Have you ever written a blog post you were sure was destined to go viral? You expended hours crafting each sentence — positive that your audience would devour each term, shared it on every possible social platform, and knew it would propel to internet renown in a matter of mere hours.
You even thought about changing your LinkedIn headline to “Marketing Guru” — because why not? You were about to become one.
Sadly, your digital utopia was just a fiction. The post — as some inexplicably tend to do — tanked. But while you wrote it, you would’ve bet your life it would break the internet. So what the heck happened?
As marketers, we often succumb to a cognitive bias called the overconfidence effect. Since we’re technically experts, there is a tendency to overrate our industry knowledge and our ability to predict content performance.
This can lead us to rely on our intuition more than data when we brainstorm new blog ideas. Since we like our own ideas, we guess our audience will too.
But just because we like our own post, doesn’t entail our audience wants to read it.
Instead of relying on our own personal taste, we need to let our audience’s behaviours and preferences drive our new blog notions — or else we risk publishing irrelevant content.
Analyzing audience data before ideation is crucial for crafting desirable content . Let’s read on to learn six data-driven tactics for choosing the topics your audience actually desires.
6 Data-driven Tactics for Choosing Blog Topics
1) Find Out What Already Works for You
The most accessible data source that can inform your blog strategy are your own metrics. You just need to tag each of your blog posts with their respective topic first. By categorizing your blog posts, you are able to measure each topic’s performance with data analysis tools like excel or HubSpot’s Content Strategy tool.
The performance metrics you decide to track depend on your marketing goals. At HubSpot, page opinions largely decide a topic’s success, but other metrics like period on page, subscribers gained, or leads generated can also indicate whether a topic resonates with your audience or not. It’s crucial to select a key business objective you want your blog to serve and monitor the metrics that represent its success .
It’s also valuable to take into account how many posts you publish on each topic. You want to make sure you serve your audience’s true interests and don’t overlook potentialy fruitful topics.
For instance, let’s tell HubSpot’s blog posts about showing ad and video marketing generate the same amount of total traffic. On the surface, it seems like our audience enjoys these topics equally, right?
But a particular topic’s total traffic might not tell the full narrative. What if we publish display advertising posts three times more often than video marketing posts?
This means publishing 30 showing ad posts makes the same total traffic that 10 video marketing posts create. In other terms, video marketing posts are three times more effective than display ad posts.
By cutting display advertising out of our content mix and writing more video marketing posts, we’dserve our audience’s interests better and make more traffic with less content . Here’s a concrete example of what I’m talking about 😛 TAGEND
Old Blog Strategy
New Blog Strategy
When you investigate your blog topics, use the average or median views per post to paint the clearest picture of your audience’s preferences. Appearing at a topic’s total traffic without accounting for post sum could stimulate you prioritize a topic that your audience doesn’t really care about.
2) See What Works For Your Competitors
Odds are, you and your competitors have a very similar audience. This means their most popular content could potentially be your most popular content too.
Once you discover their top perform content, ask yourself how you can improve upon the performance of their duties. It’s fine to encompas the same overarching topics as a competitor, but you should offer your own unique view and offer new insights to your audience.
3) Read Your Audience’s Conversations Online
Marketers post questions to these sites every day. And since they publicly display their professional datum, you are able to tie their inquiries to your purchaser personas. This helps clarify your personas’ needs and makes it easier to personalize content for them.
On Inbound.org, I like to scan the Discussions section where the top marketing questions of the week live. When person posts a question about a topic we want to cover, I check to see if that person’s role aligns with one of our buyer personas. If so, I write down a blog post idea that answers their question and pitching it at our monthly brainstorm.
If you don’t blog about marketing, then you can search for your audience’s questions on Quora. Just type in your topic and you’ll find loads of relevant issue. If an overwhelming pile of questions presents itself, then simply check out your topic’s top followers and read the issues to they’ve answered about your topic.
Check out the tutorial below if you need more clarification.
4) Leverage Google’s People Also Ask Box
If one of your chosen topics resonates particularly well with your audience, and you want to keep leveraging its popularity, Google it to discover associated search words. When you search for a term in Google, you’ll ensure a “People Also Ask” box pop up beneath your entry, like this 😛 TAGEND
Think of these queries as high-demand topics that branch off of your main topic. If your audience loves ingesting content about your main topic, then they’ll likely devour content about its related topics.
5) Survey Your Blog Subscribers
Is there a better way to capture your audience’s read preferences than surveying your own audience?
Before you send out your surveys, though, you should know that not all your subscribers will pounce at the chance to provide feedback. But that’s where incentives come in. Consider offering respondents the chance to win a prize, like a gift certificate, to foster feedback.
Every time we incentivize subscribers to complete our blog surveys, we insure much more participate than when we don’t dangle any carrots.
6) Ask Marketings and Success About Your Customers’ Pain Points
Sales and customer success assistance consult your prospects and clients everyday, so they have the firmest comprehend of your audience’s actual needs and ache phases. Collaborating with these squads is the best style to pinpoint your readers’ most pressing issues.
To better understand your prospects and customers’ struggles, you could set up a monthly meeting with marketings and success or ask them to jot down the most common both problems and the content recommendations that would likely solve them.
How do you research new blog ideas? Tell us in specific comments below !
Read more: blog.hubspot.com