After 15 years in digital marketing, I have seen a clear pattern when it comes to content marketing: it is mostly improvisational, sporadic, and lacking in strategy or consistency.
The urge to jump on the content marketing bandwagon often seems stronger than the desire to create something valuable or, dare I say it, perennial.
Deciding on topics to guide your strategy can appear daunting and shrouded in mystery. It need not be. Here are 5 ways to mine existing knowledge and data and kick-start your content marketing strategy.
Talk to your sales team
In-house knowledge is a hidden treasure in many companies, particularly if there is a divide between sales and marketing teams. Constant communication is crucial. Your sales team knows the most about your product’s strengths and flaws.
They may have a list of frequently asked questions committed to memory, but never mined by marketing. They know the blockers to purchase. Sit down with them and keep talking. Topics for content will bubble up.
Talk to your service team
Your customer service team is another key ally in developing a content strategy. What are the most frequent complaints? Can you audit your support queries / cases for patterns?
Marketing, sales and service have been siloed for too long. Alignment is no longer an option: it’s a requirement.
Use a keyword tool / audit your Google Ads data
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for taking the mystery out of deciding on topics for content creation. Enter your keywords and see expected clicks, impressions, cost per click, and the expected conversion rate. You may be surprised by the results!
If you run Google Ads, then you already have a goldmine of keyword data to use as seeds for content creation.
Use Google Trends if your industry is competitive
Google Trends is an excellent tool for spotting patterns in search volume. It works best in competitive industries, where search volume is significant.
If your product or service is a niche offering, you are better looking at steps 1 and 2 above, or using a Keyword Tool.
Use Suggested Searches for fleshing out content
When you search on Google, a number of suggested searches appear at the bottom of the search results page. They can be a helpful guide in finding topics that Google deems related to your own.
Search for your chosen keyword – chosen through Keyword Tools – and use the suggested phrases for sub-heads, or deep dives.
Content marketing requires planning and strategy to deliver, but it doesn’t need to be daunting or complicated. There is knowledge and data to be mined. Mine it, find your treasure, and get writing!
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