In order to create a solid content marketing plan, you need to be coming up with fresh new content ideas constantly.
These ideas need to cover topics your audience loves, solve their problems, answer their questions, address their needs and build loyalty. If that wasn’t enough, you need to make sure these ideas are also good enough that they can boost your Google rankings and continue to grow your business.
It’s certainly not an easy task and pulling a few ideas off the top of your head isn’t almost certainly isn’t going to deliver the results that your business deserves.
If you want to stand out in a crowded market and more effectively market your business, you’ll need to do your research before you start creating your content. Here are seven of the easiest ways you can get started.
1. Ask your audience
Creating content your audience will love is key when it comes to building your business and increasing your search rankings.
For that reason, one of the best ways to get content ideas is to reach out and ask them. Post a question on social media, create a poll or even send an email to your blog subscribers and ask them what they’d like you to help them with.
Not only will this leave them feeling like you care about your customers, it will also help ensure you’re writing for your readers, and not just the search engines.
How did they find your site and what keeps them there?
Once you’ve gathered your information, you can use it to create ideas for new content that are likely to generate interest and engagement from your readers and add value.
3. Explore Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ feature
Have you ever done a Google search and, as you scrolled down, noticed a box titled ‘People also ask’ with drop down answers on the page? As the name suggests, this nifty feature uses an algorithm to connect your search term with other similar questions, making it really useful when coming up with new content ideas.
If you use these queries to create your content, and make sure it’s concise and well written, you could improve your rankings and appear here too.
But that’s not all. As Search Engine Watch points out, the People Also Ask feature could also help you develop more long term content plans; “…[People Also Ask] serves a more practical goal, beyond understanding your audience and topic better. If you search Google for your target query enough, you will soon start seeing certain searching patterns.”
4. Look at ‘Answer the Public’
Do you feel overwhelmed when given spreadsheets and big lists of keywords? Then you’ll love Answer the Public.
This tool gathers together current search engine data and uses it to generate phrases and questions that people are actually searching for. Then it gives you the results in a user-friendly mind-map format or easy-to-use data sets that you can instantly use to create new content.
If you haven’t tried it before, we highly recommend that you go ahead and do so.
5. Follow the latest trends
What do people are about at the moment? Are there any trends on social media and in news that are relevant to your business? If so, these can be a great starting point when it comes to generating content ideas. For maximum impact, make sure you don’t just share the news, but also adds something new and relevant to the conversation.
Staying up to date is easy to do. Simply read the news, check social media, research any national/international days relevant to your industry, and subscribe to the useful Google Trends notifications.
6. Check your competition
What are other businesses in your industry or niche creating content about? Have they covered topics you’ve not yet covered?
This can often be a great guide that will spark your inspiration and help identify any topics you’ve forgotten to talk about so far. You can then use this to add even more value to the conversation by perhaps sharing a different option or even going more deeply into a topic.
7. Use Google Search suggestions
Many businesses find they have plenty of general topic ideas for content but they’re not sure exactly how to refine these into high performing pieces of content. A great solution in this case is to turn to Google Search suggestions.
Simply type your core content idea into the search bar and it will suggest related phrases based on what you are searching for.
For example, if we were thinking about creating content on ‘remote working’, we could input these sentences and be given the following:
Remote working is bad uk
Remote working 2020
Remote working jobs
Again, these are based on real keyword searches so are likely to perform well when turned into content.
As we mentioned at the start of this post, finding new ideas for engaging content isn’t easy. But by using the tools and tricks we’ve suggested here, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for content that will keep readers and search engines happy.