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Four Fast Ideas for Content Creation

For corporate bloggers, there’s nothing more terrifying than a blank document and a blinking cursor. Solve your blogger’s block with these four fast sources for inspirational stories and new perspectives.

Stories from your Customer Service Department

Rarely is there a department more connected to the hearts and minds of your customers than your own customer service team.  Here, mining for ideas is simple – “Have you got any good stories of really happy or really angry customers for me?” Like mining for any gem, your first shovelfuls won’t yield much, but if you ask on a regular basis, you might find that over time your team becomes more attuned to curating the experiences of your customers. How you use a story will depend on what you’ve uncovered, but be on the lookout for new case studies and use cases from the good stories, and product tutorials from the not-so-good stories. For marketers, these anecdotes can be a great source of inspiration beyond the blog: They can fuel your messaging across channels or even jump-start product development.

Product Reviews

There are two ways of using product reviews. For brands that produce products, reviews can come from rating sites, industry websites or reseller resources. These reviews can typically be used in the same way as customer service stories, as many come from users sharing their own good and bad stories about your product and how they use it. If your brand resells others’ products, either as a reseller or part of a service that you provide, consider posting original reviews of the products. This kind of content can be exceptionally powerful; it’s an attractive offering for search traffic, and it lends itself well to video content as a complement to a written review.

Sales Objections and Counterpoints

This is a resource for advanced communicators. Used well, blog posts built from frequent sales objections – or as counterpoints to industry claims – can gain attention. Used poorly, that attention can cost your brand some level of credibility if the remarks come across more like a schoolyard fight than a piece of content created to add value to the world. Just be sure to avoid posting a knee-jerk reaction. Posting on common sales objections can be a powerful tool for your sales force to aid them in their own interactions with prospects. For example: “You mentioned on the phone that you had concerns about introducing our technology into your existing process. One of our engineers met a customer with a similar concern a few months back and wrote about that experience at [link to your blog.]” Your post can, and typically should, be positive in nature. Experiment with using the frequently asked question as the subject of your posts.

Google Trends

Google Trends (www.google.com/trends) is the Internet’s pulse of “what’s hot” on the web. For major publications, it can help guide front-page news and social media content – but that’s not the best part. Google Trends information is available for most keywords going as far back as 2004. Commonly used for search engine-optimized content, this tool can help identify the most common phrasing for a particular service line in your area. Why is this a “Digital Marketing Blog” as opposed to an “Online Marketing Blog?” While “Online Marketing” is more common globally, the U.S. traffic on Google tends to lean toward “Digital Marketing.” Many companies have a tendency to develop their own internal language. This is especially true in B2B tech and industrial markets, which often build, over decades, a dialect that’s virtually non-existent beyond their walls. With this, Google Trends can be used to make sure your verbiage is in line with your audience standard. You’ll also note when searching that Google Trends shows a list of the most common queries including your search term. These are searches that Google notices are highly relevant for people searching for your seed keyword as well as related topics. Pro Tip: Google Trends graphs interest over time. This is a reflection of daily search volume, but it is not the count of how many people have searched. Simply, the “most searched” day is given a score of 100, and all other days on the chart are reported relative to that.

Promote your Inspired Content (Internally and Externally)

A great post should never go unpromoted, and each of these inspired posts offers a few paths for spreading your content beyond a simple post to Facebook and in your regular email. Consider working key blog posts into your lead-nurturing strategies and/or arming your customer service team with recommended blog URLs in addition to support scripts. A brochure rack never closed a sale or served a customer – and your blog platform is little more than that. How you use your content is, perhaps, even more important than what you’ve written or produced.
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