Generating Content Ideas: 13 Resources to Overcome Creative Block
LAST UPDATED: TOPIC: Content Marketing
The boons and benefits of content marketing can be incredibly far-reaching. In addition to providing your target market with helpful, informative, interesting and entertaining content, you’ll also benefit from greater exposure and more website traffic.
Constantly coming up with ideas for high quality content without a digital marketing consultant – which serves a purpose for your customer or client, shows up on search engines and gets shared on social media sites – can be quite a challenging task. Never fear, as we’ve included 13 resources below that will help you overcome that creative block!
BuzzSumo is an excellent tool that allows you to specify a content topic and see what articles related to that topic are performing well on the main social media platforms. Type in a specific subject or domain and an extensive dashboard of content and metrics appears. Filter results by the type of content and date, see what articles, infographics and videos are receiving the most social media shares and locate influential people in your field.
Perfect for finding out what news stories are picking up speed and gaining momentum, NewsWhip ranks content by social velocity. Therefore, you can see what articles are spreading fastest via shares, tweets and other social interactions. What’s more, it is possible to filter results based on location and topics for the most pertinent ideas. If you’re struggling to engage and engross your audience, NewsWhip should be a priority. Why? Because it believes that “the answer lies in asking the crowd.”
Quora is a user-generated website where people come to find answers and solutions to common problems by asking numerous questions, which are aggregated into specific topics. Think of it this way: If a customer or client is actively seeking out help and assistance, which concerns a subject your business deals with, then the opportunity to create applicable content is there.
This ‘discovery engine’ is fundamentally meant for individual users, but any brand or business can benefit from the peer-sourcing and social-network ranking system. StumbleUpon uses collaborative filtering, which combines human opinion with machine learning. While this aims to deliver content that relates to your general interests, it can be difficult to unearth specific subjects and topics.
Reddit allows a community of users to submit content such as stories, images and external links for their peers to like, dislike and comment on. While this is often the realm of animal animations, celebrity memes and other viral content, there is an opportunity to come up with ideas too. These can be influenced by the site’s most popular posts or relate to content found within “subreddit” categories.
Even if you’ve typed in search terms relating to your chosen subject numerous times before, there are a number of other ways Google can assist a content creation journey. When it comes to displaying the web’s most popular content, Google Trends is quite exhaustive as you can explore current trends, hot searches and top charts. Meanwhile, Google Alerts is a virtual listening device, which makes sure you’re up to date with the latest news and events that concern your brand or business.
Entering a few words into Google or YouTube and seeing the suggested searches is an incredibly useful and often hilarious feature. But it can also help you generate new and original content concepts. But if this limited number of ideas doesn’t provide enough insight or inspiration, take a look at Übersuggest. This pumped up suggestion tool provides even more recommendations by adding letters and digits onto your original base term. You can also click on each result to receive further suggestions too.
Even though Twitter has developed an algorithm to deliver tailor-made trends to each and every user, you can also view more general content and conversations too. Try to identify industry thought leaders and see what they’re saying. Look at current clientele and find out what issues are particularly pertinent with them. Save searches that contain keywords and hashtags relating to your business and develop content accordingly.
Facebook can generate content suggestions and ideas based on how fans are responding to your updates, photos and videos. However, Facebook Graph Search is much more advantageous and applicable to content creation. It can help any business identify customers and find out what matters to them. As a result, you’ll be able to produce fitting and functional content.
One network that proves images are much more powerful than text-based social media updates is Pinterest, which is growing in popularity all the time. In order to discover content that relates to interests and hobbies, users select relevant subjects, view the image-based results and can click an external link. In the pursuit of content marketing ideas, you too should see what people are looking at by selecting a topic or searching for applicable terms.
The world’s largest professional network might be best suited to B2B companies, but LinkedIn can still provide inspiration and ideas. In fact, the process of tracking down what customers and clients want to hear is much like content marketing itself. Via LinkedIn Groups, you can actively seek out special interest communities and participate in niche discussions. As well as unearthing new concepts and ideas, you’ll also be seen as a useful, authoritative and helpful resource.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Press
We may very well be living in a digital age, but this doesn’t mean to say traditional media and conventional forms of entertainment are no longer valuable. Seek out newspaper articles, magazine features and press clippings that your audience might find interesting. Create content that references these resources or produce something similar. You never know, this subject or topic might not have made its way online yet.
There is every chance that your industry rivals are also participating in content and social media marketing. So, what is stopping you from seeing how a comparable audience is responding to their activity? If a certain piece of content, such as a corporate blog or instructional video, is receiving several interactions and social media shares, try to create a similar piece.
There are many fantastic resources that you as a writer can use to find interesting stories to cover. Don’t be afraid to look at the competition and don’t be afraid to try out new resources such as Quora and BuzzSumo. Over time, you will gather a list of websites which you visit regularly because they consistently create excellent content. When you find a new resource that publishes such content, make sure you bookmark it or take a note. I also recommend web apps such as Pocket for saving stories that you find interesting for a later date.