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7 strategies to develop content ideas

Without quality content, even the best communication strategies can go unnoticed. So how can content marketing agencies and representatives ensure they're creating features that demand to be seen and shared?

First, it's worth noting superior content cannot exist without first being based off a solid idea. Yet, with marketers being required to plan blogs and features day after day, those individuals may reach a point where they feel uninspired or low on new ideas.

Once content creators realize the key to continuous topic generation lies in the realization that ideas surround them – even in the seemingly mundane moments – they are often able to spring forward with new conviction. As detailed below, great inbound marketing ideas are often rooted in demand. As brand ambassadors look to define and meet the needs and desires of their customers, they may find an increase in engagement on their posts and improved success in their integrated marketing campaigns overall.

While there are many strategies content creators can employ when their idea well has run dry, these are seven of the most common:

1. Look at analytics
Reports from Google Analytics and other website tracking tools can be the ideal resource for content producers looking to expand upon their ideas (1). These records break down popular keywords, enabling producers to craft their content based on what visitors search for on their site. Additionally, companies can pore over email marketing reports to see which campaigns and topics resonated most with subscribers.

2. Think now
Marketers should keep in mind they don't need to focus solely on evergreen features. A simple search on Google news, peruse through trending topics on Twitter or glimpse at other industry blogs could present a variety of breaking news opportunities.

3. Play off pop culture
Similarly, producers can keep with the timeliness element by deriving ideas from recent movie, music or product releases. Writers and media mavens can often easily take unique angles or incorporate pop culture references into their features.

4. Read reviews
Creators will be better able to position themselves ahead of the curve after reading what people are writing online about their company and its competitors. Upon doing so, they can use the topics reviewers touched upon to craft relevant content that will establish credibility and set their company apart within the industry.

5. Ask the audience
When struggling to come up with new topics to features, marketers can reach outside of themselves and their companies and turn to their audience members. Asking a question as simple as "What would you like to learn more about or see on our blog next?" on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform could yield a number of suggestions. Who better to know what to write for an audience than the audience itself?

6. Rely on others
Not only do guest blogs strengthen relationships between vendors, they can also be a great resource for diverse inbound marketing – especially when strategists are running low on their own ideas (2). On a similar note, content producers can create an excellent source of reading material simply by choosing a topic, linking to their favorite relevant posts from across the Internet and mentioning a few discussion points.

7. Get personal
Instead of focusing on topics that run already abound in the industry, marketers can tell stories that are personal to the company – whether that comes in the form of offering advice or simply elaborating on business successes and failure. While it may seem harmful to discuss failures, when done properly it can actually create a sense of transparency and honesty for audience members.

Similarly, businesses can talk about new features such as responsive web design or new mobile marketing features and the process behind how these offerings came to be.

(1). 9 Tools to Help You Come Up With Content Ideas
(2). 21 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don't Have a Clue

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.