One of the most common concerns when starting a content strategy is “what do I write about?”. Writers are generally told to write about what they know – and in this case, it’s no different. Write about your company, the products and services you provide and your industry. Write about the concerns and issues that you hear about from your customers and prospects and how they can be solved. Content marketing is all about sharing ideas with the people within the industries that you cater for and should provide value, not only for your business but for your content readers too.
If you are a little bit stuck for ideas and topics though or need somewhere to begin – here are a few ways to get started.
Speak to the People Who Know.
Chances are that the people that you work with wouldn’t have been hired if they didn’t know how to do their job or know their industry well. Why not ‘pick their brains’ for some ideas about any pain points that they’ve come across that is specific to the industry that you’re in. It’s also possible that some of your buyer personas apply to your co-workers – speak to them about their goals for the year, how they’re planning on achieving these and what tools and help they’ll need to make it happen. This will give you a good starting point on what your potential buyers would be researching and the difficulties that they are facing and will provide you with insights on how they can address these. Use your colleagues’ expertise to speculate about what can happen in the future of your industry and become a true thought leader.
We’re also sure that many of your co-workers will be interacting with various customers, prospects, partners and suppliers. These conversations are valuable as they give a wider overview of the industry as a whole. Having open discussions with these key stakeholders will give you a better understanding of your industry and can provide a number of content ideas and angles for you to write about. Don’t forget to keep an eye out on their social media feeds to discover what content they’re sharing and what they’re writing about themselves!
What’s Everyone Talking About? – Content is Everywhere
Google will be your best friend – chances are that there are several thought leaders who already write extensively about your certain industry. Find out what they’re talking about and share your own thoughts and ideas about these topics. Another helpful resource to find out about key topics in your industry is through social media – Twitter, in particular, where there are 319 million monthly active users, sharing approximately 350,000 tweets per minute. Search for thought leaders in your industry to find out what they’re sharing and writing about or use tools such as Hootsuite where you can add known industry keywords and discover what people around the world are discussing, in relation to that keyword.
Look into specific industry-related Linkedin Groups or forums and Q&A sites such as Quora, where people can start discussions around specific themes or topics or through main categories of interest. This will give you an indication of what topics are ‘hot’ and could be addressed by your content, giving you the chance to build a healthy content pipeline.
Don’t Forget to Find Your Voice.
These are just a few of the helpful sources available. However, it’s best to speak to the people within your company for their thoughts and ideas because it’s with those ideas that you can truly start to create thought-leadership content that will be read and shared by people in your industry.
Don’t forget though that content writing isn’t just about the content you write. You need to make sure that what you’re writing is engaging and suitable for your audience through tone and language (this won’t be turning into an English lesson, next week – promise! It’s just something for you to bear in mind). We’re still in the process of finding our ‘voice’, ourselves. We’ll let you know when we’ve found it – although, we’re hoping that it’ll be clear in our content, soon enough!