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Digital Strategy

Steps on How to Research Blog Topics

Did you know that nearly ALL CEO’s, Executives and Marketers answered YES when asked if they could come up with good blog topics.  But when they were immediately asked to give one good topic only 2 out 10 were able to give any topic at all!!!


Then when asked if they could prove if that was a good topic, 0% could prove it or even tell how they would prove the validity of the topic.


That is BAD NEWS for these companies.


What this typically leads to is inaction, meaning Nothing gets published.

We believe that something is better than nothing.

But having the knowledge to research and create Good High Converting Blog Topics is best.

Doing this research is easier than you think and will deliver 10X or more on your current content efforts.


The three important steps we’ll cover are…

  • Keyword Research
  • Social Media for Validation
  • Back to the Search Engines for Final Refinement


Start with Your Topic & Validate with Keyword Research

The easiest advice we give to everyone on blog topic research is to start with what YOU Think is a good topic. Typically you’ll come up with a decent topic that can be refined through the steps we’ll share with you here.

But if you are truly stumped to come up with even 1 blog topic idea then keyword research will also be your guide to choose a good one.

  • Come up with a blog topic of your own (example: Top 3 Print Finishes for 2018)
    • If you can’t come up with a topic list the product or service you want to sell more
  • Enter as many variants of the topic, product or service you can think of into the Google Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/ko/KeywordPlanner)
    • Examples: 2018 print finishes, print finishes 2018, top print finishes, print finishing options, finishes for print
  • Look for keyword results with volume and modify your blog topic to include a higher volume variant
    • Example: We were shown “Printing Finishing Options” as the only keyword with volume.  In the related keywords section it shared with us that “Print Finishing” had a higher volume but that is more broad and included in your topic anyway.

Using this blog topic research model we would go with this topic: “Top 3 Printing Finishing Options for 2018”

You can see how we modified our original topic to include what / how customers are searching for this product / service.


Use Social Media to Refine and Validate Your Topic

Social Media is the greatest place to find real conversations for the topic you will be writing on.

These conversations will help you form supporting statements, rebuttals to arguments, and new questions or needs you hadn’t even thought of.

  • Use google to search for your topic on Quora.com
    • Use the site: command in Google to find conversations specific to your topic on Quora.com by including your highest volume blog topic variants ( example: site:quora.com + printing finishing options)
  • Read through the Quora.com results from your search and note good questions and answers from across the top 10 results for potential use as Q&A or examples in your blog topic.
  • Use BuzzSumo to find current relevant articles from across the web that may be trending to generate even more ideas to create greater value in your blog.
    • Example: Search “Printing Finishing Options” in BuzzSumo

  • Read through the BuzzSumo results from your search and note good questions and answers from across the top 10 results for potential use as Q&A or examples in your blog topic.


Go Back to the Search Engines to Refine & Finalize

Now that you have refined your blog topic through this comprehensive research and identified inclusions for the body of the blog post itself, it’s time to go back to the search engine to refine even more if necessary by manually looking at the search results to ensure you will show up, beat the competition and provide Massive Value to potential customers.


For example: Search in Google the term Printing Finishing Options

You need to identify if this search is bringing up relevant results to make sure that the search engines believe that the search term should result in pages that are listing options (or answers) to the term itself.  If you see results that don’t make sense to you then it may be that the term is not the best to be using as a blog topic and you should start over. Google for example uses behavior to rank results and if more people want to see results of a certain type that is what the search engine will show.


The other things to look for are..

  • Does the search engine show Maps Listing Results
  • Does the search engine show Image Results
  • Does the search engine show Knowledgegraph elements on the right side of the page

All of these things can affect if this is a good topic.


Each of the above listed elements can all be optimized for but for now just know that if the results are relevant then you have a good topic and your research will set you up for success.


Will This Really Help?


Having done this research will give you the opportunity to be found first in the search engines, will get more potential customers clicking through from social media & email and will provide Huge Value to the people you want to do business with.


For More Information Call Us at 314-736-4434

Or Submit your information below


    90% of marketers say that Segmenting Your B2B Content Marketing is important.

    BUT only 45% of marketers are actually doing this!

    We’re not surprised by this because we know it’s not that easy.

    The thing is that by doing this level of market segmentation will provide BIG Results.

    It’s not our opinion, This is a Fact!


    Here is a real example of how we’ve seen this work (and it’s really simple)

    An Engineering company had a service that was specific to servicing public parks.

    They wanted to get their offering in front of the decision makers who could hire them to do this work.

    They wanted to run ads in specific cities to promote their service.

    But that was it, run ads targeting all people in those cities.




    While targeting specific cities is a level of segmentation, it’s not even close to good enough.

    They would have wasted a ton of money.

