How to Generate Topics for Content Marketing that Will Intrigue Your Audience

November 29, 2016 Doug Milnor

Content marketingIn a perfect world, the content for your blogs and social media posts would sizzle, each post building on the last until, in a fevered frenzy, your audience converts and becomes loyal brand advocates forever. In the real world, however, sometimes your content fizzles instead of sizzles.

Admittedly, coming up with fresh topics for content marketing can be a challenge. But there are some positive steps you can take to keep the content ideas flowing and keep your target audience interested and engaged. Here are a few of them:


Tip One: Know Your Audience

This sounds like a Content Marketing 101 tip, but it pays to revisit your buyer personas every once in awhile. Every content creator at some point develops a bit of myopia about buyer personas. Perhaps you have been focused for some time on a particular pain point or facet of your buyer persona's characteristics. Sometimes, taking a fresh look at the buyer personas you have created gives you the fresh angle you need to create some great content.


Tip Two: Refer to Your Calendar

Foundrmag.com offers this insight: "Successful, prolific content marketers are ones who are organized." You can get organized by putting some thought into creating and updating your editorial calendar well in advance.

Sometimes, a lack of inspiration for great content comes from skimping on the calendar preparation. Think of your editorial calendar as a high-level view of where you are going, and your individual content as the places you intend to explore on the way.


Tip Three: Explore Trends

Great content marketing involves being in touch with what is happening with your target audience and what is happening in your industry. There are a variety of tools that can help you generate fresh content by discerning trending topics. Google Trends and Buzzsumo are excellent tools to help you see what topics are currently trending in your industry. Incorporating these topics into your content keeps it fresh and engaging.


Tip Four: Make that Headline Stand Out

A great headline serves two main purposes. First, it grabs the attention of your target audience. Second, from your perspective as the author of the content, coming up with a catchy headline can fuel your own creative energy.

So, what makes a great headline? You can find volumes of information about sticky headlines, but in reality, it comes down to a few simple principles. Your headline should:

  • Cultivate curiosity in the mind of your reader.
  • Touch off an emotional response.
  • Set up expectation(s) in the reader that your content will then satisfy.

Regarding the need to create an emotional response, Copyblogger.com notes: "In order to build relationships with your audience, you have to first connect with readers on an emotional level ... If readers aren't interested and engaged, they're unlikely to keep reading. And even if they do read your content, they're less likely to digest it; it's less likely to make an impact on their lives."

So, go for the emotion!

Content marketing

Tip Five: Provide Truly Helpful Content

Every piece of content you craft should have a purpose. It should be helpful to your target audience in some way. Remember that even so-called "boring" content is useful if it is helpful. For instance, reading about how to unclog a drain may sound mind-numbing. But if you have a clogged drain, a well-written article about how to unclog drains is suddenly highly interesting.

What is the lesson? When coming up with ideas for content, think, not from the perspective of the content creator, but from the perspective of the potential reader. What do your readers really need to know? What are they looking for when they come to your site? The answers to these questions will help keep your content idea generation useful, relevant, and on point.

Tip Six: Socially Promote Your Content

Promote your content on the various social media outlets.  This is an important component for a number of factors:

1) Provides important back links to your site
2) Allows your readers to consume it in their preferred manner
3) Over time, if the content is relevant and topical and your audience grows, this helps establish you as the thought-leader in your industry.


The Takeaway

Coming up with a continual stream of great content takes forethought, time, and effort. Knowing your audience well, building out an editorial calendar, and keeping an eye on trending topics in your industry will provide you with much fodder for idea generation.

Once you have ideas in mind, take steps to provoke an emotional response in your readers by creating eye-catching headlines and providing content that is truly useful and relevant, no matter what your industry happens to be.

How are you doing in this regard? Are you struggling with content creation? Is your content creating an emotional response in your target audience? Request an assessment today, and we will work with you to build a content marketing strategy that will intrigue your audience, drive conversions, and increase revenues for your business.

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