It may be tempting to decide on topics for your website’s articles or blogs based on the hot, controversial or timely topics from within the industry. And while this approach may be effective on some occasions, generating views, clicks and shares, a more discerning action plan often begins with a bit of digging.
Your web content is likely to achieve better results if you take a strategic and measurable approach to selecting topics that already have gained traction among customers in the field or visitors to your website.
This is not quite the same as basing web content simply on topic trends or keyword research. The key here is discovering and using external influences to uncover proven topics your audiences want to hear from you. Two of these influences for developing engaging content are website analytics and direct feedback or questions from the field.
Why take this more proactive approach? Basing at least some portion of your content marketing strategy on tangible results and known interests from target audiences can allow you to build upon the thought leadership you’ve already gained in customers’ and prospects’ eyes. It also proves you’ve got your ear to the ground and can speak to topics that you know appeal to your audiences.
So how to begin this effort of identifying topics? A valuable tip to a first step is talking with your people in the field. Back that up with an assessment of digital feedback, and you’ve got the makings of a strong content strategy.
Questions from the Field.
Salespeople and field representatives can be powerful sources of content topic ideas for your website. As your continual eyes and ears to your customers, salespeople are likely to bring in questions and feedback on how your products and services are performing as well as about any new offerings to consider or unmet needs in the marketplace.
You’ll want to find out and pay attention to the questions your customers are asking your sales people. The answers to these questions should be fair game as topics to cover in upcoming blogs, articles, videos and press releases. Writing, blogging—or even vlogging (recording video in place of writing text)—about these questions and topics lets you address topics you know are relevant to your target markets. It also helps you to get important conversations started and opens the door for continuing inquiries—always a good thing for B2B organizations.
Using Analytics Tools.
Well-chosen web analytics tools are also key to developing a smart web strategy, and every B2B organization should specify some type of tool or platform to use to analyze visits, site traffic and conversions. Two of the most common tools in use these days are Google Analytics and the HubSpot platform.
While Google Analytics is free and available for use regardless of the platform on which your site is built, HubSpot is a subscription-based hosting service and site implementation. As such, you must subscribe and build your site off of the HubSpot platform to use its analytics.
The key to using either of these analytics tools to inform content strategy is understanding which of your content pages receive the most traffic and which experience the highest goal conversion rate. Using prominent content that receives high levels of both from outside channels will help to point you in a direction of what content is the most engaging for your audience. It can also help you identify how to build new content that can more engaging in the future.
If you’ve decided to host your website from the HubSpot platform, you can take advantage of its straightforward analytics tools. Most of the most valuable web analytics insights are gained by running a simple attribution report across the site’s pages using the specific attributes you set. The results will show you which pages of your website are generating the most traffic and converting leads, as well as where those leads originated, such as from a Google search, or maybe a social media platform like LinkedIn.
These findings will allow you to expand your opportunities in the same topic areas and sources. For example if you’ve posted a blog covering the topic of email marketing, and you notice the page is receiving more visitors and more conversions than other pages or blogs on your site, that particular topic may be one that presents a good opportunity to grow leads and new business. It’s also an opportunity to develop more content on the same topic, answering more questions and offering more opportunities for conversions.
Using Google Analytics.
Similar to HubSpot, the free Google Analytics tool can help B2B organizations gain a wider understanding of the pages and locations on their websites that are generating the most views, clicks and shares.
If you have an extensive library of blogs and articles already on your website, Google Analytics will tell you which pages and topics are generating the most interest among visitors and which pages of your site are generating the most conversions. You can also see the paths users took before converting.
Google Analytics is free to use, requiring only a simple account registration. The only downside is that the tool requires a bit of manual set up work to specify the analytics you want to measure.
HubSpot and Google Analytics are just two of the available tools you can use to analyze your website’s content. The key however, is that you analyze it. These results will present you with invaluable information on the thought leadership you’ve gained and how to take it to the next levels.
We’ll cover some of those levels in a future blog in this series, focusing on the ways different types of web content may align with audiences.
Looking for more? We can help.
As a demand engineering agency and a HubSpot Silver partner organization, we offer a range of resources, ideas and implementations to help you engage and convert audiences more effectively. For details or a consultation, contact us today.