We live in a content-driven web world. Consumers value insightful content, Google promotes it, and marketers bow down to both.
As marketing strategies grow, so does the need for creative and insightful content. Unfortunately, we all eventually hit a creative wall in the search for great content. Here are some tips and pointers to help you stay ahead of the pack.
Stay up to date on trends
New trends are a gimme for content. First, they write themselves. Second, new trends are noteworthy and readers need to know about them!
With as fast-paced as marketing is, attempting to keep up with the trends can feel overwhelming. Luckily, email subscriptions and social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, can put the trending information right in front of you. Think With Google and the Content Marketing Institute are some of our favorite email subscriptions on this topic here at TM.
Read other blogs
Reading other professional blogs is a great way to stay up to date. But do not just read these blogs when you need ideas. Stay up to date! You can do it in your spare time. Other professionals can give you great marketing tips and insights that may not even occur to you and can be applied to other marketing avenues as well—not just content.
People do not simply come up with ideas out of thin are. We actually use the steps someone else built to reach higher insights. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. The space shuttle would not have happened without the Wright brothers first inventing human flight. So when you do stumble across a piece that inspires a blog idea, add your personal insight with their insight to construct a more insightful piece.
Use marketing tools
Google offers comprehensive toolkits marketers can use to strategize, target and even discover marketing insights. In addition, many websites that provide services to marketers, such as Campaign Monitor, have data tools built in that allow you to find insights about your own customers. This can easily turn into a “what we’ve found” type of blog.
There’s a Japanese idiom that says “Ten men, ten colors.” (I don’t know how to spell the actual idiom in Japanese). While all idioms are up for interpretation, many believe this idiom means, ten brains, ten ideas.
Brainstorming with coworkers is a great way to come up with ideas. While your wheels are spinning, theirs can be turning. They can provide useful information or look at strategies from a different angle that can foster multiple ideas.
Planning is always better, and this most definitely applies to content.
Instead of thinking of content ideas on the fly, take a portion of your day and dedicate it strictly to brainstorming content ideas. Find reputable marketing sources and look for case studies, data or ideas they’ve generated that will provide you with insight.
When all the research is complete, keep a running list of content ideas to refer back to when you hit a creative slump.
When you get on a roll, keep the ball going
Unless you are on a tight deadline, keep generating ideas when you hit an idea groove. For instance, if you’re working on a project and a few ideas come to mind, push that project aside and try a little research, generating more idea. Plus, if you’re thinking of content ideas while on a different project, you’re not paying full attention to the task at hand anyway.
Do you frequently experience problems with Facebook or IT services? Well, all of us have. In fact, we recently wrote about these experiences. Whether it’s a trial and error situation, troubleshooting, or any other roadblock, someone will experience it in the future, take your chance to be their teacher during their marketing headaches.
Abnormal or widely successful marketing campaigns
Successful marketing campaigns provide marketers with insights they can apply to their own marketing. Even better, writing about these successful campaigns is a 2-for-1 that will teach you applicable marketing strategies while providing content as well. Or, you can always share the story of your business’s successful outcomes.
Never stop thinking
It’s a bad idea to stop your content creation processes when you clock out of work for the day. Maybe an idea sprouts while you’re shopping, or in the shower. Maybe you see an advertisement that piques your interest. Write it down! Do some research! Don’t waste those precious ideas!
Think outside of the marketing funnel
Trends not directly associated with marketing can be very impactful to marketers. If you can spot these indirect, future implications, you greatly increase the chances that your blog ends up at the top of Google searches in the future.