Where do ideas come from? This is a question people stop asking all together in their lives for one reason or another. Yet kids can’t stop asking about them; businesses can’t do without them and marketers are ready to go to any length to aboard the idea train.
As marketers, you want the most unique ideas to form the foundation of your content marketing strategy. You can’t simply expect some random ideas to drive the content marketing forward, instead, you should discover what everyone is talking about and focus on those topics.
An essential part of your job as a marketer is to become a good listener, meaning that you should talk less and listen more (2 ears, 1 mouth and all that…).
Today, businesses identify social media as not just a platform to promote their brand but a place where they learn more about themselves by knowing what people say about them and their industry. Understanding what your followers talk about your business is the first step to knowing what content to use in your content strategy.
Not every piece of content gains traction on the internet. The content that provides solutions to real-life problems never fails to perform well. However, how can you produce such content if you don’t know the first thing about the problems faced by your customers?
Developing a content strategy for a website is time-consuming and requires lots of your efforts and energy. Now, if the strategy is not aimed at driving website visitors or sales, then you are simply wasting your time.
Your content may be underperforming for various reasons, not least because of its lack of originality. However, you can turn things around in your favour by upgrading your content ideas.
Luckily the internet is replete with free tools that can help you discover compelling blog ideas.
Our digital experts have compiled a list of tools that will let you select the perfect ideas to boost your content strategy. A bit of research can go a long way in prequalifying the content for your specific purposes.
So, let’s look at some powerful tools to explore new ideas and leverage your content marketing initiatives.
Before you check out the tools listed here, you may want to learn dos and don’ts when creating a content strategy.
Start your journey with a keyword research
Keyword research lies at the very foundation of search engine optimisation (SEO). Your SEO strategy is only as good as the keyword research you carry out in the beginning. This is where you identify the keywords people use to look up your products or services on Google.
Most webmasters perform the preliminary keyword research but they rarely proceed to utilise the keywords for exploring new content ideas. The big idea here is to look beyond the technicalities of keywords and consider the larger questions about the link between keywords and search intent. Diving deep into the details of search intent is central to answering the queries of users in an efficient manner. Once you have finalised on the keywords to use, it all about matching them with content ideas that people search for.
With some good keywords in the pocket, you can start using Google’s Keyword Planner to get the exact volume of each search queries. You won’t find Google Keyword Planner among the list of free tools. It’s undoubtedly a powerful tool that helps marketers with keyword research, however, it’s not exactly the go-to tool for content ideas. In fact, you can get the best out of this tool when you have got some inspiring ideas and now you want to use search volume insights to better inform your content plan.
1. Google suggest
Let’s start with the mother of all content idea explorer; Google suggest. This powerful feature from Google, lets you type target keywords and offers you a broad range of stems, variations and extensions of the keywords. It is not always a pleasant task to manually sieve through the list of keyword variations which is why we will be introducing another tool to aggregate the stems for you. With Google suggest all you need to do is dial in question terms and look for new content ideas in search results.
Making sense of the search results:
When you come across a potential search phrase, do not hesitate to run a quick search to explore the results. So, have you found what you’re looking for? If you were someone searching for a specific keyword and stumbled upon this search result, would you be satisfied with what you got?
Imagine having at your disposal the whole range of Google suggest queries at a single place. KeywordTool.io will help you gather all types of Google search queries. Deployed by many users as a keyword research tool, this one can also help you discover great ideas for your content strategy.
Just as Google suggest tool, type in your keyword phrases along with corresponding questions. It renders content ideas in the same way except that you are spared the trouble of running separate keyword search to gather different stem specific data. So, KeywordTool.io is a whole lot faster.
You are recommended to use the keywords as a means of discovering new question-based search patterns. For instance, search queries like “electrician job description” and “electrician hourly rate” can even be translated into something as basic as a FAQ page. Your job is to find out various practical connotations of the search phrases which may include people searching to learn about the potential of pursuing a career as an electrician.
Do not forget to look up the same search results on Google to see if you can create content to improve the quality of what is already out there.
3. Answer the public
Answer the public is a super cool keyword tool that is powered by Google autocomplete. It visualises the whole range of search questions and presents them in an image. Before you run a search, you should choose your location. The most effective way to get the best out of the tool is by selecting relevant topics and creating unique content around them. Remember, most of these questions can be branched out into long articles that address various concerns of searchers. Make sure not to reduce it to just an opportunity for creating FAQ pages.
Answer the public will help you discover all the relevant questions people frequently ask about a specific keyword. You can, in turn, use these questions to create conversion-optimised content and boost your content marketing initiatives. You can either repurpose your existing content to address the newly discovered questions or create brand-new blogs to explain away the questions in detail.
4. Google trends
Google trends is another powerful keyword research tool from Google that allows your get real-time insights into trends. Simply run research using selected keywords and find out relevant news and updates trending about them on the internet. Content marketers use this tool to measure the potential and scope of content ideas before starting to work on them.
