Using Online Forums to Drive B2B Content Marketing
If you’re struggling to come up with new topics for your content marketing campaign, there’s one place you can go to get some ideas: online forums.
Set up your own online forum where your B2B customers can share ideas and where you can offer support. Once people are engaged, there is a wealth of inspiration available for you to take advantage of. Here’s how to do it.
Set Up a Customer Forum
While you can search the internet for forums in your niche to drive content, it’s a good idea to set up your own. Why? Because you have control of it. You can set the rules and moderate everything. People are going to talk about your business online, and the B2B community in any niche isn’t as big as you think it is. When you run your own forum, you are a part of the conversation.
Keith Messick tells us in Inc:
“In other words, it’s not an uncontrolled conversation happening on Twitter. It’s a supervised discussion in which the company plays a role. Messick calls this “social CRM” — a form of customer relationship management fostered by communication with customers through social networking. Instead of dealing with merely data, you are now able to gain insight into your customers from conversations and relationships.”
Read everything your B2B customers are saying and learn everything you can from it. Where are you getting it right? Where can you improve? Is there a service or product that your customers are asking for that you don’t have? Listen to what your clients are saying, and interact with them to gain clarity.
“By doing this research, you can get a clear picture of what problems your customers had before they bought your product and how their life looks like now. You may need to create a spreadsheet with all of your findings to determine what the strongest messages are.”
Apply What You’ve Learned
Once you have gathered information, apply it to your business. Work it into your business strategy. In addition to helping you make decisions about new products and services, you can also mine forum comments for ideas for more content marketing. Is there a topic people keep mentioning? Are a lot of clients asking for clarity about the same product or service? Put together a blog post about it to draw more people to your site.
According to HostGator:
“If your forum members frequently bring up the same questions, then you’ll know those are good subjects to create content around. If they regularly share articles from a particular resource, then you know where to check to see what topics are on their minds on a regular basis. The more you learn about your audience, the better a job you’ll be able to do of making sure your website, products, and marketing materials all address what matters to them.”
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