Ryan Henry President & Founder

Content Marketing: 7 Ways to Find a Fresh Angle for Well-Worn Topics

High-quality content is the lifeblood of effective content marketing, and a sustained campaign needs plenty of it. The problem is, not all business niches have an unlimited range of topics to write about.

It can quickly become difficult to come up with new material on a familiar subject. If a content creator is bored with a topic, it's unlikely that readers will be particularly inspired either.

So what can you do to add freshness to an area that others have covered comprehensively? Here are seven ideas that should spark inspiration.

Bridge to Other Topics

Few topics exist in a total vacuum. There will usually be another related but distinct field that you can use to add a fresh angle to your main subject. Can you connect the two in some way? Maybe write about the differences or similarities, or why one is more relevant than the other to a particular situation.

Reference Current Events

Is there any noteworthy news in your space? Can you reference events in a piece to provide a slightly different angle, or to show the main topic in a new light? Not only will this add a fresh dimension, but it can also help achieve greater exposure by hitching your content onto an already-popular subject.

The Seasonal Approach

You might want to approach your topic from a seasonal perspective. What's different about it in summer compared to winter? Do significant holidays have an impact that you could write about, or have there been any exciting developments since the same time last year? What's around the corner for next year?

Write a How-To

After spending so much time on your subject, it will naturally be familiar to you. However, not everything about it will be quite so apparent to other people. A how-to or starter guide is usually straightforward but provides plenty of value for people looking to educate themselves about a new topic.

Tips and Tricks

Similarly, you probably know lots of handy hints and tips which seem elementary to you but won't have occurred to less-experienced people. A compilation of these simple ideas can quickly add up to an incredibly useful resource.

Deep Dive into Detail

Instead of writing yet another broad overview of your topic, you can be helpful by taking a deep dive into a narrow part of it. A highly detailed look at the focused area may attract less interest than a more general piece, but it will help establish authority and expertise for your brand.

Take the List Route

List-based content is often overused, but it can still offer genuine benefits. For example, listicles are easy to read and can impart a lot of information in relatively few words.

However, from a content marketer's point of view, one unique advantage is that it forces you to distill a topic down to its main points. That often provides a usefully different perspective, leading to ideas for other approaches to a well-worn subject.

Content creation on a narrow topic can sometimes feel like working on a treadmill. But even the most jaded content marketer needs to find new approaches for a campaign to maintain momentum. Luckily, sometimes even small shifts of perspective can provide significant results.

 

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Proper research is the key to getting ahead of the competition, but most businesses overlook the importance of research. That means that any company willing to put the time and effort into performing thorough analysis will have an instant advantage over the majority of their competition. Knowing what your competitors are doing enables you to tweak your marketing strategy and business activities to gain an advantage, boost your reputation and even steal customers. 

1. Identify the Competition

Most businesses know who their main competitors are, but it's easy to overlook the up-and-coming enterprises that may soon try to steal your customers. Check social media, search engine rankings and trade publications to see which companies are making a name for themselves in your industry. Never underestimate the power of social media; minor competitors that have a large following on sites like Facebook and Twitter can quickly become significant threats to your business.

2. Investigate Their Products and Services

Compare your products and services to those offered by your competitors. Is the quality and cost of their products similar to your own? Do they provide additional services that you don't, such as customization options for their products, other delivery choices, discounts for buying in bulk or voucher codes for new customers? Finding out who your competitor's suppliers are can also be extremely useful when comparing products and services.

3. Analyze Their SEO Tactics

Researching the SEO (search engine optimization) tactics used by other businesses can help to improve the effectiveness of your SEO. Look at the keywords and phrases your competitors use in their content and marketing material. Are they achieving high search engine rankings for their chosen keywords? Do they have high-quality backlinks to their website? Which keywords and phrases appear in the anchor text of their backlinks?

4. Assess Their Content Marketing

Study the content your competitors are using on their website, blog and social media accounts. What kind of topics are they writing about? What kind of language do they use when talking to their readers? Are they writing in a formal, professional style, or are they producing more friendly and personal content? Do they use a clear call to action (CTA) that directs users to subscribe to their mailing list, buy a product or take some other kind of action? Look at how the readers are responding to and engaging with the content. Are readers commenting and sharing the posts with their social media followers?

5. Examine Their Social Media Strategy

Social media can make or break a business's reputation, so you need to consider your strategy carefully. Compare your approach with those of your competitors. Look at which platforms they are using, how many followers or fans they have and the type of content they are posting. What kind of images do they use? Do they use their posts to drive traffic to their website, or simply to build relationships with their followers? Are social media users engaging with their content?

6. Make Time For Regular Research

Conducting the initial research on your competitors is only the first task. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to make research a regular part of your business strategy. Perform regular searches for the keywords and phrases connected to your industry, and keep an eye on how your main competitors are doing. Run social media searches and set up Google Alerts for the names of your competitors to see what people are saying about them.

Once you've gathered enough research, you can assess the effectiveness of the search engine optimization, content marketing and social media strategies of other businesses in your industry. You can then use your findings to adapt and improve your strategies. You can also look for ways to take advantage of your competitor's weaknesses and offer a better buying experience for potential customers.

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