3 data-driven approaches to finding the most effective content ideas

This is a sponsored article written by SEMrush. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.

If you’re an experienced content marketer, you certainly know how difficult content ideation can be.

On the one hand, you want to be creative, and on the other hand, you have to think about the effectiveness of the content.

When these two conditions are met, you get relevant content that brings value to people and meets your marketing objectives.

The only question is how to understand which of your content ideas is the one people crave and are ready to engage with. The secret is to validate every creative idea from a data perspective.

Find out what content is already working

Before you start looking for ideas, look at the content you’ve created before and see what’s already working well.

To do this, you need to define which essential content metrics you should consider when measuring the efficiency of the particular room.

Depending on your marketing goals, these metrics can be divided into four categories:

  • User behavior.
  • Commitment.
  • SEO.
  • Sales.

For example, if you want to understand which topics resonate the most with your audience, pay attention to user engagement and behavior metrics, such as number of sessions, bounce rate, shares, backlinks, and more.

To obtain this data, you must collect all the URLs of the web pages whose content you want to analyze.

SEMrush Content Audit is a useful tool for this. It allows you to choose particular sections of your domain where you publish content and check the performance of each published item.

As of now, the tool provides this data in the form of number of social shares, backlinks, Google Analytics and Search Console statistics.

You can sort all posts by the most shares or backlinks and check which topics are getting the most resonance and attention among your audience.

Spy on your competitors and industry trends

Your competitors who are targeting the exact same audience could become a source of great content ideas that you haven’t executed yet.

More than that, you can find interesting ideas not only on certain topics, but also on content types, formats, and even distribution channels.

The easiest way to do this is to start monitor your competitors’ brands and track what they blog about and how often, how many shares and likes they get, and in what media they appear.


The same goes for market trends. Simply select a few industry keywords and set up daily or weekly alerts. Check what is popping up in the media around a particular topic, what social media buzz is popping up around it.

Sometimes this valuable information, combined with content ideas, can also help you better understand your audience and customers.

Once you have collected and analyzed all this information, think about a new approach to this topic.

What is not yet covered? Or, how can you do better?

Analyze the most resonant titles

If you’re still not sure which topics are getting the most attention in the industry, think on a deeper level – about subtopics and titles.

No matter what you write – blog post, news or ebook – the title is the first thing people see and it should be something that grabs their attention.

The only problem is figuring out which one will resonate with and engage your audience. Don’t just guess if a particular item grabs people’s attention – base your decisions and strategic planning on data!

Think about the engagement metrics we mentioned above and pick out the top performing (and therefore most resonant) headlines based on those.

With the SEMrush Topic Finder you can discover the most relevant subtopics and headings for your content.

Just think of the topic or keyword you want to write about, type it in and press the Get content ideas button.

Content marketing

You will get a list of cards with subtopics, inside which you will find the titles of the 10 most important articles, ranked in order of priority by the number of backlinks of the pages.

You can also switch the view to Mind Map and get a nice graphical presentation.

Content marketing

Along with titles, you can also find information about questions people ask about your topic and related searches that are frequently queried with the analyzed topic.


Use this information to create content that answers users’ questions or matches their intent, based on related search results.

Content marketing combines two different elements – creation and analysis – that sometimes clash, making the process of strategic content planning complicated and time-consuming.

Based on these three approaches, you can validate different content ideas that come to mind and plan your content strategy based on data and analytics, saving you time and effort.

Image credits

Featured Image: Image by SEMrush. Used with permission.
Photos posted: image from SEMrush. Used with permission.

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