Great content in and of itself doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t bring the results you need to grow a business and its bottom line. Content is meant to engage, delight, and be shared by those who read it. It’s intended to be relevant and useful, generating quality leads who turn into loyal customers.
This engagement and conversion is partly accomplished by what’s known as “evergreen” content - that is, content that is always relevant no matter how long it’s been around. Interviews with experts, instruction videos, and always-helpful tips and tricks fall into this category. It’s content that stands the test of time and works to build a website’s SEO.
Topical content, on the other hand, is more “fresh.” It relates to current events, trends, or fads, and often leads to spikes in traffic. It has a shorter lifespan, but offers greater exposure. It also requires more work. Many writers charged with consistently creating fresh content struggle at times. Here are just a few ways to spark fresh ideas and create the awesome content readers are looking for.
7 Ways to Develop Fresh Content
1. Ask the Readers.
Use a tool like Survey Monkey or ask followers on Twitter or Facebook to share what problems they’re facing, what they struggle with, or what they really would like to know about a brand’s products or services. Give the audience what they want and they’re more likely to subscribe, engage, and share.
2. Broaden Social Networks.
Most brands know how important it is to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Expand to Pinterest and Instagram. Both are filled with interesting posts that can inspire a multitude of post topics. Pay attention to what people are pinning and posting most – that will guide you on what content most sparks people’s imaginations.
Create a list of frequently asked questions and then answer them one by one in separate posts. Use images, videos, infographics, and case studies to enhance the written content.
4. Interview the Pros.
Interview experts, authors, and other bloggers in the industry you’re writing about. Use quotes and links to their sites. If it’s a live interview, consider creating a video clip or posting to YouTube.
5. Challenge Readers.
Depending on the industry you’re writing for, challenge the audience to accomplish a goal within a set time and offer something in return. For example, if you’re writing for a financial advisor, challenge your readers to save an extra $50 a month. During the time the challenge runs, write posts that are relevant to the challenge’s topic.
6. Top 10, 25, or 100.
Top 10 uses for a product; top 25 reasons for taking an action; or 100 days to accomplish a goal. Every industry can inspire a host of topics for fresh content. Make each numbered item a separate post or article, or put them in groups of five or 10.
7. Pay Attention.
Hone your observational skills. Stay on top of current news and trends. What films and TV shows are popular? Is there a book everyone is suddenly reading? What’s the latest must-have gadget? Subscribe to email lists from a wide range of industries. There’s a lot of quality content inspiration lurking in those weekly updates.
The SEO Connection
It’s true that fresh content is needed to keep an audience engaged and coming back, but there’s another important reason to keep it fresh: search engine rankings. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use complex algorithms to look for interesting content. Fresh content provides new and useful information which can translate into more visits. That, in turn, can mean better page rankings. As new intelligent keywords and videos are added, rankings improve and a website becomes more visible online.
Google views new information as an important factor in its ranking algorithm. The search engine giant timestamps all content and rewards fresh entries on the assumption readers are being supplied with the current, relevant information they need.
Every writer has her or his own approach to keeping things fresh. Whether you reach out to readers or experts, curate or repurpose existing content, or hire a content marketing agency or service to generate new and useful content, keeping it fresh helps you stay on trend, improve rankings, and give a website the marketing boost it needs.