Content Marketing: What Should You Write About?

The first, if not the most difficult, step in content marketing is figuring out what you’re going to write about. If you’ve ever tried to write anything, I’m sure you’ve had episodes of writers block – staring at the blank page for what seems like an eternity hoping for creative inspiration.

Successful content marketers don’t have this problem because they are always on the lookout for new and innovative content ideas. Put these tips into action and you won’t have this problem either.

Follow industry news

The key to creating timely, relevant content is to be plugged into the latest news and trends in your industry. If you don’t already, get in the habit of reading online publications and blogs in your industry. Google Alerts can help automate this process by emailing you whenever industry news is published.

Monitor social conversations

What are people tweeting about on Twitter, posting on Facebook or discussing on LinkedIn? These social conversations can be a great source for content ideas. Follow LinkedIn groups, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages related to your industry. You can automate this process using services like HootSuite to monitor social conversations.

Ask your sales and service people

Your salespeople and customer service people are interacting with your customers on a daily basis. They know your customers’ needs, challenges and opportunities. Even if these people are not great writers, ask them for the raw meat of each content idea – I bet there’s a treasure trove of ideas to be uncovered. A talented copywriter can turn their raw meat into a brilliantly written piece.

Ask your customers

To be effective, your content needs to be customer-focused. So, when brainstorming content ideas, why not ask your best customers for input? Conduct an online survey asking your customers to let you know their top challenges and questions.

Conduct original research

By conducting original research, you’ll have content that is uniquely yours. Create a brief, focused survey on a topic your customers find to be important. Once you compile your results, analyze them and look for trends and insights. This valuable data can be used for many blog posts and articles. You can also publish a study of all the results as a whitepaper.

Eavesdrop on email conversations with customers

Now this may seem too “Big Brother” for some, but it is an effective way to understand the questions your customers have about your products, services and solutions. By setting up your email system to automatically “BCC” (blind carbon) your salespeople’s email messages, you will be able to see the questions that are on your customers’ minds, as well as the valuable answers your salespeople provide. By mining the information in these conversations, you will come up with countless content ideas.

Repurpose great content

This is one of my favorite ways of coming up with content ideas: Just repurpose old, good ideas in a new format. Did you write an article that got great feedback? Then write a 10-page whitepaper on the same subject. Film a short video blog. Create a webinar. Each good idea you come up with can be leveraged to create multiple content types.

Consider evergreen content

Evergreen content is content that stays useful for years with little or no need for upkeep. It can be referenced long after it was first created and still provides great value to the reader. What information or topics could you write about that will always be in season?


Permission to reprint articles by Bob DeStefano is hereby given to all print, broadcast and electronic media provided that they agree to the Permission to Reprint Guidelines.

Bob DeStefano is a B2B online marketing strategist and professional speaker with over 25 years' experience helping B2B and industrial companies grow their leads, sales and profits online.

As president of SVM E-Marketing Solutions, a leading B2B online marketing agency he founded in 1995, Bob works with a wide variety of B2B companies — from Fortune 500 companies to small family-owned businesses — to help them leverage online marketing to produce bottom-line results.

Bob is the author of Old Dog, New Clicks: Online Industrial and B2B Marketing Know-How for the 21st Century, a step-by-step plan to transform your marketing practices from past decades to ensure your company's success for the next decade.

Connect with Bob at www.svmsolutions.com and www.bobdestefano.com or by calling (877) 786-3249 x234.