The rising tab on the Google trends platform will help you identify the most trending keywords and the ones rising in popularity. The tool also offers details about other related topics and more importantly allow users to tap into the next big thing. Look into the search intent behind the keywords and try to give a unique spin to the topics by approaching them more creatively.
Always lookout for an opportunity to turn the trending topics into original ideas that can drive your content strategy forward.
5. Google Correlate
As far as its features go, this research tool is essentially an integral part of Google trends. You can use this tool to understand the relationship between keywords that share the same types of search volume trends. If you have got a list of seasonal products or services, you can use the tool to conduct the necessary content research and conceive of ideas to push your marketing strategy.
First up, you need to spend some time digging up the related keywords used by the target audience. All you need to do is to insert your selected keywords in the tool and identify the keywords that share the same search volume patterns.
Next up, you will be flooded with a long list of unrelated and irrelevant keywords and your job is not just to separate the wheat from the chaff but to unlock the keywords that may indirectly complement your content strategy. These keywords may look unrelated on the surface, but they hold the key to unearthing new content ideas.
Let’s say someone is searching for “Halloween decorations”, chances are they will also want to search for “Halloween costumes”. From a marketing standpoint, both searchers form part of the same audience you are trying to target during the festive period. The big idea is to find out what users may search for and create unique content around them.
6. Google Search Console
Google Search Console has always served as a powerful tool for webmasters to understand the search behaviour of users. While Google no longer allows you to look up the exact keywords website visitors used to reach your site, it still offers an estimate of keyword search volume.
Your job is to pick up search patterns relevant to your business and then try to build unique content around them. However, many marketers continue to ignore the keyword data offered by the search console partly because of the inaccuracy surrounding click data.
Search console still remains to be a wellspring of invaluable data for users as it lets them convert keywords into solid topic ideas that can answer user queries. Forget the click data, just focus on the keyword and search volume data to discover great ideas for your content strategy.
Go to search traffic, then head straight to the search analytics and dive deep into top queries for new ideas. Of course, these may be keywords that already drive traffic to your site. You should look specifically for keywords that drive traffic but doesn’t quite serve users what they look for in the landing page. In content marketing, this task is carried out to bridge the content gap. Find the thin spots and start creating content that would make the landing page more useful for visitors.
Marketers deploy a number of content explorers to look for new ideas. Buzzsumo is arguably the most powerful tool among them all. Just why are they the most preferred choice of marketers?
Well, it’s a unique tool that lets you narrow down content ideas based on not just the amount of success they yielded in a specific domain but different types of topics. Using Buzzsumo, marketers can understand the engagement rate of the content shared on various social media platforms.
It gives you accurate information about how well or poorly a piece of content has performed online. Get insights into the engagement metrics of the content whether that’s blogs, infographics or ebooks. It’s also a good idea to use the tool to prequalify the content idea you’ve gathered.
8. FAQ Fox
While “answer the public” lets you discover the endless list of industry-specific questions asked by users online, FAQ Fox searches all types of online platforms for any kind of questions that match your keyword query. All you have to do is select a social media platform of your choice and run a search for a specific keyword. If you don’t have a platform in mind to conduct the research, you can simply choose a category.
You can browse through pages to discover different types of questions people ask online. This will not only add to the scope of your research but helps you a host of topics that can supercharge your content strategy. Your task is to find threads of questions that are not properly addressed anywhere on the internet.
9. Reddit search
Reddit continues to serve as a wellspring of content marketing ideas. It presents marketers with tons of user data to boost their marketing initiatives. It’s one of the most active social platforms on the internet and is populated by niche communities also known as subreddits that engage in conversations.
Most marketers use Reddit search to discover an endless list of questions and engaging conversations on a diverse range of topics. For many years, marketers have succeeded in tapping into the conversations of subreddits to understand the pulse of users and the real intent behind their queries.
Head to Reddt.com and type in a keyword. Experiment with advanced search and try different variations of keywords, question-type phrases until you get good quality ideas. Reddit also offers lingo search feature that helps you search for topics using abbreviations and facilitate your content discovery.
You can think of Quora as a more advanced version of Reddit which helps users to discover answers to their eclectic range of questions. Marketers everywhere love using this tool to discover content ideas. The process is not much unlike the aforementioned tools in that it essentially allows you to find all the discussions and questions revolving around target keywords.
The best part about using this tool is that it gives you access to a broad range of topics. These topics tend to be a lot more layered and helps users unlock more original ideas. Discover refreshing content ideas and look out for content gaps that you can possibly bridge with unique content.
Marketers conduct keyword research for various reasons and mostly they want to be able to narrow down the scope of the content so that it will have a point of focus. The idea is to find content ideas that haven’t got proper treatment anywhere. Our list of tools should help you to not just measure the depth of the topics but conjure up refreshing perspectives on them.
It will do your strategy development process a world of good to use these tools to unearth compelling topics. Discover the right topics and develop your strategy around them drive traffic and engage users.
If you need help building a content strategy, the digital experts at Mr Digital would like to give you all the professional assistance you will ever need to create a winning content strategy in 2020 and beyond!