There are 78 percent of B2C businesses and 77 percent of B2B enterprises that think content marketing is at least moderately to extremely successful in 2018. If you want to increase your success, one way to do so is to create an organized publishing strategy. A content calendar helps. Compiling ideas for your content marketing calendar enables your business to cover diverse topics and keep track of what you’ve published so you can vary the content and measure it later.

Once you have a content calendar, the next step is filling it up with content gold mines. The best content ideas are ones that are valuable and relevant to your audience, that they’ll want to organically share with their own networks. Here are 10 ways to find content ideas that will benefit your marketing efforts.

1. Use Keywords

Good ol’ keyword research is the first place to start. Because you want your content to bring in qualified leads, using keywords that relate to your brand and that you want to rank for to drive content ideas makes perfect sense.

Avoid keyword-stuffing, but insert keywords into headlines, subheads, meta descriptions and throughout copy where they are natural and relevant.

2. Ask Your Customer Service Team

Even if you have a frequently asked questions section on your website, using your content to address top customer queries is valuable. Ask your customer service team what the 10 most popular questions they receive is.

Use that to create explainer videos or detailed blog posts that provide answers. These resources will in turn help your customer service team, who can share them with customers, too.

10 Ways to Get Ideas for Your Content Marketing Calendar3. Set Up Google Alerts

Pay attention to timely events and what is going on in the news to get up-to-the-minute content ideas. Create Google Alerts for events related to your industry. Use breaking news to inspire content that relates the events back to your product or service.

Because people will likely be searching for these close to when the event happened, the sooner you can get a high-quality piece out that relates to what is new, the more likely your content will appear in search results.

4. Scan Social Media

Social media tools like LinkedIn Groups and Twitter hashtags are great places to find discussions about your industry. Join relevant LinkedIn Groups, and see what questions people are answering or topics they’re discussing. Scan your followers on Twitter and pages your business follows on Facebook to find news that’s being shared.

Use trending hashtags on Twitter to get content ideas, then share that content using the hashtag. Take questions you get from followers on Facebook and Twitter about your brand, and use those to inspire ideas.

5. Subscribe to Competitors

Competitor research is important to so many aspects of your business. Be sure to subscribe to blogs and email marketing from competitors, so you can see what they’re talking about and get content ideas.

Think about how you can say what competitors are talking about in content marketing, but convey the message better. Don’t copy other content, but take into account that if similar products and brands are talking about topics that are resonating with their customers, your customers might enjoy that type of content, too.

10 Ways to Get Ideas for Your Content Marketing Calendar6. Create a Survey

Get solid content ideas by directly asking your customers and followers what they’d like to see. You can use a simple email survey asking for content ideas. Or, post the question on your social media channels.

In-person focus groups are great, too. Next time you have one, cover content. Ask participants what they remember seeing from your brand and what they want more of.

7. Expand on Web Pages

Even for brands that are just starting out with content marketing, a website is a form of content that can serve as a starting-off point for ideas. Look at each page, and brainstorm five more topics that relate to that page.

You can use keywords from the page in your content, too, which can help overall keyword rankings.

8. Conduct Google Searches

While using your basic set of keywords for content is an ideal place to start, dive into longtail keywords with help from the Google search engine. As you type in keywords, Google auto-populates search suggestions. With each new word you type into the search engine, more suggestions come up, which could drive your content.

Since Google is suggesting that users click on these longtail search terms as they type in shorter searches, your brand can capitalize on suggested terms by using them as a content focus.

9. Follow Curation and Question Sites

Sites that are segmented by topic and that have a social angle, like Reddit, are excellent places to observer fervent communities that discuss topics related to your brand. Follow topics to see what people are curious about.

Quora is another site that gives an inside glimpse into people’s most burning questions. Get as granular as you’d like in your searches on this question-and-answer site. The queries people have might surprise you.

10. Repurpose Past Successes

Finally, look at content that has been a success for you in the past, and think about how you can repurpose it. Are there new stats you can add to an updated version? Could you turn a high-ranking post into a series? Would a blog that did really well be an engaging video, too?

Your best content doesn’t have to just work in the short-term. You can get more long-term results from it by internally linking it into new relevant posts that were inspired by it.

Get Content Strategy Help

Content marketing needs thoughtful strategy, amazing creation and measurable results to be successful. If you want to accelerate your inbound marketing efforts with content, please contact AlphaMind Studios for a free consultation online, or call (303) 832-8193.