I’ve been in the content marketing game for over a decade now, and one of the most frequent questions I get asked (on an almost daily basis!) is how to come up with content marketing ideas.
Honestly, I think a huge part of it is constantly being in the mind-set of generating content. Due to my occupation, my brain is wired to constantly be searching out new content opportunities and content ideas – because the more I can come up with on the fly, the less I need to think seriously about later.
But that mind-set takes a long time to develop and isn’t going to come overnight. So, what do you do if you’re new to the concept of content marketing and need help generating some ideas?
Below I’m sharing some of my go-to tips and starting points to help you on your way. I’d love to get some feedback on this list – if you use any of these ideas to create content or generate ideas, shoot me a DM and let me know!
10 Ideas for Generating Content for Your Digital Channels:
FAQs should almost be its own content marketing stream. If your customer service department is constantly being asked the same questions over and over again then develop some content around it. Most people will try and seek out information online before picking up the phone and calling you – so if you develop content around your FAQs then you are killing two birds with one stone:
- New content to post about – YAY!
- You will filter out some of the phone calls that your customer service team deals with by answering the questions.
- <BONUS BENEFIT!> Often, FAQs content ranks high in Google. Your customers have probably tried asking Google before they resorted to asking you, so if you answer the question in a detailed article then chances are the page will attract new users to your site via SEO.
#2 Online Communities
Some of the highest-performing content I have produced have incorporated ideas that came from being part of online communities. I’m a member of a heap of Facebook groups for Brisbane business owners, entrepreneurs and female leaders.
And occasionally someone will ask a really interesting question, present a controversial opinion or request a tutorial or resource. All of these are great opportunities to create content – create an optimised article addressing the question, blog about your views on the controversial topic, or create a white paper or tutorial video. You can then share your content back into those groups with the confidence that people are interested in the topic.
Being a part of these online communities also helps you keep a finger on the pulse as to what the trending topics, issues, ideas and requirements that are relevant to your industry are. These groups are an absolute minefield for content marketing ideas! Here’s an example of a recent piece I wrote based on something I saw in a Facebook group.
#3 Trending Hashtags
Talking about trending topics, jumping on some trending hashtag websites is a great way to find content ideas that are timely. Commentary around current trending topics that are relevant to your brand or industry is a great fast way to get your brand in front of a lot of new eyeballs.
I do have a few tips for this however:
- Add to the conversation, not the noise. You need to find something new and interesting to say – add insight that only someone with your experience and skill set might be able to offer, or provide another point of view. This will encourage reshares and conversation. The more conversation you get, the more reach your content receives.
- Create shareable content. If you only have a couple of minutes then a text-based tweet is better than nothing. But if you have the time, try and make an image or a short video or article about the topic. Chunkier content gets more reshares. Also social media loves memes – whip up a meme in a couple of minutes to accompany your post and you’ll see significantly more engagement and interaction!
- Be fast. This content is really only ideal for when you have time RIGHT NOW to create some content. It is timely, not evergreen content. If you want to invest in evergreen content then you are better off searching your FAQs and online industry-relevant communities for topics, not trending hashtags. Trending hashtags fall as fast as they rise and you only have until the next big piece of breaking news hits to get your content created and live.
#4 Current News & Events
Similar to jumping on trending hashtags, sharing current news updates to your audience – with added comments / commentary – is a great way to add value for your audience and get them to rely on you. Connecting your content to a current or live event is another option – like doing a giveaway based on the score or outcome of a sporting event, or posting similar styles/colours/cuts that your online boutique stocks during a fashion show, or sharing your votes in Triple J’s Hottest 100, or the ARIAs etc.
It needs to be news or events that are relevant to your brand, your industry and your target market. If it doesn’t make sense for your company profiles to be commenting on the Victoria Secret fashion show, or sharing your thoughts on the World Cup, then don’t.
#5 Industry News & Events
Industry news and events takes it one step further and sees you sharing news articles, research papers or webinars that are related to your industry and providing your professional opinion/commentary on them.
If you are strategic about what channels and audiences you share this content to, you can start to establish yourself as an industry thought leader. If you are able to do this, then you will create even more content opportunities – because suddenly people will be coming to you for quotes and comments in include in their own news articles or blogs. It is a great way to generate some free publicity or PR and get your brand / name known within your industry. Check out our recent blog that looks at the overlap between PR and Content Marketing.
