If your mind stops working the minute you think about writing a blog, you’re not alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute, thirty-six percent of marketers say producing engaging content is their biggest challenge.
1. Your Customers Hold The Keys To Success
Often times we ignore what is right in front of us. Our customers are not only a source of income but also provide us with invaluable insight into what makes them buy. They know what keeps them buying, and - even better - what would make them buy more.
Turning your customer interactions into content not only allows you to generate fresh ideas but it will also solidify your relationship with your client. People love to see their ideas implemented.
Here are Ways you can generate Ideas:
- Solicit feedback in your emails. Encourage feedback to previous posts, offer a feedback email, or customer service number.
- Start conversations on social networks. (Facebook and LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Communities.
- Use readers’ comments on your posts.
- Go offline. interview your most loyal clients.
- Talk to family and friends who don’t know your industry.
2. Take Something Old an Make It New!
Take your current business brochures, a blog or a website and use it as a starting point. You just need to know how to sort through and leverage the content.
Let’s start with a real life example. A close friend and business owner, Raul Pestonit, has developed a series of email templates he sends to his prospects. The emails educate them on the process of obtaining financing for the purchase of a home. His business is mortgage banking. He has been sitting on a goldmine of content he can repurpose and publish. He can easily publish a blog post a week for the next 2 years with the content he has written.
Here is How You Can Resuse, Repurpose and Repost!
- Break up a blog post. You can restructure of break down each section of an old blog post and elaborate to create an all new blog post.
- Review emails( Like Raul) and revisit those ideas to use in other channels.
- Use content from your print materials.
- Use content from your website.
- Expand points from your “About”, Discuss your mission, vision, and culture.
- Elaborate on answers from your FAQ.
- Have you written articles for other sites? Rework them to use in your own blog or newsletter.
Try the following delivery methods:
- Create a podcast from popular posts
- Turn your FAQ into a Youtube Series
- Host a Q & A session on Google Hangouts
- Feature customer feedback in your Email Newsletter
- Create a whitepaper with points from a recent presentation
- Compile your best blog posts into a helpful eBook.
- Feature reviews on your Facebook profile.
- Expound on a recent live presentation
Remember to freshen up the content with industry updates, video, or bulleted list. The content should display new information that was not available at the time of the original publishing.
3. There is no such thing as writer’s block because there is no such thing as talkers block via @ThisIsSethsBlog@HubSpot
After you have repurposed all your content, and your resources run dry you will eventually need new content. You sit down at your typewriter desk and begin to type the most engaging content your target market will ever read. It just spews out of you, idea after idea, or… NOT. More than likely your marketing muse is silent.
It can be daunting, sitting there trying to think up of a new fresh idea that will engage your client. Do not fret. We have you covered.
Here are some exercises you use to generate fresh ideas.
Climb on your desk chair and take a look from a different angle. Getting rid of the tired, old clutter with a fresh perspective can be just the thing to get your creative juices flowing.
Here are two simple exercises can help you see your business in a fun and engaging new light:
- Stop thinking about your business. Instead focus on your what you really love. Your Hobbies. Why? Draw out analogies where your passions and your product or service overlap.
- In the Marine Corp the call the follow "Breaking it down Barney Style" Re-write your elevator pitch to sell your service to a 7-year-old). Then explain your industry to a 70-year-old.
Creating a visual outline of the connections between the many subjects can help you better organize your thoughts.
Write down your subject in a center of a page and using free association draw lines in all directions to connect your subject with one of its elements.
Unplug from Modern Life
Distractions abound in an office or home setting. The key is to insulate yourself from common distractions.
- If the TV tempts you, get out of the house.
- Get out of the office and get inspired by nature.
- Log off all your communication tools(Skype, Trellian, Yahoo, All of Them!).
- Sign out of your Email.
- Log out of social networks.
- Turn off your smart phone.
Learn From Others
The best copywriters look for inspriration from snappy headlines and witty editorials, they study structure and apply it to their own work.
You can learn from the professionals by looking for your own inspiration on magazine racks or in newspapers. What grabs your interest? Try adapting that inspiration to your blog or email campaign.
The Magazine Rack Technique
Spend some time in a bookstore, coffee shop, supermarket or newsstand browsing the magazine rack.
Pay attention to the titles that compel you to read or buy. Then jot them down, snap a picture or go ahead and buy the issues that catch your attention the most. Study them later. How can you adapt the headlines for your own marketing content?
4. Using Search Tools
You already keep current with industry news. If you don’t, now is a perfect time to start! Reading blogs and conversations started by your competitors gives you a clear picture of topics that matter to your customers. But how do you stay on top of it all?
Search tools like Google Alerts, Google AdWords and social bookmarking sites are excellent places to mine for topics that will hook your customers.
- Google Alerts: Google Alerts sends regular email digests of the most recent news and blog articles published on your topic. Search for keywords related to your business and create alerts for each one. Google lets you select the frequency, content (blogs, news, video, discussions or everything) and email address to send updates to.
- Google Adwords: Google AdWords has a keyword tool that shows what people are searching for related to your topic. You can rank search terms by popularity to see what information might be important to your customers and prospects.
- Quora: The site quora.com helps you connect with your target audience. You can post a question or review questions already posted by other users.
Search for your industry keywords on social bookmarking sites, discuss hashtags on Twitter and other mediums and order results based on popularity. Articles with the most buzz are excellent content sources to reimagine for your own marketing channels.
Brainstorming is half the content battle. It’s a big half, but still only part of the whole content marketing picture.
5. The next step is figuring out where your content fit into your campaign.
Ask yourself these key questions about your content, your audience, your prospects and your customers to find the best use of your amazing content.
Now, Ask Yourself:
- Is this topic best suited to beginner, intermediate customers?
- Have you mapped the content to your buyer persona?
- Which formats are most suitable: blog post, email newsletter, webinar, whitepaper, podcast?
- What action do you want your audience to commit? Downloads, requests for quote, a sale, perhaps a share?
- Do you have SMART goals for those results and a way to measure your results?
Clearly defined goals give your content more value to everyone who encounters your brand, from prospects to customers to long-time advocates.
To learn more about reaching today's digital-savvy customer, check out our web guide on the basics of Inbound Marketing. We discuss topics such as inbound principles, keyword research, the buyer's journey, lead nurturing, lead generation, and other content strategy ideas.
If you are a company interested in growing your business through content do not hesitate to contact Rizen Inbound.