What to do when you run out of new content ideas
Trying to come up with amazing content ideas on a consistent basis is a challenge for most content marketers. Idea generation ranks right up there with producing engaging content, which is something more than 60% of B2B marketers currently struggle with.
Just throwing out new ideas and hoping they stick isn’t sufficient, either. You have to create content that contributes to your funnel and has a purpose – even if that purpose is just to educate prospects or nurture a lead along in the sales process.
You need to balance both quality and quantity in your content stream, but once you’ve exhausted all your ideas, where do you go from there?
Rather than delaying your content production schedule until another idea pops into your head, check out these 8 content-generating tactics to keep your creativity flowing:
1. Get content ideas from competitors
When you’re running low on fresh content ideas but you need something comprehensive that will blow your followers away, look to your competitors for inspiration.
Don’t copy what they have, but do analyze their most popular content to find out what they produced in the past that was widely embraced by your shared audience. Look for gaps or opportunities to improve on it. This is the Skyscraper technique popularized by Backlinko.
With Ahrefs or BuzzSumo, you can search for the top-performing blogs or articles from your competitors, then repurpose it by adding substantially more content, value, and compelling images. This approach adds a great new topic for your editorial calendar and knocks the socks off both your competitors and your audience.
2. Find content ideas among trending topics
There are content ideas all around you that may not be 100% relevant to your industry, but they’re still relevant to your audience. Some of the most popular social channels provide a constant stream of what’s trending, usually with hashtags included within the post.
Explore trending topics and news and brainstorm ways you might be able to leverage those topics and share them with your audience. Use relevant hashtags to promote your content beyond your usual audience.
3. Source content ideas from your audience
When the fountain of fresh ideas starts drying up, spend more time interacting your audience to find some new inspiration:
- Explore the social media channels where they spend their time
- Join and engage user groups
- Find relevant forums for your business and industry
- Participate in online Q&A communities like Quora and Reddit
Pay attention to the content they’re sharing and the topics they’re talking about.
Search for various industry-related keywords in your social channels and review the public discussions and posts circulating around. This can provide insight into pain points you weren’t aware of or industry issues that you can address in a future posts.
4. Use a topic generation tool
Sometimes, all you need to spark a great piece of content is a good headline. HubSpot and Portent both offer topic generators to help you break the rust off your creative machine. All you need to do is plug in your targeted keywords and the generators will present you with relevant topics.
These generators free to use, and you can cycle through many different topics to find something that ignites your creative spark.
5. Check out the all-time best content topics
Using an app like BuzzSumo, I often search for key phrases my audience uses while searching for content online. BuzzSumo then returns a list of different content types ranked by the volume of social engagement. Rather than focusing on a single competitor’s content, you can view the most popular content for a given topic or keyword across the entire industry.
6. Check with Influencers
Someone always has a new spin on an old topic, and one of the best places to find content like that is from influencers within your industry. Find the people your audience pays attention to and browse through their content.
Monitor their social channels, check out their blogs, and find guest posts that received significant engagement. It’s also a good idea to join the influencer’s email lists to receive updates when new content comes out. Considering how tapped in to an audience most influencers are, joining their subscriber lists can create a constant feed of new ideas for future content.
7. Repurpose past content ideas
Analyze older content that performed well on your blog and find ways to repurpose it. For instance, you can repurpose a popular blog post into something new like a Slideshare presentation or an infographic you can promote over social media.
Break a big idea down into smaller segments and examine it from a new angle. Just because you covered a topic before doesn’t mean you can’t go deeper and cover it again from a unique perspective.
8. Push away from the keyboard
When all else fails, sometimes you just need to walk away and take a break. Remove yourself from the situation and take a breather to overcome your writer’s block. Going outside and taking your mind off work could generate some random topics for you to research once you get back to your office. Just be sure to take jot down any ideas you come up with so they don’t disappear before you make it back to your desk.
Ideally, you want to create a game plan for generating topics and ideas before you completely run out. Start with this list and determine what methods work best for you before you scout around for new content ideas. From there, make a practice to regularly cycle through your tactics to develop new ideas for your editorial calendar.
What are your favorite methods for generating content ideas? Share your tips with me in the comments below:Back