Creating content for online platforms is just like any other form of art and like all artists, content creators too have their share of ups and downs. If you have been creating content for a while now, you have surely experienced a writer’s block of sorts every once in a while.
For most, content writing isn’t your job. you’re in financial services, you’re a lawyer, an executive search professional – so when did you become a storyteller?
When you decided you wanted people to know about your business on #LinkedIn
It isn’t easy to come up with fresh content ideas every time. Particularly when there are a hundred other writers writing about the same things that you do. In this ocean of content available to people, making your content stand out requires some diligent planning and strategy building.
Here are a few easy tips to start with and I learnt that there are some great tools to save you time give you ideas:
Understand your audience
If you are creating content with a purpose, there is a certain section of people you must be targeting. Not everyone in the market will be interested in your product or service. So, it is important that you first understand who you are creating content for. Who is your target audience?
Once you have identified your target audience, half the job is done. Now you can follow them and study their online behaviour and activities. Find out what kind of content they usually spend their time on; whether this content is interactive or not; whether it is long form content or short snippets. Studying these things will give you some insight on what your audience usually prefers. Although the choices will vary from individual to individual, yet it is often seen that people from a certain age group or a certain gender show some common likes and dislikes.
Look at your competitors
Competitors are not your enemies. They can actually be useful when it comes to finding new content ideas for yourself. Look at what your competitors are writing about. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. It will still give you some insight on what works and what doesn’t.
For instance, if you have been thinking of writing on a particular topic but a competitor has already written about it, you will know before investing your time in it. Or if your competitor has not received a good response on some topic, you will know better than to write on those same lines. By studying your competitors’ content you can find out a lot about what people like and what they don’t. If one of their posts has received good response or engagement, see what they did right and try to implement that in your content.
Find content ideas from Quora and Twitter
Quora is one place where you can find questions related to almost anything under the sun. There is every chance that you will find some questions asked by people, that are relevant to your niche. These questions can be an inspiration for you. They reflect what people want to know in your area of expertise. Take any such relevant question and create content around it. In fact, you can even answer the question directly on Quora and share a link to the post you created, later.
Similarly, Twitter is another place where people talk about a lot of things. Find some trending hashtags using tools like RiteTag and enter these on Twitter to find out what people are talking about related to your niche. This can give you a number of ideas for new content.
Use topic suggestion tools
One of the easiest things to do if you are running out of ideas, is to use a topic suggestion tools. Some easy to use and effective tools for finding topic ideas are listed below.
HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator – An online tool that requires you to just type in a few nouns related to your genre and gives you 5 related topic ideas, for free. You can access more with its paid plan.
Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is more than just a topic generator tool. It gives you valuable insights on which kind of content works best, allows you to monitor your content’s performance and also helps you collaborate with influencers. You just need to type in your keywords or domain to get suggestions.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator – Here, when you enter your relevant keywords, the tool generates one topic at a time. Every time you refresh, a new topic is generated. You can browse through a number of ideas before choosing one.
Another way of finding out what content your audience wants to consume is by asking them directly. The easiest way to do that is to create a survey. Firstly, think about what you need to know from them. Ask only relevant questions. Keep the responses short, as multiple choice answers, but it can also be useful to provide some space to explain their answers if they wish to. This will give you a more in depth knowledge of why they like or dislike something. Collect as much data as you can from genuine sources.
2 ways to do this: The simple way with asking people in your LinkedIn groups and posts or use a third party software such as Survey Monkey
How to Stand Out
- Add images of individuals—whether that’s you, your employees, partners or clients.
- Make your content personable
- Publish tightly written content that is relevant and helpful
- Cover industry topics
- Post regularly so you are consistent
- Always comment back—the more comments, the more visibility you get from LinkedIn
- Make the most of your headline, the first line is important
- Add images of compelling statistics
- Don’t just share posts as they tend to have low reach
- Avoid long videos (I always struggle with keeping them succinct!)
- Use links (LinkedIn rewards you for staying on their platform, not sending your reader away to read something)
- Get too personal, that is what other social platforms are for
- Use constant hard sells and promotions (if you do, keep them to a minimum)
Give People Reasons to Engage: Headlines
An intriguing and relevant headline is critical if you want to reach individuals on your Linkedin page.
In fact, advertising legend David Ogilvy once said that “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
Creating a high-performing headline for LinkedIn is easier if you start by doing a little research. BuzzSumo analysed 10,000 of the most shared posts published on LinkedIn and found a few interesting insights:
- Use the word “habits.” Headlines with this word received an average of 1,196 shares.
- The word “mistakes” drives shares. Content using this word in the headline generated an average of 556 shares.
- Integrate the word “successful.” The word “successful” fueled, on average, 416 shares.
- Use “leader” or “leaders” in your headline. Content that uses this word fueled an average of 483 shares.
- Pay attention to the length of the text. The highest-performing headlines have, on average, 40 to 49 characters.
- The most-shared phrases are: How to… The future of… You need to… Why you should… Can learn from…
- Include numbers. Big numbers almost always create the extra intrigue required to stop someone dead in their tracks.
Based on BuzzSumo’s findings, you will want to write about success, what others have done to achieve success and things relating to industry trends.
On top of content, you need to be sure to keep your headlines snappy, clear and creative. Well-written and strategic headlines are your secret to standing out from the crowd.
The above should give you some concrete tips and tools but, if you would like your content and / or articles regularly created for you, please learn more about how I and my team can assist you here