How do you find appropriate content marketing topics? Whether you’re doing content marketing for clients or looking for exciting content for your own website: I’ll show you 5 methods that make your topic search easier.
My goal is to give you instructions on how to make your topic search successful for relevant marketing content. In addition to the classic keyword research, there are a few other promising methods to help you find topics.
Be aware of who you are writing the content for!
Regardless of whether you create content for your own website or for a customer, the most important question is and remains: who should the content reach?
At this point, I assume that you already know and have defined your target audience. If you are still unsure, watch for my next article on Buyer Personas. Fast forward: You should have at least one answer to the following questions:
- Which socio-demographic characteristics does your target group have?
- Which needs (related to your product, services) does your target group have?
- Is your target group internet-user and makes purchase decisions online?
- Does he/she use social networks and which ones?
- Does your target group use the Internet for research purposes, for example for further information on products in which it is interested?
Someone who is looking for fashion blogging inspiration for his outfit, for example, or the latest fashion trends, at the time, will hardly be interested in topics around impact drills. The more you know your target group, the easier it is to find topics.
Content Audit: Which content already exists?
Before you enter the topic research, it makes sense to do an audit. This is also the first step in our topic search: Make a note of which aspects you are missing in the analysis of your content and which you can revise and expand. The following questions will be of great help to you:
- Are you starting from scratch or have information-oriented content already been created?
- How useful is the content?
- Is the content up-to-date or can you do that better now?
- Does the content address your target audience or buyer personas and solve their problems?
- How can you better implement these topics?
- Which content is especially popular?
- What content is missing?
- Can or need to delete outdated content?
Tip: You can do a site query for a quick audit. In that case, I checked whether there is something about topic-finding in content marketing on the level of secrets or what content. So you make sure that you do not treat a topic twice and get an overview of your articles. It is interesting, above all, which topic does not exist yet. And which topics need a new facelift.
It is recommended to review and maintain your content from time to time. The next point is the development of new topics.
A tip on the edge: Search operators can make life easier for you. The ones that exist and how you use them can be found at Google for web search optimization or in this article on Google search operators.
Strategic topic finding
After you have “reviewed” the existing content, you can start searching for new topics. There are several different approaches available to you. It is not always necessary to apply all. But I want to give you all the tools.
Use your “close group” as subject suppliers!
“Why to go wander into the distance, when the good is so close”, Goethe already knew. So put the proverb into action and get inspiration from colleagues, friends, customers and your competition for your topics.
Spanking the competition
Look around on your competitor’s websites. And also on related journals and magazines. Spitting is expressly allowed! However, here is also true: having a snack is ok, but eating at home is better. Be inspired by content for your collection of topics, but please do not just copy the entire contents!
Your content is aimed at your (potential) customers. Why not just ask them what they want to read and what information they want from you? Either in the context of a written customer survey or you simply call your trusted customer for an input.
Information from the sales and service team
Is there a customer support group? Hardly any other contact group knows so much about the problems, worries, and challenges of your customers as the customer service team. This is your chance to find topics that are directly related to your customers and that you can answer with your planned content.
Consult colleagues and friends
Often wrongly underestimated or simply forgotten: The opinions of colleagues and friends. If you do not (yet) have any customers or support – which I’m not expecting now – ask people who surround you. What content would your colleagues and friends like to read on the website? What needs are satisfied and which questions are answered?
Content Curation stands for collecting, organizing and reworking “foreign” information on specific topics. Also a kind of spitting on the competition. However, this approach is rather about presenting views and opinions of other experts on a topic – of course with a link to the original sources. The basic idea is to enrich your content with added value.
The challenge here is to enrich one’s own content by changing perspectives or by (critically) illuminating one’s own point of view, thus distinguishing one from the other.
Tools for finding topics
Probably the most classic method of topic search in online marketing is the search using various tools.
Please use Google Suggest for your research. Ask Google a question, but WITHOUT pressing Enter.
Think about a specific question about a topic or topic that is relevant to you. The question should begin with a question word (also “W-word”) such as “who / how / what / when”. Then the topic follows as a keyword. The important thing is “Do not hit enter on Google”. Otherwise, you will not be able to see the topics suggested by Google Suggest.
Take the W-word “which” and the topic “dog”. Already during the input search phrases are offered. If you run an online dog shop, you immediately found some good ideas for your content. The great thing about these suggestions is reflected in what users are actually looking for! So nothing like the suggestions in your topic collection.
Here’s an article with tips on finding ideas for your content marketing: Spark New Ideas with Keyword Research Tools /Tips.
Exploringtopics.com offers you good help with a topic search. It shows you how and what users are looking for on the net, how your competition deals with the topic and which niche topics are available for you. Exploding Topics is a new tool that analyzes millions of data points around the web from sources like:
And it identifies new topics that are starting to explode. 💥That way, you can create content around these topics… before they get super competitive.
With Sistrix, you can identify unused keywords under “Keywords à Opportunities”. All you have to do is compare your domain with competing sites:
Sistrix will now show you a list of keywords for which your competition will be found in the top 100, but you will not. If you go through these search terms now and filter and sort them by relevance to you, you have again found new topic ideas.
Hypersuggest, for example, is a tool based on Google Suggest. Here you can find relevant search terms for all topics collected so far. Particularly interesting is the W-questions search. So you’ll find out how exactly users are looking for these topics. Use this potential by answering as many questions as possible to the topics that are relevant to you.
With BuzzSumo, for example, you’ll find not only influencers but also the most shared content on social media channels. Of course, it makes no sense to take over this 1: 1. Still, it’s interesting to see what type of content is especially popular. You can add these topics to your topic collection afterward.
Search forums and portals
Forums are an old hat? They are still useful, online forums and portals such as Quora or Reddit have great potential to find out what motivates readers of each target group. The information from the tools and the network will help you find the right topics on these platforms. Here you can find individual questions from different users. For example, if a question is asked very frequently, it seems relevant. And especially interesting: apparently there is still no satisfactory answer. The search volume of questions asked in such portals often has great potential, even if they do not appear in keyword tools.
Another helper in the search for target group-specific topics is social media, such as Facebook. Based on the “likes” and “shares” you can read what the user employs. A big plus of social media channels is the interactivity. Sometimes a topic call on Facebook can be a good idea supplier. In an illustrated post “What is important to you …?” You can get interesting and inspiring answers. Also, use Facebook groups to find out what your users are talking about and what they are working on.
To find the relevant content topics for your users, you need to know them and know who you are writing for. Before the topic search comes the target group analysis. Once this is done, you can start with my tips on finding a topic right away. Do not let the thought of completeness keep you away. Just start and try it out. But also take breaks to regain some distance and continue fresh. Focus yourself on these questions:
- Are there any frequently asked sales or support questions that you can answer?
- What challenges do your customers have and what are their problems?
- Are there typical case studies from customer or business life?
- Do your customers follow discussions in topic-related forums and social media groups?
- What is your target group discussing in Internet forums or question platforms?
- What is the most talked about topic in the media and social media?
Are you also doing this or do you have a completely different approach to finding relevant topics? What is your approach? I look forward to suggestions and opinions…