Wondering where bloggers and content marketers get all those ideas? I’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s not from a magical vault, though sometimes I wish one existed!
As the content marketing director at VerticalResponse, my team and I write, edit, and produce a plethora of useful content for our customers and prospects. We do it all, from webinars, like our Pro Webinar Series, daily blog posts, infographics, guides and more. Needless to say, it’s a lot of content and while evergreen content never goes out of style, we’re always in pursuit of new ideas and fresh concepts.
We’ve found that the best content tells a story, engages and connects with our intended audience, so we often get our best ideas from everyday experiences like a book, or an interaction in a store or online. Our team has been known to whip out their smartphones and take a picture of something to use in our content later. We also keep a notebook handy at all times to jot down ideas because you never know when inspiration will strike.
When you keep it real and draw on shared experiences, your readers connect to what you’re saying. Here are some of our favorite ways to get ideas:
- Everyday life and experiences (A day in the life…)
- TV shows (How X is like Mad Man)
- Popular culture
- Questions from customers and prospects (Answer your most asked questions in a series of blog posts)
- Quora (A great place to see what questions people are asking about your industry or product)
- Trending topics (Google Trends, Twitter trending topics)
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+
Ours pals at Skadeedle also recently published a list of 17 content ideas to consider that’ll help tell a story:
- A unique customer
- A time when someone on your team saved the day for a customer
- An employee who stands out
- A challenge you or your customers face
- Your biggest obstacle
- Your biggest accomplishment
- A product or service you are known for
- Something hilarious that happened
- How your business helps or supports your community
- A customer success story
- A time when you had to say no to a customer or deal with negative feedback
- An event your business has or attends
- What you’d like to do better or differently
- Something that gets you really excited
- The most embarrassing thing that has happened in your business and how you handled it
- A change big or small that made a difference in your business
- How your business got started
If you’re curious about the type of content that people crave, the Content Marketer’s Essential Guide recommends content that:
- Reminds us of the overlooked or forgotten basics
- Tells a story
- Has unexpected twists
- Makes us laugh or smile
- Reveals secrets
- Confirms or challenges assumptions
- Educates while entertaining
- Gives us a fresh point of view even about common things
How will you use these content marketing ideas to inspire your next piece? What other ideas do you have? Share in the comments.
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