Does anybody care what I’m writing about?
A question most of us B2B writers ask ourselves on a regular basis.
Because, let’s face it, some of the things we write about are just plain boring.
But it doesn’t matter what we think – our job is to make the reader fall in love with the value our content offers.
The problem is, marketers aren’t always subject experts, and therefore have no idea what people in the industry want to hear about.
This inevitably leads to mediocre content and irrelevant topics.
In fact, over 60% of B2B marketing teams have named producing engaging content as their biggest challenge.
This suggests that a lot of the time we have no idea what our readers are actually interested in.
Luckily, this post covers 5 creative ways you can create content you know your target audience LOVES, without being an expert!
Here’s my take on the B2B content insights from the infographic:
1. The idea goldmine
This first method is the simplest, and also my favourite.
In 90% of cases, B2B companies have a technical or support team who handle questions from clients and prospects. You could even post your own explainer video, which can really help your brand in the consideration stage of your buyer’s journey!
Day in and out, they hear the same issues the market is facing both with the product and it’s real life application.
This makes them a gold mine of content ideas.
The only probably being, the support team and marketing team usually sit in different corners of the building.
This may not seem like a long way, but it’s often surprising how little these two teams communicate when it comes to content ideation.
When they do, they discover recurring obstacles their audiences face, which makes perfect ammo for the next blog post.
Imagine a company that sells CRM systems runs out of content ideas.
They could either aimlessly write about the great new features they think their audience cares about, or they can ask the support team about the reoccurring issues users are actually having – like the integration of the CRM system with their email software.
Then, instead of creating content based on a hunch, they can create content addressing issues users are having.
The same goes for prospective customers.
If you create content that is physically being asked for, you’ll never stop creating content your users love.
Copy best performing content
Have you ever wondered what the most popular content in your industry is?
Now you don’t have to…
Buzzsumo allows you find the most shared content in your industry within a few clicks.
Let’s use the CRM company example again.
To find content ideas the CRM company would go to www.buzzsumo.com, enter the keyword ‘CRM’ in the search bar and hit go!
Next, they would see a list of the most shared articles relating to the CRM industry.
We can see in the first five results there are already two potential topics that have been shared over 20k times between them.
Buzzsummo literally finds the content your industry loves the most.
Better still, once you’ve gotten inspiration from content featured on Buzzsummo you can click on ‘view sharers’ which pulls up a list of the users who shared the post.
You can then reach out to the sharers and notify them of your similar content you’ve created.
This can be time-consuming, but it’s a great way of getting a tonne of free exposure.
Scrape the web for ammo
Don’t get me wrong, I love Google’s keyword planner.
It gives a good understanding of how many people are searching for certain keywords and offers up some in-demand content ideas.
The problem is, everybody uses it – therefore, everyone gets the same information and content ideas.
Answer The Public is a tool that scrapes user’s web searches closely related to your target keyword and shows great content ideas you’re audience is already searching for.
Again, let’s take the CRM company example.
Go to www.answerthepublic.com
Enter the target keyword, CRM, and hit Get Questions.
You are then faced with a screen that pulls up frequently CRM questions, prepositions and all other searches in alphabetical order.
You can now scroll through the queries and find which ones will make the best content.
From the above, we can already see themes around ‘which CRM works with QuickBooks’ and ‘which CRM is best for small businesses’.
TIP: I usually find the best content ideas come under the prepositions section.
Take the ‘How CRM’ preposition as an example.
This section offers a great place to start for your content ideas, as they are questions that can directly be answered within the walls of a blog post.
Better still, you know your audience will love your content because it’s based on information they are already typing into Google!
Solutions they’d pay for…
I’m yet to meet a B2B marketing team that doesn’t do customer surveys in some shape or form.
The majority of which rightly ask questions regarding their satisfaction with the product or service. However, surveys can also be a great opportunity for content mining.
Perry Marshall lists 3 questions companies should ask their customers in order to gain insight into what obstacles they encounter and how it would change their life if they could find a solution.
Here are the questions:
- What is your single most important question about (insert keyword/product here)
- Why would it make a difference in your work life to get a good answer for this problem or find a solution for your need (details, please)
- How difficult has it been for you to find a good answer for the above to date (not at all difficult, somewhat difficult, very difficult)
Once you’ve received the survey back, immediately throw away all of the answers who voted ‘not at all difficult’ or ‘somewhat difficult’.
Next, throw away all of the answers who provided 2 sentences or less in answer to question no.2.
You’re now left with the 2-5% of the recipients who have written large paragraphs on their questions and how it would make a difference to their life or work.
These people are gold because these issues represent obstacles they would pay to find a solution to, and they probably aren’t the only ones.
If you can tie these answers into your content marketing strategy and link it back to your product offering, your content will convert like crazy.
Tower over your competitors
Finally, this method of content creation is split into 4 parts:
- Finding out which of your competitors content is doing well
- working out how you can create a better resource
- ‘Stealing’ their backlinks
- Ranking higher than them in Google and therefore ‘stealing their traffic’.
This method is great for content generation, as it involves identifying well-performing industry content and simply creating something better.
I’ve created a full step-by-step guide on how you can steal your competitor’s traffic here: b2bmetric.com/how-to-steal-competitors-website-visitors-a-step-by-step-guide/