Tools And Tips On How To Find Content Marketing Ideas
Sometimes it may seem like all of the possible content marketing ideas have already been used and there is nothing original you can come up with anymore. However, this is not true. There are ways that you can find great ideas for your content marketing strategy and here’s how you can do this.
#1 Be Authentic
It sounds strange saying that in order to be original with your content marketing ideas you need to be authentic. But the point here is that you need to tell stories that are unique just for yourself. It can’t be any other way around because you are the most qualified person to tell your own stories.
People want to connect with you by looking for a story in whatever content you put out for the world to see. So, why not write stories from the very beginning? You definitely have something to tell the world about yourself, even if you don’t realize it.
Tell your audience about your struggles, about the challenges you had to face, and how you overcame those challenges. There is nothing more original than stories. And nevertheless, many people will connect with you because they will see themselves in your stories. The solutions you found will be used again to deal with the same or similar problems to yours.
Sit down and brainstorm the topics you want to cover with the help of your stories. Don’t make up a story about yourself – always talk only about the real things. You can also use different mediums to tell your stories including plain text articles, images, videos, and more.
#2 Check What Others Are Doing
One of the best ways to get new content marketing ideas is to look at what others are doing… and do it better. If you don’t have one yet, make a list of blogs in your industry that you like and inspect them carefully. Look at such things as:
What kind of content do they post?
How often do they post?
What topics do they cover?
Which topics and posts perform well?
Which posts have the most social media shares?
Are there any comments under the posts?
Did the blog authors reply to these comments?
Once you have the answers to these questions, make a list of topics that you could cover that these blogs have articles on. If the target audience of these blogs is the same as yours, you can be sure that your readers will be interested in these topics.
Your aim is to create posts on these particular topics but make them better than the original posts. Here are several ways you can do this:
Latest Information: Make your post more up-to-date than theirs by including the latest information on the topic such as studies, research, surveys, statistics, and so on.
Article Length: Sometimes the original post will have very little information on the subject, so what you can do is make your article longer.
Detailed Explanations: Explain each point in the post in more detail and add examples to show how certain things play out in practice.
Overall Look: Older posts often lack presentability and don’t have any visuals. Look for good pictures or illustrations or even make an infographic to add to your post.
Another Medium: You can even turn the article into a video if you know that your audience loves videos more than articles.
#3 Listen to Industry Professionals
Industry professionals are the people that you should always value and listen to. If they are telling you that a certain thing is currently trending, go for it. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities that trending topics provide you with.
Experts in your field will also be the ones asking the most burning questions and trying to find solutions to these problems. If you join in on the discussion, you might be the one who uses new techniques first and benefits from all the outcomes.
Find out where your industry professionals gather to discuss different matters. This can be both online and offline. Seek out dedicated forums, Twitter chats, Facebook groups, and anything else you can get access to.
Don’t forget that you will be getting exposure to such places too, so try to present yourself well and show your best sides. By the way, Quora may also be a good place to look in. Find questions that have many replies and join in the conversation.
When it comes to offline gatherings, look for associations you can join or maybe even some local clubs. Attend industry events with speakers that have a good reputation in your field. Be as active as you can possibly be!
#4 Listen to Your Customers
While listening to industry professionals will give you a more introspective point of view on the industry, listening to your customers is still essential. After all, they are the ones you need to satisfy, so answering their questions and solving their problems is a sure way to get content marketing ideas.
The problem with the majority of businesses and their content marketing strategies is that they focus on themselves rather than their customers. They don’t want to answer their target audience’s questions and instead talk about themselves.
So, what should you do? Start noting down what your customers want. What questions are they asking? What problems do they have? Which solutions have they already tried, if any? How can you explain to them what they should do?
If you have an international audience, you may want to answer questions in a different language. To translate your content, use an online translation service like The Word Point because an automatic translator can significantly alter the meaning of your words.
Ask your sales and customer support teams about their interactions with customers and what your clients are usually considered about. Install a live chat on your website to answer questions immediately and organize meet-ups with your clients. The more data you get, the better.
#5 Seek Advice from Industry Stars
Industry stars are somewhat different from professionals. These are people who have achieved outstanding heights and know how to do business well. And nevertheless, they could be called outright celebrities, while professionals are mere experts who don’t necessarily seek fame.
Depending on the industry, these “legends” will vary. For startups, you could confidently say that Elon Musk is the one. For designers, the one and only is Jony Ive. For marketers, it is definitely Seth Godin. Find your own industry stars and follow them.
One way to talk about these celebrities is to retell their stories. Their careers are a prime example of the challenges you will be facing and how you can overcome them. Consequently, some of this advice may be helpful to your readers as well.
In fact, consider interviewing these industry stars. Exclusive content is always in-demand and will help you create buzz around your brand or business simply by being published on your website or blog.
Keep in mind that your aim is to highlight the extraordinary aspect of these public figures. You want to be talking about how they achieved this success, what problems they had, which tools they used to overcome these problems, and so on and so forth.
#6 Reuse Old Ideas
You may have heard this piece of advice before and the reason for this is because this particular tactic is incredibly effective. Reusing old ideas will ensure that you always have some blog topics in hand as a last resort if you can’t come up with anything else. The process is simple:
Look through your old posts and articles and find the ones that performed well.
Make a list of topics that these articles had covered (maybe even note the titles).
Take the core of your old articles and think of how you could improve this information. Maybe you need to add some up-to-date research, or you could simplify some things. Perhaps you could add more visuals.
Create a new article from scratch based on the old article (or take the old text and edit it as a new fresh article) and publish it.
Track how well this new version performs.
Don’t forget to analyze your old articles and think about what made them so good. You have to have at least a vague idea about why they became hits so that you can make your new articles perform well too.
#7 Stay Up-To-Date
Trends change all the time and you’d be a fool to believe that they don’t. You absolutely must stay up-to-date with the latest findings in your industry, the technologies that are being developed, and so on.
The good news is that once something happens, you can be one of the first people to cover this breakthrough. Such news articles can be a great way to generate traffic and attract even more attention to your blog and website.
Try to look for ways you could combine various new findings to propose bold ideas or theories that could potentially develop your industry. Make predictions about the future of different matters and talk to others in your business to see what they think. There are so many directions you could go with this.
#8 Check Other Places
Lastly, there are some additional places you could check that might help you get some content marketing ideas. Here’s a list:
Wikipedia: Check the table of contents on a page dedicated to a certain topic. You might be surprised how helpful it can be.
iTunes: See the top-ranked podcasts to see what people are interested in.
Quora: As mentioned before, Quora is perfect for this kind of research.
Facebook: Join Facebook groups and follow the conversation.
Forums: Find relevant forums and see what people are talking about.
YouTube: Search for relevant keywords and browse through videos to get inspired.
To sum up, make sure that you try all of these techniques so that you know which ones work for you better. You can even combine them for a greater effect! Also, don’t forget to keep a notebook for writing down all of these ideas you come up with along the way.
Dominic Beaulieu is a gaming enthusiast turned tech writer who covers an impressive variety of topics like design, development process, game marketing, and helps developers with spreading the word about their creations. He is a fluent French speaker, who also has mastered Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish. He has an experience in software translation, tech counseling, project management and digital marketing tailored for startups.