Are you out of content ideas?
If your brain feels wrung-out and your eyes hurt from scanning article after article about finding new topics and brainstorming, it’s time to come at the problem from a new angle.
Particularly, the research angle.
Instead of pulling ideas out of thin air, researching content ideas gives you concrete proof that, yes, your audience is going to love this. That’s because you’re relying on the source itself to provide the fodder for your content.
Lean in, listen to what your audience wants to read, note their questions and problems, and take stock of what interests them. This is the pathway to content gold.
Here are some practical ways to dig in and collect those audience-backed content ideas through a little bit of old-fashioned qualitative research.
1. Network, Connect, and Converse with Your Ideal Leads
To find your greatest content ideas ever, focus on networking and having real conversations with your ideal leads.
Obviously, to do this, you need to understand your audience and be genuinely engaged within your industry and community.
Then, it’s time to:
- Find, follow, and interact with your people on social media.
- Pay attention to your social feeds and take opportunities to share and comment on others’ posts.
- When you see your ideal audience members having a discussion or asking questions, don’t be afraid to chime in.
- DM people with which you’ve established a connection and ask to pick their brains.
- Attend local industry events and conferences, and get into those topics you’re super passionate about in-person!
- Take notes and record the topics and questions you see popping up during your networking adventures.
To truly make this work, you can’t do it for a month and call it quits.
You need to invest time in networking and get interested in other people.
Expand your social circles with friendliness and curiosity, and your brand will benefit along with your well-being.
2. Mine Live Chats for Content Ideas
Next up: If you employ a live chat feature on your website, those conversations are great fodder for content ideas.
At my online content agency, our live chat tool of choice is Drift.
One of Drift’s best features is the ability to review all opened and closed conversations.
Using this tool, I regularly mine the live chats that happen on our site and look for FAQs from clients.
What questions and topics do I see over and over? These are ones to jump on and write content around.
Because we get so many SEO questions, 30-50% of our blog content revolves around these topics.
Pay attention to the trends you see from conversations in your live chat platform and use them to create relevant, right-here-right-now content.
3. Listen to Phone Calls from Sales
Another sales channel you shouldn’t leave uninvestigated for content ideas: Phone calls your sales team has with prospects.
These calls are gold mines for potential content topics, especially if a user is calling with a series of questions about your service/product.
If you start to hear the same questions over and over, guess what? Time to answer them in some meaty content pieces.
If you use a CRM system for sales like HubSpot or Salesforce, these platforms should have call monitoring and recording available as baked-in features. Don’t leave these content resources unexplored.
4. Create a Channel for Your Team to Share FAQs from Leads
While you’re leveraging conversational marketing to come up with content ideas, don’t forget to let your other team members in on the intel-gathering.
In particular, create a specific channel where your team can share FAQs from interactions with leads. Collecting these insights in one place will make your research and analysis a lot easier.
Some great collaborative platforms this would work well on include:
The channel can be as simple as a shared Google doc or a dedicated Slack channel. Use whatever integrates best with your team’s workflow.
Bonus: The topic research you gather from leads and customers can generate not only blog topics but also critical webpage topics you might be missing on your site, otherwise. Win-win.
5. Step Away from Your Desk After Research-Gathering (Let Your Brain Percolate)
This final tip for coming up with content ideas is about giving your mind room to breathe. This is the step to take after your research-gathering session has ended.
Specifically, after you’re satisfied with the amount of qualitative data you’ve collected, step away from your desk for a while. Don’t jump straight into writing.
Why? Because that pause after research gives your brain the time to process what you discovered.
According to dozens of studies on the subject, taking mental breaks helps refresh your attention, improves productivity, and generates brighter sparks of creativity.
Give yourself space to let those new thoughts, ideas, and research nuggets percolate.
You’ll come up with better, more fully synthesized content topics that provide insight and value to your audience. (Yes, I’m giving you permission to daydream at your desk on the regular. You’re welcome.)
Look Beyond the Expected Ways to Generate Content Ideas
If you use the same techniques as everyone else to come up with your content ideas…
Yep. Your content also will look like everyone else’s.
To differentiate, try to find unexpected, research-backed ways to ideate. Look to all the sources of data at your disposal and do a little detective work à la Sherlock Holmes.
Finally, remember to try to find out what your audience wants – after all, they’re the point of this little thing we call content.
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
On cloud modernisation and women in leadership
Google Debuts 9 New Shopping Features
Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Websites for Better Rankings
What Will It Take To Drive Content Marketing Forward?
YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights
How Can PPC Help Inform a Powerful Link-Building Strategy
It’s Time to Meet Your Maker! Moonscars is Now Available
Daily Search Forum Recap: September 28, 2022
BCN Group strengthens Microsoft Cloud Services presence with Evo-Soft acquisition
Upgrade Your SEO Content Strategy With These 3 Steps [Webinar]
How to Create UTM Tracking URLs on Google Analytics
Google Is Not Yet Done Rolling Out The Helpful Content Update
How to Target Keywords With Blog Posts
Google On Why Helpful Content Update Seems Quiet
If You Love Escape Rooms, You’ll Love the Elaborate Puzzles of Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
Why & How Machine Learning Took Over Paid Advertising
Google Updates Documentation On Meta Descriptions
Google Learning Video Structured Data Docs Breaks Out educationalLevel
How to limit your reliance on canonicals and boost crawl efficiency
Explore the Path to Digital Future: Interconnect, Integrate and Innovate