How to Choose Content Marketing Topics
What Marketing Professionals Don’t Tell You About Research
There are many reasons why content marketing is important to your businesses. It builds brand awareness, helps you connect with your audience, and most importantly, builds your organic traffic. This last aspect means that over time, effective content marketing will build a stable customer base in addition to lasting visibility. In simple terms, it means your business thrives.
One of the challenges with content marketing however, is knowing what topics your audience searches most. Answering this question takes many steps beyond looking at trending topics and knowing popular keywords. You must know your audience, use different types of content effectively, and have a goal for each piece before publication.
In the article below, we will cover what you need to know about understanding your audience, researching your topics, and which topics are best for each type of content style.
Start With a Client Persona
While this may seem like a basic piece of advice, it’s something many individuals overlook while trying to go the DIY marketing route.
The internet is flooded with information and more is being published each day. As such, it’s no longer enough to know the basic demographic information of your audience. To get on page one of client search results, you need to step into customer shoes, see problems from their perspective, and understand each part of their buying process.
To understand your client, we recommend building a persona. While a detailed persona may take quite a while to complete, we recommend the following 4-steps as a minimum starting point for defining your client base.
To begin, start by identifying demographic information. What is their gender, age, what do they do for a living, what do they do for fun? Get creative and be as detailed as you can to get a better understanding of who is searching your business.
Next, understand the main challenges your product or service will resolve. Depending on your business, this can be anything from providing clients with their best cup of coffee to helping them get through a nasty divorce. Or, like in our case, it’s teaching individuals on the internet how to think like a marketing expert.
Once you have this information, it’s time to research your competition. Who are your main competitors? Why are you better? What makes you special?
Finally, address the reservations your client might have about working with you. If your product is expensive, explain why it’s worth the cost. Call yourself out on your shortcomings and explain why you’re still the best match.
After addressing these points about your client and competition, it will guide your understanding of what topics your clients are most likely to search on the internet. Knowing this will allow you to pick topics that are relevant to clients, ultimately making your content more effective.
Trending Keywords and Topic Research
Keeping your new client persona close at hand, it’s time to take to the search engines yourself. This next phase is where you determine which topics and keywords are actually popular amongst your audience.
While everyone has their own style in how to do topic research, there are several software’s, both free and paid, that allow you to gain insight into search trends, keywords, and more. Some of these include:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
These tools help you see the relevance of a specific keyword and its prevalence among platforms, something that can indicate whether people are searching for the content you plan on making.
Similarly, these tools allow you to scan for seasonal topics you might want to take advantage of. For instance, if you own a sporting goods store, you will want to save topics about skiing gear for the winter and save kayaking topics for the summer months. Simple, logical steps such as these can greatly improve the performance of your content by keeping your site up to date and relevant to the present moment.
Platform Matters: Effective Content Creation
Let’s say you followed the steps above, you know your audience, you know what they are searching for, and now all that’s left is to create your content. Like in the sections above, the type of content that is most effective depends largely on the end result you would like to achieve.
Commonly, business owners want to hit a few main goals when making content: increase organic traffic, online engagement, and generate leads.
Content Marketing for Organic Traffic
In order to generate organic traffic effectively, you have to show up in search results. The only way to achieve this goal is to write about content your ideal client is already searching for. As such, the best content for organic traffic is by far the blog. Here, you can combine information with keywords while also providing links to other areas of your site.
The way most marketing professionals gain an understanding of what their audience is searching is by referencing their client persona and thinking about the types of questions they might have for a search engine.
After making this determination, the keyword research begins. For the best results, include both short and long-tail keywords. For instance:
- Content Marketing
- Best content marketing strategies
- How to research topics for content marketing
- How to make my blog more popular
Search engines will pick up on these keywords within your text and boost your results higher in the search results as your client’s search for these same topics.
Keep in mind however, the more general your keyword, the more intense the competition.
Content Marketing for Online Engagement
Creating content for online engagement is a slightly different game. While it still relies on keyword research, this type of content is much more lenient in terms of topic. This is because most online engagement comes through the form of social media, meaning you will want to focus on trending ideas in your industry.
For online engagement, social media is among the most effective tools. Here, the platform you select should resonate with the type of social media your audience is most likely to use. This means that some businesses might far better posting articles to LinkedIn while others might find better engagement with product photos on Instagram.
Similar to blogs, you want to make sure you are using the right keywords (i.e. hashtags) to get the highest engagement out of each post you make.
Content Marketing to Gain Leads
In marketing, not all leads are created equal. The industry generally separates leads into whether they are cold or warm.
Cold leads are largely based on demographic information and are poorly targeted toward a specific audience. The main purpose of cold leads is to take a brute force approach to marketing– reaching as many people as possible and seeing who responds. An example of cold leads include email and caller lists purchased from third party companies.
Warm leads are a little different and considerably more desirable. Warm leads are those in which the lead itself has already expressed interest in your product or service. These are individuals who have been browsing results on search engines, stumbled upon your site, and are already looking for the very thing you offer.
As such, there are some types of content marketing that is made specifically to capture warm leads. The most effective method is implementing a squeeze page on your website. This is a single page of sales-driven content with no links to anyplace else on the internet.
With a direct message throughout the entirety of the page, the end user is finally prompted to add their information to a sign-up form, subscribe to a newsletter, or purchase an ebook. Here, you trade value for value with your user– exchanging high quality content in exchange for a snippet of personal contact information.
Hiring an Expert Pays for Itself
As you can see from the article above, formulating an effective marketing strategy is a full-time job in and of itself.
The truth is, most business owners don’t have time to properly research, compile, and analyze the data necessary to select effective marketing topics. There is evel less time to create meaningful content.
Unfortunately, most business owners never seek marketing help because they are afraid of the cost. What they don’t realize is that when done by experts, content marketing is an expense that pays for itself.
Content is a one-time expense that once online, provides endless returns at no added cost. When blogs and site pages are optimized to your location and audience, this results in ongoing exposure and organic traffic.
At Platinum Passport Marketing, we have a proven track record of making custom digital marketing materials that rank, grow your audience, and ultimately sell your service. We monitor your conversion rates, analytics, SEO, and online reputation.
With the strain taken out of your marketing, you can go back to doing what you do best: running your business.