Writer’s block—it’s bound to happen sooner or later in your content marketing career. After months of pushing yourself to find new, relevant topics, catchy headlines that will capture your audience’s attention, and approach an article in a way that’s “never been done before”—your brain is finally drawing a blank. Where do you even begin to generate new content ideas when it feels like every angle has been exhausted?
The short answer: get creative. Outside of your own audience insights and performance metrics, there are a number of systems and software to pull from in sparking that next big idea. Here are six unique ways to get you started.
Follow the Trends
Google offers a number of free products for marketers to utilize when developing their own digital strategies. One such tool is Google Trends. Simply scroll through the list of trending searches worldwide or plug in your own keyword. You can easily get a feel for timely, relevant topics to your brand that might spark interest across your current readers and potentially draw in new ones.
Turn to Online Groups
All social networks rely on their community as their core foundation. People gather on these platforms to find common ground and explore interests. One place this is often done is Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Narrow in on a handful of popular groups that appear to be discussing some of the topics your brand regular touches on, and browse through their feedback. Let those discussions power your thought process. Questions and concerns that individuals in the group raise regularly might just steer you in a new direction.
Look at Pages to Watch on Facebook
In your Facebook Insights, scroll to the bottom of your Overview tab and you’ll find a section called Pages to Watch. If you’ve already selected competitor pages to track through the platform, use the metrics to analyze top posts from your competitors. What was the subject material, how did people interact with it, is there a different approach to the topic you feel your brand could do better? All of these are vital, thought-provoking questions that can be used to find gaps in your own content. Click through these pages frequently to get a feel for what industry conversations are happening, and let it fuel your brand’s ability to add your own unique spin.
Poll Your Audience
As marketers, sometimes we spend too much time thinking we know what’s best that we fail to ask the right questions. Instead of basing blog topics and content themes off of intuition, ask your audience what they are curious about. Aside from surveying through email, take a more personable approach with platforms like Twitter and Instagram who make it easy to host polls and track results.
Craft a Response to Popular Articles
If you’ve come across popular articles through research efforts that would be beneficial to replicate for your audience, brainstorm ways you can enhance the piece. For example, if you’ve come across a ‘best practices’ list in relation to your industry, craft a blog that specifically calls out points made in the article and provides your own perspective. In doing so, you’re able to generate new content for your site and benefit its SEO through potential backlinks.
Troll Competitor and Influencer Blogs
And by ‘troll’, we mean ‘browse’. There are a few content intelligence (CI) tools that allow you to search by keyword, competitor, or influencer blogs for the most shared articles across social media (and, some can even predict future engagement). These systems and software easily transform data into actionable knowledge for your brand. Maybe, your competitor’s evergreen article is still receiving a lot of engagement well after its publish date—this could mean it’s a great topic for your brand to refresh. Maybe, there’s a highly-relevant blog recently published by an influencer in your industry that’s expected to receive some great engagement. This could be a positive thing to share on your brand’s social pages! Content intelligence could also alert you to influencers you weren’t aware of that would be great to collaborate with on a new content push.
In an over published content market, creators will continue to face content challenges and find new ways to overcome them. While this is not an exhaustive list of ways to jog your creative brain, it’s a great start. Now, who’s ready to kick that writer’s block to the curb and start utilizing some of these unique tips?
Where else do you turn when stumped on content creation? Let us know in the comments below!