It’s a well-known fact that content is one of the most important aspects of ranking well. Content marketing should be a fundamental part of your overall SEO strategy. But many small businesses don’t know what content to create. Here are a few guidelines to help you create the content you need to support your marketing goals.
Why is content marketing important?
About 92% of online marketers say that content is essential for SEO.
Producing quality content is an essential part of establishing your brand in the online space. Around 27 million pieces of content being shared daily and one in five social media updates contain links to content. While 44% of B2B marketers say that social media has an impact on SEO.
The more your content is being shared. the more existing and potential customers can come into contact with your brand. This will help you establish your brand and your integrity online, and to boost your bottom line.
Content should not always require a huge budget. You can create content on your own, as long as it’s valuable, relevant and shareable. People want value and they will share something if they find it useful. That’s the key to creating great content – content that people want to share with others.
Essential things to bear in mind when creating content
1. Invest in quality
Investing in good quality content that is unique and valuable to your reader will help you become an authority in your industry and boost the number of times people share your content.
But this content has to be engaging. You need people to want to read your work and enjoy it. Otherwise, they will leave your website and not come back. And you will have wasted your time. Or money. If you invest in a content writer, pay one to produce high-quality content that can write entertaining material. If you pay low prices you get low quality.
Auto-generated content is a complete no-go. Take a look at our article on why auto-generated content won’t help you rank.
2. Define a brand personality
A good example of high quality copy is to write content that bursts with personality. A strong voice that talks to the reader as though they are sitting opposite you is the order of the day. Readers respond to strong voices that are interesting, entertaining and informative. Your brand personality should compel consumers to take action. Keep a constant eye on your competitors so that you know what type of content they focus on and how you can better them.
3. Market for mobile
When planning your content marketing strategy, think mobile first. Consumers conduct more searches on mobile than any other device. Many are also consuming more content on their smartphones than they are on desktops. No matter which industry you are in, there is bound to be a market for mobile users so give them something easy to digest.
Blog content ideas generator
You know that time of the week when you come to sit down and write a piece of blog content for your website? What does that moment feel like for you? Do you worry about not conjuring up a readable piece? Or are you brimming with ideas other people have already written?
There is only a certain amount of relevant topics most industries can produce, so rather than focus on subjects to write about, have a play with ways of curating content and you will find a different approach to write about topics that have been covered already.
For the sake of inspiring fellow blog writers, our team of scribes put our heads together to compile this list of 21 website content ideas.
1. Produce a video
A good example of marketing for mobile is producing a video. They are easy to view on small screens and more likely to be clicked. Check out these video content ideas.
2. Use high-quality visuals
The need for high-quality content extends to images and stock photos do not always do your work justice, although sites like Pixabay, Pexels and Gratisography are good, modern options. Here’s a better idea though – tap local photographers and ask if they want to showcase their work on your blog to sell on to other online creators.
3. How to articles and tutorials
One of the most commonly asked questions search engines receive is ‘How do I…?’ It stands to reason then that ‘How To…’ articles are going to receive a lot of traffic in accordance with comparative search terms. However, they can also be competitive so be as specific as you can.
How to articles are also a good way of establishing yourself as an expert in your industry. Providing in-depth knowledge showcases your authority on the chosen subject and builds trust with customers.
So when creating how to articles, keep the subject matter relevant to your core products and services. For example, write a tutotial on how to best use your service or product.
Also, include keywords you want your business to rank for.
To enhance readability of the articles, set out each instruction in steps so the content can be quickly scanned. If possible, include images of somebody demonstrating relevant steps, or if the advice is computer based, take shots of relevant screens.
4. News stories
News stories serve several functions. They are quick and easy to write, give you easy access to content ideas, enable you to upload content to your blog more often, and most importantly attract the eye of readers.
People want to fresh information and are obsessed with news stories so they are armed with details about trending subjects other people are talking about. Or so they can start off a conversation.
Furthermore, because people want to be inspirational, useful, informative or express their interest, news stories are highly shareable content that increase traffic on social media networks thus can open you up to a wider audience.