    So we investigated with them further and found that the people they really needed to get in front of were Parks and Recreation Directors, City Managers and Mayors.

    And guess what? We can target those people!

    We put a campaign in place targeting All Three of those job titles on LinkedIn and Facebook. Created ads that messaged directly to them and led them to a landing page that again spoke directly to them.

    City + Job Title = Winning Combination


    “To be honest we went even deeper with them but we’ll keep it simple for our example.”


    This is a perfect example of how this works.  Especially when this campaign was generating 5 – 15 leads per day for months!

    Takeaways are to Know Your Audience / Customer / Buyer / Investor demographics, traits and characteristics so they can be targeted and Know their Pain Points, Questions and Philosophies so you can message them correctly.


    Know Your Audience for Segmentation

    This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of all because it will maximize your effort.  It’s getting in front of the right people.

    • Geography (country, state, city)
    • Industry
    • Company(ies)
    • Job Title(s)
    • Age Range
    • Sex
    • Etc.

    These elements allow you to target very specifically, not waste ad spend and generate way more leads than you ever have in the past.


    Messaging for Segmentation

    Saying what they want to hear and need to hear.

    For us message segmentation is more about solving a problem and speaking very clearly about how that is done.  We don’t fluff it up with ambiguous words that will leave people confused as to what you actually do.

    • What are current industry wide problems
    • What are trends your prospects are talking about
    • What problems do you solve that these prospects are facing most often
    • What does your prospect care about
    • What is your prospects asking most often?

    Answering these questions leads to clear and compelling messaging for your campaign and content strategy.


    If you have been struggling to create a content marketing strategy that actually delivers results, leads, customers and revenue then follow the steps we outline in this post or call us with questions if you need help.


    Call Us at 314-736-4434

    Or Submit your information below

      Do you know what channels produce the leads you get?

      Do you know if Social Media is even helping your company grow?

      Do you know if your Ad Spend is being Wasted?

      Of course you don’t.


      Not to be mean, but 53% of CEO’s and Marketing Leaders claim they don’t actually know how their marketing efforts are performing across all channels and when we surveyed these same people it was 87% who didn’t actually know how their efforts were truly performing.


      Simply Knowing what efforts are delivering you performance leads to a 35% boost in results!

      This is due to better decision making guided by these results and findings.

      It is important to establish integrated tracking across all of your efforts and ensure that everything you do is attributable so it can be accounted for.


      Audit Your Tracking

      This is simple. If you aren’t tracking it then it doesn’t exist.

      What we are saying is that YOU MUST track everything.

      • Simplify Tracking by using tag managment
      • Use pixels & tags available from each platform you are on
      • Ensure all traffic sources, pixels and tags are firing and tracking correctly
      • Establish tracked conversions and events (form submissions, click to call numbers, etc.)


      Audit Your Conversions & Attribution

      Knowing what parts of your efforts led to traffic, leads, customers and revenue is critical to making sound marketing and sales decisions.  And it mitigates wasted ad spend.

      • Define KPI’s that will guide your decision making
      • Create reports to easily view performance

      The thing to remember is that all digital marketing is trackable and attributable so if you want to understand how your marketing is performing allowing for better decisions, better results and spend more efficiently then audit your digital marketing with a focus on tracking and attribution then set it up!


      Call Us at 314-736-4434

      Or Submit your information below

        Many marketers for years have wasted the time of other marketers and cost businesses countless dollars from unproductive time spent on tasks that won’t produce results.

        This isn’t some in-depth piece on the details of how this happens.

        This is a Public Service Announcement to all business and marketing professionals to stop letting under performing marketers waste your time.  Demand efficiency and demand results.

        We don’t waste time, We get work Done!

        Facebook ads are typically a part of most successful B2B digital marketing & content marketing campaigns.
        This platform has become increasingly more complex over the years, but is very powerful at getting in front of prospective customers.

        To guarantee you’re maximizing ad spend and generating High ROI from your Facebook Ad Efforts we wanted to make sure you had a guide that would give you the best advice possible in making that happen.

        • Only 2 out of 9 B2B companies that run Facebook ads have a strategy
        • 79% of B2B Marketers say Facebook Ads are one on the best places to target buyers
        • 87% of B2B Facebook ads generate at least a 5X return when used in combination with a strategy

        If you are wondering why your current Facebook Ads haven’t produced the ROI you hoped for then take a look at these B2B Social Media recommendations for Facebook Ads in our easy to follow guide.

        Download Your B2B Facebook Ads Bidding Guide

          B2B marketing has evolved from its meager origins of sales support materials to a highly nuanced complicated field. The following B2B executives express views which not only provide clarity to navigating the current climate, but are also of immediate and timeless value to other areas of your business.

