Content Marketing can be difficult because of the need to continuously create original ideas and content. To keep generating quality content, you must ensure that your work values originality and high levels of user engagement. This gets even harder with search algorithm changes that transformed the way quality signals are viewed. Technicalities aside, content marketers must keep finding creative ways to deliver a meaningful user experience on websites.
With standards for creating quality content on the rise, brainstorming or ideation is one of the best ways to remain inspired. Reduce the time you spend on looking at the blinking cursor of your blank computer screen by following these four brainstorming tips:
1. Make Use of Keyword Research
Content creation must always start by assessing at the important keywords for your business or client. Select up to five keywords that best describe the information you offer on your website. These are the same search terms that will enable the company or individual to improve their visibility and rank in search engine result pages. When you are stuck in a lackluster content idea, identify the relevant keywords for that idea and identify other variations of these terms. This way, you can find other questions or queries associated with your content. You can then figure out new content ideas and narrow down your focus on new topics. The best tool that will help you with keyword research is Google’s ‘Keyword Planner’. It is an easy-to-use tool for generating new keyword ideas. It can provide you help in finding a new direction for your content.
For example, start with a basic search for your keywords like “family holidays”. Keyword planner will suggest various ad groups and you can encounter potential high volume keyword opportunities. From something generic, you can determine other content specialization like “dog friendly holidays”, “luxury beach holidays”, or “unusual family holidays”. These new keyword ideas can be used as prompts for new topics. They can also introduce you to other potential concepts that might fit your client’s branding. You can also use other keyword research tools like Word Tracker or Keywordini to help you come up with keyword suggestions for a specific industry or sector. These tools assist you by filtering the keyword terms by “question” which will provide you awareness about the kind of queries asked that are related to your keywords.
2. Be inspired by your competitors
The best content strategy not only makes use of relevant keywords but also looks at other businesses that utilize the same content pool. Research how the competitors produce their content. It is very important to identify other companies or individuals who are ranking against you with the same key terms. Studying them might even give you inspiration by glancing at the topics they have already written. You can also learn what type of content performed better than others. List down a number of competitors and try using services like BuzzSumo to discover what are their popular content and who are the influencers that drives their visibility for their audience. The Content Research Tool will crawl all the pages and content on the website and rank each page by the number of social media shares (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) so you don’t have to manually do these on your own. You can also use this content strategy tool to discover trending content in your industry or niche.
If that doesn’t get you brainstorming, you can try checking the backlink profiles of your competition. Checker tools such as Backlink Watch will find out where the company or person is getting their inbound links. This is time-consuming and requires a bit of sleuthing on your end, but by doing so you can find what social media campaigns worked best. You can also learn more about successful content like articles, blogs, or infographics that have performed well.
3. Collect inspiring content pieces
It’s true that social media can cause information overload. Sometimes there are rubbish articles and spam material that are thrown in our faces. But, there are occasional content that provide meaningful value you deem worthy of a like, a share, or even a bookmark. These pieces of content must not be piled over by status messages only to be vaguely recalled as “that blog I read last week about…” Collect online content that made you stop and read. Whether you collect them as URLs or save them as images or screenshots, keep them organized in a file or folder that will be easy to access. Creative teams use software like Mural for online collaboration. Keeping track of these may provide you with inspiration that can be used when you’re running out of new ideas or burning out due to mental exhaustion.
4. Set Your Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is an essential tool that will contribute to the success of your content strategy. A calendar sets clear deadlines and serves as a reminder to constantly release content. Depending on whether you have a long term or short term strategy, a well-planned calendar will highlight important industry dates, events and occasions. The pressure of riding on these trends and being seen and heard will improve your brainstorming session. Given that competitors will likely be planning similar strategies, you can use all these 4 tips together to start with a fresh point-of-view and create unique content. An editorial calendar will help you plan large and small pieces of content and cycle through your client’s or your industry’s key areas of focus.
Generating timely and meaningful content is not always easy. In the same way, it is not easy to get inspired on command. There are content strategies that must be planned weeks or months prior to release in order to implement properly. Keep your mind active and ready for creating valuable content. Following these 4 tips should offer you with a different perspective for content ideation for your content strategy.