To find great ideas you should put yourself in the shoes of your buyer’s persona and think like your customer.
That’s good advice but it’s not as easy as it sounds. You can’t walk in a person’s shoes or think like customers unless you go into the field to do your research.
Here are some less-used channels and non-obvious, always-rescuing sources to help you come up with content that works well for your audience.
Your persona may include roles or titles. Use those to dig deeper and do an internet search for job descriptions, which often can be found in job postings.
Job descriptions reveal key responsibilities, key performance indicators (KPI) they must deliver, and who they report to within the organization.
Let’s take this description for a general counsel:
Based on this detailed information, you know the general counsel would need to achieve KPIs based on contract quality and quantity, legal spend by the business unit and litigation costs, and the total costs of fines in unmitigated case risks. With that knowledge, you can create content to educate your audience on how to generate no-hassle contracts quickly and how to do more with a smaller legal budget.
Follow industry players who are active on LinkedIn. What they share and write often reflects the latest insights in your industry.
Let’s learn from this LinkedIn post about what’s hot in legal tech:
Look over the 67 comments to identify which are the hottest topics and create content around that.
TIP: If the commenter’s statement would be valuable to include in your content, ask them if it’s OK for you to publish and support your positioning. This also helps build relationships with industry players who may be willing to share your content.
TIP: Make sure to share your resulting comment on the post where you got your idea. You know that audience is already interested in the topic.
Join your sales team for the next demo or call. Listen to the prospects’ frustrations and pains. Note the keywords your prospects use. Be especially attentive to their jargon. Develop content that includes their exact words or craft article intros that address their pain points.
Even better, create a list of questions to ask the prospect for a mini market research project. Here’s an example for a software company:
Your sales team member could even ask the questions as a warmup before the demo.
Each pain point identified in the prospects’ answers reveals a content opportunity to solve their problem, whether it be with educational materials, explanatory infographics, video tutorials, etc.
The next hidden gem is your customer support team. They are in the closest regular contact with the clients. Imagine how many insights they collect. While you can’t listen to every customer service interaction, you can use tools to collect that information from the customer support silo.
Turn on email notifications from your customer service chatbot. Your customers’ questions – and your company’s answers – will be delivered straight to your inbox. The information you collect is a good baseline for your product-related content, the FAQ section, and tutorials.
In this example from Intercom, the resulting content titles could include:
TIP: Set up your software to filter these emails into a singular folder so they don’t clutter your inbox.
Interactive webinars are a sweet spot to chase content ideas as the hosts usually use pre-surveys, on-the-go polls, or may encourage questions in the discussions to learn about attendees.
Let’s take this graphic based on the answers from a webinar’s registration forms. The main topic – Using LinkedIn Brand Ambassadors to Grow Your Startup – is broken into secondary and tertiary topics based on the participants’ questions. It’s a great validation of the demand for your content topics. Make sure to use the same words as the participants so the content is optimized for search.
You also can create (or reuse) content directly from your webinars. For example, you can write a takeaway wrapup. Or you could reuse a subtopic’s content and add a third-party expert opinion.
TIP: Though you can’t access registrant data, webinars hosted by others remain a valuable source of content ideas too, as you can see what others are saying on the topic, how the audience reacts, what questions are posed, etc.
Figuring out what content your audience wants or needs isn’t easy. But it’s easier if you follow these five less frequently used tactics – job descriptions, industry leaders on LinkedIn, sales calls, customer service, and webinars. Using these tactics also will give your content a better chance to stand out in the crowded content marketplace.