The growing number of online users has prompted businesses to shift from traditional advertising to digital advertising. In the USA alone, digital advertising spending increased from $132.46 billion in 2019 to $220.93 billion in 2022.
However, not all consumers find online ads effective. A study conducted by HubSpot reveals that 91% of consumers view online ads as annoying for being intrusive.
Annoying ads can cost money for your business. They can force online users to abandon your website and unfollow you on social media. As a consequence, you generate less traffic, which can negatively affect your brand awareness, sales, and profitability.
The solution? Content marketing. Consumers want to be assured that they get value from purchasing your products or services. You can communicate value, retain old customers, and attract new ones by creating and sharing informative and helpful articles, videos, podcasts, and other media.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Google remains the largest digital ad publisher. Content marketing can help boost your Google Ads performance.
No one likes being bombarded by ads when browsing the web. Unfortunately, some online ads can be intrusive, triggering feelings of frustration. Statista says the most annoying online ads are video ads that play automatically with or without sounds.
Content marketing is way less annoying than video ads, audio ads, banner ads, and targeted ads. It enables you to build relationships with consumers in ways other types of online ads can’t.
In particular, content marketing evokes emotions that influence consumers’ purchasing behaviors. For instance, a 2022 study reveals that consumers trust a brand more when it offers content that can assist them with their day-to-day living. Consumers are also likely to buy from brands that provide factual information about their products or services.
Suppose you run a company that offers crash courses for individuals interested in starting an e-commerce business. Your target audience is more likely to click on a blog article about how to create a website and sell online than an ad for your paid service.
The positive emotions that content marketing stimulates can also lead to the following benefits:
- It provides compounding ROI.
- It expands visibility.
- It builds brand credibility.
- It grows social media following.
- It creates loyal brand advocates.
The Challenge of Content Marketing
Content that blows the socks off every single reader would be nice. In reality, though, it takes a combination of genuinely great content, luck, and timing to achieve. Not everyone is going to find your content relatable or amusing. After all, people like different things. So you don’t need to panic if your content isn’t producing the desired results.
Nonetheless, you should ensure that your content doesn’t bore readers. Remember that quality matters more than quantity in content marketing, but it’s also important to publish content regularly. Hence, one way to interest your target audience is to write fresh content.
The problem? Americans see around 4,000 to 10,000 online ads each day. With thousands of articles, podcasts, videos, and other forms of media in the digital space, coming up with new content ideas can be challenging.
Addressing the Challenge
Writer’s block happens, and being stuck in such a situation isn’t fun. It can even add pressure, preventing you from creating quality content. Relax! The good news is that there are ways you can do to get out of it.
- Create Topics in Bunches
Do you maintain a blog? If yes, you might agree that coming up with a topic can be the hardest and most time-consuming step. The relief you feel after finally coming up with something to write about (after hours of thinking!) can make you call it a day. Hence, writing down one topic at a time is not ideal.
Instead, try the Pomodoro technique. Allocate a day or two to brainstorm possible topics that can last you at least a month or two. For instance, if you publish three blog posts weekly, you should have twelve or twenty-four topics on hand.
- Check Your Analytics
Knowledge is power in content marketing. If you want to produce great content, you should know who visits your website and how they interact with it. Two tools that can do the job and stand head and shoulders above the rest are Google Analytics and Search Console.
Google Analytics can improve your content by analyzing your website’s audience profiles, the most and the least engaging posts, and optimal scheduling window. Meanwhile, the Search Analytics section in Google Search Console located under Search Traffic can help you develop new topics by telling you the top-ranking search queries and where you stand.
The best part is they’re free!
- Scour Social Media
Social media is a good place to source new content ideas. As of writing, the number of social media users in America comprises 80.9% of the country’s total population. Most spend an average of two hours and three minutes daily on various social media platforms.
You can start by auditing your followers to see what’s trending. Visit their profiles, read their tweets, and check out their photos to see what they’re talking.
Of course, don’t stop there. Check out the brands your followers are following, and look at how they interact with your competitors’ content.
- Conduct Polls and Surveys
As mentioned, your content should resonate well with your target market’s needs and wants. The best way to find out their interests is to ask them directly through a poll or survey on social media.
Your poll or survey doesn’t have to be answerable by yes or no. You can conduct one that allows your followers to ask questions about your products or services. Whichever you prefer, it would be best to publish the results for a more interactive experience.
Polls or surveys don’t only give you new content ideas. They can also increase social media engagement, leading to more traffic and better brand awareness.
- Read Blog Comments
You should answer every comment in your blog posts. Doing so can convey to readers that what they say matters to you. The feeling of being heard can make readers your loyal customers.
Besides audience retention, blog comments can also be a gold mine for new blog post ideas. For example, you can use questions from the comments as titles for a new topic. Be sure you tweak a few words or add key phrases to make it SEO-friendly.
- Google Search Suggestions
You have a general topic in mind. Sadly, you’re having difficulty transforming it into concrete ideas. If you need a helping hand, let it be Google.
Google depends on keyword research. You can input anything into its search bar, and you’ll get tons of suggested related search phrases. Aside from search suggestions, you can also go to the bottom of the page and see other related searches.
You can use them to write potential topics for your new content. On top of fresh content, you can also be assured that you’ll get relevant content since they’re based on actual searches from your target audience.
- Check Out Competitors’ Websites
Look through your competitors’ posts. See the topics you haven’t covered in your post and include them on your topic list. You can use their titles and concepts to generate ideas. However, you should never plagiarize their content. Otherwise, you may face a lawsuit and end up with a damaged reputation.
While you’re at it, scan the other pages on their website. You may find buried ideas by reading through their comment section and Frequently Asked Questions page.
- Connect Your Brand to Current Events
Referencing current events can make your content relevant and timely. Still, you should proceed with caution if you don’t want to face a wave of public resentment.
You can incorporate current events into your content by finding a stance everyone can identify. For example, you can reference the COVID-19 pandemic by talking about safety in general rather than taking a position on COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition, avoid stirring up controversy. You can learn a lesson from Pepsi. While staying up to date on popular topics is good, you’ll only earn ire if you ride on the coattails of trending social issues without taking a solid stand and offering something of value.
Consistency is an essential ingredient for a successful content marketing strategy. Having a regular posting schedule and sticking to it are important to keep your audience interested and engaged.
Don’t let writer’s block disrupt your scheduling plan! Although it’s a common occurrence, there are ways you can get out of it.