Inbound marketing strategy demands relevant content. Without relevance, your content won’t even make it past the first second of scanning. Don’t waste time writing about topics that your buyers don’t care about. Use the Three I’s to identify and speak to the needs of your target audience.
There is a ton of data out there but only a subset is relevant to your buyer personae. Use relevancy as your primary filter when investigating existing content for ideas or creating new content. Select data sources that have a high probability of containing information of interest to those personae.
Your Popular Blog Posts
This is a key indicator of relevance; if prospects are reading it, it must mean something to them. Google Analytics can help you identify those blog posts with the highest number of visits, most conversions, and highest engagement.
Select the top 20% for your data pool. Then do the same with posts that were the most shared on social networks. Again, keep the top 20%. Merge these two lists, remove duplicate data, and put this information on a spreadsheet:
Now you do something similar with your competitors’ posts. Find the most shared posts on social networks and the most externally linked posts. Keep the top 20% and record the title, URL, social network shares, external links, and linking domains.
Community’s and Influencers’ Most Shared Content
Find relevant communities, influencers, locations, and popular topics on Twitter using tools like Tribalytics and Twtrland. Lay out the same data as for competitors. Highest relevance goes to influencer-shared content that is popular in your Twitter communities.
Hottest Trending and Relevant Content in Social Networks
Using a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find the most relevant and popular content in real-time. Take the topics from your earlier lists and match them to current hot topics and list:
Social Network shares
Type of content
Now merge all lists, categorize the content, and list by best performing content.
Relevant Web Industry Questions and Content Requests
To round out your data gathering, find out what questions are being asked on the social networks and forums such as Twitter and Quora and create a prioritized list of questions or those with the highest number of votes. Do the same for media outlet requests for content within each category.
You now have a smaller and more focused mound of data. Massage it to determine action.
Focus, style and format
Create a list of potential blog post ideas:
Ask who, what, when, why, where, and how to find the emotional triggers for your audience.
Determine level of interest based on relevancy and search volume.
Determine which post ideas have already been covered, which sites published the existing content, and level of success. Categorize by format, type, and date published. The high priority blog post ideas will be those of highest relevance and popularity that have not been covered recently, if at all.
One last filter and you will have a list of kick-ass blog post ideas.
Take the final list of potential posts and narrow them further by asking about:
Topical relationship to your business goals
Interest and usefulness level for your audience
Level of helpfulness to issue resolution or improvement
Ease of production and consumption
Availability of resources
Profitability in ranking
Use ideas that match all of these bullet points for the best blog posts ever.