- Posted by Janina Bernardo
- On November 15, 2016
- 0 Comments
- B2B Marketing, Blogging, Content Marketing
According to Forbes.com, almost 9 out of 10 companies now use some form of content marketing to attract leads. Just imagine the sheer volume of content that needs to be created on a regular basis. The pressure is on to consistently produce quality and relevant blog posts for your target audience. We know how challenging this can be for small business owners and start-ups so we have come up with suggestions on where to find new blog post ideas.
Utilize Keyword Search Tools
HubSpot is a popular inbound sales and marketing software. But even if you are not a paid subscriber, you can still make use of their Blog Topic Generator tool. Simply, enter one to three keywords or phrases, and it will give you a few title suggestions. Not all of them will make sense, and some will be quite silly, but you may also hit a few good ones to get you started.
Buzzsumo is another useful site that displays the most popular posts on a given keyword or website. Type in your target keyword or phrase and it will show the most popular existing articles as shared across social media platforms. BuzzSumo also allows you to learn which type of headlines generate more engagement.
Another simple and straight forward site to search for inspiration is ContentIdeator. It lists existing high-ranking articles that are related to your keyword of choice. This tool is great for brainstorming with your team or help you kick off your blog topic research.
Listen-in on Social Media Conversations
You could create Twitter Lists. While the target audience for B2B products and services may be a challenge to pinpoint on social media platforms, they can still offer a wealth of information on topics and trends concerning your industry. Create a list of industry influencers on Twitter and LinkedIn, and keep up with their posts for ideas. Get more tips on how to use Twitter for sales.
Reddit can also be a source of info about niche communities who discuss particular topics related to your business. Many professionals discuss their work lives on this forum. You can search using industry buzzwords or specific products or companies to start. You can then use these discussions to create a blog with a unique angle.
Attend Industry Events
Trade shows are a great way to connect with experts and discover new themes for your blog. Take note of speakers who maintain blogs or social media accounts which you can follow or subscribe to. You can also connect with them at a later time to invite them to meet for a cup of coffee or chat over the phone.
Visit various booths and eavesdrop on your competitors’ sales pitch. It’s a great way to gather information on recent innovations regarding their products and services. While you are at it, don’t forget to grab brochures and other marketing materials. Listen in on other attendees as they chat with your competitor’s sales reps. What issues are they hoping to solve? What’s in their wish list? These are great topics of conversation that you can incorporate in your blog.
Interview your Customers
Consider directly reaching out to customers to gather feedback on their experience with your company. Ask them what it is about your brand that made them decide to go with you instead of the competition. This allows you to uncover your true differentiator. This can be a key marketing message that you can elaborate on in your next piece.
Probe deeper into their decision-making process. Ask them if they purchased from any of your competitors in the past. Find out why they stopped buying from them. These issues may well be similar to what other potential clients are facing. Write a blog about them and explain how your company can provide solutions.
You may also discover misconceptions about your industry and an article can be an excellent opportunity to debunk myths. Use reliable statistics to demonstrate what is really going on and present resolutions that aren’t typically considered.
Talk to your Sales Team and Customer Service Personnel
Your sales and customer service reps have a wealth of knowledge about recurring questions that could be addressed on your next write-up. Find out what inquiries they commonly encounter. Interview your sales team about their sales process and where they encounter the most resistance. Seasoned salespeople can share with you common sales objections and the kind of techniques that are most effective in overcoming them. These insights can give you a list of topics that can last you for months. Want to know how to build a rockstar sales team? Download our white paper.
Listen to What Your Competitors Are Saying and What’s Said About Them
Subscribe to your competitors’ marketing communications such as newsletters, blogs and social media accounts. Follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to learn more about their marketing strategies and interactions with customers. You can pick up ideas from these resources that you can repurpose for your own content marketing.
Look for reviews about your competitors’ products or services and find-out where they excel and where they are lacking. Figure out ways your business could resolve these challenges and write a piece about how your company can address problems better than the competition. Check out Better Business Bureau which evaluates both B2B and B2C companies against industry best practices and whether they meet the BBB accreditation standards. It will also list a history of complaints and whether they have been addressed. For businesses that sell software, G2 Crowd offers feedback from customers on matters such as ease of set-up and customer support.
Research Industry Trends
You can keep up with industry trends by reading industry publications, trade association newsletters or expert blogs.
Feedly is a great tool for keeping up with specialists and influencers. It’s an RSS feed reader that allows you to browse all your favorite blogs in one place. Write about how you see your company evolving with current market trends and how you can help your customers take advantage of hidden opportunities or avoid unforeseen pitfalls.
Don’t know where to find experts in your industry? LinkedIn Advanced People Search lets you view profiles of professionals in specific trades. You can also look-up LinkedIn Influencers who are a selected group of the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators. The impressive list includes Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington.
Do you have any other techniques that you use to generate ideas for new content? Feel free to share them with us. Want to get more sales and marketing tips, sign up for our newsletter.