We’ve all experienced it before.
A rapidly approaching deadline and hours spent time staring at a blank page.
Writer’s block is not uncommon.
Luckily, there are proven ways to keep your creative juices flowing.
In this article, we reached out to our pool of content marketing professionals to learn their best practices and hacks for coming up with new, interesting, and relevant content ideas.
- Involve Employees that Interact With Customers Directly
- Speak to Your Clients
- Keyword Research
- Review the SERPs
- Look at the People Also Ask questions
- Stay on Top of Trends
- Check Out Other Industries
- Conduct a Competitor Analysis
- Repurpose Your Content
- Listen to Sales Calls and Emails
- Research FAQs Online
1. Involve Employees that Interact With Customers Directly
“Too many companies create content from just keyword research alone,” says Hans van Gent of User Growth.
“This is where most agencies also start, as this is the easiest place to start getting ideas on what to rank. However, the killer way to get content ideas is by talking to the people in your organization or your client’s organization that talk to customers—the sales, success, and support teams.”
Hans continues, “By doing so, you will unload a wealth of information about the exact struggles the customers of your business have every day in the exact words they use to describe these problems”.
“This should be the basis to start creating content. You automatically show up when customers are searching for you. Use those words and phrases to do keyword research, to find the quick wins, and use those words and phrases on other places online, for example, amazon book listings or Udemy (or Skillshare or similar platforms) to see what kind of content is already created around those topics and what is selling well (in high-demand)”.
“And start creating content around the topics your customers need and are actively looking for.”
Justin Mota from Mota Media agrees, “Tap into the knowledge of your customer service team. They’re on the front lines, interacting with customers every day. They’ll likely have a wealth of insights into common issues, FAQs, and customer needs.”
2. Speak to Your Clients
At Authors on a Mission, Vikrant Shaurya says their interactions with their authors are a treasure trove of ideas.
“Every author has a unique story to tell and a different message to share. As they speak, they inspire me with their passion, their drive, and their vision. Each conversation is an opportunity for me to gain insights into their experiences and their fields, which can then serve as a catalyst for new content.”
Haley Slade of Slade Copy House agrees, “When it comes to generating new content ideas, one of the most fun and effective approaches is to involve your audience. They hold a wealth of insights and creativity.”
“First, get to know your audience like BFFs. Dive deep into their needs, interests, and pain points. Talk to them, survey them, and pay attention to their conversations on social media. You’ll discover golden nuggets of inspiration.”
Slade continues, “Engage your audience directly and ask for their input. Pose questions, run polls, and create interactive quizzes. Their opinions and preferences will guide you toward content ideas that truly resonate with them. Plus, it’ll strengthen your bond with them. Encourage them to contribute their own content, like testimonials or success stories. Their unique perspectives will bring freshness and authenticity to your content”.
3. Keyword Research
Mota Media’s Justin Mota believes keyword research is the magical crystal ball of content marketing.
“What are people searching for in your industry? What questions are they typing into Google? A solid keyword tool can give you a peek into the minds of your audience and inspire a wealth of content ideas. We use both Semrush and Ahrefs to identify keywords that have information intent, have high search traffic, have a low-to-mid keyword difficulty, and are relevant to our target audience.”
4. Review the SERPs
AJ Silberman-Moffitt from Tandem.Buzz says, “The Search engine results pages, or SERPs, can help you find what other people are writing about regarding the same subject. To find out what this is, do a few internet searches on multiple browsers. Though Google might be the most popular, you might find other responses on Bing, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and others. Using the SERPs is a quick and easy way to get content ideas.”
5. Look at the People Also Ask questions
“PAA, short for People Also Ask, are the questions regarding the topic that many people are asking and looking up. Sometimes these questions can be items you never thought of before”.
“You can incorporate the same questions into your content. If your content is a blog or webpage online, you have a better chance of ranking better and being seen by more searchers,” says AJ Silberman-Moffitt.
6. Stay on Top of Trends
“I am an active member of various industry forums, and I read extensively about developments in the field,” says Authors on a Mission’s Vikrant Shaurya.
“My association with the Forbes Business Council also provides me with valuable insights that help in ideating new content”.
To create relevant content, Cody Bollerman likes to use SEMRush’s ‘content marketing’ tool.
“I type a broad keyword into the topic research tab. You can also sort by ‘trending subtopics’ which is ideal to ensure you are producing content that is still relevant”.
Google Trends is another great tool Cody uses to find what users are searching for and trending topics.
7. Check Out Other Industries
“Sometimes, inspiration can come from unexpected places,” says Haley Slade of Slade Copy House.
“Take a peek at other industries and see how their creative approaches can inspire your own content.”
8. Conduct a Competitor Analysis
“You know what they say, keep your friends close and your competitors closer,” says Justin Mota.
“Check out what your competitors are doing. It gives you a sense of what’s working in your industry, what trends are hot, and where there might be gaps you can fill.”
9. Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing your content is a smart way to breathe new life into your content asset.
“Don’t feel like you always need to reinvent the wheel,” continues Mota.
“Take a look at your most popular content. Can a blog post become an infographic? Could a webinar be broken down into a series of shorter videos? Content repurposing is an effective way to come up with post ideas”.
10. Listen to Sales Calls and Emails
Solomon Thimothy from Clickx is an advocate for listening to sales calls and reading sales emails.
“By paying attention to the questions that prospects are asking, marketers can identify the most pressing pain points and challenges that their target audience is facing. This information can then be used to create content that is relevant, informative, and addresses the needs of the target audience”.
11. Research FAQs Online
BBSA’s Anna Stella recommends that you, “research frequently asked questions on popular platforms as they can offer fresh perspectives that your audience can connect to or relate with.”
With these strategies for sourcing new content ideas, you have all you need to meet your audience’s insatiable demand for great content.
Remember, it’s normal to experience writer’s block. To unstuck your mind, bookmark this blog post as your go-to source for those days when it feels like your well of inspiration has run dry.