content marketing

Content Marketing: What to Do when You Run out Of Ideas

Content marketing is pretty much my job. I don’t necessarily handle the marketing aspects per se, but I do create the content that marketers put to use for their clients. Needless to say I’ve learned a few things about content marketing services in nearly 15 years in the industry.

The hardest part of my job is continually coming up with good ideas. I am responsible for creating content around a variety of diverse topics. In 15 years I have covered everything from acupuncture and truck tarps to real estate and travel. But I must admit that there are times when the well just runs dry; times when I am out of ideas.

Thankfully, I have come up with a few workable strategies capable of getting me through the dry spells. I still run out of ideas from time to time, but I have tools to get me through.

I Solve a Problem

This first tool is actually the most recent one I started incorporating. I figured it out by reading Google’s helpful content update published in 2022. Here it is – I solve a problem. It sounds easy enough, but problem solving requires understanding the client’s business and its customers.

When I use this tool, I start with some online research as though I am the customer. I do some digging to figure out what kinds of problems the client’s customers normally have. Then I pick a problem and solve it. Search engines love that kind of thing. It works extremely well for marketing purposes.

I Turn to the FAQs

frequently asked questions

Content marketing services are built on the premise of meeting web users where they are. The point is to give them helpful content they can actually use. What is more helpful than accurate answers to their most frequently asked questions?

When the well runs dry, one of my go-to tools is the FAQ section. I will go to the client’s website, or competitor website if the client doesn’t have an FAQ page, and start reading questions and answers. It’s not long before I have several ideas to work with.

The best part of this strategy is that it kills two birds with one stone. It gets me writing again, but it also generates the exact type of content Google wants for its users.

I Tap into What’s Trendy

The third tool, tapping into what’s trendy, is risky. But it is all worthwhile when you nail it. Tapping into what’s trendy doesn’t necessarily mean writing about current trends. But it does mean figuring out what pushes consumers’ emotional buttons. If you know what gets them going, you can generate content around it.

Note that the goal here is not to be offensive. It is not to be rude or argumentative. Rather it is to present ideas that encourage content consumers to get emotionally invested. As my friends at Webtek Digital Marketing put it, engaging emotions with content marketing is like hooking a fish. Get a consumer emotionally invested and he’ll have a hard time getting away.

Check Out Industry News

industry news

If all else fails, I can always take a look at industry news. Whether I am writing about medical cannabis or home security systems, I can always find ideas to cover in the news. I just need to be careful to make sure the content I create isn’t dated. It must be as evergreen as possible.

Sometimes content marketing is hard. Sometimes the well runs dry and you struggle for ideas. But with the right tools, even the worst dry spells can be overcome. I know. It’s my life.

Revisit and Repurpose Old Content

Revisiting and repurposing old content is an efficient way to refresh your content strategy. Look back at your previous work and identify opportunities to give it a new life. For example, a well-performing blog post can be transformed into an engaging video or a detailed infographic.

This not only extends the life of your original content but also allows you to reach a broader audience who may prefer different content formats. Additionally, updating evergreen topics with fresh insights and current data can maintain or even increase their relevance and appeal.

This approach is not just about recycling content; it’s about maximizing the potential of your existing resources to continue delivering value to your audience.

Competitor Analysis

Analyzing the content of your competitors is a strategic move in content creation. By understanding what others in your industry are doing, you can identify gaps in their strategies and explore areas where you can excel.

This may involve covering topics they haven’t touched on or offering a unique perspective on popular subjects. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your content is original and adds distinct value. This means not just replicating what others are doing, but using these insights to enhance and differentiate your own content strategy.

By doing so, you can position your brand as a thought leader and go-to source for fresh, insightful content in your industry.

Guest Posts and Collaborations

collaboration with influencers

Guest posts and collaborations with industry experts or influencers can significantly enrich your content. These partnerships bring fresh perspectives and expertise to your platform, which might not be available in-house.

Additionally, collaborating with well-known personalities or thought leaders can expand your reach to their followers, introducing your brand to a broader audience. This can be particularly effective if the collaborators have a significant following or are respected in your industry.

Their endorsement can lend credibility to your brand and content, helping to build trust with your audience.

Interactive Content

Interactive content, such as quizzes, polls, surveys, and contests, can significantly increase audience engagement. This type of content not only entertains and engages your audience but also allows for greater interaction and participation.

Through interactive content, you can gather valuable data and insights about your audience’s preferences and opinions, which can be incredibly useful for tailoring future content and strategies. Interactive elements also encourage sharing and discussion, increasing the visibility and reach of your content.

By incorporating interactive content into your strategy, you provide a dynamic and engaging experience for your audience, setting your content apart from more traditional, static formats.

Industry Trends and Predictions

Staying abreast of industry trends and predictions is crucial for producing relevant and forward-looking content. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the latest developments, innovations, and future predictions in your industry, you can create content that not only informs but also anticipates the needs and interests of your audience.

Discussing emerging trends or offering insights into the future direction of your industry positions your brand as a knowledgeable and forward-thinking leader. This type of content can spark interest and generate discussion, keeping your audience engaged and looking to you for guidance and information on what’s next in your field.

In a rapidly changing world, content that provides a glimpse into the future is invaluable for staying ahead of the curve.

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