4 Ways to Find Original Topics That Your Audience Will Love
It’s no secret that all industries have hopped on the content wagon: e-commerce, tech, law… even small local businesses have acknowledged the importance of building an online presence through content.
In addition to that, due to the continuing rise of ad blocking, content marketing is now a necessity. People don’t want to be interrupted by intrusive ads, so to capture their attention, publishing interesting content is the way to go. But since everyone is making content, most topics are becoming more and more saturated. The key to achieving awareness and engagement lies in the ability to create original content that is specifically geared towards your audience’s preferences. In this article, we’ll take a look at four ways you can find original topics that will help you with your content marketing efforts.
1. Know Your Audience In and Out
To come up with content that readers will rave about, your content offerings must speak to them on a deeper level than their direct need for your product or services. If you want to know what topics your audience will be most interested in, first you need enough information about them: age, gender, education, occupation, culture, interest, income…
For example, Red Bull’s content strategy does not focus on the energy drink itself but rather the passions of its consumers: sports, culture, and lifestyle. Because its marketing team knows its audience so well, Red Bull has been hugely successful.
To learn more about your audience, you can use tools like Google Analytics or Facebook Audience Insights. Also, by looking at previously published content that got the most number of likes, shares, comments, and mentions, you can find patterns for topics that resonate the most with your audience.
2. Find Questions Your Audience is Asking
Customers are looking for answers to questions that affect their buying decisions. Your goal with content marketing is to provide answers to these questions or, better yet, be the first to do so. Your content will be considered original and valuable.
Reddit, Quora, Facebook groups, and Twitter are great places to keep an eye on. Trending social media hashtags are worth checking too. Also, anyone in your team who interacts with customers can give you pointers on questions they have. Wherever you search, you want to find questions that are recent and not thoroughly discussed on the internet yet.
3. Conduct a Customer Survey
Sometimes it pays off to stop guessing and ask directly your audience what they want to know more about. They might have unanswered questions you simply couldn’t think of on your own. Not only you get to pick the minds of your customers but you also show that you care about serving them.
Along with questions about their level of satisfaction, ask for information about them and their interests: the publications they follow, content formats they prefer, etc.
To maximize the response rate, keep the survey short, clear, and easy to fill. On top of predetermined answers, provide “Other” options with text boxes where respondents can freely express their thoughts. By doing so, you will learn from your customers as much as they learn from you.
4. Conduct Original Research
If you have time to spare, you may want to invest in this option. Instead of looking for topic ideas that are already out there, why not produce information that simply doesn’t exist yet? Content consumers are more likely to share content they find fresh and thought-provoking.
If you have collected enough data over time, you can analyze it and possibly find new insights. Data can relate to industry trends, customer behavior and feedback, the competitive landscape… what are some pain points that businesses are not paying enough attention to? What technology can be used to better serve customers? How will the market change in the future?
You can turn the results of your research into the type of content you want: blog posts, infographics, etc. Showing your audience that you are involved in moving the conversation forward will cement your position as an expert in your industry.
Coming up with original content does mean reinventing the wheel every time. Not all content pieces need to be totally original, but there must be enough originality to differentiate your business from other sources of content. With these content marketing tips, you are now on the right track to uncover.
You will find it relieving that you don’t have to select topics with a broad appeal and a tough competition. Instead, focus on giving your audience unique content that caters to their specific needs. Do that and they will stop looking at the content of competitors.
After you have selected original topics, you will have to decide on the content formats to use – blog posts, videos, freebies, infographics etc. – as well as the right channels, and then move to the next steps of your content strategy: creation, publishing, and promotion.
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