WordPress states that ‘over 409 million people view more than 21.9 billion blog pages each month’. Each month. With figures like that, it’s easy to see that not having a business blog would be a huge missed opportunity. At J&R, we believe that once the ideas are there, small businesses can easily drive traffic to their blogs and social media posts without an entire marketing department. But what if you can’t think of ideas for your content? Here are our top 7 most effective strategies for generating content marketing ideas.
1. Notes On The Go
First and foremost, always note down any ideas that cross your mind. Sometimes when you are sat at your desk desperately trying to churn out ideas, overthinking can be your worst enemy. Often our best ideas pop up when we are out of the office: relaxing at home, out and about with friends, or even dreamt up whilst we are sleeping. Make notes on an app, with old-fashioned pen and paper or whatever suits you best. Having something to start with rather than a blank page always helps to get the creative juices flowing.
When it comes to ideas, the flow of creative thinking is a habit as well as a skill – and it must be practised. The more you take notes, the more your brain will adapt to the creative process.
- Carrying a travel-size notebook e.g a Moleskin
- Use the notes app on your phone
- Have a notes board up in your home/office
2. What’s Trending?
Writing only about your business will bore your readers, make sure you discuss what’s going on in the zeitgeist (as long as it’s relevant to your industry). Research relevant industry news/trends to write about. You can always relate these topics back to your products or services.
Our top 3 tools for trending topics:
3. Ask Your Colleagues
Remember; you’re not the only one who has to come up with ideas; why not ask a colleague? By approaching a colleague from a different department you’ll gain a new perspective on the content you’re trying to write. You could even consult your friends or family as they could give a unique and fresh perspective.
We’d recommend asking them some of the following questions to get the most out of them:
- What problems do you often come up against when you’re selling to our customers?
- Are there things our customers ask a lot, could we create something in response to that?
- Where do you go for industry news? What often catches your eye?
4. Recycle Older Content
Content marketing is a rapidly growing and changing industry. Recycling or repurposing content is one of the best ways to make your content creation efforts easier. Avoid repeating yourself word-for-word, not only does this look obvious and lazy – it is also an SEO nightmare. Instead, simply take inspiration from your former work. There are many ways to recycle parts of your content without plagiarising yourself.
How to repurpose content:
- Turn a quote from a blog into a tweet
- Revisit a subject you have blogged about in the past
- Reshape images for Instagram and Twitter
- Turn training slides into a long-form walkthrough
- Repost images and videos with a different subject/caption attached
5. Create Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer, primarily based off market research. And your market research doesn’t have to be complex; you could send out a simple questionnaire. By having a specific person in mind when creating content, it will be a lot easier for you to narrow down your work in terms of tone of voice, visuals, relevancy and format.
Need a guiding hand creating your own Buyer Personas? Try HubSpot’s guide to Buyer Personas.
6. Time-specific Content
If you’re stuck on ideas for social media posts (particularly Twitter or Instagram), you can easily tailor your content to days of the week, as well as holiday-themed posts. For example, on a Friday, you could do a post about finishing deadlines and looking forward to the weekend.
This kind of post will show your business or brand to be relatable and personable to your audience, you also have the opportunity to incorporate popular hashtags.
Try using these timeless hashtags to fill up your feed with relevant content:
7. Look at Competitors
Looking at what your competitors are posting doesn’t make you a copycat. In fact, looking at competitors can be an easy way to stay on top of industry trends and relevant topics. Observing your competitors content and seeing what works for them is a great way to gain inspiration for your own feeds. This is a useful strategy to have as your competitors will probably have a similar audience to you – It’s like testing what works, without having to test it yourself!
Things to look for:
- Timelines – When do people engage with their content?
- Relevancy – What garners the biggest reaction from their audience?
- Format – What kind of visuals (video, gifs, boomerangs, images) get the most engagement?
Thanks for reading!
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