If you work for a B2B software company, chances are you understand the basics of inbound marketing. Regardless, here’s a brief recap to jog your memory.
Instead of trying to interrupt consumers to get your product or service in front of them as you would with traditional marketing methods, inbound marketing seeks to attract customers to your business by creating helpful and trustworthy content. At TechnologyAdvice, we use inbound marketing to:
- Establish trust and credibility
- Provide value to people in every stage of the customer journey
This strategy might sound straightforward, but once you dive into content creation for inbound marketing, the experience can feel similar to grasping in the dark. With so much content being created every day, it’s hard work competing for search engine rankings that drive customers to your business. To do just this, we’ll look at three tips for creating content that engages your ideal customer profiles (ICP).
Addressing the needs of your ideal customer profile
Let’s say you work for an electronic health records (EHR) vendor and your target audience is independent ambulatory practices that typically have 11-50 employees. Naturally, one of your ICPs will be doctors. We’ll call her Dr. Jones.
- Dr. Jones is a partner at a mid sized, independent ambulatory practice who usually has about 1,600 patient visits per year.
- As a co-founder of the practice, she’s been there for over ten years now and is currently looking for a new EHR to suit her growing patient list.
- Given that her practice is structured as a partnership, she doesn’t have purchasing or decision-making power herself, but she does have a lot of say in day-to-day operations and can easily receive purchase approval if she wants it.
- Dr. Jones is knowledgeable about EHR solutions and has a large budget.
Now that you know your ICP, it’s time to work on addressing that customer’s needs by writing and sharing relevant and helpful content with her. This is usually the step where people freeze up. Not to worry—here are some tried-and-true methods for coming up with engaging content.
1. Inductive reasoning is your friend
Sometimes a blank page can be more intimidating than anything. This is why it’s helpful to narrow down topics by probing a little bit deeper into your profile.
Time for some logic:
1. Many doctors look for ways to increase patient engagement
2. Dr. Jones is a doctor
→ Dr. Jones might be looking for ways to increase patient engagement.
Based off what we know about doctors, we can assume there’s a good chance Dr. Jones might be looking for ways to boost patient engagement. What the hell does this have to do with generating content ideas, you ask?
If you work for an EHR vendor, this is an opportunity to educate your customer and not-so-subtly inform her that the EHR your company develops just so happens to offer patient engagement features such as a self-service portal and secure messaging. Here are some content ideas you can come up with based off that revelation alone:
- 3 Tips for Increasing Patient Engagement at Your Practice (blog post)
- For Bob Smith, the Path to a Healthier Life Started with the Ability to Securely Message His Doctor (case study)
- Does Technology Have a Role to Play in Boosting Patient Engagement? (white paper)
Pro tip: Use a tool like the Sharethrough headline analyzer to write more effective content titles.
2. Keeping a journal helps
The internet is replete with advocates of journaling, and yes, journaling can be helpful for reasons other than moonlighting as a novelist or remembering that Shark Tank-worthy business idea you thought of in traffic the other day. (I clearly have never tried these things.)
But journaling is also an easy way to generate ideas for great content. This doesn’t mean you have to grow a mustache and bike around with a Moleskine notebook all day—it just means you have a designated place to record ideas as they come.
For me, this is a note on my phone that I update regularly. Instead of making a new note for each different idea, I keep a running list in one note that’s synced to my laptop. If notes aren’t your thing, use voice memos. If hearing your own voice freaks you out, ask your phone’s virtual assistant to remind you about an idea later so you can write it down. If technology isn’t your thing, the mustache-and-Moleskine approach might be for you.
3. Reverse-engineering an idea works
If you’re suffering from writer’s block or if you’re simply looking for a way to mix up your approach to content generation, reverse-engineering an idea using a simple Google search or a keyword planner is a good way to generate content ideas. Let’s look at using a Google search first, as this is probably the easier method.
When you type a search term into Google’s search bar, Google’s autofill feature pulls up a list of predictions based off similar searches other people have performed. This not only provides some additional context around your search, but it also gives you a sense of what problems other people might be having concerning this topic.
You can also use a keyword planning tool to reverse-engineer content ideas. There are many tools out there, but for this example, I’ll use Moz. Features vary by tools, but using Moz’s keyword explorer will give you an estimate of how many people search that keyword every month, how difficult it might be to rank on the first page of search results using this keyword, and more.
This is good information, but perhaps the most helpful feature of this tool is keyword suggestions. If you’re stumped for ideas but know the general topic you’d like to write about, this is a helpful resource. Based off searching “patient engagement” alone, you might already see a few good ideas for blog posts or white papers.
There are certainly more ways to generate content ideas than what’s covered here, but this should be enough to get you started on the right foot. Regardless of your preferred method for generating content ideas, the key is to remember your ideal customer profile. This is who you’re serving at the end of the day, so it’s important to keep them in the front of your mind throughout the process.
If this is all new to you and you’d like a helping hand, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 877.822.9526. We’d be thrilled to help you fill out your sales funnel with our white-labelled content and delivery services.