Following some of the basic concepts of copywriting can help you put out effective content, but in order to succeed, topics matter. Having topics or keywords that have been done over and over again can lead to diminishing returns, so you want to have a method in place to help coming up with new and fresh topics. We’ve reached out to experts across a variety of different niches to determine some off-the-beaten-road methods of finding Content Marketing Inspiration for your next piece.
1. Name Generation
My favorite strategy has been to research keywords where I could use my name generator tool as a content anchor. Creating any type of tool or calculator has a higher barrier to entry than traditional content, and it’s possible to create a tool that fits a number of different keywords.
As an example, I created separate landing pages for keywords like YouTube Name Generator, Fitness Name Generator, and so on. They utilize the same base tool that is on my home page, but the page content is entirely focused on finding a YouTube channel name, a gym name, and so on.
2. Using Comment Sections
When in need of fresh blog topics, one tactic that I use is to read the comment sections. Many websites have those. And they are a trove of new topics. Often in comments, you can find issues that were not properly addressed in the articles or were completely disregarded. Instead of trying to come up with a new topic, simply look at what people are talking about.
Finally, if you have a small niche business, coming up with fresh, new content ideas could be challenging. In such cases, I suggest reaching out to websites and blogs and outright ask them for topic suggestions. Getting another perspective is always useful. And believe me, site owners and editors do know what content they want to see.
Marketing and PR Manager
3. Multiple Teams
Our content team takes a bit of a unique approach when it comes to content ideation, one that helps us create twice as many content concepts in half the time. We have both on-site (primarily blog) and off-site (primarily guest articles and blogs) content creators working at Looka. These two teams together create content individually for their outlets, but will also pool their content ideas and experiences.
That way, our on-site content team can borrow ideas from what we’ve written about off-site and our off-site content team can borrow ideas from what we’ve written on-site. While the ideas are usually tailored for each outlet, the two can share topics and research to speed up both of their processes. Moreover, by writing about similar topics on-site and off-site, we get an added boost of authority on those topics for Looka.
4. Offline Inspiration
Aside from staying on top of the news, perusing social media and other typical methods for finding content ideas, my team also looks to the offline world for inspiration. Whether it is visiting an experiential pop-up event in New York or stopping by to view a retailer’s new window display, we like to look at impactful and engaging real-world events or experiences in the physical world to then gain ideas to translate into online content for our various clients.
Executive Vice President
5. Related Terms
In addition to using standard keyword researching tools, I like to see what related terms people are looking at. I do this by searching for the term I’m interested in. I then look at some of the People also ask dropdown queries on Google as well as the Searches related to terms at the bottom of the page.
In addition to this I click on some of the high ranking sites and skim through their content to see what terms or phrases they are using. If I see a new term or idea I plug that term into my keyword research tool such as the Google Ads Keyword Planner. I keep doing this until I run out of new keyword ideas.
Since Utah.com is a tourism site I also have also looked at pages on TripAdvisor to discover what things there are to do or see around a certain area. When I find a new location or activity I put that into my keyword tool.
6. Niche Memes
One off-beat resource I use as inspiration for blog and video topics is looking at memes on niche-relevant meme Instagram accounts. I find memes usually hit the nerve of what makes a topic tick and can be a great resource to source great content ideas. Instagram is one place you can easily find a bundle of memes in any niche and use it source new content marketing inspiration and ideas.
7. Assets From The Competition
We hired an animation studio to put together an explainer video about our company, set to be completed in early 2020. We have a revolutionary value proposition that no one else is offering in our market, but it’s relatively technical, so we decided the best method of engaging consumers and reporters is an animated explainer video. This was a substantial investment and we hope that it not only becomes a valuable asset to send to customers and influencers, but also goes viral on its own.
For inspiration we looked to the most successful company explainer videos like this one by Slack which garnered over 1,000,000 organic views. The idea is that this video will be a long-term asset for our brand, which can be leveraged for disparate uses like answering a customer’s inquiry or even raising future investment rounds.
8. User Reviews
Our business model gives us access to a huge resource of user generated reviews that are just filled with content ideas. It’s an amazing resource that allows us to come with content ideas that are on user’s minds.
Whenever we see a pattern start to emerge in the reviews we gather, we know it’s time to look at the topic a little more closely and produce some content around it.
These reviews also use keywords and phrases they’re using to help us take advantage of some pretty great organic SEO in our content.
Founder and CEO
9. Mining Customer Interest
To create content that really engages users and helps you rank higher in the search engines, you should take into account what really interests your audience. Research it, ask the customer care team, what are the most common questions your clients ask. Dig into forums and groups on social media that your potential audience use. Try to find their questions, their doubts and create content that answers them best!
Moreover, to create truly interesting and seasonal content, use Google Trends! Thanks to it, you can predict what content may arouse the interest of your users in a given period. Therefore, you can prepare, for example, 2-3 months ahead, optimized content and ensure its indexation and visibility of articles in organic results. That way you are able to meet users’ needs and rank higher in search engines.
I think weekly brainstorming sessions (for each content category) combined with cross-reference with a high level communication and events calendar is critical in aligning your blog post messaging with business objectives and engagements. From there, several topics should naturally emerge. When I am feeling extremely uninspired, sometimes I check out current events and see if there is something I can pick up on and attach to a relevant business topic- as this will boost pageviews with outbound links and hot keywords, with a higher ranking on Google Search.
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
11. Creating A Content Calendar
I like to have a 12-month calendar that incorporates all forthcoming cultural, business, sporting, and political events, which means that if there’s some big holiday or season like Christmas then it’s easy to work ahead to see the content opportunities. Making sure to look across a range of different cultures and countries also means that you’ve got a wider pool to choose from. For e-commerce businesses, for example, looking at dates like Singles Day in China can be an important component they miss.
When I start researching topics and ideas for content, I do a basic Google search or browse different publications for topics. I then sit down and start to freewrite. Freewriting, popularized by Mark Levy in his book Accidental Genius, iswhere you set a timer and start writing without thinking or editing until the timer goes off.
The idea is to get your mind into a flow state and to let creative thoughts arise. You can’t be creative when you’re constantly critiquing or editing yourself and your thoughts. Freewriting creates a way to get your unhelpful thoughts out of the way, so that unencumbered creative ideas come out.
I set a timer for 10-20 minutes and just jot down anything that appears in my head. Eventually solid ideas pour through and I can then edit and choose the topics I want to work on.
13. Google Search Console Impression Data
When we publish a piece of content, we look in Google Search Console to find high-impression keywords that are not the core topic of that article. These keywords are related to something we already know well, and we know that they have high search volume.