Do you feel stuck when it comes to developing new content ideas? Is writer’s block preventing you from creating innovative marketing campaigns that generate new leads and improve ROI? Trust me, you’re not alone. Most of us B2B marketers know how hard it is to come up with topics to explore, especially when there is a wide array of content out there and it seems like everything has already been said before. And let’s not forget the self-doubt that many of us experience. Even if you come up with a great idea, you may wonder if it’s as brilliant or meaningful enough to the conversation as you think it is.
What’s a content marketer supposed to do in these types of situations? Sometimes all it takes is finding another way to occupy your time that may lead you to your next great idea. Step away from your desk, go out for a walk or engage in another activity that helps you free your mind and get those creative juices flowing.
However, let’s be honest, coming up with new content is not always easy. If you need help coming up with your next blog post, webinar or video, here are five ways to you can get inspired:
1. Read up on current industry news
The best way to figure out what you can add to the conversation is by reading up on what’s already been said. Try subscribing to emails or feeds on topics related to your interest area in order to keep up-to-date with what your peers or other experts are writing about. For example, if you create content for a health insurance company, subscribe to health journals and set up Google Alerts using keywords related to your product offerings. This will allow you to find news or research that you can write about in order to generate interest from your prospects and current customers.
2. Analyze what’s trending
When brainstorming content ideas, think about what topics your audience wants to know about. What questions are they asking on your forums and community message boards? Talk to your sales and representatives to learn about what topics keep popping up in their conversations with customers.
Another good place to look for trends is Google Analytics, which will help you understand what type of content is performing well on your site and what pain points are driving your customers there. Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a useful tool to research popular terms and phrases related to your subject, and Google Trends can tell you some of the hot topics people are interested in that are relevant to your themes. For example, should you write about content marketing or mobile marketing? Google Trends will enable you to compare the engagement of both over a certain period of time to determine the best route for you.
Checking in with your peers online can also allow you to see what topics are hot and relevant right now. LinkedIn Groups, in particular, can be a great source of inspiration. These groups serve as a place for like-minded professionals to share the type of issues they’re dealing with on a daily basis, contribute relevant articles and resources and get feedback and suggestions.
3. Involve your team for content ideas
Your peers may also be a source of great content ideas. Having a conversation with your teammates to learn more about the projects they are working on will allow you to learn new things that you can leverage in your next blog post, podcast or video. Try using 5-10 minutes of your next staff meeting to get feedback and suggestions on what topics could be interesting to your customers. Also make sure to chat with your sales, engineering or events staff to learn what’s new and trending with customers.
4. Breathe new life into old content
If you’ve already tried many of the suggestions above and are still struggling to come up with fresh content ideas, remember that it’s always an option to rejuvenate and reuse content that’s already been made. For example, any type of content that’s not a blog post — a webinar, podcast, case study, infographic, datasheet, video, and so on — can easily be turned into one. However, keep in mind to not just copy and paste what you’ve already written. Doing so doesn’t add any value (and it can be detrimental to SEO). Instead, try these ideas for refreshing and repurposing old content:
Update an old case study: If you’ve got a case study that’s older than a year, call up your customer and interview them to see what results they’ve achieved since it was published. Get new quotes and update the data that demonstrates results. This will allow you to refresh your old case study and get a new blog post at the same time.
Break up existing content into bits and pieces: If you’ve just recorded a new video or webinar, think about how you can repurpose it for other channels. Break up the audio into different pieces that you can share on your blog, website or social media. You can also use the video or audio transcript to create a blog post, and embed those shorter clips right into the post.
Rewrite an existing blog post: It is probable that a topic that you wrote about in the last year or two is still relevant to your customers even if the copy is outdated. Thinking of how you can refresh a blog post, ebook or infographic with more recent information and facts is always a good place to start populating your content calendar.
5. Roundup posts on a popular topic
Don’t assume that your audience has been keeping up with everything that you’ve written over a certain period of time. It’s always a good idea to do a recap of popular content that might be useful to your reader. You can start by putting together a series of blog posts or webinars relating to a trending topic. Or, you can run a blog post about the top articles of the past month or year.
Aside from being easy to put together, roundup posts can end up being extremely popular on your site. After all, people love lists and useful and convenient resources.