4 Methods for Brainstorming Content Ideas
Writing new content can be difficult. With the popularity of content-sharing, many companies are at a bit of a loss with where to take their content. If you are starting out in your content creation and unsure where to even start, establish a content calendar to stay on track, then use some of these brainstorming methods to push past your initial comfort zone and list better content ideas.
Inspiration from Non-Industry Companies
It might seem like you should plan your content strategy by first looking at competitors and similar companies in your industry, but this is not necessarily the case. After a while, your audience will notice that you are just one more of the same. Instead, stand out by looking at the approach of companies who are nothing like you.
If you are a consultant firm, look at what the retail industry is doing or how the transportation industry approaches your audience successfully. Of course, you will want to look at companies that are addressing the right audience type, but the product or service should be very different from your own. Think of how you can creatively adjust the content they product to work just as well (or better) for you.
Harnessing Current Events
This one is tricky, but when done well, it is very worthwhile; utilize the current events to bolster your company’s traffic and stay in the limelight. The danger here is that you could offend people by trying to use current events to your advantage. Consider the mess created when Epicurious shamelessly tweeted recipes for cranberry scones and cereal “in honor of Boston” right after the Boston Marathon bombing. However, Oreo got over 15,000 retweets during the 2013 infamous Superbowl Power Outage when it took advantage of the moment and quickly posted a “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” ad.
Capitalize on FAQs
Work with your sales team or staff to consider your audience’s most commonly asked questions. How cool would it be to let your sales team simply shoot customers tutorials or articles answering questions in-depth? Cooler still is that your company wrote, branded and published the content you are sending out – improving your sales funnel to help customers interested in your product or service choose your company as valid and trustworthy in the industry. And, moreover, published articles that answer commonly asked questions will likely bring in new leads when your article pops up in the search engine.
Don’t forget that answering the question, especially the difficult questions, can be in-depth and leave room for variations. If, for example, your audience commonly asks how much it costs to repair their inground pool, then you discuss common problems inground pools face, like cracked linings or pump issues. You can explain the various costs associated with service fees and certain solutions without telling the audience to expect to pay $200 when their problem could range from $100-$1,200.
Leave it to the Freelance Writer
As you continue to work on your own angles for content, why not utilize your writer as well? You can request your freelance writer help with marketing your small business by brainstorming ideas for articles. A writer like me can look at your current blog and consider what it might be missing in regards to content. You can then consider my opinions (in the form of topic ideas) and accept or reject them. Accepted topics can be added to your content calendar and ordered from your writer.
Alethea M is a corporate blogging guru and freelance writer for WriterAccess. She loves pulling out interesting facts from article research to impress friends at dinner parties.