Today’s marketers are producing more content than ever. But creating content requires sizable investments in time, effort, and money. How do you know that your content investment will pay off in terms of interest to your potential customers?
Smart marketers test their ideas before rolling out full-blown projects.
The following are steps marketers can take to ensure that buyers are interested in the topics before they invest sizable sums in producing and rolling out content.
Come Up with Engaging Ideas
The first step is to come up with the ideas that are most likely to generate interest.
Start with hot trends in your market. The more you can tie your content into these trends, the more interest it’s likely to generate. For example, technology companies are more likely to garner attention for their content if provides a unique take on well-established issues such mobile or cloud computing.
Also talk to employees who deal day-in and day-out with customers. Consider creating a content-advisory board with members from marketing, sales, and product development. Ask them to identify questions they hear that haven’t been adequately answered by existing content. See which topics come up over and over to find patterns and themes that arise about the topic.
Test Your Ideas
Once you’ve come up with a list of likely topics around which you can develop content, determine whether you should produce it by testing out the topic. You have a number of options:
- Blog about the topic. One client recently came up with about a dozen areas for they were considering rolling out thought-leadership content in based on market trends. Previously they might have internally come up with topics, determined their internal priorities, and then created white papers in the order of priority. Today, they use blog posts to send out trial balloons and measure interest before creating in-depth content.
- Take advantage of curated posts. An even more cost effective way to gauge interest is to take curated posts, add original commentary, and put them out on your blog and over social media. This method serves two purposes. First, you avoid even the low cost of writing the post. Second the fact that the topic comes from a third-party source adds social credibility to the topic since not only your organization but also a third-party expert are discussing the topic.
- Tweet about the topic. Similarly, you can tweet about the blog post or simply tweet about the topic to gauge the interest you get before making a larger investment.
- Create surveys and polls. Create a survey and see how many of your blog readers or social-media followers take it and what level of interest they express. Alternatively, ask your sales force to informally poll customers and prospects about their interest.
By following these methods, you can vet your content quickly and easily before creating a full blown eBook, white paper, article, or other more in-depth piece.
How does your organization test your content?