The thing that makes the job of a content marketer a challenge is not only the content itself but coming up with content ideas that drive traffic.
I don't know a content marketer that hasn't ever experienced that sinking feeling of looking at a blank page and realizing they have no idea what to write about.
This happens to the best of us!
If it was only about writing, we'd be all good, right?
But the thing that makes the job of a content marketer a challenge is not only the content itself but coming up with content ideas that drive traffic, hook up that traffic and finally convert them into leads and customers.
It's like you've used up that well of creativity- and it's gone dry!
With so much competition in the digital world, it can be hard to come up with new ways to captivate your audience.
But don't worry! This article compiles a list of 11 surefire ways to come up with content ideas that will allow you to keep the traffic coming.
One of the easiest ways to get inspiration for content ideas is actually by checking out what your competitors are doing.
Taking inspiration from your competitors' posts can help you come up with a content idea list you may never have thought of.
Naturally, you should never steal from your competitors but it's not a crime if you make of list of the same target keywords your competitors are writing about and create content around that.
What you should do is simply create a better piece, add your own voice to it and diverge from their angle.
The point is to see if you can find ways to create something better while staying within the same topic.
Inspecting competition can help you:
Note that the Competitor Benchmark is a feature star on Iconosquare, which allows you to see the social media stats of your competitors to understand their social media marketing strategy.
So, keep in mind that, while you're spying on your competitors, you should also learn from them.
Do not simply copy and paste a list of the same keywords or their social media content but make sure that the content you will create is what your target audience needs.
The screenshot below shows 49k+ keywords that Site A is not ranking for compared to its competitors.
Can you see the potential of spying on your competitors?
Data is a great source of inspiration for content ideas. And while you can easily find all sorts of different types of data to write about, some of the best sources to get inspired from are recent studies or reports released by companies that are relevant to your industry.
These studies and reports can give you a better idea of what your target audience wants and they’re just packed with valuable information you can use in your content.
You should be able to see what's happening in your industry and what your competitors are doing so that you can decide where you fit into that.
This will also give you an idea of what kinds of topics are trending and how to capitalize on that market trend.
Also, when analyzing those data, you can even discover emerging topics in your industry and you can start prepping a content strategy around that trend.
Getting ahead of the curve is a great way to source content ideas, especially when you're in an established industry and there's not much competition.
On the other hand, if there's a lot of competition, it might be harder to come up with something that has a lot of value since your competition might have already done so.
In this case, you might want to check out what people are asking for and see where else you can offer something better.
Another excellent way to get tons of content ideas is to simply ask your followers. After all, they are your audience, although not every one of them will purchase something from you.
But if they follow you, chances are they might need a solution and hence, if you ask, they might suggest some content ideas for your next blog post, social media post, or video content.
Ask your followers to tell you everything they’re struggling with and ask them what they need.
Also, ask them what they would expect from you. If the main struggle your audience is facing is something that would require going beyond your industry, start researching that too!
Asking your audience what kind of content they want can give you a lot of insight as to whether or not you should create more product-led content (if they want more) or more service-led content (if they want that).
Another source of awesome content ideas is to simply follow your favorite brands on Twitter.
They will usually ask their followers what they expect from them and that's a great place to get inspired to create better content.
Asking your followers what they want and what they expect from you is a great way to get some awesome ideas for your next posts and these are pieces of content that usually perform the best.
I can't tell you how many times I have had people leave comments that have inspired blog posts which turned out to be pieces of content that really connected with people.
Sometimes, even if your article is on point and successfully covers essential aspects of a topic, there will always be 1 or 2 persons that will still have some questions.
Do not ignore them!
From these types of comments, you might find that a pain point that you can turn into a great piece of content and who knows, convert the readers with that specific issue that you've just addressed.
So take the time to read through your comments and see what people are saying. I promise, there are gems to be found!
Another smart way to get ideas for new content is to take a look at what is trending in your industry.
Doing this will not help you uncover new content ideas but also target a new pool of targeted leads.
For example, if you’re a blogger, you should check what are the industry-related topics that are trending and create posts around that.
