Most marketers agree that choosing topics is one of the most difficult aspects of putting out consistent, high-value content. In the beginning, defining your content topics likely consisted of your team sitting around a table and pitching different ideas. It doesn't take long for that type of approach to cause the creative well to run dry.
Luckily, in today’s world of big data marketing, selecting content topics doesn't require extensive brainstorming sessions. If you know where (and how) to look, your marketing data can tell you the topics your audience wants to see.
This post walks you through four ways you can use marketing data to choose the best topics for your content marketing campaigns.
#1. Analyze Your Existing Content
Unless you're brand new to marketing, chances are you have some existing content on your company website. Maybe it is a blog, a short video series, or even some case studies you have published. The point is, you have a baseline of content from which to build. So, you should use the existing marketing data from that content to determine what is already working for you. If 30 percent of your leads stem from the one recorded webinar you have on your website, expand on the topic of the webinar in a variety of content formats (i.e. blog posts, video, infographics, etc.).
#2. Spy on the Competition
SEO marketing guru Neil Patel has an interesting (albeit controversial) approach to developing a marketing strategy: good marketers borrow, great marketers steal. In other words, there is no need to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch with your marketing content. Instead, figure out what is already working for competitors trying to attract the same audience and...well...steal the ideas (not the content itself, of course).
But how exactly do you know what content is working for your competitors?
There are some externally visible factors you can measure. Take a look at the number of comments a blog post generates, or how many social media shares the post generates. You can also use marketing data from companies like BuzzSumo to get a more definitive look at where your competitors’ traffic originates.
#3. Go to the Source: Ask (and Listen To) Your Audience
No one knows what your audience wants to see from you better than your audience itself. So, instead of speculating on content topics, go right to the source for your next wave of ideas.
There are two different ways to do this. The first is to ask your audience directly. That means putting together a survey or questionnaire that can be hosted on your website or even conducted over the phone by sales and customer service reps. The second option is to “listen” to what your audience talks about via social channels. Conversations happening on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora all can be repositories of great content topic ideas for you and your team.
#4. Rope in the Sales Team
Your sales partners can also be a great resource when it comes to tapping into the wants and needs of your target audience. Salespeople communicate with potential customers every day. They know common questions and concerns. They know what information to share in order to move the lead further down the sales funnel. Your sales partners may not be marketers themselves, but they can be a great source for finding best-in-class content to create.
The Bottom Line
Of course, if you are going to rely on the data you gather to craft new content, that data needs to be in good shape.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization, and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean, and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.