When it comes to content marketing, blogging efforts are often a critical part of a B2B organization’s strategy and lead generation efforts—a point emphasized by the fact that an average of 3 million new blog posts will have been published by the time you’ve gone to bed.
According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, an estimated 91 percent of B2B businesses are leveraging some form of content marketing – and 60 percent viewed blogging efforts as the most effective content marketing channel.
Considering how many B2B organizations are relying on their blogs to carry the brunt of their content marketing efforts, understanding target audiences and the blog topics that resonate with them, can be the difference between content marketing success and failure.
Knowing this, marketers need to be able to develop blog content that addresses the interests of their audience while being backed by effective SEO strategy. In short, they need to develop more targeted and data-driven blog topics.
To help, we’re highlighting three of the tools we use regularly to create blog topics that engage target audiences, improve content visibility, and make the B2B content writing process efficient and effective.
1. Google Search Console
Keyword strategy is the backbone of any successful content marketing effort. In order to drive visibility to your site and increase the impact your content has on your marketing goals, you need to know what search terms you’re already ranking for and which terms need improvement.
With this in mind, Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools) is a great starting point and can be used to jumpstart blog topic creation. Here are a few of the ways we use Search Console for this purpose:
Understanding the keywords that drive engagement to the site:
As we’ve discussed before, Google Search Console provides a number of actionable insights that can help optimize search marketing efforts. For this post however, we’re concerned with the metrics that indicate that the content you publish on a specific topic is deemed relevant in the eyes (or at least the ones and zeros) of search engines.
With Search Analytics, marketers can look at individual keyword rankings that drive traffic to the site as a whole or to an individual landing page. Additionally, metrics like clicks, click-through rates, impressions, and SERP rankings can help content marketers understand the search queries their audience finds most valuable, while also highlighting the related keywords that will provide the best visibility for their chosen topic.
Finding opportunities to boost rankings for underperforming keywords:
As marketers know, one of the biggest benefits of consistent, quality blogging is the overall impact it can have on SEO rankings. With this in mind, Search Console provides great insights into potential blog topics that can be used to boost rankings for underperforming keywords. For example, say a particular keyword is ranking on the third page of results, but generates a decent click-through-rate (CTRs) and impressions. There’s opportunity there to optimize, or create a targeted blog post to boost performance. In any event a deeper look into the particular keyword landscape is warranted.
As I’m sure you’re well aware, quality blog content requires time, effort, and most importantly… research. Developing content that demonstrates thought-leadership and, more notably, relevancy to the reader, is paramount to a successful content marketing strategy.
With this in mind, SEMrush is a jack-of-all-trades platform. The tool offers a wide variety of capabilities marketers can use to optimize their efforts, like brand mention auditing, keyword position tracking and organic keyword research, social media tracking, and more.
For the sake of this post however, we’ll focus on the elements that benefit blog topic ideation. Specifically, the Topic Research Tool.
Although it’s still in beta, the Topic Research tool helps you – practically at a glance – get a better understanding of the current search landscape surrounding a particular keyword, or keyword theme. By simply entering your keyword, SEMrush scours the web and displays some of the top-ranking content topics for your keyword, as well as ranking topics for related search queries.
Take the image above for example. For the term, “content marketing,” SEMrush shows an overview of all the different topics related to content marketing. From there, I can look at which areas of focus match my audience’s interests (digital marketing, for example), then see the headlines that are ranking highest. Then, by looking at those related posts, I can better understand the elements that went into them that my target audience may find valuable.
If you’re anything like me, the time saved clicking on scores of different articles in an effort to organize your thoughts and decide on key themes to focus on can be a huge step in efficiency. I should also mention that an additional benefit of this tool is that it’s simple, fast, and easy-to-use—connecting you with the related content that helps you better understand how to differentiate your B2B blog post ideas from the competition.
We all know that content marketing and social media go hand-in-hand, but how often do you look at engagement before ideating your content? Probably not that often. However, understanding how audiences engage with keyword-specific content can help influence the topics you choose to incorporate into your content marketing strategy.
With this platform, marketers gain insights into the keyword-related content that is driving engagement across social media.
When developing blog topic ideas, these insights can come in handy in a couple of different ways. Specifically, they can help:
Match topic ideas to specific influencers:
With content promoted by key influencers delivering a staggering 11 times greater ROI than content promoted through traditional digital marketing channels alone, it makes sense to maximize the likelihood your content will be picked up by influencers.
With BuzzSumo’s Influencers Tool, marketers can understand the authority rankings, followers, reply ratio, and average tweets-per-day made by specific influencers. From there, they can begin to develop topics that cater to the unique engagement patterns of specific influencers.
Understand the content driving engagement:
In the platform overview, BuzzSumo offers several unique insights that make the overall B2B content writing process simpler. Specifically, they help marketers filter their insights into content engagement, covering:
- Content length
- Specific domains
- Publisher size
- Content type
These insights can help marketers better understand their audiences, and give B2B blog writers a framework for the type of post ideas that drive the highest engagement. From there, they can use the in-depth search options to understand the content being shared, published, and linked in relation to their target keyword—increasing the likelihood of higher engagement rates.
If you are looking for new blog topic ideas that match your keyword choice, paying attention to audience engagement across related content can help steer your content writing in the right direction.
It’s no secret that blogging is an essential part of any content marketing strategy, so why not get the most out of it? By understanding the search landscape and the topics your audience find useful and interesting, your B2B blog content can go a long way toward increasing engagement, boosting visibility, and helping you meet your marketing goals.
The three tools mentioned above can provide some great insights into B2B blog ideas you can use to maximize the impact of your writing, pique your audience’s curiosity, and stand out from the crowd.
What tools do you use to develop blog topics? Let us know on Twitter!