For example, if there is a lot of discussion about a specific industry-related topic on social media, you can create an in-depth blog post and cover it from your own perspective, adding your own twist.
Keep an eye on what people are talking about and see where else you can excel within your industry.
A simple way to do this is by using Google Trends and a tool like Exploding Topics.
While these tools will not provide you with extremely specific content ideas, they will give you an insight into where your industry is going and what your target audience is searching for.
Reviews are probably the most important thing to consider when writing content.
After all, if you're going to create a piece of content for something specific, you should probably check out what people are saying about it.
And a great place to do this is by reading through some product or service reviews.
While doing this, you can get a better idea of what kind of problems your target audience has with a particular product or service and how you can resolve that issue in your content.
Also, these reviews come without the hassle and time they will cause you to wrack your brain when outlining a great idea.
Another way of coming up with content ideas is by utilizing the features inside of Google itself such as:
Google Auto Suggest is a feature that will help you come up with ideas based on your searches.
For example, if you’re looking for something related to social media apps, Google will automatically suggest certain keywords and phrases to match your search query.
This can be a great way of coming up with content ideas since it can be used for all sorts of topics. Also, the suggestions will always be relevant to what you’re searching for.
Google's People Also Ask is a rich snippet feature that will suggest additional questions and answers based on the keyword being searched.
This feature will help you come up with more content ideas.
Both of these features can be a great way of generating content ideas for your blog or social media.
When it comes to generating content ideas for your blog, YouTube channel, podcast show, or even your social media, a keyword tool will do wonders for you.
It takes the guesswork out of finding great content ideas by providing you with a list of keywords that are more popular and easier to rank for than others.
For e.x, a keyword research tool like Ahrefs of Semrush has the power to help you uncover thousands and thousands of keywords in just a few seconds.
From there, you'll be able to sift through their huge list of keywords in order to find the ones you have not covered yet. Also, it will suggest related ones if you haven't come up with enough yet.
Just enter the main keywords relative to your business and let Ahrefs do the rest!
As you already know, YouTube is another huge search engine with a gazillion content creators uploading new content every day.
This makes a great place to discover fresh concepts! You can check out what other people are creating and see if their ideas could help you produce new content ideas for your upcoming articles, social media posts, or video content.
You can check out your competitors' channels to see what they are doing, and which of their videos are getting lots of traction and engagement.
Also, remember to take some time to read the comments on the videos. As I said earlier, the comment section is an excellent source of where you can grab new content ideas.
Take your time to read these comments, not just the ones that are positive but also the negative ones. If people are leaving negative comments, there is a good chance that you can address that issue in a great post or video.
This is a pretty uncommon technique but one that can be very effective when it comes to content idea generation.
Subscribe to your competitors' newsletters and see what type of content they are offering to their subscribers.
I know your inbox gets flooded with tons of emails every day but if you reconsider this and opt-in for a little while, you will be able to generate plenty of new content ideas that can be used for your next batch of written articles, video content, or podcasts.
You only have to subscribe to 3-5 of your competitors' newsletters for a few months, just enough to gather some fresh content ideas.
Again, spy but do not steal.
Last but not least!
Did you know there's so much more you can do with an outdated piece of content?
First, you can optimize it and add new ideas into the content for better SEO rankings.
But since we are talking about new content here, why not take that old blog post and turn it into an infographic or a carousel post for Instagram?
And with Iconosquare, you'll have the option to convert your blog articles into carousel posts.
As you already know, it's always better to diversify your traffic sources. With that said, you can have your main traffic stream which is your blog, and also add 1-2 social media accounts for additional traffic.
Coming up with fresh content ideas is not always easy, especially when you've been in the content marketing game for a few years and have already covered the topic once or twice.
It can be hard to stay on top of your game, especially with so many people competing for those top spots in the SERPs or social media explore pages.
But these 11 tips should help you get started down the road to finding new content ideas again and keep those visitors coming back for more!
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Every week, Emily interviews top brands, renowned influencers, and hidden agencies with one goal in mind: to understand what happens backstage of their social media strategies.Listen to esm2