If you work in content marketing, your typical day probably consists of a good amount of website content creation - that is, writing at least one blog post, then working on some copy for eBooks or your company's social media pages. Perhaps you also have a hand in writing the next client case study or upcoming email newsletter.
The reality is, for anyone working in content marketing, you know just how much website content creation and writing forms a part of your daily work routine. But as much as this is true, it's also quite common to experience writer's block, where inspiration and content ideas don't always find you. Writer's block happens to us all at some point or another and while it can be difficult - maybe even frustrating - to not have the words for content come intuitively to you, there are ways to help you come up with content ideas that will entice your audience.
In this blog post, we'll share some great ways for you to come up with content ideas. Whether it's for blog posts, interactive content, podcasts or your overall content strategy, read on for how to come up with ideas for content creation.
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What is content creation?
Creating content is undoubtedly a time consuming task for content marketers today. From providing value to our audience through content to ensuring that the content we create contributes to revenue, content creation really is no small feat. But what does creating content actually entail?
Content creation is the process of coming up with new topics to write about, deciding on what form these new topics will take on, creating a content strategy (which will oftentimes include how you will distribute your content and how to optimise your content with SEO and using the right keywords), and then finally producing your content. Of course, there are smaller steps within this entire process of content creation. There is editing involved, and more likely than not, your content might need to be sent for any edits and approval. There is sourcing visual content such as images, videos or infographics (which are pieces of content in and of itself) to accompany any written content that you think would be relevant.
Given how content can take on a wide range of forms, the process of content creation isn't a simple one, but the benefits for brands and marketers makes it all worth it - such as content marketing generating about 3 times as many leads versus traditional marketing, and that 82% of marketers who create blog posts see positive ROI from their inbound marketing.
So there is great value in content creation, but where do you start with developing blog post ideas or creating interactive content? How can you come up with topic ideas that are relevant to your niche and will have your audience interacting with your content? Let's dive deeper into this.
5 ways to find blog content ideas
Blog content ideas can come from just about anywhere - your content marketing team, your online audience, your customers, new data-driven insights, or even inspiration that comes from within yourself. However, just like any marketer knows, your content needs to have a goal. Does it aim to educate your audience? Is your content piece created for entertainment purposes? Or perhaps the goal for your content piece is to inspire online users. Whatever the goal may be, knowing what it is will help you come up with blog content ideas and in light of that, here are a few ways to help you get started with coming up with blog content ideas:
1. Social media audience
If you're stuck on content creation ideas for your next blog post, why not look to the very people who are currently consuming your content - your audience.
Best believe that when your audience is not engaging with your content, they are engaging with someone else's, and this can be a great way for you to see what your audience is talking about and who they also interact with on social media. From taking a look at their recent posts on Instagram to scrolling through their Twitter timeline, your social media audience is an untapped source of inspiration for blog ideas.
Social media platforms, these days, has also made it a lot easier for you to connect with your audience so that you can get a better sense of what it is that they actually want to see from you in terms of content. Use interactive content features, like a Quiz and Questions stickers on your Instagram Stories, or polls in your LinkedIn and Twitter posts, and ask your followers what topic they would like to see you cover or what content they would like from you - this is a great way to use your social media audience as a source of inspiration for blog content ideas, or other ideas for content.
2. Comments from blogs and social media posts
Take a look at some of the comments you have on your blog posts or social media posts. While overlooking and managing the comments section of your social media accounts is something you should already be doing as part of community management, looking at the comments section of your blogs and social media posts may spark some ideas on what content to create next.
Look back at previous posts where you included a call-to-action, and see how your audience responded. Perhaps other people have left questions in your comments to ask more about the content piece they just read; use these questions as blog post topics to cover (and use SEO tactics to make it keyword friendly and easier for search engines to pick up).
3. Competitor blog posts and websites
If you're struggling to come up with blog content ideas, see what blog posts your competitors have recently written. You can create a list of topics to write about by just looking at a few competitor websites. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should copy your competitor's entire blog post; rather, use the blog titles to give you ideas on what you could potentially write about in your own blog post.
