User-generated content (UGC) provides unique and fresh content that can boost your search rankings. Research shows that 49% of marketers use user-generated content as part of their content marketing strategies.
However, today we won’t be discussing the direct content users submit on your website (such as comments) or social media (mentions), but how to find content ideas within such UGC.
As content creators, we have been there looking for new topic ideas. Usually, the solution is getting ideas from competitors or check a keyword research tool to see what we can get. Although this is an effective strategy, there are other underrated methods to get content ideas.
Now, let’s unpack!
1. Google Search Features
Using Google’s search features is a great way to discover related searches. You can find dozens of fresh content ideas with a quick Google search.
- People Also Ask – New content ideas can be derived from these related questions. 50% of all search questions are four words or longer. Therefore, this can also help you rank for long-tail keywords. Users prefer to ask very specific questions, and you might want to use these for your products.
- Autocomplete – Try typing your topic into Google and seeing what other search terms come up before and after the text. You can use special operators such as symbols to expand the topics. E.g. quotation marks for exact match or ‘define:’ if you are looking for a definition.
- Related Search – Check related searches underneath your results.
You can find topics your audience would be interested in on forums like Reddit and Quora. Reading the threads will give you an idea what people are asking. This is also a great way to understand the language and sentiments around certain topics.
For relevant threads, search for “[forum] [topic]” on Google. You can also sort Reddit’s comments by Best, New, Controversial, etc.
3. Trending Topics
A popular tactic for creating content that works is to simply be the first to market. Finding out about up-and-coming topics by using trends can help you gain an edge over your competitors.
You can get topics from platforms such as Google Trends, BuzzSumo, YouTube, Google News, Exploding Topics and Pinterest Trends.
4. Social Listening
Social listening can help you uncover fresh ideas for content. By reading what your audience says online, you can get an idea of what they are interested in and how they discuss it.
Using social listening tools such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite can help you with this process. Alternatively, you can type in keywords or hashtags manually. Look out for posts that generate many buzzes or convey a lot of emotion (positive or negative).
5. Product Reviews
Reviewers offer insights into how you can improve or market your product or service. Use Google My Business, Amazon, Facebook (or any other customer review site) to spy on yourself and your competitors.
Look closely at reviews with 1 star. Identify what isn’t working for your audience so you can address it. In a scenario where a reviewer says a product is too expensive, you could write content on how it can be made cheaper or why the extra cost is worthwhile.
If you want to see what’s working, check out the 5-star reviews. If a reviewer appreciates your “pet-friendly” product, you may mention that when describing it or writing about it.
6. Article Comments
Nowadays, people are more likely to share their ideas and opinions than ever before. There may be excellent content ideas hiding in the depths of articles you have already written.
You should review the comments on your own articles as well as those of your competitors. To find articles with the most comments, crawling tools like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb can help.
7. Top-Performing Content
This is using your own data as the most valuable resource. Take a look at your content that has performed best in the last three to twelve months. Analyze the content that’s been successful in seeing if there are any commonalities that can be developed further.
You can use Google Search Console features for this; GSC Insights or GSC Performance. Do you have any common topics that you haven’t fully covered? Now it’s time to expand!
Our Two Cents
Creating content with topics that you find from user-generated content is not only a good way to put fresh ideas into words, but this can also boost conversions to your site. If people are talking about it, they want to know more about it and possibly make a purchase based on what you have written. What’s more, creating and updating content could help you see an increase in traffic because search engines love it!
Download our presentation on 7 Best Ways to Find Content Ideas Using User-Generated Content.