“Writer’s block happens to all writers, including content marketing writers.
With 91% of companies today using content marketing to attract leads and engage customers, as content marketers you can’t afford to run out of ideas. True, ideas are literally all around us, but finding that truly exceptional concept that results in more traffic, more leads and conversions, and greater consumer love and loyalty for your brand can be quite challenging – challenging, but not impossible. If you want to come up with fresh, relevant topics all the time, but feel that your well of content ideas has dried up, read on.
Tip 1: Ask yourself: “What do I want my readers to do after reading my content?”
Before you even pick a topic, you’ve got to decide what type of content you’re going to produce. Should you do a blog post? E-book? Infographic? That really depends on the goal(s) you set for each piece of content. Tying up your content marketing goals with overall marketing objectives will make your job easier.
For example, to meet a lead generation goal, you’ll want content that will bring you subscription or free trial signups, like e-books, white papers, free consultation offers, and the like. To meet a brand awareness goal, you could go for blog posts or infographics to get backlinks and lots of referral traffic.
Tip 2: Find out where your readers are in their buyer’s journey.
...and match your content to meet their requirements at each stage. Customers in the Awareness stage would dive into articles that highlight their problem and the solutions offered. Those in the Evaluation stage will look for “ours vs theirs” content that compares various solutions in the market; while those in the Purchase stage will be ripe for your free trial offer.
Tip 3: See what’s trending on Google.
Google Trends - or related searches that can be found at the bottom of the search page - is the golden goose that lays a gazillion ideas for potential content topics. For example, as I was writing this post, I put the search term “content marketing how to generate topics,” and I found the following at the bottom of the page: website content ideas, digital content ideas, content marketing tactics, content marketing goals, and more. It’s a virtual wellspring of ideas that I can write about or use to spin off other topics.
Tip 4: See what your competitors are doing.
OK, the idea is NOT to steal, but to be inspired. Go to your competitor’s website, and look at the blog posts. Say one of the blogs is titled “Brand X Approach to Financial Crime Fighting.” Simply write another blog post on a slight variation of the topic, say, “How Governments Are Fighting Financial Crime,” or “How Financial Crime Impacts Your Pocketbook,” or “Top 10 Technologies to Fight Financial Crime.” The possibilities are endless!
Tip 5: Use buyer persona pain points
If you haven’t yet, create that detailed buyer persona for your business. Among the information it should include are your customers’ primary pain points - the biggest challenges they are trying to overcome that are relevant to your products and services. Once you have this, you can proceed to write content around these points – for example, having a hard time finding the right leads, having problems aligning marketing and sales, having difficulty reaching the right decision maker, etc.
Tip 6: Brainstorm with the team.
Two or more brains are better than one, but to make brainstorming productive, it helps to avoid groupthink by being open to all ideas (these will be filtered later), keeping the group small and diverse (include staff from other teams), establishing parameters without killing the creative spirit, and focusing your brainstorming teammates on ideas that grab interest and inspire action.
Tip 7: Repackage successful content.
Why reinvent the wheel? Serve up your content in different ways to get more bang for your buck. Use an existing article and expand it into an e-book, visualize it with an infographic, leverage it into a blog post or tip sheet, or repurpose it with a video.
Remember that your audience likes to absorb information in various interesting ways, and refreshing already existing content can also help make the content live longer, widen your audience, and reduce the stress of generating new content ideas.
Now, go write!
Yes, it’s a challenge to think up of new, relevant, and GOOD content ideas every day. With these tips, you’ll never again have to ask the question “What should I write about?” and instead write valuable, engaging content that delivers great business results...every time.