The advantage you have with this method is that you gain a better understanding of how your competitors are approaching blog post topic, and you can use your brand's specific brand voice to distinguish between your blog post and your competitors. Looking at competitor blog posts can also help you see any gaps within their own content and you can fill it in your own content strategy so that you stand out more.
Something else that you could do while looking through your competitor's blog posts and website is to see what other content pieces are available. Is there an FAQ post or section? A link to interactive content like an eBook? A comments section for their blog posts? These can all give you some blog content ideas and topics to cover in your content.
4. Search engine suggestions
A strategy that you should be implementing, not only for gathering blog post ideas but for your overall content marketing strategy is using search engines.
Maybe you don't have anything specific in mind yet, but you do have a general topic that you want to cover in a blog post (like "lead generation", for example). Type in your general topic in the search bar of the search engine and see what suggested topics come up - voila! You've just been given a whole list of blog post ideas to write about.
A bonus with this method of looking for blog post ideas is that you can also look at the bottom of the search engine page to get a list of search suggestions related to topic you typed in the search bar. The added benefit here is that these related search suggestions are SEO-friendly and will be highly relevant to the original topic you had in mind.
5. YouTube videos
As the second largest search engine on the internet, you are bound to find inspiration for your next blog post by watching YouTube videos. Just like a search engine, all you need to do is type in your topic in the search bar and a suggested list of topics will appear, providing you with some relevant blog content ideas that you can incorporate into your strategy.
You'll also notice that once you start watching a few YouTube videos, there are other suggested videos on the sidebar that you can consider as content or blog content ideas, especially if you are looking for ideas that are specific to your own niche. Don't forget to also check the comments of the YouTube videos you come across for more inspiration on content ideas for your next blog, quiz or infographic.
Creating interactive content
We've mentioned interactive content in this blog post briefly, and even shared a few examples of them but let's take a deeper dive.
Without you knowing it, it's very likely that you have either engaged in or created interactive content. Like the Polls and Questions stickers on Instagram Stories or the online quizzes you might have done on websites. In essence, interactive content is when a user engages with a piece of content. Now, engagement here isn't leaving a comment or thumbs up - it's when they have to click on the content to either see more information or make a decision.
Creating interactive content is a great strategy for boosting engagement with your target audience online, while also simultaneously creating a fun experience where your audience feels more involved with your brand's personality. According to Demand Gen Report, 93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating consumers, compared to just 70% for static content, while 77% of respondents from a study conducted by Content Marketing Institute agree that "interactive content can have reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposure."
So if you haven't thought about using interactive content not only to engage your audience but as an idea for content, now is a good time to start.
Ideas for interactive content
Creating infographics is a great way to show complex data in a visually appealing and more understandable manner for your target audience. Not only are infographics easier to consume but they make data look more appealing. If you aren't familiar with creating interactive infographics, check out our blog post on creating infographics for non-designers.
Quizzes are all about asking a user some questions and then providing results to the user based on how that user answered those questions. What makes quizzes so great and highly interactive for audiences is that the results feel unique to the user who answered the questions; there is something personal about them. This is marketing gold because getting personal with your audience is how you keep them engaged and coming back for more with your brand. If you want to learn how you can start creating quizzes, watch this YouTube video.
eBooks are another great way to help establish your brand as a thought leader within a particular industry topic or niche. However, it can be easy to simply create eBooks that are dry and dreadful to consume. To curb this problem, it helps to incorporate interactive content within your eBooks. Think about turning your eBooks into an online flip-through book instead of a downloaded PDF or add an assessment that a reader can complete according to the topic. Check out Folean to start creating interactive eBooks.
Now that you have a little more guidance on how to get some ideas for your next blog post or quiz, it's time to start creating. Remember that content creation is a process and it really is okay when you come across writer's block every once in a while. Bookmark this blog post whenever you need to spark ideas and get your creative juices flowing once more.
Make sure that you have a strategy in place for distributing the content you've created, and then measure the performance of your content by using the right monitoring tools. If you'd like to explore how Meltwater can help you do this, complete the form below to get started.