Tired of struggling to come up with content ideas on a regular basis? Honestly, you’re not alone.
Virtually every small business owner (if they use content marketing as a strategy) has challenges coming up with “new” “fresh” content all the time.
With thousands of business owners, marketers, specialist, and everything in between trying to come up with fresh ideas to get or keep your clients attention.
Remember that you’re on the Internet, have to compete with the latest cat video, and the attention span of a gnat!
But, at the end of the day, if you want to be able to effectively deploy a digital business model, you are going to need ways to engage your audience online.
Unfortunately, that will never happen until you are creating and publishing ENGAGING content regularly.
Here’s the other truth about building an engagement.
That day will NEVER come unless you do something about it …
Do you wrestle grizzly bears? Perhaps you have a alligator wrestling talent? Can you juggle running chainsaws?
Ok, now that the obscene is out of the way… 🙂
The thing about engagement really begins with one thing.
There’s really one rule when it comes to engagement….
(And, I admit that I struggle with how to do this myself…)
Let’s get something out of the way right away. If you have a business, you’re going to be selling your products or services.
In fact, you SHOULD be selling your products and services.
However, the web is not a store, and people don’t like to go on social media to be sold to.
SO, unless you want to drive your potential customers away, your messaging must be in alignment with the channel that you’re using.
People don’t want to be sold when they go on Facebook. (So, don’t sell to them there.) Publish articles, good news, memes, pictures, and stories about your customers.
Use video to tell their story. When them come to your website or store, now you have the opportunity to sell.
Each social media platform has it’s own language and norms. Take a look around. Pay attention to your competition or other businesses that sell your products services.
The main thing is to begin, and keep trying new ideas.
One of the hardest things that most business owners struggle with is WHAT to talk about?
You know that you need to post articles, stories, and videos…
…but about what subject?
…or about what element of the subject?
How do you come up with great ideas that matter to your customer, rather than wasting your time creating articles, videos, and content that your audience doesn’t really care about.
When I’m braining storming about ideas related to a subject there’s a few areas I can research.
Of course, there’s the “Google”. But, it’s only going to give you results related to that specific question or phrase.
I like to back up one more step, and research questions about a question.
There’s a free site that allows you to do just that called, AnswerThePublic.
Answerthepublic.com provides an aggregated set of questions pulled from Google and Bing, and presents them in a visual context.
If you wanted to do content research on, “How to train my dog?”
Now, I could put it in google and come up with a few ideas, but I want to get a wide variety of ideas that allow me to plan a content calendar.
Once your enter a question into the site, the system goes to work and pulls all the questions from the web that are related.
What you get back are all
The system presents the data in a visual format that allows you to REALLY examine the subject that you’re working to plan.
In this case, there are 78 questions that are related to, “How to train your Dog?”
You have ways to look at the data: a visual and adata view.
The system also provides you multiple perspectives:
questions, prepositions, and alphabetical.
The multiple views provides you a great platform that you can use to extract relevant questions that your potential customers are actually looking for in search engines.
Once you get a feel for the data, you can look at the raw data logically grouped.
Clicking on the little green box, explodes the view into a “mind map” view that allows your to really drill down on specific questions and data that is relevant for your business.
Finally, where you’re ready to turn the questions into a plan you can execute, the data can be exported/downloaded for use in either Excel or Numbers.
With this tool at your disposal, you’re working from a set of questions and data that actual users have searched for on Google or Bing.
Now, you’re building your content from what your users are saying rather than your intuition.
How many questions you need depends on how often you want to publish.
If you have 52 questions, you a framework for a year’s worth of content for a single question. Search on the common questions that you get asked for your business, and you’ll have an entire content calendar setup in just a few minutes.