Social media are communications channels that many of us think about in whimsical ways. But these channels are also something marketing experts take dead seriously, for the opportunities they present to post content that is sharable, interesting -- and potentially crucial for marketing a business.
All of that is great to know, of course, as long as you're not a content writer.
The reason is those times in every content writer's career when coming up with the constant stream of interesting topics social media requires doesn't happen so easily. If this is an issue for you, here are a few tips that will give you the fastest, easiest way to find those new content topics that are exactly what your target audience is interested in.
Google Analytics for content topics
Google’s free reporting platform, Analytics, provides a wealth of data and information pertaining to your website and website visitors. Using this tool is as simple as creating an account, inserting the code to your website pages and letting the data come flowing through. Business owners and webmasters use this data to determine how to make their websites better, improve user experience and, more importantly, gain insights.
Here's what to check out on, and use Google Analytics data for, to determine content topics you can include in your social media content strategy.
1. Interest categories
Interest categories are based on users who visit your website. Google categorizes them by interest, lifestyle and product purchases. Interests may be found under the "Audience" tab in Analytics. Using this information, you can craft content based on categories such as: movies, music, business, news, travel and other categories that your website visitors or target audience may like.
Another great way to find out the interests of your target audience members, specifically related to your products or services, is to learn what key-word terms they themselves used to find your website.
When a number of people use the same keywords, these are great potential areas of audience interest for your audience that can be used to craft your content topics. Keywords or search terms may be found under "Acquisition," and then "All Traffic," with an assortment of keywords offered.
3. Search feature on your website
The search feature on your website is one of the most overlooked features. But by looking at what website visitors are searching for, you can gain direct insights into what their interests are. You can find these search terms by visiting the "Behavior" tab in Google Analytics, then opening up the "Site Search" tab and reviewing "Search Terms."
Not only can you find the search terms people are interested in, you can also gauge the importance or relevance to your target audience, based on how many visitors have searched with similar terms. You can then compile a list of content topics based on these customer search terms.
4. Comments on blogs
Comments that visitors leave indicate a level of engagement with your content. The more comments there are, and the more different types of comments and information they're focused on, could indicate further needs in those areas, and become great content to use to refine your social media content strategy.
For example, a long debate or discussion might relate to a specific article you could expand on in your next content piece and share socially, to drive more people back for further discussion. Comments will likely be found in the blog of your website or on your CMS.
5. Pages visitors frequent the most
A final area in Google Analytics where you can gather indications of what types of content or topics interest your target audience and website visitors is your website pages.
Looking at Analytics, you can determine which pages or blog posts your visitors have viewed the most. You can also determine how much time they spent there. Using this information, you can then generate more content about those areas you know your audience already has an interest in. You can also look at your site's popular content from a different angle: Find a direction that those topics haven't addressed before, or give customers a behind-the-scenes sneak peak at your product or service.
However you find your topics or creative ideas for content, the most important thing to keep in mind revolves around your target audience. What needs or concerns are you addressing for them? What information can you share that will draw them into what you have to offer?
Now, you've got the great content. What do you do next?
Now that you have a long list of content topics to write about, the next step is obvious: You will want to write your own content. Once it's drafted and posted, on your website or blog, share it on social media with a link and an image.
Make sure that that content is something enticing and important enough for customers to share and feel compelled to comment on. That is the true test to determine that you’ve found the right content topics for your social media audience.