A strong B2B content marketing strategy is essential for businesses to increase their outreach and generate new leads. Blogs, social media content, videos, and guest posting are all powerful ways to engage with audiences. But what happens when you run out of things to say?
No matter how talented or creative you may be, you will inevitably find yourself struggling to come up with new ideas from time to time. It doesn't matter if you're a longtime blogger, a marketing expert, or someone completely new to the world of content creation.
But when you've got a B2B marketing campaign to run, you don't always have the luxury to wait around for inspiration to strike. You have to go out and find it. Thankfully, there are some tried and true methods of doing just that, and we're going to look at seven of them here.
Want a surefire way to know what content your customers would like to see next? Ask them!
If you have an email list (and you should), then discovering your next set of blog post ideas can be a short survey away. Social media is another excellent place to gather such information. Just remember to keep some of your survey questions open-ended so customers can articulate what they want in their own words.
Here are a few questions you can modify and pose to your audience:
Keyword research isn't just useful for SEO. It's also fantastic for brainstorming new ideas. Even a simple Google search can be helpful, as you can browse autosuggestions to see what searches people are conducting online. To do this, open up a search engine site and type in a word related to your niche. Then add an affix such as "how to" and see what the search engine auto-suggests.
For example, let's say that you worked in cybersecurity. If you typed the words "cybersecurity how to" into Google, Google auto-suggests "how to measure cybersecurity risk." From this, you can see that many people want to assess the risks of various cybersecurity threats to their businesses. You could then take this information and write a how-to guide that could potentially see lots of traffic.
You can take your research a step further by utilizing keyword planners. Keyword planners can provide you with all sorts of data, including the popularity of search terms and the amount of competition surrounding these searches (i.e., how many bloggers are already targeting those searches). The trick is to find the sweet spot between search popularity and competitiveness and create content around that topic.
Depending on your niche, LinkedIn, Reddit, Facebook, Slack and Quora host groups and forums that can help you observe and get involved in discussions relevant to your industry. As such, they make great places for conducting market research and uncovering what queries your target audience has through social listening.
These sites are beneficial as newsjacking aids and for discovering popular trends within your B2B niche. But, of course, which groups or social media you choose to join or observe will depend on what demographic you're targeting. For example, Reddit is generally popular with younger males, while LinkedIn appeals to older, business-oriented audiences.
Keeping and using a swipe file can work wonders when you're struggling to develop new topics. In case you didn't know, a swipe file is a sketchbook of sorts, where you can keep a record of any marketing that you find particularly good or eye-catching.
Then, later on, when you need some new ideas, you can turn to this file and be inspired.
A swipe file can be kept in a digital or physical form. Just make sure you keep it somewhere that's easily accessible. That way, you can always keep adding to it whenever you see something worth remembering.
Examples of the kind of things you might put in a swipe file include:
It might seem disingenuous to get ideas from your competition. The point here, though, is not to steal or imitate their content. Instead, the point is to find out what topics are creating interaction and discussion and consider how you can approach these subjects from a different angle.
After all, you should have a distinctly different brand voice and perception from your competitors, so finding your unique take shouldn't be too difficult. If it is, it's time to take a closer look at your B2B brand strategy.
Conferences and trade shows are fantastic places for discovering new perceptions, trends, and insights within your industry. And event cancellations due to COVID have sparked a sharp increase in virtual events. So, why not share some of what you've learned and observed with your audience?
By all means, you can quote (and credit) speakers and highlight new announcements within your content. But don't just transpose what you've observed. Instead, convey your thoughts and reactions to the topics and industry changes discussed.
You don't have to develop something entirely new each time you need fresh content. You can, and should, cover topics you've gone over in the past. After all, most of your customers probably didn't see the original content the first time around or may have forgotten.
Furthermore, your industry, business, and perspective have probably all gone through some changes over time. So, chances are, you'll probably end up with some content that is very different from what you did before. As such, it will likely be more relevant to your current customer base.
You can also repurpose your content for use on other platforms or formats:
It might feel a little like cheating, but it's your content, after all, so make sure you get all the value you can from it.
It's worth reiterating that you should always keep your audience in mind when generating new content ideas. It's also crucial that you don't wait until you've used up all of your current ideas before trying to come up with something new. Instead, generating new ideas should be treated as an ongoing process that keeps the future close to mind.
A well-constructed strategy can help you plan and manage your content creation process and avoid common content marketing failures. It can also help you identify who your ideal customer is and what their needs are. As such, it's a vital document that will help you devise, create and execute your content.
Now that you know several ways to inspire new content ideas, find out what works best for you and then implement that within your overall strategy. That way, you can plan your workload to avoid ever running out of content ideas.