There’s no escaping it.

If you want your digital marketing efforts to propel your business forward, you are going to need to invest some time into producing new content for your website and social media channels.

And when it comes to digital marketing there are very few tools that are quite as good at generating more traffic for your website than writing articles.

When it comes to producing a content strategy, articles should be the core of what you do, because they play a key function in improving the quality of your website and, perhaps most importantly when it comes to your content strategy, they are so damn versatile.

An article is more than just a piece of content you can upload on your website. It can be:

  • The subject of your next social media post
  • The script for a video
  • The basis of a podcast episode
  • A starting point for an e-book
  • The basis of a press release
  • The topic for an infographic
  • The subject of a presentation
  • The starting point for an article submission to an industry publication

And that relationship works both ways.

If you’ve already invested in different streams of content creation as part of your marketing strategy, then you probably are sitting on a gold mine of article topics.

If you’ve produced podcasts, there are articles sitting in those podcasts.

Produced some video recently? Awesome!

Turn those videos into articles and solve another content problem for your business.

Written an e-book? Great!

Take a chapter or excerpt and turn it into an article you can use to market the e-book itself.

It all comes down to making your content as accessible as possible and as articles are a written format, they can be so easily repurposed.

Where To Start? Finding your content marketing topics.

Versatility aside, articles should be a core function of your digital marketing efforts and content strategy for another simple reason.

They play a massive role in helping improve the quality of your website from a technical standpoint and provide constant opportunities to engage someone new.

Writing quality articles that are rich in content will not only help direct more customers to your site but also make sure that those same customers keep coming back.

When done properly, they can help improve your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), meaning you will rank higher on search engines like Google.

Building a bank of high-quality, engaging articles is definitely a long-term play, but the rewards in time are well worth the effort.

You can use articles to:

  • Answer frequently asked questions about your business
  • Tell a story about how your product or service helped solve a clients problem
  • Demonstrate your expertise within your industry
  • Inspire your audience with confidence that your products and services are the right ones for them
  • Build relationships with referrers

And so much more.

But where do you start?

Starting really is as simple as putting together an ideas board.

The number one content killer is uncertainty.

Whether it is uncertainty about what to write about or uncertainty if anyone will read what you write, you need to push past this mental block and start writing.

Honestly, the truth is that you don’t need to look far for topics.

If you have customers, you have topics. If you have employees or co-workers, you have topics.

If you have successfully completed one job for a customer, you have a topic.

If you are an expert on a subject within your industry, you have topics.

So, whether you have established a content strategy or not, if you need something fresh to write about, do the following:

  • Talk to your salesperson/Business Development Manager/anyone involved in the sales process and ask:
    • What are the most common questions you get about our business, product and/or service?
    • What is the biggest problem customers come to us to solve?
    • What article topics would help you in your role?
  • Call a customer and ask:
    • What problem did you solve for them?
    • Was there an unexpected benefit of using your product or service?
    • What could you have done or explained better?
  • Speak to the service providers (account managers etc.) in your business and ask:
    • What is the most common question you have had to answer over the last month?
    • What written resource can you provide them that would make their job and/or communication with customers easier?
    • Is there a topic related to your business that they would like further education on?
  • Call up your top three referrers and ask them:
    • Why do they refer to you?
    • What solution do you have for their clients?
    • What resource would they appreciate from you?
  • Use online tools to research what your customers are searching for
    • Quora
    • Google Trends
    • Ubersuggest
    • Reddit

The last point is particularly powerful, especially if you don’t have a heap of existing staff, customers or referrers you can talk to.

We live in a day and age where there is so much data around us.

The tools suggested in that list may as well be a mind-reading tool into the wants and dreams of your customers. Use them to get an understanding of what people are searching for when they look for your product or service. Look at the actual questions they are typing into their search engines, or asking in online communities.

Write them down, and start answering them.

If you do those five simple things, you will have an ideas board jam-packed with topics to start writing about.

And that’s before you even consider slam-dunk writing opportunities like:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Business updates

You can organise these ideas in a physical space like a whiteboard or pinboard or digitally in places like Google Docs, or any project management/collaboration tool you use with your team.

Next Steps: Prioritising Article Topics And Getting Started

If you have done all the above, you should have a bucket load of article topics and the beginnings of a very solid content strategy.

You might even be feeling overwhelmed by all the ideas and now your biggest problem is where to start.

You can overcome this hurdle by prioritising your topics.

Typically an article is going to do one of or, ideally, a combination of these things:

  • Identify a problem your reader/customer needs to be solved
  • Educate your reader/customer about your service or product
  • Explain how your service or product can solve the reader’s/customer’s problem
  • Demonstrate how your service or product has solved the problem for someone else
  • Inspire your reader/customer with confidence in your solution
  • Enhance your reputation as an expert or thought leader in your field

The articles you want to get done first are the ones that you can achieve at least three of the goals above.

Start putting the topics into buckets.

Which ones will achieve all of the above?

Which one will achieve three or more?

And so on from there.

Another way of prioritising them might be by starting with the topics you already have content for.

Do you have a brochure you can convert into an article? Have you got a video discussing one of the topics?

Did you appear on a podcast that can serve as the starting point for the article?

You also want to take all this content and make sure it appears within the article.

Embed your video, include that brochure or link to the podcast you appeared on.

This is going to enhance the credibility of your work and will help make your content even more easily digestible.

Are You Still Stuck? Content Hype can help

Whether you’re stuck at topic generation or the ongoing execution of your content strategy for your business’ digital marketing, Content Hype can help.

With years of experience on both sides of the media fence in journalism and marketing, Content Hype can put together a solution that will keep your website ticking with fresh content and your social streams buzzing.

Simply fill out the form below for an obligation-free consultation about your digital marketing content strategy.