          1. John Hayes, CEO of Com

          “…there is going to be a staggering volume of content coming from industrial marketers in 2017.  Even the ones who are doing it poorly plan to keep on spending money to churn out more and more content. And that content is all targeting the same audience.”

          Hayes’s advice to stand out from the crowd is to spend more time developing high-quality content rather than publish as much as possible. Quality over quaintly, always.


          2. Bob Bechek, Worldwide Managing Director of Bain & Company

          “…don’t be afraid necessarily to stay in one place and build something significant.”

          Wise words from the consulting giant Bechek, which certainly applies to our current marketing atmosphere; rather than jump from one trendy platform to the next without thought, build a cohesive strategy and stick with it before making a decision to discard.


          3. Diana O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer of Deloitte

          “…thought leadership is an anchor not just to marketing, positioning and content, but it also serves as the fundamental source for our professionals because our people are our greatest asset.”

          If you are struggling to develop high quality content, chances are that the people working for you are already capable of producing excellent marketing materials. Enable them to use their voice!


          4. Pierre Duprat, Vice-President, Corporate Communications of VINCI

          “One can speak of the emergence of social media, 2.0 world. It is a vision software.”

          VINCI is the world’s largest construction company, and their marketing gurus recognize that the best strategy is investment in future technologies, which will not resemble the world today. And Duprat makes an important point – as we move closer to fully utilizing resources like virtual reality headsets, marketing in the B2B space will be driven by visuals.


          5. Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics

          “We constantly dare ourselves to think differently … to ask “what if” and “why not?” … to experiment. The worst that can happen is we fail trying. The best is we champion the next breakaway idea that catapults us to the next level of success.”

          Hopefully you’ve noticed the theme! B2B execs believe in a willingness to try new strategies and technologies in order to develop the best marketing campaign possible, which can be an important differentiator amongst competition in fields like commercial printing.


          6. Leon Black, Chairman of Apollo Global Management

          “Doing something that is worthwhile in terms of helping others is important.”

          Marketing is more than trying to close a sale. In the digital age where there is noise coming from every direction, it is imperative for your marketing to be of actual value for your potential clients or customers.


          For more B2B Digital Marketing strategies and tactics check out the rest of our site!

          Marin recently pulled together information as a report on the State of Digital Marketing for 2017.

          From their site:
          “Marin Software interviewed top digital marketing managers around the world to discover the trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017. Read the report to learn the current state of the digital marketing industry, plus expert tips and recommendations for success.

          Highlights include:
          Digital Marketers’ top priorities for 2017
          The ROI potential of different mobile marketing strategies
          The main reasons marketers miss out on revenue opportunities
          How marketers can increase advertising performance by 70% or more
          The hottest marketing technologies industry leaders are looking to invest in next”

          We grabbed some of the highlights and shared them here:

          • 43% of marketers expect their mobile budgets on search marketing investment to increase between 10% and 30% in 2017
          • On the social side, 70% of respondents plan to increase their advertising budget
          • Marketers on search and social face an ongoing learning curve due to the constant influx of new features and ad products. As a result, many struggle to keep up with the fast pace of innovation *We at Acumen don’t struggle with this by the way

          You can download the full PDF report here: http://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/rs/727-ZQE-044/images/MAR_1706_StateDigAd.pdf

          What is Content Marketing really? And is a Content Marketing Strategy different than a Content Strategy?

          To the second question, NO, there is no difference.

          Let us explain our answer to the first question.

          There are many definitions given for content marketing, but ours is pretty simple.
          The use of any consciously consumed piece of content created to enhance relationships, education and convince with the goal of getting someone to make a decision or take action.
          For us this applies to visibility, awareness, lead generation and conversion or sale.

          Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Strategy

          We say there isn’t a difference.
          But what do others say?

          Some say that content marketing strategy is understanding who your audience is, creating your message, have a brand guide and implementing it.
          Some say that content strategy is more about channel strategy and the types of content that goes on those channels.

          While we agree that both should exist, we also believe they are one in the same and that it goes beyond the content.

          What is Content?

          Content is a tool to communicate.
          That’s it.

          We dare you to argue with us on this. We always win!

          Content Marketing Strategy

          When we create a content marketing strategy we do these things:

          • Ask you questions about your business
          • Ask you questions about your customers
          • Look at your customer data & behavior
          • Research the market using search engines
          • Research your customers using search engines
          • Research the market using social media
          • Research your customers using social media
          • Identify how your targets consume online
          • Develop a channel strategy
          • Develop content for each channel
          • Optimize content with each channel
          • Track, measure and monitor behavior
          • Continuously optimize

          This is how we think content marketing should be done and we’ve seen it work again and again.

          Contact us if you want to learn more or contact us if you want to debate our ideas.