Understanding What Content Topics Work Best

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Business-News-Headlines-300x185One of the most difficult things about content marketing is deciding what topics to write about. Many businesses tend to overthink it, which usually results in content marketing not getting done at all. No matter what line of business you are in, there is plenty of information to share with your target audience members. As you get into the swing of content marketing and are actively sharing and promoting your content, you can start to look at trends that can help to guide you in the right direction going forward. Not all of your content is going to be a “hit” with your audience. You might see that certain topics resonate more with them than others and you can adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly.

Here are 3 ways to gauge what the best content topics are:

Social shares and interaction

This is probably the easiest and quickest way to see whether a piece of content interests your target audience. Social media and content marketing are tied together. Social media followers are a built in audience that you can share your content with and receive almost immediate feedback. Of course, this is only true if you have a significant social media following. As a part of your online strategy you should always be working to gain more followers. Once you share content in social media, pay attention to the number of Likes, Shares, Re-Tweets, comments, etc. it receives. The posts with the most activity are typically the most interesting to your followers. Remember, social media is a two way street. Respond to comments and take the time to thank those that have shared your content.

Organic traffic

Social media is great for an immediate response, whereas measuring the amount of organic traffic that a piece of content generates must be done over the long term. Within Analytics, you can look at an individual page (such as a blog post) and see how much organic traffic it delivers over time. This is one reason why it’s recommended to focus on “evergreen” content as opposed to news type posts on your website. This type of content will remain relevant for a very long time and continue to generate traffic to your site over the long term. In order for a post to generate organic traffic, it must be properly optimized and include relevant keywords throughout the content, specifically the title.

Inbound links

If a piece of content is able to generate natural inbound links from other relevant websites, that’s a sure sign that it’s a winner. Like measuring organic traffic, this is also something that can be done over the long term. Pay attention to your inbound links over time in your Webmaster Tools account, which gives a list of all of the sites that link over to your site along with the date that the link was first detected.

Even though you’ll want to focus your content efforts on the “most popular” topics, that doesn’t mean that you can’t think outside the box and share other types of content too. Really, any topic that informs your target audience is a great topic.

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