Generating Content Ideas
Content creation is a must-have if you want to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and put your company on the map. However, the thought of generating a steady stream of content for blog posts, social media, newsletters, and more can be overwhelming. Worried your brainstorming reservoir might be running dry? Here are some easy suggestions for coming up with new content ideas.
We’d like to give Harmony a shout-out for submitting this Madak Monday topic when she asked about coming up with email newsletter topics!
SEEK INTERNAL FEEDBACK
If you’re stumped when it comes to email newsletters and other internal content, think about the type of content you yourself are most interested in consuming and ask your coworkers what they would like to read about, too! It’s easy to gloss over a list of birthdays or company milestones, so the more personal you can make these announcements, the better. Include anecdotes and quotes from employees. Some companies even produce internal podcasts to share conversations between all levels of employees.
Want more inspiration? Check out this list of 14 compelling internal communications campaigns, which includes photo competitions, internal newspapers, and other opportunities for colleagues to share their own ideas.
CONNECT WITH CURRENT EVENTS
If shows like Law and Order can run for twenty years on episode ideas “ripped from the headlines”, then so can you. Drawing connections between your products or services and current events is a fantastic way to attract reader attention and clicks. For example, if you’re a local coffee shop, why not write an informative blog post about fair trade?
Subscribe to the mobile apps for major news sources like CNN and NPR—or industry-specific news like Sports Alerts—to receive notifications about breaking news on your phone. You can also use a news aggregator website to collect the day’s headlines in one place, which is easy to skim at the start and end of each day, or set up Google Alerts to track keywords related to your industry niche, such as “fine dining” or “gardening.”
At the same time: don’t fear white space or negative space! White space gives your page room to breathe; if text boxes, images, and graphics are all on top of one another, they’ll seem cluttered and confusing. Think of white space as the frame that tells your viewer’s eyes how to travel around your page and what to focus on.
JUMP ON SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
Going viral is one of the best ways to pull in serious numbers for your company by word of mouth alone. How can you keep an eye on social media trends? Some platforms offer a ready-made “Trending” page of news and hashtags, like Twitter or Instagram’s “Explore” option. Social news sites like Reddit simply collect hot topics of the day on their front page, which you can check without even making an account.
There’s also a wide range of technological resources that can help you stay on top of the fast-moving world of social media, from free options like Google Trends to paid tools like Hootsuite or BuzzSumo. These are all designed to help you explore top-performing trends across multiple social platforms, which you can then turn into content ideas.
CHECK OUT COMPETITORS’ CONTENT
Exploring competitors’ content is a great way to get inspired. You might find a topic you could expand upon or put your own twist on. This is especially helpful for thinking about the type of content you’re putting out and how often you’re posting it. If your top competitor is finding success posting memes every three hours, then the 3,000 word blog posts you upload once a week may fall flat with the same demographic. At the same time, this research can help you identify how to stand out amongst your competitors. Stay tuned for an upcoming Madak Monday about creating your own competitor analysis!
INTERVIEW YOUR CUSTOMERS
Customers love seeing a human element associated with your brand, and it’s even easier to connect with your content if that element includes, well, them. Interviews with customers using your product are a great source of videos, quotes, and other content you can repurpose into blogs and social media posts. For example, if your customers stand out with any heartwarming stories or inspirational achievements (especially if they used your products to help get there), you could write a short profile about them.
Color is also an excellent tool for pulling your page or pages together. For instance, if you need a color for highlighting important text, choose one of the colors that’s already prominent in your main images; if that color can also be found in your logo, even better!
A sense of exclusivity—pulling back the curtain, so to speak—is an excellent way to draw customers to your brand. Do you have any products that lend themselves to blog posts about “The History of X” or “How It’s Made”-type short videos? You might think viewers aren’t very interested in the making of mundane products, but you’d be surprised: videos about the manufacturing of everyday items like soap and bubblegum routinely net millions of views on YouTube.
If you promote services rather than physical products, consider mining the inner workings of your company for content ideas. Employee profiles, bios, and stories, social media posts about volunteer activities, and snapshots of “a day in the life” all help your brand tell a personable story.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Customers don’t want a hard sell; they want to feel like they can really connect with your brand. The content you put out is key to creating the relatable, engaging stories you need to catch customers’ interest and earn their loyalty. If you ever get stuck, just look back on this list of suggestions for some instant inspiration!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.