
3. Find Content Ideas from Customer Reviews and Complaints
Another organic way, albeit a bit more manual, is to scout through the product reviews on your online store as well the likes of Amazon and eBay. Authentic customer reviews often talk about the positives and negatives of the product and are a great source of content ideas for all stages of the sales funnel.
To complement the above method, you can search through the product reviews of your competitors on their websites and Amazon/eBay/Alibaba as well as consumer forums.
For instance, if you run an ecommerce store that sells running shoes, you can check out Amazon to see what customers are saying for your competitors like New Balance, Nike, Adidas and others. The reviews in the screenshot below for a pair of New Balance running shoes show that the comments are based on product features.
Based on this, you can write your next blog on ‘running shoes offering maximum support’ or ‘running shoes with great cushioning’ and variations of this.
4. Make Google Your Superhero
If you have a topic that you want to write on or have written about before, related to your product, search it on Google.
The suggestions that come up after you search ‘organic spices’ are all topic that can be used for your blog.
Along with the search suggestions, also check out the related search queries at the end of the search results page.
This is one of the easiest ways to source new topics since you know these are already being searched by your audience so are targeted and since they are recommended by Google, they are inherently SEO friendly.
5. Cross-link YouTube Videos
Generally, brands create videos to upload on YouTube and then cross-share them on their other promotional channels.
However, YouTube videos can also be a unique and refreshing source of content ideas for your blog.
When you search for your topic on YouTube, you’ll see top suggestions which are relevant for that keyword according to YouTube.
Filter the results by ‘View Count’ to see the videos that have the maximum views first.
Once you sort the searches, you’ll see the videos related to your topic with the maximum number of views. The titles of these videos can easily be the topics for your blog.
For instance, both ‘History of Content Marketing’ and ‘Best Content Writing Tools’ are relevant to your seed keyword, ‘content marketing’, and can be used as blog topics.
To know more, just as you go through the product reviews, go through the YouTube comments to understand if there’s an aspect that you can cover through your content.
6. Reddit: The Hidden Treasure
Almost everyone uses Reddit for entertainment. It hosts some of the most extensive and absurd discussions on topics ranging far and wide. This is a great tool to find new and interesting content ideas from a barrage of boring content.
Let’s say you have an online store that sells adhesives. It’s safe to say that it’s not a sensational category of product and is always wanting for new content ideas for marketing!
Now, go to Reddit and search for your topic.
The results will be sorted by ‘relevance’ and from ‘all time’ by default. If not, change the settings under ‘Best Results’.
Check out the array of topics that have been conversed upon and note them down for your blog. Some examples for adhesives here:
- How to remove old vinyl/laminate adhesive?
- Features of construction adhesives
- The adhesive strip for your windows
Reddit threads can give you content ideas that you would normally not get anywhere else. Use the power of this craziness for your own benefit!
7. Bandwagon Method
It’s absolutely vital to create original content and find ideas that haven’t been talked about before to build your brand thought-leadership.
On the other hand, looking at competitor content is a great strategy too. Find out what your competitors are writing out and what’s trending in your domain by searching for such articles on sites like Buzzsumo.
The key point to remember here is that you need to create valuable and original content that’s better than your competitors’.
Here’s how it works on Buzzsumo. Search for your topic in the search bar.
The results shown will be for all time and in all languages. Filter them to include content from more recent duration, probably last one week, and in the language that you write in.
Look at the top trending articles in the space by sorting them through their engagement numbers.
Use these results to create content on similar topics. For instance, here, topics around e-commerce operations in the times of Coronavirus is a popularly consumed topic.
This ensures that you write about the ‘hot’ topics in your space that are certain to attract readers. Time and creativity are of prime essence here.
Where Should You Promote Your Content?
The hard part doesn’t end at creating the content. Most content creators and brands forget about the last and most crucial part of their content marketing – promoting your content.
You can create amazing content but it’s not going to help your business if no one knows about it! While Google holds the most power around how well your content works, there are a number of ways that you can promote your content.
1. Post on relevant Facebook groups
Facebook Groups work well when your content is on a niche topic. Find groups that have the relevant audience; such groups are highly likely to pull in a small group of audience.
For e-commerce particularly, there are blogs like The E-Commerce Blog that host a community of e-commerce entrepreneurs.
Start by engaging with other people’s posts through comments and shares. You can also include links to your blog if it’s relevant in a comment. Subtle promotion works best on such groups.
2. Share with internet’s harshest critiques on Reddit
Reddit has the power to send thousands of users to your blog overnight. While it’s largely a hit and miss strategy, the results are beyond average if the content hits the Reddit audience.
Another way to use Reddit for promotions is by becoming a part of the communities that talk about your topic.
The trick is not to post overtly promotional content and aim at adding value to the discussion. Reddit users are known to be less patient for things that are self-promotional and not valuable, and rightly so.
3. Share with your social media channels
An integrated marketing communications strategy calls for cross-sharing of content on all social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the new-age platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest.
The trick to maximise results here is to post your content multiple times on these platforms by making slight changes in the post body. Repeated promotions drive up the number of visitors to your blog.
Ahrefs shares their artilces multiple times on their Twitter profile with a slight tweak in the message:
How to Remove URLs From Google Search (5 Methods) by @patrickstox
There are many reasons why you may want to remove a page from Google and several ways to do so. Each situation is a bit different.
Read this post to see how you can get it right 👇 https://t.co/qDhbqzPXgV
— Ahrefs (@ahrefs) April 29, 2020
There are many ways to remove URLs from Google, but there’s no one size fits all approach. It all depends on your circumstances.
Here’s a flowchart to help you quickly decide which method of removal is best for you.
— Ahrefs (@ahrefs) May 4, 2020
4. Send it to your loyal fans via email
No one is more likely to read your content than your existing audience.
Once your blog post is up on the website, craft an email with the link to the post in the body and send it to your subscribers.
5. Share with your industry influencers
If you are a new brand with a limited to null existing audience, chances are the usual promotional channels won’t work well for you.
An effective channel in this scenario to reach out to people that have a large audience base and ask them to share your content. This is the essence of influencer marketing and is one of the most prominent ways to promote content in a popular category.
If you are sure that you have crafted a great piece of content, reach out to your industry influencers in an email (never spam) and tell them why they should give it a read. Even better if you have mentioned them in your post!
6. Repurpose your content
Repurposing your existing blog into other formats like video, infographic and others is a great way to cross share it across platforms.
Users on Instagram, for instance, are more likely to engage with an infographic than go back to your bio and click on the link to your blog post.
For instance, this educational institutional initially wrote a blog post on ‘5 Reasons to Study Business Management’.
Later, they converted the post into an infographic and posted it across its platforms for increasing engagement and kept the blog link in the message body.
There you go!
In this article, I talked about:
- how to target your content for each customer stage
- how to quickly find content ideas or topics to write
- where to promote your content
Give them a shot and let us know how you fared!