Upgrade to Chrome Upgrade to Firefox Upgrade to Internet Explorer Upgrade to Safari
November, 2015

10 tips for generating compelling content ideas

Reaching your audiences has never been easier. However, with 27 million pieces of content shared every day, connecting with your audiences has never been harder. As we covered in our recent e-guide The Great Awareness Heist, conventional content is losing its impact, so to break through there’s a need for smarter content.

It’s on every modern marketer’s mind – the constant pressure to create new content that doesn’t get lost in the noise, that’s in line with the brand message and resonates with your audiences, within their average attention span of 8 seconds. We’ve covered 10 useful tips to help you fill your content calendar with topics that tick all of these boxes.

1. What is your angle?

It’s so easy to get pulled off course when it comes to content creation. The secret is to know where you’re heading, and to be intentional. Your content strategy, based on solid objectives and persona research, should clearly outline the overlap in stuff your audience cares about and stuff you know most about, referred to by content marketing expert Doug Kessler as The Sweet Spot.

2. Ideas are all around us

Keep an eye on blogs and publications that focus on topics relevant to your field. Reading other people’s opinions can often give you a reason to share your own thoughts. What are influencers in your industry saying? Monitor their social media feeds to stay on top of the topics that are trending

3. Split up your content

The more you can break off elements and produce each as a separate piece of content, the better. For example, an article on video animations can be broken down into: the benefits of animations, do’s and don’ts of animations, examples of effective animations, what makes a good animation etc. Why use up all of your ideas in one go when you can spread it out?

4. Customer-first content

As Amazon says: “Start with the customer and work backwards.” Produce stuff that your customers want to hear about, not what you want to say. What questions do they regularly ask? If you’re not in direct contact with your customers, make sure your account and/or sales teams keep you in the loop.

5. Use your team

Share your content strategy with your team so they are aware of the type of content that the company is aiming to produce and the reasons behind it. This way, members of the team will be able to help look out for opportunities to respond to.

6. Social listening

What topics are well received by your audience? Look at their social media profiles to see what they share and are interested in. Remember, people share to reinforce who they are. Also keep a close eye on what your competitors are sharing and any traction it’s getting.

7. Real-time content

Tie your content in with current events. Even if they seem irrelevant, there’s often a way to tie them in. It sounds like a contradiction, but it pays off to prepare for such events ahead of time, by tracking trending topics and being aware of planned events such as elections, popular TV shows and big sporting events. As Twitter’s Head of Content Planning, Stacy Minero said: “It takes a lot of planning to be spontaneous.”

8. Write a review

Review something that’s new in your industry. Depending on your area of expertise, this could for example be a website, new software, a book or an event. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion, it encourages dialogue and helps to position you as a thought leader in the industry.

9. Interview someone

Results show that interviews with peers make for compelling pieces of content, whether they are videos, articles or podcasts. Whilst an interview with a customer or stakeholder could take place at any time, it’s even more effective if it’s tied in with a recent event such as a product launch, award win or form of expansion. Remember to keep the focus on the customer and not to ask questions that directly relate to your brand.

10. Jot it down

Last but not least, always make a note of any idea that comes into your head, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. Aside from a pen and notebook, there are many other formats out there that may work for you, such as Pinterest, Evernote or Trello.

Throughout your ideation process, always keep in mind what makes your content worthwhile. Valuable content is relevant, stands out from the noise, quickly resolves the searcher’s query and is easy to consume on any device through the use of compelling visuals and a structured layout. If your ideas aren’t meeting these criteria, keep thinking. Often, it’s just a case of making a few tweaks to turn these into something that will be remembered by your readers.

Interested in how we can help your business? If you have a project you would like to discuss with us, we would love to hear from you. Give us a call on 0117 966 9189 or drop us a line at hello@workbrands.co.uk.