Entering the world of content marketing is an overwhelming experience. With all the ideas that have been created, you’ll probably feel like there is nothing of value that you can add.
While there may be some truth to that, it’s no reason to walk away. You can still come up with content marketing ideas that will give you material to write about and help you execute your campaigns. As renowned director and screenwriter Stanley Kubrick said, “Everything has already been done. Every story has been told. Every scene has been shot. It’s our job to do it one better.”
With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you come up with awesome content marketing ideas.
1:- Write Ideas As They Come To You
If you don’t want to run out of content marketing ideas, there’s one essential tool you must have in your arsenal: a list of running topics.
Called a swipe file, this tool was originally used in the traditional advertising agency setting by copywriters. However, it is being applied in various industries today.
The idea is simple. You keep this list where you note down every idea you get, whenever you get one. You can go old school, like paper and pad, or just keep a Word Doc or Excel Spreadsheet of your ideas.
Having a swipe file will ensure that you have a go-to resource whenever you can’t come up with something to write about.
2:- Follow blogs that are “doing it right”, and “copy” them.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – Steve Jobs
This may send a negative message, but consider other great work an inspiration. As long as you don’t plagiarize and take credit for work that is not yours, there is nothing wrong with building upon someone else’s framework or thoughts.
Before you even start a blog, it is important that you identify the blogs in your niche that are popular. If they’re well-known, they must be doing something right. Read their most popular posts. Analyze those posts. Figure out why they are credible references and have been shared extensively.
Next, start with one post, and use that post as a foundation for your own. Get ideas from the post, but one-up it. Create your own work by adding or removing elements to improve upon it. But how do you craft better content?
Write a longer and more comprehensive post. If you’re looking at a list of 25 content marketing ideas, create a list of 50 or 101 ideas. If you’re putting together a step-by-step guide, break the steps down into even more manageable and informative bits with images. This will give your audience a better understanding of the topic.
Update content. If you like an article but it’s out-dated, develop a similar resource with new information relevant for today.
3:- Identify what your target audience needs.
Knowing what your audience needs means that, from the get-go, you can write content that they will find useful. And what better way to know what readers want than to ask them directly and get their feedback on your blog and content.
Ask questions via social media or email list. Organize a Twitter chat, Google Hangout or Skype session with particularly avid readers, and get to know them. You can then use this information to create content that answers their needs.
4:- Know the hot topics in your niche.
Sometimes, all you need to do in order to get content marketing ideas is to monitor what’s trending in your niche. Stay updated. Read the news or just scan Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Join groups that are industry-specific. You’ll gain valuable insight and excellent ideas for content marketing. To make the most of your experience, participate in discussions. Answer questions, leave comments, and create questions/posts yourself. This can result in another benefit – authority building, which can easily lead to blog traffic.
5:- Be genuine.
No matter how you spin it, people love a great personality. Open up to your audience and share bits and piece of your personal and professional life. Discuss your blog’s story – how it began, how it has gotten to where it is, what’s going on at the moment, and so on.
Furthermore, you can share significant moments with a simple message like “We’ve reached 100k followers on Facebook!” Make the audience feel that they’re interacting with someone and not something.
6:- Snag interviews with influencers in your industry.
Interviewing an influencer and publishing that interview in your blog is one of the best things that can happen to you. You piggyback on their popularity and authority, impressing your readers.
But it’s not all about piggybacking. Interviewing the experts in your field is more than that. It is being able to ask the right questions and getting the right answers so that you can share valuable information with your readers. These interviews provide knowledge born out of experience, knowledge that you may not find elsewhere.
Now, it will be difficult to snag an interview with blogging/content marketing superstars, but here are some tips to increase your chances of getting noticed and getting a “Yes”.
- Do your homework. Learn all about the influencer – his background, blog, and any tidbits you may find online.
- Interact before you get in touch for an interview. Share their content, leave comments on their blog, and reply to their tweets.
- Prepare your questions. The more direct/specific, the better. Don’t waste their time.
- Perfect your email pitch. Make your subject line as specific as possible, giving the influencer information on the content of the email. Introduce yourself with a few sentences. Ask if he is open to an interview, and provide options – email, chat, and so on.
7:- Report or curate news in your niche.
There will always be some breaking news or hot trending topic in your niche. Once people get wind of it, everyone will be talking about the topic. What you want is to get in on the action early. Otherwise, you’ll just be another blip on the radar. Google Alerts is a simple yet effective way to keep up with the news.
In addition to breaking news, listen for recently released studies or research. Case studies, figures and statistics make for excellent content and can help you build authority.
You will never run out of content marketing ideas if you are open to learning from others, work hard, and lay out a system that ensures that you have a well of information to draw upon every time you need inspiration to write.
Ideas are everywhere. You just need to look and keep them handy. However, don’t let these ideas become stale. You can hoard all the ideas you want, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t execute. Write, write, and write some more. Then share and promote your content. Before you know it, you will be enjoying the fruits of your content marketing efforts.