Content marketing is one of the most valuable tools B2B professionals can use to increase brand awareness, generate leads and boost sales. However, almost 40 percent of B2B marketers in North America said they had a somewhat difficult time coming up with ideas for their content marketing strategies (1). In addition, B2B content marketers said for their content marketing campaign to be successful, they need roughly 67 ideas per quarter. Coming up with 268 ideas a year can be a daunting undertaking for any marketer.
Here are eight tips to help B2B content marketers come up with new content ideas:
1. Read, read, read
From industry blogs to scholarly research, you need to read as much as possible about your field. Not only does this increase your knowledge base, it will also show you what subjects or topics have not yet been written about. While pouring over as much industry-related material as possible may seem time-consuming, it will strengthen your subject matter expertise and get the creative juices flowing. This should help in your idea formation and hopefully speed up the content creation process in the long term.
2. Create solutions
Buyers want to know what sort of benefit your content brings to their business. This means you must know exactly what buyers are seeking when they read your content. Look for problems and difficult subject matter and do your best to untangle these knotty issues. Chances are, most marketers haven't touched these topics, which makes them ripe for the picking.
3. Anticipate trends before they happen
One of the best ways to anticipate a trend is to create it. Making up your own survey or poll for respondents to answer can give you insights into what people want or are missing in their business operations. You can use this data as fodder for multiple blog posts or even a white paper.
4. Make friends with Google
Google has a wide variety of tools B2B content marketers can use to visualize metrics, track trending data and access site performance statistics. Google Analytics will help you discern how your site content is performing while you can use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner as a strategic research instrument. Google Trends informs you what topics are currently being searched.
5. Play with it
Writer's block can be frustrating and unnerving. You want to write and you know you need to write, but no matter how hard you try, you just cannot create any new content. Instead of getting hung up on any difficulty you're having, try playing around with what your content. Write up a silly draft or try using a fictional character to tell the story. You don't need to use that actual piece of writing, but by approaching the subject from a novel perspective, you should be able to open new avenues of subject material you hadn't previously considered.
6. Let your customers write your content
Reach out to your most satisfied customers and invite them to write a blog post for you. Not only will this show other customers what your products or services can do for them, it lets you shake things up a bit.
7. Take advantage of all media
From written articles to visual data to video clips, there are tons of ways to market your content. Don't paint yourself into a corner by only focusing on a single medium. What might not work in a written blog post might be immensely successful in a short video.
8. Network, network, network
Use others in the field to get unique perspectives on what's happening. Interviewing industry experts, attending conferences and hosting open webinars gives you the opportunity to hear new voices and stimulate your creativity.