Choosing topics to cover is perhaps the most important decision in a content marketing campaign.
Relevance is the key.
Your content needs to appeal to the right type of reader (prospect), it needs to speak their language, and it needs to engage them in a way that compels them to get in touch. If you’re a web design company in Dubai, for example, there’s no point publishing a brilliant article about water purification in South America.
In B2B in particular (and in many B2C cases), this means creating content that helps to solve problems or addresses challenges that are prevalent in your field. So if I’m selling social media marketing to businesses in the UAE, my content might highlight how businesses can increase their marketing reach or how different social media platforms gain traction with different audiences.
At Silx, we come up with relevant topics for our clients by supporting our idea generation with some tools that help to focus our topic suggestions. While there are many complex and feature-rich marketing tools on the market, we like the four profiled below for the core purpose they serve in helping us come up with creative and relevant ideas.
Let’s take a look:
BuzzSumo: This provides us with an overview of what content gets the most shares, which is a very powerful metric for guiding content idea generation. It will take you just a minute to figure out how it works and it can really help steer you in the right direction.
It’s best used to give your ideas further relevance, or to find that hook. So once you already have a general direction, use BuzzSumo to refine the topic. Take Silx as an example. We write about content marketing for our own digital marketing initiative. Perhaps we want to write about the team behind our content marketing in Dubai and so we want to know what specific topics get the most shares. Type ‘content marketing team’ into the search box and we get a number of results that help us focus our idea.
Twitter lists: Upwards of 500 million tweets are sent each day. Twitter lists enables you to follow all the top media in your space and what the top companies in your industry are publishing. It gives a nice clean feed of highly focused material. A quick scroll through the timeline several times a day will help you keep on top of the industry buzz and the latest topics which is very helpful in focusing future content. You can also figure out which tweets are being retweeted or favourited the most, which gives that insight into what topics are proving the most relevant.
Search autocomplete tools: You can type straight into the Google search box and use the powerful autocomplete feature, which is designed to guide the searcher towards relevance, or you can use tools like Keyword Tool or Übersuggest, which give you the Google autocomplete output for hundreds of long-tail keywords at once.
Übersuggest gives a clean, alphabetical list relating to your search field input. For example, by typing in ‘content marketing team’ I get about a dozen results which together reveal that a significant number of people searching for information about content marketing teams are interested in learning more about content team roles and the overall team matrix.
A handy feature with Keyword Tool is that it also serves up the questions people type around your topics. So if we type in ‘diabetes’ and click the Questions tab, we are shown the sort of answers people are looking for around this topic. If I were a medical practitioner specialising in the treatment of diabetes, this would give me a rich source of content topics.
Quora: Quora is a forum for questions about any topic answered from ‘people with real experience’. Its tagline is ‘the best answer to any question’, which may be a bit of a stretch but it’s not the answers we’re interested in; it’s the questions that throw up topics for our content. Just enter your keyword(s) and Quora will give you a list of questions people are asking around the topics.
It has about 500,000 different topic talking points, with millions of Q&As around these topics. That’s a lot of information. Quora users vote the answers up and down based on their perceived value, so a closer look at some of the top answers may also help you to refine your topic ideas.
Grow your audience, grow your business
It’s often when your content marketing machinery is up and running that the ideas dry up and the temptation creeps in to start pulling topics out of the air. This is a sure-fire way to lose relevance and, by extension, audience. In order to maintain relevance in all the content you generate, try these tools in tandem with your brainstorming meetings and watch your audience response rise.