3 Questions From Our Webinar on The Future of Content and Search

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content and search

We recently held a great webinar on the future of content and search, two disciplines of marketing that need to be inextricably intertwined, and we got so many questions we weren’t able to get to them all during the presentation. Here’s three we thought we’d discuss in more depth:

Q: How important is influencer marketing going to be in 2018?

A: Influencer marketing became mainstream in 2017 as these stats indicate, bolstered by the fact it has strong ROI: US businesses made $6.50 on every $1 spent on influencer marketing last year. So it is definitely going to continue to be relevant throughout the rest of 2018. However, it is going to become more nuanced. Marketers will have to nurture more long-term relationships with key influencers instead of simply engaging with them for one-offs. The best approaches to Influencer marketing will cater content to specific stages of the customer journey. Also, influencer marketing didn’t always have the biggest role in B2B, but that’s been changing and it is going to continue to change in a big way in 2018.

Q: How do we find the best kinds of content to write about? Any tools or tips?

There are so many platforms out there it’s hard to provide any sort of comprehensive list. Determine your best-performing content – and that of your competitors – with a tool like BuzzSumo and use those insights to discover content strengths and gaps that will help you define future topics. Compile all questions, answered and unanswered, from the webinars and online events you host and you’ll find great questions and especially repeat questions can be a great source of blog ideas. Use a tool like TrendSpottr to identify emerging topic trends and even predict upcoming trends and viral topics before they become a big deal.  

Also, use a combination of keywords and topic platforms like HubSpot’s blog-topic generation tool to come up with a backlog of story ideas. Solicit content ideas from internal teams to get a sense if what end users, consumers, and customers actually want to hear about. Look at past blog and LinkedIn thread comments and questions. Do keyword research with a tool like the aptly named Keyword Tool and Google AdWords itself.

Additionally – and most importantly – always be reading. Read, read, read. I can’t stress this enough. It is of fundamental importance to keep your fingers on the pulse of your category of product or service and to understand it with the level of depth that any content-creating subject matter expert needs in order to create and curate high-quality, relevant content with authority and command.

Ultimately, the list doesn’t end there and there is really no silver bullet to coming up with the right content topic. Instead, you’ll need to leverage a variety of tools and resources to build what can be a living and growing well of content ideas. And the good news is that, as you can see, there is no shortage of tools and resources to arm you with the intel you need to generate an unending stream of content ideas.

Q: Could you suggest some good strategies for encouraging user-generated content? How closely should the brand itself be ‘seen’ as the facilitator of this content?

The best approach to encouraging user-generated content involves a mix of providing a great platform to enable the conversation, handing audiences as much of a brand-neutral experience as possible to establish authority and legitimacy, and propelling the conversation by having SMEs (journalists, commentators, influencers, etc.) weigh in their thoughts throughout. That being said, it is still important to have some degree of branding as part of the experience, because you do want audiences to associate the UGC to be tied – to some degree – to your own identity.

Want to learn more? View the entire webinar on The Future of Search today for a complete picture.

Learn more about the future of content and search. Watch our on-demand webinar today.

content and search