Finding relevant topics to share with your online audience is easier than you think.

 

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These days, businesses must provide more for their customers. Whether you own a store that sells plants or plants that churn out electric cars, you must be at the leading edge of your specialty, and your customers and peers must know this. If you’re not seen as relevant, you’re at a significant disadvantage.

Fortunately, the same digital world that makes relevance essential also makes becoming relevant easy: content creation. Used judiciously in articles or in social media – blogs, business networks, online forums and the like – good content can boost an already healthy business or kick-start a stagnating one.

For starters, it’s essential to know your audience and your competition. If you understand what the former wants and what the latter is up to, you can position your content to address both. The key is to make sure your content is timely, interesting, unique, useful or informative. Generating content is easy, if you know what to look for, where to look and what to do once you find it. If you don’t think you have news, consider these following content developing options:

Become a Media Source

Offer your brand/company as a source for media interviews. Look for current trends to comment on or relevant news you can add personal comments to. Stay up-to-date with the latest trending topics found in forums, threads, online discussions and social media to come up with related content for your readers.

Educate, inform, or inspire your readers by writing your own contributed articles. Whatever you do, never create content that attempts to sell anything. Be informative, helpful, engaging – but understand that your readers can sniff out sales content the way a pit bull can sniff out fear. You always want to make sure the content leaves a positive lasting impression on your readers. You never know, your compelling byline article could reach the attention of top media publications, leading to increased brand exposure for your company.

Do Your Research

Visit online forums to see what’s being discussed in your field. Commentary and answers to questions in these online communities can be one source of content. To leverage this resource further, look for information gaps in  existing content. Are there problems that aren’t being properly addressed? Share your expertise on the forum and leverage this content by posting it in greater detail on your blog.

Work as a Team

Another tried-and-true method for unearthing hidden content resources: Encourage your staff to think like reporters. Ask them what news, updates, tips or trends they’d share with their readers if they were in the news business. What updates would their readers want? How would they engage their audience in ways that would leave them thinking about their product or service?

To throw this content-generation process into hyper-drive, get your team brainstorming: Everyone tosses out ideas; the more the merrier. Eventually, a few keepers come to the forefront. Those become additional blog posts, online forum discussions, article ideas and tweets.

Once you’re dialed in to the content-generation process and you’ve created a few effective blog posts, don’t back off. Schedule content-idea meetings every week, and leverage the winning ideas on a regular basis. This is the best way to build an online following. Also, be sure to issue hard news releases once a month to help increase your overall SEO presence and stay top-of-mind with your readers.

Enjoy the Results

Through time, after you’ve developed a growing number of readers, members of the media may inquire about writing stories. Your content ideas are their story ideas, and their stories get your word – and brand – out to a larger audience. Media outlets are often understaffed, and they’re always hungry for fresh, engaging content. You can help them a great deal, while they do the same by returning the favor.

Now you’re establishing yourself as a reliable specialist in your industry. Leveraged correctly, your content may well earn you a byline in a top publication. Through time, you’ll create working relationships with editors who will know you as a reliable source. In addition, you can maximize your growing online presence at trade shows and related events.

Tap into any of the above mentioned sources contents and you’ll be sure to stay relevant and top-of-mind within your industry. If done correctly, you’re overall ROI will increase greatly.