Since the fall out of Google Animal Apocalypse there has been lots of talk of content and content marketing. None of this is new, Google has been preaching content since the day dot and savvy Internet Marketers have been using content for years. The panic that Google has caused appears to have been pretty widespread and thousands of businesses and SEO agencies are now faced with having to update the way the promote their website online.
Creating okay content is not going to be enough and if you want to succeed online you need to be producing content that deserves to rank based on how informative and useful it is to real people - rather than how well optimised it is. Producing content of this calibre is not easy and a lot of people fall at the first hurdle. Although there uis no replacement for a creative and forward thinking team there are a number of tools that will allow you to kick start that process.
Spezify is awesome. Simple as that. Head on over to their home page and you are presented with a search box that you simply drop in some words that you are interested in finding out about.
In the example below I simply dropped in 'kung fu' and spezify goes to work finding videos, social media content and other bits and bobs that will help you generate ideas or supplement what you already have. Not only will the content you find help you flesh out ideas for blog posts and guides but will also give you loads of ammunition for using on your social media campaigns. Indispensable.
If I need to find out what people are actually looking for then I will quite often spend some time with Ubersuggest. As the name suggests essentially what you get here is Google Suggest on steroids. I am a big fan of using the why, what, where and when style questions to find questions that are really asking about your vertical. In the example below I simply tap into Ubersuggest 'does social media':
Ubersuggest will then scrpae the Google Suggest results to find you phrase +a, your phrase +b, your phrase +c and so on. What you end up with are loads of ideas for content that is actively being searched for in your vertical.
Wortracker Questions works in a similar manner and tends to bring back some interesting real life questions from your vertical. Simple head over to the tool and pop in a related keyword:
The results are a downloadable list of real questions. You may have to do some digging through some questions that don't really make sense but you will find some absolute gems that you wouldn't find via Ubersuggest.
I love tools that are hacked together and Google Docs are awesome for this. Daniel Butler over at SEOGadget put this tool together and is awesome for finding out what has been successful in your niche recently. The great thing about this tool is the amount of ground it cover in no time at all.
Daniel himself on the SEOgadget blog lets us know the depth and breadth of this tool:
Google Discussions What's the latest [keyword] talk in the forums?
Google News & Bing News Hot off the press [keyword] news.
Digg the most dugg content relating to [keyword], there is also an additional column for the most recent dugg content.
Reddit The top rated reddits relating to [keyword].
Youtube The most viewed videos relating to [keyword].
Topsy Latest Tweets the most popular [keyword] related tweets in the last day, including twitter name and number of RTs received.
Topsy Latest Top Trending Tweets this is then aggregated in the same way as the previous point.
Twittorati Search the most 'authoritative' tweets relating to [keyword] based on the Twitterati authority score.
All Things Now the most popular content Facebook shares relating to [keyword].
Yahoo Answers questions relating to [keyword] filtered by questions with the most answers.
Wiki Answers this is split in to two columns, the latest questions that have been asked relating to [keyword] and the top answered questions.
How Stuff Works articles answering a problem relating to [keyword].
Blog Catalog the latest blog posts relating to [keyword].
Fark the latest and most popular items shared on Fark relating to [keyword].
Redux discover further video content relating to [keyword].
Helium The latest [keyword] articles shared on Helium.
Cracked One of my favourite sites I couldn't leave out. A fun/comedic site returning articles relating to [keyword].
It speaks volume that this is my favourite tool for content ideas - a simple (ish) Google Doc hacked together by someone with a desire to create more compelling share worthy content.
Hopefully you will find all these tools useful - if you have any favourites let us know in the comments.