During our webinar conversation I brought up a couple key tools and techniques that may aid your content marketing strategy development. Here they are in more detail.
Finding and Answering the Right Questions
One of content marketing’s many challenges is uncovering what your audience is interested in learning more about – and which of those interests you have the unique ability to respond to best. As indicated during our webinar conversation, the best method is to actually talk to your audience or stakeholders. There are also free digital tools and listening techniques that can also help you explore your audience’s interests.
Answer The Public – This is an amazing and free tool that puts search terms into context by providing the questions and prepositions (e.g. for, to, vs) that commonly surround that topic when people are searching in Google. I LOVE this tool!
For example, if you are an ethical clothing company, you likely know a lot about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of fast fashion. And your audience is likely to be interested is the costs of fast fashion as well. Tools like Answer the Public can help you connect what you think people want to know about fast fashion with what they are actually searching for most. Plus, they provide lovely data visualization.
Answer the Public “Fast Fashion” Questions
Answer the Public “Fast Fashion” Prepositions
The resulting analysis helps you fill in gaps within your content strategy or content calendar.
Keywordtool.io – This is another free tool that provides insights into the context that surrounds a broad theme. Additionally Keywordtool.io offers insights into how people search using other platforms like YouTube and Amazon.
The tools mentioned above are great for a general understanding of how people search for topics that may be relevant to you or your audience. Beyond that it’s important to really dig into where your audience or stakeholders are having conversations or engaging online. In this vein, there are two quick methods I use to mine content ideas:
Quora – Quora is a robust community-driven Q&A site. You can search topics relevant to your industry or mission, discover what people are asking questions about, and review answers that others have provided. I recommend listing all the questions and, if you can provide the best answer, develop content to respond to the questions. You can then answer within Quora and link to full content on your own site that fully explores the topic in detail.
Amazon – Because the content landscape is so crowded, we are always looking for opportunities to answer questions or cover topics better than what is already out there. You can use Amazon reviews to find user critiques of books and/or products that can help you craft content and messaging that speaks to the content gaps.
For example, if your organization works to solve challenges of high-calorie low-nutrient food deserts, it may be helpful to review book critiques to see what other writers have missed, or what you could further explore.
Often times for entrepreneurs, start-ups, or smaller companies, a huge marketing challenge is time. Time to develop content – time to build your audiences – time to market to them. But there are other players in your industry that can help. Building effective partnerships takes time and heart. This is the real work of making human-to-human connections with your mission allies.
Effective Marketing Partnerships – JB Media Founder and Director of Strategy Justin Belleme recently wrote an e-book on the subject, and you can download a free copy to help provide direction and support for your partnership-building efforts.
Authenticity and Perseverance
Good content marketing takes a significant amount of time, intention, and authenticity. Keep asking yourself the whys. Why should someone read your content? Why are you creating content in the first place? What value are you providing?
We wish you best of luck on all your social venture enterprises. You all represent the kinds of businesses that should and need to be thriving – for the betterment of our global community! I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from an environmental hero.
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” – E. O. Wilson