Hot tip: Find some topics that are borderline controversial; people won’t want to read about your insights, thoughts or commentary if everything you say is either obvious or agreeable to the articles/content you are commenting on. You need to provide a new viewpoint, or insights that only someone with your level of industry experience / knowledge would know. Something no one else is saying or talking about.
#6 Behind the Scenes & Team Content
Our clients and business owners always seem so surprised when I accurately predict that their most successful content will be content that gives a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their business, introducing the people and personalities that make it what it is.
From celebrating birthdays to sharing pictures of staff dogs to pregnancy (or retirement!) announcements to fun facts to group photos – I promise you that this content will be some of your highest performing content.
Not only are your internal team more likely to jump on and comment and share this type of content (resulting in greater reach and new audience members), but people buy from people. They want to put a face to the voice that they talk to on the phone; they want to know that their delivery man roots for the same footy team as they do; they want to see a photo of their account manager’s new baby – be it human or doggo; and they want to know that you as a brand treat your people well – that you cultivate a welcoming, empowering and enjoyable internal culture for your team.
#7 User Generated Content
Share the kind words that people say about your staff, your products and your brand! If you get sent thank you notes or receive positive online reviews, share them! They are proof that your product or service works, and they add authenticity to your brand.
You may wish to touch base with the customer first and ask them if they are ok for you to share it on your socials, and you might also remove their name or refer to them as “Miss B from Brisbane” to respect their privacy.
I get so many ideas for new content and blog topics from conversations I have with people. With my clients, answering their questions or addressing their misconceptions. With my team talking about our thoughts about a new social media platform, tool or trend. With my business network, talking about commonalities we’ve experienced with our businesses and the learnings or solutions we’ve taken from those experiences.
This really ties in with the ‘content marketing mindset’ that I talked about at the start of this article. Being in the mind frame where you look at all of your work-related conversations as a content opportunity can make a huge difference and help you come up with a lot of extra content marketing ideas.
Hot tip: I have a file on my iPhone that I add content ideas and blog topics to following conversations. I know that if I don’t write them down then and there, I will likely forget them when I sit down two days later to write a new blog. If I have a lot of thoughts/ideas following a meeting, I will actually use a tool called The Otter App to record a transcript of my ideas that can then be emailed to my team to implement. This is a great option if you are driving to and from meetings a lot during the day as you can run the Otter app while you’re driving and it records your audio briefs, transcribes them, and sends them to someone else to turn into content!
In fact, a lot of our clients use this app to send BeKonstructive Marketing their content and blog topic ideas!
Building of off conversations, we have experiences. This is a pretty similar concept – when you have an experience, write a case-study or your learnings down.
Some examples of this:
- I recently had a bad experience with OPSM, and it was the catalyst for urging me to *finally* check out their big online competitor Clearly, who I had been told months ago offer a cheaper product. Following this experience, I wrote about some of my reflections on consumer behaviour, using my experience as a case study to highlight my arguments.
- I recently went to a networking event where I was talked at by a lady who had very different opinions about employing young workers than what I have. I disagreed with almost everything she said. Afterwards I wrote about it, sharing some of my own experiences and learnings from employing young workers. You can check that out here.
- A few years ago I went to a webinar. I disagreed wholeheartedly with a statement made by one of the speakers (who I actually respect as an industry leader and usually agree with everything she says about content marketing, so was surprised to hear her say something that didn’t sit well with me). I wrote an ‘open letter’ to her which I posted on LinkedIn and which at the time was one of the most read pieces of content I’d ever produced. You can read that one here.
You’ll see in my three examples a common thread – in each instance, something I didn’t agree with happened. I took my learnings from each experience and applied it to my industry and my professional skill set to create a piece of content.
This style of content lends itself well to people who are trying to build a personal brand as an industry or thought leader.
#10 Consuming Content
One of the best things you can do to generate content ideas is consume more content! The more social media accounts you follow, the more blog articles you read, the more podcasts you listen to, the more white papers you consume, the more YouTube videos you watch and the more emails you to subscribe to, the more ideas you’ll get for your own social posts, blog articles, podcasts, white papers and EDMs!
Get in Touch:
Alright so there you have it! My top ten tips for generating more content marketing ideas! If you’re still struggling after reading this list then you probably need to get some help from the professionals.
BeKonstructive Marketing is a Brisbane content marketing team who specialise in creating meaningful content for our clients. Content that generates conversation, builds brand awareness and drives audience growth. Get in touch with us today to have a free initial consultation and find out how we can help you up your content marketing game!