To enhance your chances of receiving click-throughs, you could even mention that the news is new. “UK Government launch new initiative to help start-ups”, “Scientists shocked by results of new survey,” or “New evidence reveals banks create money out of thin air.”
Obviously the news you are reporting has to be true and from a credible source. But news stories can be about anything – even branded content to inform your customers of new developments within your company or industry or what happened at the event you went to recently.
Even better, write pieces on industry news – they show you are keeping tabs on developments in your industry – which is important for building trust.
5. Top tips
Offering top tips is a content strategy that cannot fail. People are always grateful for good advice.
6. Q&A with an expert
We’d love to say mention a celebrity here, but that is not possible for the majority of businesses. Unless you get wind of an A-lister using the same bath salts you’re selling – or whatever it is you sell – then mention of celebrities is off limits. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still generate great content that increase traffic.
The next best thing is a Q&A session with an expert, and every industry has an expert. You can choose to interview one person here, or base your content around a specific theme and source comments about the topic from other experts, either by contacting them directly and asking for comments or sourcing a comment they have left on Twitter or other social networks. The information you can gather from others should also give you more content ideas too.
If you can get a quote from a celebrity in your industry, then by all means, plug them in your title to attract more clicks. Failing the prospect of landing a household name, contact an influencer in your industry. Most will be open to offer comments and attract more exposure for their website.
7. Interview a recent client
Sticking with the interveiew theme, consider interviewing a loyal customer of yours. You talk a bit about them, ask which of your products are their favourites and how they like to use your products.
8. Present a round-up of FAQ’s
If you hit industry specific forums, you will find a list of questions people are asking. So why not list these and answer them. You can even add in questions you’ve been asked personally by clients or employees.
9. Publish surveys and stats
Surveys and statistics make for interesting reading and other writers typically link to them – so you can even attract inbound links and boost your search engine rankings. Explaining the trends will make your article even more interesting and valuable.
10. Tell your brand story
Consumers engage with brands they trust and knowing more about your history, philosophies, commitments and core promises will endear people to you. Aim for the heart. People want to feel an emotional connection with brands.
11. Introduce your employees
Taking the brand story one step further, why not give customers an insight into the day-to-day workings of your place of work. Introduce your staff, tell their stories, boast about their achievements, show pictures of staff events and anything else that demonstrates your human nature.
12. Write comment pieces
Voicing your opinion about developments in your industry or discussing a recent talk, book or interview of leading figures in your field can make for compelling content whilst underscoring you are also an expert.
13. Be an industry prophet
Talking of being an expert, predicting forthcoming trends in your industry will demonstrate you are on the ball and ahead of the game. Is there a better way to convince your audience that you are a specialist in your field? We don’t think so.
14. List articles
It may come as a surprise to many readers, but list articles are one of the most popular types of content that increase traffic with your readers. Not only are they a source of useful information, but they also promote intrigue and curiosity people cannot resist.
Furthermore, list articles are commonly shared. We can only assume this is so end-users can prove a point to their friends following a drunken debate the previous weekend.
Another reason list posts are so popular is because the titles inform readers exactly what they can expect to find in the article. They are the easiest titles to write and usually start with the number of items in your list. “5 best sea battles in history,” “22 celebrities that wear ray bans” “10 free tools to improve your blog” etc.
The danger with list articles, however, is that you can list the same items as other websites whereby the articles are not considered as unique and thus can reduce the value and credibility of your brand. However, this is sometimes unavoidable so be sure to write your list in a new and interesting way. And if possible add more information.
Industry specific lists you could do is to list resources that your readers will find interesting (e.g. articles, books, videos) or compile a list of industry quotes. Get on Twitter and other social media accounts and take a look and what people are saying about newsworthy developments in your industry. You can also quote famous people from history that made a name for themselves. Or you could list examples of good and bad examples in your industry. It’s true this option won’t work for every industry and you have to be careful not to slander anyone, but we work in digital marketing so there is plenty of good, bad and ugly.
