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How to Find Content Marketing Ideas with Ease

Creating content is essential to the success of your marketing strategy. But, it can be challenging to find content marketing ideas on a continual basis.

There’s only so much you can do and creating content from scratch can take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours or more depending on what your goals are. 

Don’t stress out yet, I’ve got you covered. By the end of this post, you wouldn’t have to dig around for blog post ideas anymore!

Use Tools like BuzzSumo to Understand What’s Popular

Fortunately, there are many tools that can help us ideate with little effort.

In this section, I’ll cover two helpful tools within BuzzSumo:

  1. Topic Explorer
  2. Content Explorer

All of these tools can be accessed through their top menu.

Get Relevant Ideas and Questions with the Topic Explorer

BuzzSumo’s Topic Explorer is a powerful time saver. It generates hundreds of ideas for blog posts that would otherwise take a lot of manual work. And as a content creator, it broadens your perspective.

The Topic Explorer highlights both related topics and popular content. But what is most helpful  is the question suggestion feature.

Here’s an example:

Image of BuzzSumo website
(Image Source: BuzzSumo)

The question analyzer found 229 questions related to the topic “content marketing promote”.

Every time you search for a topic, the tool posits a key related question. Clicking on any of the sub-topics gives you more questions to explore.

BuzzSumo Topic Explorer web page
(Image Source: BuzzSumo)

Each search displays individual questions next to blog post ideas. Working through these questions gets you both blog post ideas and attractive titles.

Example Topic Explorer web page
(Image Source: BuzzSumo)

Whenever someone searches for anything on the internet, there’s a question at the back of his or her mind. With the Topic Explorer, you get direct access to those questions. This helps you not only create content that matches search, intent but also gives you plenty of fresh ideas to work from.

Understand What’s Popular on Your Site with the Content Explorer

Analyzing content published on your website gives you room to improve. 

With the Content Explorer, you can type in my site and get a list of popular content based on social shares.

As an example, here are the results for ReferralCandy.

ReferralCandy results page on BuzzSumo

But don’t stop there. Social shares shouldn’t be the only metric you use. Tie in data from Google Analytics on posts generating the highest traffic to find overlapping content. This will give you a list of the most popular content on my blog.

Never underestimate data you can glean by tracking site visits. Navigate here in Google Analytics to to find it: Behavior section>> Site Content>>All Pages.

Google Analytics screenshot

What you’ll see are the posts that generate the most traffic, as well as which ones don’t. Having that kind of feedback can help you improve your content significantly. With this data in mind, you’re able to get clear direction on the types of ideas that will be successful with your audience.

Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

You might not agree, but competitors are actually a blessing.

Hear me out. You can look at the content they have on their blog. Go through what they share on social media to find inspiration.

But our goal isn’t to carry out manual work. Let’s bring in some automation.

Just in case you run low on ideas for your blog posts, you can use BuzzSumo for help once again. 

Use the Content Analysis tool—this time to uncover what content is working for your competitors. 

The process is similar to when we keyed in our own site:

Enter your competitor’s website URL, and BuzzSumo will scrape through all the content on their blog.

The Content Analysis tool will provide key statistics for each piece of content – engagement, average engagement by channels based on best-performing pieces, content length, and even daily engagement data. For every competitor, you’ll get access to their best content.

Once you get insights on their most popular content, you’ll get a dash of inspiration for new content ideas to try on your website. 

Neil Patel describes a similar technique. He monitors top-line competitors by subscribing to their RSS feeds. When he stumbles upon a good idea, he applies at least one of three angles to those ideas.

  1. He makes the post longer, adding multiple sections that weren’t part of the original post.
  2. He turns the idea into a list-based article.He adds practical examples to it, drawing from his experience or from available case studies to make it reader-friendly.

For instance, Neil says that marketing expert Seth Godin’s posts are often only a few hundred words in length. As such, a limited number of marketers have the background understand and act on his advice. For everyone else, his message often flies above their heads.

Screenshot of Seth Godin's website

Image Source

Neil adopts these ideas and gives them his own spin, making the message accessible to a wider audience using examples and more content.

Another thing you can do is subscribe to your competitors’ newsletters. That way, you stay abreast of  what’s new and happening in your industry through the lens of your competition.

What’s more, you can get content ideas. 

Use the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator

Often, it’s difficult to find a creative angle on topics that have been covered many times already. You may feel the market is saturated with hundreds of articles on these topics. 

The truth is, there’s always a new angle you can pursue!. And the Hubspot Blog Ideas Generator can help you find one. . 

Let’s analyze the topic keyword research—a topic discussed over and over again.

Screenshot of HubSpot blog idea generator web site.

Here are the top five ideas I got for Keyword Research.

  • Keyword Research: Expectations vs. Reality
  • Will Keyword Research Ever Rule the World?
  • The Next Big Thing in Keyword Research
  • Keyword Research Explained in Fewer than 140 Characters
  • This Week’s Top Stories About Keyword Research
Another screenshot of HubSpot's blog idea generator

Here are the top article suggestions for Content Marketing:

  • 13 Things About Content Marketing Trends You May Not Have Known
  • 15 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Content Marketing Trends
  • The Biggest Problem With Content Marketing Trends, And How You Can Fix It
  • 20 Up-and-Comers to Watch in the Content Marketing Trends Industry
  • What NOT to Do in the Content Marketing Industry

Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator delivers both fresh angles to work with and catchy titles. This tool will suggest blog ideas for each week, a total of 5, in answer to your input. As a cherry on top, the Ideas Generator gives you an option to fill up your yearly editorial calendar with 250 article titles on your topic if you register (takes 5 minutes).

Spice up Your Blog with Expert Interviews

Another excellent way to add content is by conducting interviews or roundups. 

One of the most popular posts on ReferralCandy is a roundup featuring 18 ecommerce experts.

Influencers possess clout and talking about them is never going out of fashion.

Plus, influencers can help you grow your business. Interviewing them gives you a chance to start fruitful professional relationships. They can also help you distribute your content by sharing it with their networks since they were cited! 

There are SEO benefits too:

For instance this post from Robbie Richards ranks on the first page for the term “link building,” something that SEO specialists would give their right arm for.

It lists 82 experts. Some of these influencers may have shared the article with their network catapulting it to a bigger audience.

Influencer search

Plus, the post has links from 52 unique authority domains(most of it do-follow). Have a look:

Finally, when you interview experts, you always stand to glean some useful piecess of information. They’re experts after all. This could fuel additional ideas for posts.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Make a list of well-known people and contact them. Be prepared—not everybody will reply, so think strategically. Go for the ones who seem more accessible. Your outreach approach will determine whether they will reply or not. The goal here is to flatter them with your interview invitation.
  2. Tell them about who you are, what you do, and why are you reaching out. Ask them about moving forward with the process. Brainstorm interesting questions. Clarify  how you’ll conduct the interview (through phone, email, Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype). Once you reach an agreement, prepare for it. Practice active listening, don’t rush with new questions, and try to think of some new, interesting questions as you move on with the interview. 

Know that you may not get everything right the first time around. But don’t give up.

Conclusion 

Your ultimate goal is to create content your audience thirsts for. Using tools like BuzzSumo, Hubspot Blog Idea Generator, and others will help you discover new opportunities. And you’ll never run short of ideas to write about.


This post was contributed by ReferralCandy.