This post aims to solve both those issues. Here are 10 top ways to come up with new ideas for content that are laser-focused for your target market. You should never be stuck for content ideas again!
Quora is a fabulous place to find out exactly the type of information people in your marketplace are seeking.
When you sign up with the site, select the topics that most relate to your niche.
As a Quora user, you will then get a regular digest email with the latest questions and answers on your topics straight to your mailbox. (Note you can opt out of this if you want, but that would largely defeat the purpose of joining!)
You can also search Quora for keywords related to your niche and go through the topics that come up. The answers and resources provided by users can also help your research in producing your content.
(See related content: How to Start a Quora Blog for Your Business)
View the information in this blog post as a presentation on SlideShare – or just continue reading below:
LinkedIn Groups / Facebook Groups
LinkedIn is sometimes referred to as a type of ‘Facebook for business owners’. If you sell business to business, it is a valuable resource you can use to tap into in the mindset of your customers.
Rather than frequent LinkedIn Groups that consist of peers in your industry, instead join groups where your target market hangout and congregate.
See what people are asking, the type of information they are seeking, or the apparent gaps in their knowledge. Think about the type of content you could create to contribute relevant information to your marketplace.
If you sell to consumers rather than businesses, use Facebook Groups instead in a similar way.
Again, frequent the type of forums where your customers hang out. You’ll find your customers’ concerns, challenges and questions, and be able to create content accordingly.
To find forums related to your niche or industry just search for [your niche] forums on Google.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool within Adwords. You can create an Adwords account to get access to the tool even if you don’t intend or want to advertise with them.
This allows you to tap right into the type of content your target market is searching for online. You can then target content specifically for that need.
For more sophisticated in-depth searches you can use a tool like Wordtracker*.
Enter in keywords related to your niche, and analyse the keyword ideas that are generated. You are particularly looking at long-tail keywords, so keywords with 3, 4 or more words in. You can often find long-tail keywords that would work perfectly as titles for your content. This also gives you a good chance of ranking well for the keyword in question.
For example, it doesn’t take too much detective work to determine what the focus keyword is for this blog post. In creating this post, I used the Google’s Keyword Tool to do some initial research. I wanted to find a keyword that I would have a good chance of ranking for:
You’ll see that at the time of writing there were 210 searches a month for the term ‘blog content ideas’.
Note the figure in the Competition column refers to the level of advertising competition within Adwords, and not for the organic search engine listings. So some further research was required to determine how easy the term might be to rank for. To do this, I searched for the keyword surrounded by quotes, as shown:
This showed there were only 21,700 competing pages, a relatively low figure. The chances are therefore good that this post will rank for the keyword over time. Once ranked, it can start attracting traffic from the 210 people who are searching for this keyword every month.
I will also be repurposing the content into different forms over time too, to attract more traffic through the same keyword.
One final hint for effectively using keyword research for content ideas. Try entering the words how to before different keywords related to your niche. This can reveal pure information-focused searches (as opposed to eg. prospective purchase searches), as well as often provide perfect content-fitting titles. Again, you can then create the content to meet the demand within your industry.
[Want more detailed info on how to do keyword research? Download our free 8-page guide on How To Do Effective Keyword Research To Optimize Your Content And Attract Your Marketplace – it’s FREE].
Survey Your List
Use a tool like surveymonkey.com and ask your list exactly what they want to know about. For example, ask them a single question like the following:
What’s the number one thing you would like to know about related to [your niche or industry]?
Surveys work best when you provide some kind of incentive for people to answer. You could offer a discount code, a free download, a gift card, reveal the answer to a pressing question, valuable content such as a video tutorial, and so on.
While this relates more to a one-off survey, you could also have a regular flow of new ideas generated by your list.
Why not set up the question on your thank you page after someone joins your list? As well as giving you new ideas, this also helps you connect and resonate more with your list. You’re showing you’re listening and responsive to their needs and concerns.
Listen to the questions coming in from your customers. These may come in through customer support channels, via blog comments, your social channels, or elsewhere.
Of course, this tells you exactly what information customers are looking for. The content you create can then be linked to from say your FAQ page, as well as directing customers to the content in future.
Providing such a resource also helps establish your trust and credibility in the mind of your customers as you’re meeting their needs head on.
Sales are often prevented by a lack of information and unanswered questions in potential customer’s minds, very rarely are they prevented by too much information.
Tap into the so-called twittersphere to see what prospects in your target market are talking about, what their concerns and questions are, and to get inspiration.
It’s easy to do. Search on Twitter using hashtags related to your niche and scan through the content.
As well as people indicating a need for information on a topic on Twitter directly, try clicking through on content too. You can find their questions, concerns, and the type of information they are interested in via comments on eg. blog posts, videos, social posts, and so on.
Other Blogs In Your Niche
Look for blogs related to your niche. One method would be to use Twitter as mentioned above, as well as other social media sites. You can also search Google for eg. [keyword] blog.
Go through their posts and look at the comments that people in your target market have made. Consider how you could create content that answers the questions being asked or to provide the information they’re looking for.
Also look for the more popular posts, so you get a feel for the type of content that would attract the most engagement.
Related Businesses On Social Media
Similar to looking at related blogs, look for related businesses on social media and check out the conversations taking place.
- What questions are asked on their Facebook fan page?
- What are people wanting to know more about?
- What are the conversations taking place or the comments being made on their Twitter account?
Finally, one of the best places to find out the type of information your target market is looking for are live events, such as conferences and trade shows, that your target market attends.
Don’t make the mistake of only going to conferences for example that are frequented by your peers. Go to those that your target market attend with the express purpose of tapping into their mindset.
Even if you’re not a speaker or exhibitor, you will find ample opportunity to interact with your target market by:
- Speaking with them directly
- Listening in on conversations
- Finding out where their enthusiasms lie
- What they lack understanding about
- The type of information they’re keen to have access to
- And so on …
If there are workshops, break out sessions or similar, consider which ones are proving more popular and drawing in the crowds. Can you create content focused around similar topics and similarly draw in the crowds to your business?
So there are ten different ways to come up with new content ideas that are highly relevant to your target market.
Let’s say you’ve found say a question on Quora that you can answer with content of your own. Once you’ve created the content, go back to Quora and post an answer to the question. Once you’ve answered the question, add the link to your content as additional, more in-depth information.
Don’t solely push your link with little or no other content, or you could find your account runs into trouble. Make sure you’re adding a lot of value to Quora rather than solely aiming to get the click-through.
Similarly, you can do the same with forums, on social media, and even on related blogs in your niche. This not only helps with direct traffic, but also with getting your content spidered and ranked by the search engines.
* Some links on this page are affiliate links where products and services can be genuinely recommended within the context of the overall information provided in this post. That simply means I may make a small amount of commission should you choose to make a purchase as a result of the recommendation after following the link provided.