77% of Internet users read blogs, so it’s not surprising that 33% of B2B companies use blogging as part of their digital marketing strategy. Blogging is a long-term strategy, and the companies that see the most success with their blog typically publish quality content consistently over long periods.
After posting several times a week for a few months, you may start to run out of ideas for interesting blog posts that will engage your audience. This can be particularly difficult for B2B businesses, as they often operate in industries that are considered ‘boring’. Even if you think that your business falls into this category, you shouldn’t let this put you off using blogging as part of your wider content marketing strategy. No matter what industry your business operates in, there is an endless number of topics that you can cover. The following are five ways to find these topics and continuously create high-value content for your audience.
1. Build on Your Existing Content
You don’t necessarily have to come up with new ideas for blogs; you can simply add to what you already have. This is effective for your content strategy, as well as for SEO purposes, as search engines will typically favour newer content. This means that by editing your existing blogs, you are likely to see a spike in traffic.
In order to repurpose your content effectively, look for posts that were performing relatively well in organic search results but have had a decline in traffic. Then, consider how to refresh these posts in a way that adds value to the content and to your audience. Remember that this strategy will only work if the updates that you make to your content are relevant, insightful and up to date, for example:
- Fix any mistakes that you have found in previously published blogs
- Update any broken links with new ones
- Add new pieces of information that are relevant to the topic
- Insert any new statistics and facts with up-to-date sources
2. Look at Other Industry Blogs
Looking at other popular blogs from companies in your industry is another easy way to find relevant topics that resonate with your audience. Do some research into the other blogs in your industry that are targeting a similar audience and have a look at what they are posting to identify topics that may also be relevant to your business. Take note of these ideas, paying particular attention to the content that has the most engagement, but do not simply copy their topics. Instead, use this research as a starting point and think about how you can make your blog better than theirs; consider:
- Converting a generic topic into a how-to blog with step by step instructions and screenshots
- Using the topic as inspiration but taking a different angle
- Adding more current information or enhancing the topic with your own research
3. Interview Industry Experts
Interviews typically make for interesting blog posts as they can provide your blog readers with another point of view or deeper insight on your topics. It’s also an easy way for a business to incorporate variety into their blog. All you have to do is identify the experts in your industry that you want to talk to and get in touch with them to set up a call. You can then use the insights and advice that they provide to put together an interesting blog post in interview format.
If you’re worried about contacting experts in your industry, don’t be. You don’t have to go for the biggest names in your industry, and most people will be flattered that you want to feature them in your blog. They are also likely to share the article with their own audience once it is published, which increases the reach of your blog.
4. Leverage Blog Comments
If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you have a number of comments on your existing articles. Some of these comments will be useful and provide an interesting insight into what your readers have to say about the topics that you cover. Sifting through these comments may take a bit of time, but it’s a worthwhile exercise:
- You may start to see patterns in the things that readers are commenting. Pay attention to the themes and questions that have come up several times, as your readers may want to find out more about these topics.
- A reader may have left an interesting question that could be used to form the basis of another blog (or series of blogs).
- Identify the blogs that have the most comments, as this is an indication that readers are engaged with the topic. You can then try to find new blogs to write around these same topics.
5. Ask Your Sales Team
Working with the sales team is beneficial to marketers for a number of reasons; primarily because the sales team is your closest link to your customers. Your sales team works closely with customers to understand their needs so that they can position your business’ products as the solution to those problems. As such, speaking to your sales team can give you an idea as to what content may be of most interest to your customers.
If you don’t operate out of the same office, you can simply send an email to your the sales team, or give them a call. However, if possible, the most effective way to generate valuable content ideas is to schedule a meeting with the sales reps and content marketing team so that everyone can brainstorm ideas together.