By Diane Saeger
“Content is king” is more than a memorable catch phrase these days. It’s a statistical reality.
According to Content Marketing Institute, “Creating more engaging content was B2B marketers’ top initiative for 2014” with “48 percent of B2C marketers and 42 percent of B2B marketers now publishing more than once a week.” And Contently reports: “24 percent of organizations now devote 50 percent or more of their budget to content,” and “57 percent of organizations now have two or more people dedicated to content marketing.”
You may be one of those dedicated content marketing creators, or you may be one of the lucky ones who saw content creation added to your already lengthy job description. In either case, you’re now in charge of routinely developing fresh content for your organization, whether it be blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers.
But sometimes creating content is the easiest part of the process. The real challenge can be finding a subject matter to cover.
Thankfully, it’s not as hard as you may think. Once you know where to look, you realize there really is no shortage of topics to cover. Here are three content sources you may have forgotten to check:
1. Email Inbox
It’s not often recognized, but new content ideas are being generated with every email you send and receive. Sift through your inbox, and you’ll find a goldmine of ideas. For example, perhaps you received a complaint from a client and crafted a response to address his/her concerns. Within that exchange, some topic idea likely lives. Or, someone in the Sales Department asked about a specific product or service feature and you responded with the details. Within that response, another content idea potentially resides. Take some time to explore your inbox. Assuming they do not include confidential information, most email exchanges can offer some nuggets to expound on in your content.
2. Industry Resources
Others are talking in your field—whether it‘s trade associations, industry institutes, partners, or competitors. Look to see what they’re saying by visiting their websites, downloading their resources, and subscribing to their emails. Then, find a new spin, a better message, or a more accurate viewpoint. For example, you may see that an industry publication wrote a blog on “7 Ways to Convert Tire Kickers Into Customers,” but several of the ideas contradict with the way you do business. You could then write a blog on the three ways you do business differently. Depending on how you position the article, you may or may not need to cite the original article.
3. Related Searches
Make a list of all the past topics you’ve written on before and copy/paste each one into the Google search bar. When the results page appears, scroll to the bottom and note the related searches on this topic. You’ll quickly find a list of new content ideas to consider. For example, if you previously wrote a blog post on “how to buy a car,” Google would display several new topics and angles, such as “how to buy a used car; how to buy a used car from a dealer; how to buy a car with no credit; how to buy a car from a private seller; how to buy a car with bad credit; how to finance a car; how to buy a car with cash; and how to buy a car online.” It’s a fast way to discover new ways to say the same message—and, more importantly, in the ways your customers and prospects are searching.