Having great content is imperative to having a successful marketing plan. Content drives leads and can expand a firm’s reach into untapped markets. But how should you go about choosing what you write about?
This process starts with developing Issues and Topics. And even before you can do that, you should start with research. What challenges are your clients facing that keep them up at night? Is there a trend in the marketplace that you’re an expert in?
Identifying your issues
Think about issues as an area of expertise for which you want to become known. If a reporter is interested in getting a quote on a particular issue, you would want to come to the top of their mind. If a potential client is looking for a solution to a key challenge, you want to be the first name they think of.
Brainstorm three to four issues that you want to “own”. Select issues in which you are an expert and know a great deal about off the top of your head. Write down general issues in which you already are, or could become, a trusted expert. Consider your existing audience and those who you aspire to reach with your content when determining issues.
Once you have determined your issues, think about how each issue might break down into smaller pieces. Any of these ancillary subjects can become topics — and the themes for everything you write and speak about.
Identifying your topics
Many topics are evergreen and can be set ahead of time. Others may be “hot” trends with a short shelf life. No matter what, good topics will address common challenges faced by your target audience.
There is no limit to the number of topics you can include, and as such, you should continue to revisit your list of topics to add and edit them.
Once you have gone through the process of identifying the issues and topics that will drive your thought leadership content, turn those topics into actual titles of blog posts, webinars, guides, etc. Take some time to do keyword research for each of your issues and topics and develop a list of good keyword opportunities that are relevant to your audiences. Having a bank of keywords that you can keep in your back pocket is helpful when it comes time to do any content planning.
After you’ve identified a good bunch of keyword opportunities, turn them into interesting, engaging titles for your blogs and other content. Then, take these titles and use them to build out your content marketing calendar. Use this tool to create a timeline for what day you’re publishing which title, which format, where it will be published, and any other important information related to publishing it, like keywords, images, hashtags, or other promotional consideration. You may find that understanding other key factors will help dictate when to publish a particular topic. Mapping out a content marketing calendar will give you a ready-to-go blueprint.
You can even take it one step farther and build out all of your social media posts into a calendar or even integrate this content into a central content calendar. Writing everything down and keeping it in one place help to keep your team apprised of your content plans and also accountable for meeting any deadlines they need to know.
Now, gather your team and start coming up with great issues and topics!
How Hinge Can Help
Hinge has developed a comprehensive plan, The Visible Firm℠ to address these issues and more. It is the leading marketing program for delivering greater visibility, growth, and profits. This customized program will identify the most practical offline and online marketing tools your firm will need to gain new clients and reach new heights.
- Download Hinge’s Content Marketing Guide for Professional Services Firms for more tips on creating content that builds credibility and demonstrates expertise.
- Better understand today’s buyers with our How Buyers Buy Professional Services research report.
- Get a copy of our Online Marketing for Professional Services book to learn techniques that will generate more leads and increase awareness of your firm.