As we head into the 2019 marketing planning season, you may feel challenged about coming up with fresh content ideas to keep your blogs front and center. In fact, in a recent internal survey conducted by the Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing Group about content writing challenges, professionals are most challenged by topic selection. As marketers, we all understand the importance of keeping high-quality, relevant blogs coming to appear in the top 10 search engine results for your company’s areas of expertise. So what’s the solution?

Here are 5 tips you can use to bring more to the content planning table, whether you are doing your planning internally or with the help of your marketing agency.

1) Pick Up on the Pain Points

What are your customers’ or clients’ greatest fears and challenges? Think about conversations you have had with them and the questions they have asked. What stands between them having a so-so year and a phenomenal year? How can the services you provide offer solutions? Connect with your readers and show them you understand their uncertainty, and then in your call to action, you can direct them to the products or services you offer that address their needs.

2) Follow the Policymakers

Be aware of state and federal legislative and regulatory proposals that your audience cares about. Tell them what they need to know before they knew they needed it. You don’t have to be fortunetellers or forecasters—just be out there first explaining the potential implications for their business, and you can be sure they’ll come back to your site for updates. If there is enough material to develop an e-book, better yet—you’ll capture leads when prospects complete forms to download your e-book.

3) Take an Inventory: The Content May Be at Your Fingertips

What do we mean by this? Think webinars, PowerPoint presentations—even in-house presentations. There’s a good chance you already possess material; it’s just a matter of making it fresh and focusing in on one particular aspect of your presentation. For example, if you provided your peers with an update on how tax reform will affect the health care industry, you can likely come up with three-to-five subtopics for blogs that take a deeper dive into one particular aspect of upcoming changes.

4) What’s Trending?

Whether your company serves one or many industries, this is a great time of year for finding trend reports. I just Googled “real estate trends 2019.” Bingo. My results include: “Top 10 Threats to Real Estate in 2019,” and “Outlook: What Will the U.S. Real Estate Market Do in 2019?” Go with a reputable site, such as industry association, and dig into the trends. Align the trends with products or services your company offers, and then offer your perspective.

5) Think Like Your Customer

Stop thinking like the seller and think like your buyer. If you really want to provide information your clients and prospects want, ask the questions they’d be most likely to ask. This gets back to #1, Pain Points. Why write a blog about types of maintenance agreements when your readers really want to know what the various plans will cost? Put yourself in the mind of your audience and consider what they may Google on an average day.

Bonus Tip: Blog Idea Tools

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator: This is a great tool to use when you have written about a topic so many times and in so many ways that you can’t think of one other angle. Simply enter the broad topic and, as HubSpot puts it, “We’ll come up with a week’s worth of relevant blog post titles in a matter of seconds!” If you can put up with the image of a fidgety man who appears to be telling you off, use this site to enter keywords, and you’ll instantly find fresh content ideas in the form of questions, prepositions, comparisons and so forth. For instance, I entered the word “content” and came up with 140 results just on the first page, including why content is important in SEO, and why content writing is important. You can click on any of the responses and you’ll be linked to the Google page on that topic.

Now that we’ve provided you with tips for creating timely and relevant content topics, you may be thinking, “That’s great, but who will develop the content calendar?” or “Who will write all these blogs?” Now what would a blog about writing blogs be without a call to action? Here is ours:

If you’re looking for help developing a robust content calendar, writing blogs that connect with your audience or boosting website traffic to make a dramatic difference in your Google keyword rankings, give us a shout. Email Cindy Spitz or call 440-449-6800.

New call-to-action