15. New product releases
You could argue that new product releases fall into the category of news articles, but it is a versatile subject that merits a space of its own. If your company is releasing a new project, you want to give it as much exposure as possible and can enhance your brand reputation and product awareness by publishing various pieces of content that demonstrate various aspects of your product.
For example, you can generate interest in your products pre-launch by describing the development process and informing customers of the progress and possible challenges you had to overcome to make it even more perfect for end-users.
If you are an affiliate company and sell products on behalf of other companies such as smartphones or cars, you can generate interest in the product by publishing rumours that have been leaked deliberately on purpose by the manufacturing company.
Product articles are one of the easiest types of content to create as they basically write themselves. However, you do have to be careful how you present the content.
The rule of thumb here is to show not tell, or rather show not sell. Customers want to read about what your product does and how it will make their life better. They don’t want to be told how great it is and how much better it is than your competitors. Leave that to reviewers.
16. Product review article
Giving an independent and honest assessment of products in your industry, especially ones you sell shows you are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Good traits to have for an online business.
17. Comparison articles
As a follow up to review articles, also publish comparison articles; this product v that product. You can then link it to the full review to drive traffic and improve your SEO.
18. Cost/pricing article
Have you noticed nobody talks about how much things cost on their blog, yet one of the first things consumers want to know is the price! So why not write a piece justifying the cost of a product.
19. Be controversial
This is not for everyone either as some people can be offended by controversy and there are some industries that have to be very careful about what they publish. Yet on the other hand, people love controversial content and when done well can be a great way to engage reader opinion and work up a comment stream.
20. Use Google Analytics to find keywords relevant to your business and write an article based around this
Take a look at your Google Analytics. There may be some keywords out there relevant to your business that you hadn’t thought of yet. You can write a piece of content targetting this keyword and showcase how one or more of your products answers the bill.
21. Create a better and optimised version of popular content on a competitor’s website
If you’re really stuck, take a look a what your competitors are writing. Take inspiration from them and aim to do better with your own article.
25 Blog Post Titles to Unblock Your Writer’s Block
Many of us will stumble upon the wretched writer’s block which impedes our creative potential. Luckily, there is a wealth of idea-generating methods out there that can help you pick up momentum.
Here is a list of 25 titles that you can use to craft your next great blog post:
How to Spend Less Time on [topic] Today
10 Lessons on [topic] You can Learn from [person]
25 Top Blogs to Subscribe To
10 Proven Tactics to Overcome [problem]
10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About [topic]
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on [topic]
20 Facts You Did Not Know About [topic]
The Worst Advice You’ll Ever Get On [topic]
7 Must-Use Techniques to Successfully [goal]
What Will the [industry] Industry Look Like in Five Years?
7 Questions to Help You Discover Why You [problem]
3 Things About [topic] Your Boss Wants You to Know
10 Tools Everyone in [industry] Should Be Using
The 5 Critical Factors You Need to Remember in Your [topic] Process
This Simple Trick Will Save You [amount] Hours a Day
How to Determine if [task] is Worth Investing In
Infographic: How to Choose the Best [item] to You
8 Essential Tips for [topic]
3 Simple Hacks for [topic]
Infographic: Which Type of [descriptor] Are You?
How to Prevent [challenge] from Happening to You
How to Master the Art of [skill]
5 Trends to Define the [industry] Industry in 2016
10 of Our Favourite [industry] Campaigns
7 Tips to Help You [activity] More Effectively
Blog content resources
There are other resources you can also utilise when trying to come up with content ideas. You can use your staff and ask them to give ideas – better yet – give them the opportunity to create content of their own. You can also listen to your customers and ask them what they want to read. They may even give you a few ideas for specific articles they would like to have covered.
If you need more resources to come up with your next great topic, you can use a variety of online tools to do so. You can use a selection of e-books, tools and articles to help you choose a headline for your blog post. One of the great resources out there is this e-book from CopyBlogger. It will allow you to write magnetic headlines that users will respond to.
You can also try this guide from HubSpot.
We hope you find inspiration from these suggestions and good luck with your content strategy. Feel free to post any content ideas of your own in the comments field below, and of course, if you need professional writers to create content for your website, let us know.