As a content marketing agency, we are used to generating a large number of content ideas each month, to match the content strategy of our clients across many different sectors of interest. Here are some of the techniques we use to constantly come up with new ideas for content creation.
1. Social media
Social media is an excellent source of content ideas. Start by looking at your feed and seeing what content is popular within your field. For deeper insight, look at what’s trending – tools like Topsy can help identify the most popular topics.
Another way to generate new content creation ideas is to look at which pieces have been popular on social media for other in your sector – search Buzzsumo or Content Explorer by URL or topic to see the most shared articles.
2. Expand on other blogs
Other blogs are can be excellent for triggering ideas – frequently analyse other blogs in your industry as well as competitors, to see what works for them. Never directly copy blogs from others, but instead use their arguments to spark new angles or find ways to improve or expand upon their most popular blogs.
You will also find that content from outside your industry can also be a valuable source of ideas. Look at the general themes of content that has worked well – for example, those with a high number social media shares or links – and investigate whether you could produce something with a similar structure or central idea.
3. Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions are one of the best ways to generate content ideas – if a question is frequently asked by your customers or target audience, you know that it is likely to get a good response, and that people are likely to be typing the question into Google. Identify the most commonly asked questions in your business by asking customer-facing staff for their most popular queries, or by polling your customers directly.
Another source of popular questions is the internet’s many discussion forums – look at relevant questions being asked on Quora, LinkedIn or Facebook groups, and create useful content that explains the answer.
4. Search terms
Search terms give you vital clues to the sort of content people are looking for. Your own top search terms on site are a useful resource, as are trending searches on Google.
Also try keyword research tools such as Google Adwords Planner or Keywordtool.io to see popular search terms around your topic. Don’t forget to look at longtail keyword search queries as well as short key phrases.
5. Combine two topics for a new take
A content creation method that requires careful planning, but can generate a lot of popularity for resulting blog pieces, is to combine two topics for an entirely new angle on a subject. This can work well, but make sure there is some kind of natural synergy between the themes you choose and don’t stray too far from your business’s area of expertise.
6. Keep notes
Use a tool like Evernote or Trello to store ideas when they come to you. Every time you see an interesting article or think of a theme to expand into a blog or article, save it to help you form into content ideas later, or feed on to your content creation team.
Ensure it fits with your content strategy
These techniques will help you generate a large number of ideas, but it is likely not all the ideas will be suitable for your business’ content strategy. Once you have a sizeable list of options for content creation, refer back to your strategic goals, and pick the topics that are most likely to help you achieve your objectives. Remember that the method for achieving your goals is to always produce relevant, interesting content that is organically keyword-rich and answers your customers’ needs.