If you’ll list the 3 things every content marketer struggles with, the top 3 would probably be:

  1. Time
  2. Getting new ideas for content
  3. Promoting their content.

While adding more hours to the day is still beyond human reach, methods for getting new content ideas is something that is totally doable.

The content marketer’s real challenge in creating content is the combination of large quantities of content in a short period of time and keeping it relevant to the target audience and engaging.

So how do you come up with tons of content ideas that will be read and shared by thousands of users every time? You use data.

3 Ways top marketers create engaging content every time

The secret behind creating engaging content is being able to create content that will answer a need your target audience has. To answer a question they have or helping out with a challenge they are facing.

In a perfect world they would just tell you in your face: “Hi, can you write a post about…?”, in the real world your users aren’t that straightforward but if you know where to look, they are telling you just that.

I’ve done a step by step breakdown of  3 methods well-known marketers use, and you can start doing today.

1. BuzzSumo

The most useful thing about BuzzSumo is that you can use it’s share stats per article as an indicator of what works and what doesn’t.

When you think about it, knowing what people share is about the same as them telling you what type of content they want to engage with, right? In that term, BuzzSumo is like a giant light house.

How can you use BuzzSumo to get popular content ideas? It’s pretty simple and highly effective.

1. Think of the topic you want to target. Do you want to write an engaging post about content marketing? about ecommerce analytics? gardening? Choose one topic you’d want to create your content about.

2. Go to the BuzzSumo App

3. Type in the relevant keywords for your content topic in search field and click “go”

4. Format has a lot to do with some specific content will resonant. For example, if you’re creating a tutorial for ‘how to use photoshop’ a video might be more effective than text, but if you’re doing a content piece about writing great headlines podcasts and text articles might perform better.

Go to the top-left side of the screen and mark only the types of content you are able / willing to create at the moment so you will get a clearer understanding of what are the popular topics for the type of formats you can actually create.

5. Do you want to create evergreen content (content that will always be relevant) or something that is trending right now and might give your blog a boost of visitors. Creating evergreen content is usually great for SEO and for getting backlinks and shares over time, but it could take longer to hit waves.

Trending topics will resonate for less time, but might get you more shares and raise more awareness in a short period of time.  Covering trending topics is also a better way to engage with influencers or getting a guest post in big publication.

Buzzsumo - Filter by time and format
Buzzsumo – Filter by time and format

 

If your next question is which content is better – i’ll advise you to focus your content on 80% trending topics and 20% on Evergreen content. But that’s me.

Once you’ve decided the type of content you’d want to create, look at the left-middle of your screen and filter your content. If you’re targeting Evergreen content filter your results for the “past 6 months”. If you’re looking for something trendier set it for “Past month / week / 24 hours”.

6. Now the list of results is optimized for our needs and we are ready to start generating ideas.

Look at the list and sort it by ‘total shares’. The content with most total shares is obviously the one you’d want to spin your content off. A little tip: If you’re focusing your efforts on a specific social network, you can also sort your results by share on a specific network. For me, Twitter is my most active one, so i’ll sort my results by Twitter shares.

7. Coming up with the post ideas:

What I usually do at this point is either get creative and come up with new ideas inspired by the number one (relevant) content topic and simply try and think of new content I can create targeting the same topic.

Other things I read the article and try to understand how can I create complementary content to it, how can I improve  it or even create a post that contradicts with that piece of content.

Another thing you can do is take several blog posts talking about the same topic and create a roundup “best of” posts. “Best resources for mastering Google analytics” etc.

2.Quora

I admit, I’ve only recently really fell in love with Quora. I always used it for marketing, but only lately I feel that I really “got it”.

If you’re not familiar with Quora, it’s a platform where people ask question and crowdsource answers. As i’ve mentioned before, engaging content is basically creating content that answers your clients questions or challenges they face. Are you getting where i’m going with this?

By knowing what are the most popular questions people in your field are asking, you can create content that will answer the needs of a large number of relevant people.

How to choose your topic based on quora questions:

1. Just like we did on BuzzSumo, first you need to choose the keyword for your content.

2. Type in your keyword in the search field.

3. Start looking for the questions that has most answers / upvotes.

4. Answer the most popular question with an in-depth piece of content (not on the platform itself). That’s it.

5. Share it everywhere.

What are the most popular questions on Quora?
What are the most popular questions on Quora?

 

3. Tweet chats

I’m an avid Twitter user. I think Twitter by itself is a an amazing resource for blockbuster blog post ideas

though one of my favorite tricks on Twitter is using TweetChats.

A tweet chat is basically a conversation focused on a specific topic (social media, content marketing, fashion etc) and that is marked by a hashtag. A tweet chat happens at a specific time and date and is managed by a single moderator that directs the conversations. Tweet chats can have between 0 user to tens and hundreds of them.

Making a long story short, you need to find a tweet chat that is relevant to your industry, participate and get ideas from the conversation you’re engaging with.

How do you find a relevant Tweet chat? My favorite tool (among the million of twitter tools) is chatsalad.com.

Chat salad simply arranges all available tweet chats in one place, sorted by time and date. You just need to find the relevant chats for you, and join them. If you subscribe to a chat using chat salad, you can even get an SMS before it starts as a reminder.

So how does it work?

1. Go chat salad and create a free account.

2. Search for relevant tweet chats.

3. Subscribe to them

4. When you get notified – log into twitter and follow the hashtags (chat salad offer a chatroom that concentrates the discussion, if it’s more convenient for you)

5. Participate in the discussion and write down topics that people react to the most.

6. Develop content ideas around those topics.

Boom, you’re done. You simply need to show up, engage, take notes and you’ll have a few chart topping ideas (and probably a few new twitter followers as well) .

 

Any Tweetchat out there
Any Tweetchat out there

 

Creating engaging content is about knowing what your audience cares about and what troubles them. All three tools will help you do one thing in particular – Focus your listening on your customer needs. The better your listen and analyze their needs, the more engaging content you’ll have.

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Roy Povarchik is a community-building consultant for startups specializing in content marketing and growth hacking. 

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