ContentKingEven if the need for good content is generally realized, there is often a lack of ideas on how to come up with this content. This is why we would like to give you some ideas on how to develop your content planning.

The key of content marketing is mainly to develop texts with value add to the target group, which convince the buyer of a product or service and in this way result in a profitable customer relationship. But content marketing is only the tip of the iceberg, according to Miriam Loefflers’ book, called “Think Content”, released just this February. Content strategy, on the other hand is the basis to build on.

Before starting with the development of a content marketing strategy (which is often entirely absent), the careful analysis of the status quo, planning of the content for the target audience, content production, and operational management of useful and usable content, are the key issues to be resolved.

Below are 10 useful tips, directed at corporate content managers, on how to generate suitable ideas for their own online presence as part of the content-planning process:

1. Learn from the competition: Do you have online competitors who are ranked higher than yourself when listed on Google and other search engines? Then you should give these pages a closer look and reflect. Maybe you can be inspired by looking at the content presented there. Example: Your competitor provides a top 10 list of the best articles of the past year on his blog? You may also easily take a look at your web analytics data and simply create one yourself. Also compare your competitors‘ keyword research with your own.

2. Talk to your peers: In everyday life of large companies, it is very common that there are invisible barriers between departments and there is a lack of communication between them. Whether marketing, PR, IT or product management, each tinkers cheerfully to himself, and no one really knows quite what the other one is doing, which is why a lot of USEFUL information about the company perishes, which would be suitable and wonderful to share with your customers. Talk, for example, with your customer support, because they are constantly in contact with the customer. Proactively talk to your colleagues and let them explain what problems arise or which difficulties are experienced when it comes to the use of your products or services. Then create a FAQ page in which you provide answers to the most frequently asked questions. This way, you have not only easily created value-added content for your website, you simultaneously relieve the work load of the support team, which will be thankful.

3. Risk taking a look into the future: To read stories and reports about how we will live and work in five, ten or 20 years are always exciting to your audience. Design, for example, a realistic vision of the future for your industry on your company blog and invite others to a debate about this. Example: You are an online company and speculate on how the field of search engine optimization or online marketing will look like in 2020.
4. Track discussions of the target group within topic-relevant forums: Every industry and every niche has its own forums where you can learn a lot about your target audience. They will tell you what issues are moving them, what they are most commonly talking about, what they are missing and what they loved – there is no easier way than this to do market research on the World Wide Web! This information can for example be a very good basis for ideas for topics counselors or other content generators.

5. Interviewing of experts: Interviews with experts are a popular means to lend a certain authority to your content. Identify experts in your industry (for example, via LinkedIn or Google+) and ask the appropriate professionals for a short interview on a current topic, so that you may publish it on your site. It costs nothing to politely ask!

6. Evaluate the numbers of your analysis software: Why wander into the distance if good information is so close? Take a look in your analysis software and identify content formats that were previously well received on your website. This format should then be expanded in the future.

7. Take advantage of freely available tools: To get content ideas for your website you can use existing, freely available online tools, such as Just enter your main keyword or product into the search box (for example, mountain bike) and have the tool generate multi-word keywords (long tail keywords) that provide you with information on possible topics for your website. The Twitter search engine Topsy is in this respect also a true treasure trove. Here you can find other free SEO tools.

8. Browse through the archive: Just browse in your library and dig out old treasures that still interest your customers and knit them into an interesting story continuation.

9. Comment on the latest news events: Comment on current news on laws and regulations and what it means for your customers and their companies. The daily reading of the newspaper or taking information from Google News should be a compulsory exercise to any content marketer.

Of course, this list could go on indefinitely - but even this short list should leave no lack for content ideas for you to apply to your industry. But do not stop just after going through these brainstorming sessions, because in the next step the content ideas must be filtered, concretized and responsibilities laid down on their implementation, for this exercise to be fruitful. We wish you lots of success!

By Roger Stadler