What will you share with your audience today? This week? This month? How do you know it’s what they want to read? Does anything make a mind go blank faster than a direct question?

Let your audience tell you what content they want to see.

You can just ask your audience – on your social feeds, in your newsletter or in your groups or one-on-one sessions. But if their mind goes blank at the question, too, let the numbers show you the way.

Use your social media analytics to determine popular content.

Each of the platforms will tell you what kind of posts are getting the most eyes, comments, and likes. If you’re getting radio silence when you holler out, you can still poke into the back end to see what they’re stopping to look at and click on.

For example, if the HBR article you shared about morning routines of leaders was clicked on quite a few times, jot down that basic topic. Without diving into the meat of the article, apply the subject to your business. 

  • Are there business leaders in your field that you can poll along the same lines?
    Send out an email or social dm – tell them you’re putting together an article on morning routines and you’d like to share their routine with a shout out.  Or maybe there’s someone super inspirational that you can profile on their own.
  • How do you handle that subject yourself?
    Do you have a routine? How is it the same or different than the article? What works for you? What’s a pain point? Why would it help your audience to adopt pieces of it?
  • What tools do you use to address the subject?
    Do you have one of those area rugs that you have to stand on to turn your alarm off? Eat oatmeal every day? Do you begin with reviewing your Trello boards and avoiding email till noon?
  • When does the subject apply to you, your business or your field?
    Do routines differ on weekends? Business trips? What exactly constitutes morning? If morning is 4am, why? How?! If morning is 10am, again, why?

Look to the comments on your social posts, too. What are folks saying? Are they asking questions you can answer? Are they teaching something new that you can research to share a full report?

Use your Google Analytics to see what content is drawing your audience to the site.

Head to your analytics profile and visit Behavior > Site Content to see the most popular pages on your site. Click on landing pages to see where your audience is most often entering your site. 

How to Use Analytics to Brainstorm New Content | Prairie Telegraph Digital Marketing
The external link is the square with arrow shooting out of it on the right-hand side of the slug.

As you move through the next few steps, be sure to play around with the timeline (top right of the image). What’s performed best in the last week? Month? Quarter? Or over the last year? Look for trends in topics and spikes in the number of page views to see just how popular articles were. Also, think back to your world at the time of these highs and lows – was it a cultural holiday, a major news event, or did viewership decline due to traditional vacation periods? You may also find that an older, popular post is worthy of revising with current data.

Moving forward, click on the external link icon to open the article: 

  • Are there comments on the article? What are people saying? 
  • Did you reference other topics? Can you expand on those?
  • Do you reference other articles? Can you expand on those subjects?
  • Are there other people who this subject affects? Can you poll them or profile someone?
  • Are there tools that apply that you can share?

Now choose Behavior> Behavior Flow to see how your audience is moving through your site. Instead of ‘Landing Page’ for the first column, click on the down arrow and choose Acquisition > Source. I recommend this because (a) the difference between landing and starting pages is a bit tricky. Also (b) it’s nice to see where each source is sending traffic illustrated.

How to Use Analytics to Brainstorm New Content | Prairie Telegraph Digital Marketing
The backslash indicates the home page, the grey swoops the flow, the red down arrow is where the viewer left the site.

In the example, we can see most people approach the site directly or via Facebook. They visit the home page, then they either shop or visit the blog page called ‘Letters’. 

  • Look at the most popular products. Can you feature them or dive into their uses?
  • Why do people use those products? Can you look at different aspects of the lifestyle that would preclude their use?
  • Are there comments on the article? What are people saying? 

Return to the questions we asked about the previous analytics. Click on the external link icon to open the article.

  • Did you reference other topics? Can you expand on those?
  • Do you reference other articles? Can you expand on those subjects?
  • Are there other people who this subject affects? Can you poll them or profile someone?
  • Are there tools that apply that you can share?

Also, take a look at the flow of the audience. Ask yourself what lead them from article 1 to article 2, besides your cleverly included backlink. Can you add anything to that subject flow, either filling a knowledge gap between these two articles or extending it into a third article?

Note that you can click on those green boxes to see the ‘8 more pages’ and so on that are hidden for the brevity of the illustration.

Challenge: how many article ideas can you garner from just your content analytics review?

How to Use Analytics to Brainstorm New Content | prairietelegraph.com

Let me know in the comments! Or, if you’d like a hand to hold the first time, reach out