Blogging is both one of the most vital and one of the most underestimated marketing tactics today. It can improve your website’s SEO performance, allow you to make a personal, immediate connection with your target audience, and even give you the opportunity to set yourself apart as an authority in your field. However, it is important to realize that blogs are only helpful if they include interesting, well-written content. Updating your blog roll regularly with new material signals search engines that you are relevant, but allowing it to stagnate, or worse simply re-posting the same old content over and over, is one of the fastest ways to banish yourself to internet limbo. Unfortunately, maintaining a constant stream of fresh and engaging blog ideas can be difficult and oftentimes stressful. Here are some great sources that you can tap the next time your find your fountain of inspiration running dry.
Know Your Audience
One of the most simple and straightforward ways to find out what your audience wants to read about is to ask them. Whenever you have an opportunity to interact with your customers, whether in emails, social media, or in blog or video comments, conclude with direct questions or calls to action soliciting opinions or input. A quick “what do you think” or “tell us about your experience” not only gives you access to some valuable information, but can also increase your active social media engagement as well. Moreover, you can supplement your information gathering by talking to your sales or support teams, who can tell you the things that your customers really need to know or the things that they are always asking about.
Follow Industry Experts
Collect tips, advice, and recommendations from the most successful and influential voices in your field and then provide your own personal spin on the topics that they are talking about. Citing experts gives them added exposure while it inserts you into the conversation, providing valuable information to your readers and setting your blog up as a worthwhile resource, which in turn helps your search engine optimization. Obviously, you need to avoid plagiarism like the plague, but explaining hard to understand ideas in terms that your audience will appreciate, all the while giving credit where credit is due, is a great way to keep your audience checking in week after week.
Predict Emerging Trends
Anticipating the next “big idea” can be difficult, but it is not necessarily impossible. The key lies in paying close attention to what people are doing right now and then figuring out what the next logical step might be. Talk to your own management or sales team about their long term goals. Find out what your competitors are talking about, and what they are NOT talking about. In particular, take advantage of analytics and customer data tracking to look for patterns. The more raw information you have, the more connections your brain will make and the more ideas will bubble to the surface.
According to a recent study by HubSpot, nearly 50% of people read blogs more than once per day, making them one of the cornerstones of any successful marketing campaign, and in the fifteen years that we have been tracking customer data for our clients at McCauley Services, our experience suggests that those numbers may actually be even higher. As online content becomes ever more important, it is increasingly vital that you focus on content marketing strategies that engage your audience with constant updates of new and interesting material. That’s why the marketing experts at McCauley Services devote so much time to creating personalized content for all of our clients. If you would like to explore how the McCauley Marketing Services team can make a difference for your business, schedule a marketing meeting today. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share your tips and recommendations.