A Guide To Digital Content Ideation

Conversion Rate Optimisation
Digital Marketing
Paid Media
Performance Marketing

A Guide To Digital Content Ideation

Unlock the Secrets to Unlimited Digital Content 

Content is king, We all know this. There are many easy and many automated ways to generate content and content is all around us. 

Emerging technologies threaten to disrupt the status quo and time will tell where tech like GPT Chat fits into the greater ecosystem, but until then Google and other search engines dominate our marketing focus. 

The problem we face today however, is how to create content that stands out in a saturated and noisy digital world. 

What is Digital Content Ideation?

Digital content ideation is the process of generating new content ideas for digital content that are optimized for search engines. This means considering how the content can be structured, written, and distributed in a way that will improve its visibility and ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

This is somewhat different to traditional content ideation, which refers to the process of generating new ideas for content of all kinds, whether it be for marketing, writing, video, or other forms of media.

Digital content ideation is a subset of content ideation, but with a focus on the digital side, and requires techniques specific to digital content, such as keyword research, data analysis, and user research.

6 Steps To Digital Content Ideation

We have identified 6 steps to content ideation that will help you ensure that your digital content hits its target. And supplied you with unlimited digital content ideas. These are: 

  • Audience
  • Goals
  • Format
  • SEO
  • Distribution
  • Analytics

Understand Your Audience

To generate effective digital content, you must first identify your target audience. This involves researching and understanding their demographics, interests, pain points, and behaviour patterns. This research helps you create content that is relevant, engaging, and tailored to their specific needs. In short add value to your users and they will notice. 

The best method of uncovering and understanding your audience is old-fashioned keyword research. 

Keyword research lets you identify the most popular and relevant keywords and topics in your industry or niche and by targeting these topics with an understanding of the intent behind the search, you start getting an idea of the content you need to create. By extracting the search intent behind each keyword, you can create different types of content such as informational, commercial or transactional copy. This can help you target the different needs of your target audience and makes your content more effective in reaching your business objectives. Tools like SEMRush include intent when creating keyword lists so be sure to use your audience search intent to start mapping your content ideas.

Set  Goals 

Clearly defining your goals when ideating digital content is important in order to measure its success. Goals can include increasing website traffic, improving engagement, driving sales, etc. but this step too, is based on intent and any misstep here will lead to underperforming content. 

A basic set of goals and KPIs could look something like this: 

  • Informational intent: Goals might include increasing website traffic, improving brand awareness, and increasing time spent on the site. KPIs could include the number of website visits, bounce rate, and average session duration.
  • Navigational intent: Goals might include improving the user experience and making it easy for users to find the information they need. KPIs could include the click-through rate (CTR) on the website’s navigation menu, the time it takes for pages to load, and the number of users who return to the site.
  • Transactional intent: Goals might include increasing online sales, improving conversion rates, and reducing cart abandonment. KPIs could include the number of online sales, the conversion rate, and the cart abandonment rate.
  • Commercial intent: Goals might include generating leads, and improving brand awareness. KPIs could include the number of leads generated, the conversion rate, and the number of downloads of assets like whitepapers.

These will of course vary slightly from site to site but just make sure that you match your goals and KPIs to intent and you should be good to go. 

Focus on the Format of Your Digital Content

The format of digital content plays a significant role in how it is received by the audience. Consideration should be given to the type of content that is best suited for the audience, and the search intent when coming up with new content ideas. Here are a few examples of digital content formats that are well-suited for different types of search intents:

  • Informational content types
    Blog posts, articles, infographics, white papers, how-to guides, and e-books are all great formats for informational content, because they allow you to provide a lot of detailed information and data in a way that is easy to understand and consume.
  • Transactional content types
    Transactional content is focused on helping users to complete a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form, so this content usually takes the form of product pages, landing pages, and checkout pages which are well-suited for transactional content.
  • Commercial content types
    Commercial content aims to persuade users to buy a product or service. Video ads, social media ads, display ads, and sponsored content are all great formats for commercial content because they allow you to create visually appealing, engaging content that can be shared easily across social media platforms and other online channels. 

Product pages and landing pages are also effective content types for commercial terms, and a video could be used for informational, navigational, and commercial search intents so give some thought to what your target audience is expecting to find when landing on your site.  

