I was delighted to speak with Ashley Segura, co-founder of TopHatContent, a Los Angeles-based agency focused on organic search optimization. Ashley is an accomplished content marketing expert who will be presenting at the Brighton SEO conference in San Diego this week, an event I’ll also be attending, and I wanted to ask her about the substance of her presentation, which relates to topic ideation – an indispensable element in content creation.
Ashley and I discuss how AI tools such as ChatGPT and AHREFS can assist in generating content ideas and how to identify successful topics through content audits. We also touch upon the importance of working with internal teams – including customer support teams — to gather insights and pain points from customer interactions that can provide insights into content that may need to be generated.
As Ashley remarks, “back when I was with SEMRush, I would talk to the customer success teams on a regular basis, and say, ‘hey, what are people’s pain points when they’re calling? And what are their hesitations? Why are they not using all of the tools? Why are they having confusion with certain products or certain services that we offer?’ And that was always really helpful when coming up with topics for sales enablement material to either get new customers or retain the ones that you have.”
We discuss the idea of “brand as a publisher” and explore the value of creating content that appeals to the brand’s audience, even if it’s not directly related to a given product or service. Ashley emphasizes the need for authenticity in content partnerships and the foundational importance of relevance.
We then address considerations relating to when to create video content and how to decide if doing so is worth the investment, taking cues from what’s currently ranking in search results. Ashley suggests that the presence of video content in top-ranking pages can be an indicator that video should be incorporated into the content strategy. She acknowledges that video production can be time-consuming but stresses the importance of using it when it aligns with user preferences and search trends.
We chat about various content strategies and approaches, including influencer marketing, content summaries, and the repurposing of content.
We both agree about the importance of creating snackable, summary, and abstract versions of content to cater to different audience segments, preferences, and consumption habits. We also explore what’s require to “future-proof” SEO content in terms of preparing for an era (which may be just around the corner) where searchers are encouraged to bypass traditional SERPs in favor of single, presumably authoritative, AI-generated answers.
I’m looking forward to seeing Ashley’s informative presentation in person next week in San Diego, and recommend that you do the same if you’re attending the Brighton SEO event.