Top-Shelf Tip No. 158:

"Actually talk to your customers. Use the language that they use. Talk about the things they talk about. Never feed salad to a lion."

Jay Acunzo

Six Ways To Keep The Content Flowing

Any modern marketer has heard the term, "Content is king." Today's marketers are using content in multiple, digestible formats to target specific audiences. Content can introduce a prospect to your company's services. Content can influence a prospect to drive interest in your solution with their internal team. Content can even play a role in moving a prospect into making a decision.

The challenge often lies in the creativity and strategy in developing compelling content. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these tactics for creating compelling content from Aaron Agius, managing director at Louder Online, who was featured on a recent Vitamin T blog.

1. Get content ideas from competitors. When you're running low on fresh content ideas, look to your competitors for inspiration. For example, take a topic that a competitor has covered and do the research and analysis to present a much more in-depth coverage of the topic. This approach adds a great new topic for your editorial calendar.

2. Find content ideas among trending topics. As Agius points out, there are content ideas all around you that may not be 100-percent relevant to your industry, but they're still relevant to your audience. For example, a travel agency would certainly cover topics on specific destinations they are selling, but could also cover topics on how to travel safely or how to experience a new destination as a local. Search top-performing industry blogs and trade publications for topic trends. Or use hashtags on Twitter to get ideas on topics.

3. Source content ideas from your audience. Another source of ideas is to interact with your current audience for sources of inspiration. You can interact with them in multiple ways, including social media channels, advisory boards, industry events and online forums such as a LinkedIn group. When interacting with your audience, listen carefully to the specific words they use to describe industry trends and issues, and also listen to how they describe their pain points.

4. Check with influencers. One of the best places to find content like that is from influencers within your industry. This could be consultants, speakers, association leaders and other highly respected leaders in your industry. Many of these leaders will be active on social media channels, have their own blogs or contribute to guest posts. Agius also suggests joining the influencer's email lists to receive updates when new content is available.

5. Repurpose past content ideas. Take time to analyze previous content and identify those top performers by number of viewers or downloads on your company's blog or by email metrics. Based on the top performers, find ways to repurpose those content items. For example, turn a popular blog post into a bylined article or SlideShare presentation. Or, look for ways to expand that topic. If an email with an infographic download was popular for an early phase prospect outreach, then add more detail, build out a white paper and use this for late-stage outreach. Just because you covered a topic before doesn't mean you can't go deeper and cover it again from a unique perspective.

6. Push away from the keyboard. When all else fails, take a break. Get your mind off the topic and allow for clarity. Read and expose yourself to others' ideas. Allow yourself to open your mind and jot down any ideas as they come up.

Read PCT again tomorrow for more ways to inspire your target audience.

Source: Aaron Agius is the co-founder and managing director at Louder.Online.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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