SEO – The Foundation Of Your Ccontent’s Success

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key consideration when ideating digital content. This step involves researching keywords and phrases that are relevant to your audience and including them in your new content ideas. There are a number of tools and assistants that can help with this step in the ideation process – SEMRush, Google Ads and similar tools all give you all the access you need to search data. Its important to understand that this is probably the most important step in the content idea and development process – this is where you uncover your audience and find out what they are looking for.

When analyzing keyword research, you can learn several things about searcher intent – You can identify the topics that they are interested in, the purpose of their search, the stage of the buying process they are in, their location and their needs or preferences. Here are a few examples of questions you should be asking of your keyword research:

What Topics Are They Interested In?

The keywords that are being searched for can give you an idea of the topics that are of interest to your target audience. For example, if you see a lot of searches for “vegan recipes,” you know that this is a topic that your target audience is interested in.

What Is Their Intention?

The keywords that are being searched for can also give you an idea of the purpose behind the search. For example, if you see a lot of searches for “best running shoes,” you know that people are looking for product recommendations.

What Stage Is Your Audience In The Buying Cycle? 

These search terms indicate the stage of the buying process that the searcher is in. For example, “compare running shoes” indicates that the searcher is in the research phase, while “buy running shoes” indicates that the searcher is ready to make a purchase.

Where Are They Based?

Keywords that include location indicate that the searcher is looking for information that is specific to a particular area. For example, “vegan restaurants in New York” 

There is a lot that can be taken from good keyword research and the better this step is executed, the better the content ideas are likely to perform.

AI Helpers

AI can be a useful tool to help when ideating digital content and creating new content ideas, and is often used for generating articles for SEO. While this may seem like a good idea, beware, Google won’t take kindly to your new website built entirely on AI copy. 

Ai-generated content is not a replacement for human input and expertise, and it is easy to spot.
Ai certainly does have a place in SEO doing keyword research or helping you develop a page structure, so we recommended using AI as a tool to assist and support the content strategy, but not to rely on it entirely.

How Will You Distribute Your Content?

Consideration should be given to how you intend to distribute your assets when planning or coming up with new content ideas. Will it be shared on social media, sent via email, or featured on your website? This will help you to create content that is optimized for your specific distribution channels.

Common distribution options include social media, a blog, email, podcasts, video content and community forums like Reddit or Quora.

The style and format of the content will vary depending on the channel, for example, content on social media should be short and visually appealing, while content on a blog should be more in-depth and informative. Video content should be engaging and easy to follow, while podcast content should be easy to listen to and provide value to the audience. Email content should be personalized and tailored to the specific audience, and content created specifically for online communities should be engaging and add value to the discussion. It’s important to make sure you understand the audience and the purpose of the content when selecting the distribution channel and format.

Use Analytics To Make Informed Decisions

There are a number of ways to use analytics data to help the content ideation process, and analytics can provide valuable insights into your website and competitors to help you to create more effective and engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

Key insights to look for in your data would be:

    • Audience Insights
      Analytics tools can provide insights into the demographics, interests, pain points, and behaviour patterns of your target audience and this will help you to create content that is more relevant, engaging and tailored to the needs of your visitors.
    • Content Performance
      Analytics provides data on how your content is performing in terms of engagement, reach, and conversions. By figuring out what is working and which types of content are resonating with your audience, you will be able to adjust your content strategy accordingly.
    • Search Data
      Search data, such as the keywords that people are using to find your content helps you identify topics that your audience finds interesting or is actively searching for, and lets you create content that is well-optimised for search.
    • Competitor Analysis
      If you are able to analyze the performance of your competitors’ content, you will be able to find out what is working for them, what types of content Google is rewarding now, and identify areas where you can improve or differentiate your content strategy.
    • Trends
      Trends analysis helps you pinpoint trends and patterns in your audience’s behaviour, which can inform your content strategy to create content that is timeous and relevant and hopefully more engaging.

So we have covered 6 key things to consider when developing new content ideas, and how important understanding your target audience and their needs is when ideating digital content.

The benefits of keyword research and understanding the search intent behind each keyword is invaluable and the format of your content should be considered based on where you intend to post your content. 

Finally using data to make informed content decisions will give you an edge over your competitors. 

Digital content ideation is an essential process for creating engaging and effective content that resonates with your target audience, and by implementing the steps we have outlined, you’ll be well on your way to creating digital content that will help you achieve your goals.

Author : Peter Jooste