The rise of the social media empowered consumer and business buyer means that as a small business owner or marketer, you are in the content-production business. No matter what your business is, if your customers and prospects use the Internet to find solutions like yours, you’re also a publisher.
While big advertising budgets are no longer required for marketing success, businesses of all sizes must recognize the need to create and publish exceptional website content on a regular basis. Your small company will benefit from creating an ongoing, fresh supply of high-quality, original content for your website or business blog.
Exceptional Content Attracts Visitors to Your Website
A constantly updated, library of knock-your-socks-off content published on your business website and blog helps you to get found by search engines. The more enticing your content titles are that appear on search engines, the more prospects will click over to read your content and learn about your products and services.
High-quality content is also more likely to be shared by your customers and business blog readers on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. And that means more like-minded prospects will find their way to your company website!
What Do I Create Content About?
When thinking about topics for blog posts or new articles to refresh your company website (as often as possible), consider the conversations you have with customers and users, prospective buyers and partners. Don’t leave any stone unturned when seeking creative topics for your website and business blog content.
Here are some ideas for finding exceptional business blog and website content topics:
1. Uncover fresh content ideas by keeping up with your customers’ top pain points. Walk in your customers’ shoes. What are their hot problems today? What slows them down when they’re trying to resolve their customers’ problems? Talk with at least three customers weekly to stay on top of new issues. Create original content about the best ways to resolve those problems.
2. Listen online by visiting social networking sites used by your customers and prospects. As a business owner, monitoring the social media sites popular with your customers is a requirement. If your customers are on LinkedIn check out the Answers section. Follow customers, partners, and suppliers using Twitter to quickly identify issues and interests that develop in your industry. Create educational how to articles, guides, PowerPoint presentations, and online videos about how your solutions help.
3. Go to Google.com/alerts to set up Google Alerts and monitor the appearance of the words and phrases your prospects are typing into search engines. What are the hottest questions, issues bubbling up on the online social networks used by your customers and industry?
4. Review the questions and issues customers/users call in or email to your support team. Check these often so you can identify new problems rapidly and provide content to address the issues—before your competitors do.
5. Glean the most up-to-date issues, objections, problems and dilemmas that your sales folks hear from prospects. Monitor this treasure trove of content topics weekly. Markets move quickly. Don’t miss new opportunities to create valuable content that highlights your company’s competitive advantage.
6. Generously share ‘how to’ advice in articles to attract prospective buyers to your business website. Make sure you have exceptional content to completely explain how to solve each of the questions/issues your buyers raise when making a buying decision.
7. Take the best problem-solving content found on competitors’ websites and blogs and kick it up a notch. Check out topics published on your competitors’ sites and fill in the gaps. Create original blog posts and website articles with your fresh approach to solving problems. Address a problem everyone else is missing. Dig deep and share your very best advice.
8. Ask your customers to list the subjects for which they’re having difficulty finding content. Talk with a few of your best customers every week. Find out what’s keeping them awake at night. (This week/month.) It’s a fast-changing market. Don’t assume you know what’s on your customers’ current list of priorities today.
9. Review your web analytics to determine what pages on your web site are the most popular. Expand these popular subjects into multiple blog posts. (Make sure you have visitor stats and analytics added to your web pages.)
10. Write about your charitable and volunteer activities. Show your customers and prospects what you do in your spare time with your favorite causes, charities or fundraising events.
11. Write about your favorite sports team occasionally on your business blog. To the extent that you’re comfortable, share personal stories about a travel experience during an industry event, a family trip or why a local hero inspires you. Content that reveals your personal interests is valuable because it builds a picture of your company’s culture.
12. Publish interviews with your best customers. Ask them six or seven questions about how they solve key industry problems. If they answer your questions via email, it can take very little time. Or create a two to three minute video interview.
13. Recruit guest bloggers and article authors from your network of partners, suppliers. Find out which ones write/publish helpful articles that will point your mutual customers and prospects in the right direction for solving problems.
14. Develop joint topics that you can co-create content around with your industry partners. By jointly creating how-to articles, white papers, online videos, and other content, you can broaden the scope of information and expertise that you share with your website visitors, customers, prospects and blog readers.
15. After you’ve finished a great phone conversation with a customer, prospect or partner, write a blog post! The kind of conversation where the customer says, “Thanks so much! That’s a great idea I hadn’t thought of.” Make it a generic article that provides tips, ideas and suggestions that can be beneficial to several of your website or blog visitors.
By reviewing the ideas listed above, you probably have a good idea of the top 15-20 topic ideas you’d like to cover.
List them quickly and get writing, blogging, and making videos! If you’d like help on how to develop topic ideas into a content plan for your website or blog, contact Cynthia at firstname.lastname@example.org credit: istock