It’s no surprise that if you want to generate more leads, convert more prospects and keep your customers engaged, content marketing must be your focus. In fact, according to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers say that creating engaging content will be their top priority this year.
When you live and breathe your business day in and day out however, it can be challenging to think of new content ideas that will get results. Yet with a few simple strategies, you can generate a ton of content in just a few minutes. Here’s how.
If you’re a type-A perfectionist, creative and passionate about your business like I am, your mind is probably already flooded with ideas at any given moment. Some of your best ideas probably pop into your head while you’re driving, in the shower or doing something other than sitting at your computer to update your editorial calendar.
Instead of waiting for the next big idea to come along when you really need it, step away from your computer, pull out a legal pad and start writing every single idea that comes to mind. Don’t edit or cross anything out.
Although not every story idea will make the cut, you’ll be surprised at how many amazing ideas you’ll come up with in just a few minutes.
When I conduct interviews, take client calls or meet with colleagues, my mind races a mile a minute with new ideas for story pitches and ideas for their businesses as well as mine. Coffee has a lot to do with it, but talking just gets the ideas flowing.
The next time you need to generate new ideas or you’re feeling stuck, meet a colleague for coffee, take your team out for lunch or post on a LinkedIn group to generate ideas fast.
Read, read, read
One of the best ways to brainstorm new content ideas is to read what your competitors are publishing and sharing on social media. Search Amazon for upcoming book releases and read industry trades. Other types of content that are unrelated to your industry or those you read for pleasure count too and may even give you the fresh perspective your content needs.
Repurpose and refresh
Just because you wrote a blog post on a story three months ago doesn’t mean it can’t make a comeback. Look at your content inventory and identify stories that can be refreshed with new data or made timely with new industry reports.
Spin 1 idea into 3
After your have a list of 20 or more ideas, read each one over to see if you can find a different angle. If it’s a how-to story, you might be able to turn it into “10 ways to…” or “10 mistakes…” You might even find that you have enough content to write a 3-part blog series.
In order to consistently generate content that’s targeted for your customers, you must understand their goals, pain points and objections to what you offer. When you publish a new piece of content, read and respond to comments and track your site and social media analytics to find out what they really need from you.
Find the missing link
When you read content that your competitors create, think about what they might have missed or look for ideas that weren’t fully fleshed out.