Content generation can feel like an uphill battle in an online space filled with so much content.
It’s your responsibility to bring new, engaging content to your audience. By offering a fresh perspective, your website stands out from the crowd and spotlights your business as an industry leader.
Unique ideas can come from anywhere. Whether it’s videos or blog posts, take control of your content generation. Here are five resources to spark your imagination today.
1. Read Industry Reports
A content idea doesn’t have to appear out of thin air (or endless original research). You can find what you need by downloading the latest industry report.
Industry reports are usually long, dense documents that no one likes reading. However, they are goldmines of valuable information.
You can transform those insights into an email marketing series to bolster your brand and thought leadership. For instance, explain a key point in the report, add your critical perspective as a business owner, and then send it to your subscribers in multiple emails.
Don’t know where to find in-depth research? Start your search with Think with Google. This website uncovers digital trends with data reports, guides, and infographics.
When using industry reports, it’s important to avoid regurgitating the information to your visitors. Your goal is to engage people with a different viewpoint. Don’t be afraid of controversial stances if your brand truly believes in an ideal.
Take advantage of the resources available to your small business. An industry report could ignite your next great content piece that your readers will love.
2. Ask Your Audience
In the hustle and bustle of work, we often forget the obvious when generating content ideas. Asking your audience is an effective way to add fresh insight to your content. Ross Simmonds, a marketer, strategist, and founder of Hustle & Grind, agrees:
“So many people create content without talking to their actual target audience…But if you’re trying to grow a brand, you need to start with your audience in mind. So pick up the phone, open up the inbox or queue up the DM and get in touch with your audience.”
Explore different methods of approaching your audience for content suggestions. You can send a three-question survey via email to a segmented group of subscribers. Or you can run a simple Facebook poll.
You also may want to incentivize responses with free swag. Showing your appreciation will earn your brand quality feedback.
User-generated content can work well for your content, too. You can do an open call for quotes or photos for a specific topic. People love seeing their names in print or hearing it on a podcast episode.
3. Scan Twitter Hashtags
Twitter serves as the pulse of the latest trends in consumer behavior. From funny threads to serious news, the social platform gives your brand an inside peek at what your customers discuss and their daily activities.
This social network is an oasis of content ideas that can fill your entire calendar. Use specific hashtags to search through recent tweets from your audience. For example, if your online store specializes in beauty products, you might do research with #beautytips or #beautyproducts.
With a brand presence on Twitter, it’s possible to receive ideas directly from your customers. Every week make a conscious effort to read responses from your followers. You also should be replying back to them to express your gratitude.
Broaden your research by checking out your audience’s responses to competitor brands. You’ll get a sense of what excites and bores customers about the competition.
Regularly review your own your Twitter Analytics, too. This social intelligence is enough to build better content for your site. Use it to develop an amazing e-course or vlog.
4. Review Conference Agendas
Every year, conferences get flooded with smart participants and charismatic speakers. If you desire remarkable ideas, the conference agenda holds the key to your content generation woes.
When examining the agenda, the goal isn’t to swipe someone’s entire presentation. Instead, use it as inspiration to initiate adjacent content ideas. Carro Ford, a marketer and author, says:
“Study the agenda and session tracks to get a sense of trending user problems and concerns. Conference keynotes and sessions highlight trending topics in your market that you can cover in your blog. You’ll also get ideas for keywords to use in your writing.”
As a sign of appreciation, you should mention the speaker’s name and include a link to their work, if possible. These little actions provide an avenue to foster future content relationships.
You also could use agendas as a syllabus for your content calendar. You might highlight a specific topic each month or create a quarterly infographic from the title of a talk.
It’s not necessary to start from scratch with your content generation. Take the time to scour through conference agendas to find unconventional topics.
5. Connect with Influencers
The content generation process shouldn’t operate in a silo. To produce your best content, you’ll want to collaborate with experts, thought leaders, and influencers.
Working with others alleviates the ongoing demands of content production. Plus, it also gives your audience an opportunity to hear from other leading voices in your industry.
Be selective when working with influencers. Don’t compromise your brand’s integrity just to earn popularity. You can vet thought leaders by analyzing their past content and asking for professional references.
Moreover, expand your reach to lesser-known individuals. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) can assist you in developing relationships with experts in a variety of fields. It’s a free resource, and you’ll receive quality quotes for your upcoming stories.
Think outside of the box with influencer content. Rather than the same old blog post, get industry leaders to take over your social media accounts for a day. Or ask them to record five three-minute video clips about an interesting topic. These content pieces will be more meaningful to your visitors.
Step up your content game with the help of others. You can do more through collaboration.
Fresh Ideas, New Content
Generating content is an ongoing process. For fresh ideas, read the industry reports or sift through your Twitter timeline. Be creative and craft extraordinary content for your audience.
Need help brainstorming blog topics? Read this post.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.