How To Generate Content Ideas That Resonate

Written by Lucy Jones

Dec 12 2016

how to generate content ideas

Make sure you never run out of content ideas with these ten tips.

How To Generate Content Ideas That Resonate

Creating great content can be a difficult process. Even if you’re a great writer and an expert in your subject niche, there will be occasions when you run out of ideas and need inspiration.

 

Therefore, it’s important to have a process in place to help you generate a bank of quality, persona-relevant content ideas. This way, not only will you have a consistent list of fresh ideas, but will have a structure in place to create content that always resonates with your audience.

Where do great content ideas come from?

How do you know what content will perform well? How do you know what formats and topics are best? When it comes to developing great content ideas, there are a number of sources you can turn to for inspiration. Often ideas will pop into your head when least expected, sparked by something you’ve seen or read.

But when planning content for a marketing campaign, it helps to have a reliable strategy in place to generate ideas. From exploring your buyer’s challenges to reviewing successful competitor content, here are ten tips to keep content ideas flowing:

10 Tips To Generate Content Ideas

1. Start with your ideal buyer’s challenges

When writing content to support a marketing campaign, it’s important to remember why you need it; i.e. to educate, convert and nurture your leads. For content to resonate, it should always work to help your target reader. So generate ideas by focussing in on your buyer’s challenges. Listen to feedback from your clients, and use this information as a foundation for helpful content.

2. See what people are searching for

If you know the topics or keywords you’d like to base your content around - take a look at what other people are already searching for. For example, if you search for your topic and look at the autocomplete suggestions, you can see expanded queries that may resonate:

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You can also use social measurement tools like Buzzsumo to see which existing content and topics are receiving the best reach and traction.

3. Use forums to find topics of interest

A good way to discover what questions are being asked in relation to your key terms, is via forums such as Quora.  For example, if we searched the term “inbound marketing” in Quora, we’d see a list of related questions that people have, such as “How does inbound marketing work with LinkedIn?” - and could then write a post to answer it.

4. Keep abreast of industry trends

Not sure what to create? If you can keep an eye on trends in your industry, you’ll be one step ahead of current topics - and can develop content (from your own perspective) around them. Considering fresh angles and new perspectives is always helpful when plotting ideas.

5. Keep an eye on competitor content

A little competition is a good thing! As your immediate competitors will have similar goals to you, they’re likely creating related content. Of course, it’s important not to plagiarise here. However, it’s wise to use competitor content as a director. See what others are doing well, use it as a source of inspiration and then create something better/ fill content gaps or angles that they’ve missed.

6. Read widely

Content writers who read regularly and widely tend to find it easier both to generate ideas, and write. So keep yourself on topic and sharpen your skills by regularly reading a range of industry (and non-industry) related articles, watching videos, monitoring social media, and experimenting with new content channels. Ideas will emerge.

7. Join the same discussion groups, forums and social media channels as your buyers

Being active in the spaces that your buyers use, such as persona relevant LinkedIn groups, is invaluable. Not only can you work on your thought leader profile and social selling activity through engaging; you can use the group’s comments and feedback as a source of inspiration. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and engage - remember, you’re there to help, listen and advise!

8. Use your data

What terms are your site visitors using to find you? What questions do your sales reps hear every day? What challenges do new clients list when you first speak with them? Keep track of these queries and use them to return valuable resolutions to your audience.

9. Brainstorm with others in your company

When generating content ideas, it may help to discuss ideas with your team to bring new perspectives to the table. When holding brainstorming sessions aim to keep discussions short (to around 10-15 minutes) so you stay focussed.

10. Repurpose already successful content

If you’ve created a great piece of content, and it’s performing well, don’t forget about it! Clearly your message is resonating, so consider how you can repurpose, republishing or recycle that content to extend value and reach.

Setting A Process

There are many ways to generate content ideas, but if you don’t have a process in place to collate and develop ideas, it’s easy to forget or miss them. A good idea generation process may follow these steps:

  • Set aside regular blocks of time to consider new content ideas/ run through the 10 methods above.
  • Create a content idea bank - a list or spreadsheet of topics that you can refer to; consider this when planning new content hubs and campaigns, strategies and posts.
  • Invite your team to contribute to your content ideas document.
  • Be sure to sit down with your sales team to find out what content they need.
  • Remember that idea generation is a continuous process!

 

Keeping a bank of ideas is essential. But before you turn thoughts into reality, remember to check that each idea resonates with your persona pain points, can be mapped back to a wider topic hub, and aligns with the right stage of the buyer’s journey.

B2B Marketing Zone