You know how important it is to have a content marketing strategy, but you’re struggling a bit for inspiration with what to write about or maybe you’re just looking for ways of creating content that will tap into new audiences.

Fortunately, there are many, many tools out there to help you research content topics and generate interesting content ideas. The problem is not finding the tools; it’s choosing which ones to use! Here are a few of our favorites.

Trending topics

It is easier than ever before to find out what people are interested in reading and learning about. Trending topics on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pocket, and Buzzfeed make it simple to tap into the zeitgeist and see what everyone is talking about – and then come up with related content.

Consider Twitter. Its trends bar — always there on the left-hand side of the screen when logged in to your Twitter account — gives an at-a-glance look at what people are tweeting and talking about. It also lets you choose specific locations. If your clients or customers are all in a particular city, you can choose to hone in on the trends for that city, or if your business is global, you can see what is trending worldwide.

And there you go – you have 10 terms to kickstart your creativity. How can you relate what your business does to one or two of those terms? Can you create content about it?

If that’s not doing it for you, check out what’s trending at Buzzfeed or log into Facebook for more inspiration.

Organic search

Take a look at your Google Analytics: what are the search terms that are bringing people to your website? Are there particular terms that are popular? If so, do you have a blog post that gives them the information they’re looking for?

If not, develop content that will give them what they’re looking for. Do this a few times, and you may start to find yourself on the receiving end of more web traffic.

Answer The Public

Answer the Public is an amazing tool to help you generate content ideas around certain themes or topics. Enter your keyword, choose your country, and it will show you what questions people search for related to that topic, presented in a beautiful data visualization and organized in a list.

Check out what it generated for us when we put in the keyword “content”.

answer the public

Answer the Public came back with 159 questions people ask about content, from “Why is content marketing important?” to “Who said content is king?” These are great titles for blog posts as part of your content marketing strategy.

 

Staff at Your Organization

It’s low-tech, but it’s effective: the staff at your organization are a goldmine of content ideas. As a starting point, as them what questions they receive over and over again, then ask them how they respond to them, and there you go – you’ve got another blog post. Sales staff in particular can provide great insight on what questions potential customers need answered before they make a purchasing decision.

Other questions to draw content ideas from your colleagues include:

  • What do you wish people understood better about our work?
  • How has our field changed since you’ve been working here?
  • What tips and tricks do you have to offer our customers looking to do X better?

There are lots of knowledgeable people sitting in the same building as you. Use their knowledge to put together interesting content for your audience.

When you start using your tools, you’ll find the easy part is coming up with ideas for content, and the hard part is finding the time to write them all! Follow our seven steps for creating a content calendar to help you organize all your great ideas and turn them from ideas to posts.

Are there any other tools that help you research content topics? Leave a comment below.

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