Every marketing professional’s career will come to a point where they will run out of new ideas to share with others.
Everything you come up with has already been done or doesn’t suit your brand’s image.
Your content is completely depleted and it is time to refill it.
The good news is that this can be avoided.
All you need is a content ideation and development process. Two, you need to ensure that everyone in the company, or outsourced agents, follow it to the T.
Ideation can be continuous or scheduled at any point in time.
The goal is to have a content pipeline that is abundant and that never runs dry of content.
In the marketing industry, content ideation refers to the process of creating or sourcing topics that will be used in the future.
The topics must be relevant to your company, or brand.
It has to be part of your content marketing strategy and lastly it must resonate with your customers.
Here are some suggestions for how to improve your content ideation skills.
Keep in mind that you must have a content generation process through which you collect your ideas at all times.
- 7 Ways to Generate Sticky Content Ideas
- Content Creation Phase
- The Art of Planning Your Content
#1. 7 Ways To Generate Sticky Content Ideas
Identify content gaps
Finding the gaps in your existing content is a simple way of generating new content ideas.
One way to find content gaps is to audit and map your current content to the buyer journey.
Does the content address all the stages, equally?
Do you have an equitable spread of content across Awareness, Consideration and Purchase stages of the funnel?
Are there any gaps that you need to fix?
Another way to look at content is from the products and services you provide?
Is the content well-mapped to these? Have you done less, or more for certain types of products and services?
Can you fill the gaps?
Deal with the problems that your customers experience
Think of problems, pains, frustrations and mistakes that your customers make when they buy in your category.
Identify the pain points or problems that you solve for new customers.
For existing customers, determine what the current sources of their frustration are. Or the mistakes they commit with existing solutions.
Speak with colleagues for insights
Customer service and Sales are often excellent sources of new content ideas.
Regular meetings with department heads or select department representatives can generate new content ideas.
Other departments may interact with customers at a different stage of the buyer journey.
This provides you with valuable insight into issues faced by buyers in their journey.
Leverage social listening
Social listening is a method of gathering information about each product in order to identify which is the most popular.
Using social listening tools to figure what customers say about your brand or competitors.
For example, you might be interested in learning which of your consumers are most enthusiastic about on Twitter.
Brainstorm with your team
If you’re looking for website content ideas, it’s always better to have more than one set of eyes.
Make time for regular brainstorming sessions as well as one-time meetings with key stakeholders.
Make sure to set clear expectations for participation, as well as a time limit for each workshop.
No idea is a bad idea, so there should be some broad guidelines for brainstorming, but nothing should be too strict.
Use tools to discover content
You get an idea of what content and format is doing well and you piggyback on this.
Use idea lists to generate content
#2. 3 Ways To Create Content
Following your brainstorming session, sort through your ideas to see which ones your marketing team should implement.
In content development, you filter your ideas to see which ones are relevant and which ones require more development.
Ideas that are no longer relevant can be discarded or put on the back burner, and this is perfectly acceptable.
Various factors contribute to some ideas never progressing beyond the development stage.
Content development, like ideation, can take place over a series of meetings or as a single event.
When it comes to developing your content ideas, there are a variety of approaches you can take.
Here are just a few examples..
Choose a campaign or a theme to work with
Is there a current trend that you’re noticing in your industry?
Are you able to develop a marketing campaign around a specific idea?
Most likely, your ideas can be tied together in some way or another to form a series of content pieces – videos, tutorials, a mini-course, perhaps.
For example, employee-specific features scheduled in social media.
Or, photographic products from Artifact Uprising, that use a brand hashtag, #TellOn. This features the photo stories that their customers have taken and uploaded to their website.
This is a recurring content topic that, as long as the company has customers, will never run out of new material to write about or to publish.
A good place to find themes would be book indices, or video tutorials, online courses and even conference agendas.
Take a specialist approach
It can be difficult to achieve a high ranking in search results for a popular topic, or in industries which have high content clutter.
Instead of taking a generalist approach, consider taking a specialist approach.
Those who do search for specialist terms are more likely to participate in the discussion.
Sweetgreen is a healthy meal delivery service that emphasises local sourcing and sustainability.
The company could have talked about bread in general, but they chose to highlight their rosemary focaccia in Los Angeles.
Examine the relevance and execution of the plan
One of the most important aspects of content development is the process of sorting through ideas.
Some prefer to go through them informally rather than using a scoring system, as others would do.
Unlike a brainstorming session, participants in scoring are involved in content creation and promotion.
As part of scoring, they talk about how each idea relates to the company, or brand.
They compare marketing funnels and personas to determine where the idea would fit.
They evaluate at which stage of the funnel the idea works best.
For example, you have a fantastic idea which works great at the awareness stage. The problem is that you already have a lot of content at this stage.
So what you do is to keep the idea for the future and focus on consideration and decision stages which probably lack in content.
#3. The Art Of Planning Your Content
Some content types are restricted due to holidays or specific dates.
The ideas are specifically sourced and developed with deadlines in mind.
Having an online social media calendar can help you keep track of critical dates as you plan and build your project.
Depending on the dates you have available, the content you wish to emphasise, may also be restricted.
The fourth quarter is when retail marketing ramps up for the holiday season. A lot of content is devoted to holidays, entertainment and gifting at this time.
But being winter, it is inappropriate to talk about the best summer outfits in the market.
Creating content takes time and your content process should factor that.
Despite the fact that you may have the most brilliant holiday ideas, they may never see the light of day.
This could be because your budgets are too tight, or just not enough. Or that it takes too long to execute and promote the idea. Or that it’s at the wrong stage of the customer journey.
Don’t be put off by the sight of a blank whiteboard when it comes to creating content.
Having a well-established process for content ideation and development will ensure that you never run out of ideas again.
Content ideation does not have to be as difficult as climbing Everest.
It can be made easier by talking to other departments, using a formal idea evaluation form, just searching for ideas that others have curated, or using tools and data to find what works and what doesn’t.
Accelerate your leads with Content Creation today!
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