We live in a content driven world. From television, to YouTube, to smart phones and blogs, your customers are always connected, always learning and always looking online for the information they need. Your potential customers are turning first to search engines instead of businesses to find answers to their questions, but by creating valuable content that answers their questions, you can help your business turn up in search results and draw new customers to you. But developing a consistent stream of content that drives the right kind of interest and leads can be a challenge, especially when it comes to developing fresh ideas and content over and over again. But, with the right strategy, you can stay energized, have content to spare and build a bank of blog topic ideas you can pull from whenever you need it!
1. Choose Relevant Content
First and foremost, you could blog every day of the week and see little to no return on your time investment if you are not blogging about the right topics. Successful blogging content needs to be focused, succinct, informative and targeted to your ideal customer. Even if you produce great content, if it’s not tailored to the customers you want to attract, you could end up attracting a substantial amount of unqualified leads that bog down your sales team and add little to your bottom line. So before writing out a list of blog titles or topics, evaluate your current customers to determine why they became customers in the first place. What problems does your company solve for them? This is when buyer personas come in handy. Focus on your personas and ask yourself what they want, what they need and what they would find useful. Contact us if you need help creating buyer personas.
2. Ask Sales for Blog Topic Ideas
Your sales team is talking to your customers and prospects on a regular basis. They are likely the most tuned into your customer and they will have insights you may not have thought of. But getting sales to communicate their blog topic ideas can be challenging. They are not likely to send ideas your way without some gentle coaxing. The key to syncing with the sales team is to feed the typical “what’s in it for me” attitude by providing something valuable to them in return for their thoughts and time. Help the sales team understand that you are here to help them. You want to learn what content and resources would be useful to them during the selling process. You also want to provide them with information they can send to customers and prospects that answer some of the most commonly asked questions, thus freeing them up to focus more on the conversations that turn deals. Once the team understands the benefits that will be provided to them as a result of their cooperation, there will be no end to the feedback in insights you receive.
Host regular meetings with the sales team (bringing in free lunch for everyone certainly doesn’t hurt) and then ask the following questions to get the conversation going:
- What is the most common question you are asked by customers? Prospects?
- What are the most common objections you hear from prospects when talking about our product/services?
- What are the biggest challenges your customers/prospects are facing?
- What is your best winning sales line that closes the most deals?
- What calls do you hate receiving the most and why?
- What questions do prospects ask that immediately let you know they are not going to become a customer?
3. Interview Your Internal Experts
Let’s be honest, the people with the most insight and information about your industry are likely the ones with the least amount of time available to write a blog post. Even if they do have time, they may not be comfortable with writing or might be more likely to write a dissertation than a useful blog post. Even in the best-case scenario when they are willing, available and skilled at writing, you may still be challenged to get a blog post by your deadline as other priorities could push your blog post to the bottom of their to-do list. So the best way to tap into the vast knowledge of your executives and generate a solid list of blog topic ideas is to schedule focused meetings and ask them very specific questions about the topics you want answered.
Here are some questions to ask your executive leadership to get the conversation started in the right direction:
- What sets us apart from our competitors?
- What economic and political events are challenging the way we do business right now?
- Are there any economic and political factors that are giving us an advantage in the industry?
- What problems do we plan to solve for in the future?
- What do you see as the greatest opportunity for our business moving forward?
4. Don’t Do It Alone
Whether you’re a marketing department of 1 or 20, developing enough content to make an impact in your industry can be a challenge so remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Ideally, you should be posting fresh content on your business blog every day, or at least 3 times per week. But if 3-5 blog posts per week sounds overwhelming, even with the help of internal writers, you might consider outsourcing some or all of your blog writing to an inbound marketing agency. The right agency can work with you to develop ongoing content from professional, informed writers in your industry that can provide the interested visitors and company leads you are looking for. The truth is, writing blog content is time-consuming, and while extremely valuable, you might not have the time to commit to 3-5 blog posts per week. But if you want to see a dramatic increase in qualified leads, that’s exactly what you need to be doing.
Writing a blog is a great way to promote your business online, but if you’re not following SEO best practices and promoting your content in the right way it may never get found. Download our free ebook: Ten Marketing Essentials to Promote Your Blog Like a Pro and start driving more traffic to your site immediately.