How to get Inspired and Create a Killer Content Marketing Plan
Do you ever find that when you come to plan your content for the month, you hit a bit of a brick wall? You sit down with a cup of coffee and a notepad, ready to plan but nothing seems to happen?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Creating great content is no mean feat and it’s something that takes more time and consideration than many believe. Ad hoc posting now and then is all well and good but it won’t draw in the engaged audience you’re looking for.
So, how do you get inspired and create a killer content marketing plan? Here’s some top tips…
Head to Quora
Quora can prove to be an absolute gold mine when it comes to content inspiration. Search for questions and pain points relating to your niche. Take a look at popular topics that are being discussed around your industry and have a think how you can solve them. Could you write a blog or create an infographic to help?
Read a book
It’s quite amazing how much books can inform content strategies. Often when you’re not actively looking, ideas will jump from the pages. You don’t have to read books directly relating to content marketing – they could be on anything, fiction or nonfiction.
Sometimes, this offers a mind break and allows your brain to think more freely. You’ll naturally ponder over topics and ideas that you hadn’t thought of before, making the process far easier when you come to plan your content.
It’s very easy to get lost in the depths of Pinterest. Millions of pins and boards offer a wealth of inspiration ready to be had. Browse topics related to your industry and you’ll no doubt find links to blogs, infographics, videos – you name it. Take a look at what’s getting good engagement and think about how you can create your own spin on it.
Ask your audience
They are, after all the people who you are creating the content for. Plus, asking your audience what type of content they’d like to see will show them that you genuinely care about what they think. Use tools like the poll feature in Instagram Stories to ask followers questions about content and let them vote. You could also engage in a Q&A with them to see what topic comes up most – chances are this would make for a great blog post.
Take time out to look at what’s trending. This will help to keep your content relevant and engaging. Use tools like Google Trends and Buzzsumo to find topical stories and content. What’s being shared? What are people asking Google? If you can develop your content with trends in mind, you’ll help to answer topical questions and create content which helps your target audience.
Make a mind map
Yes, taking it back to the good old pen and paper. Sometimes, physically drawing out a mind map can help to spark new ideas. Map out key topics, pain points your customers have and common questions. As you develop the diagram get more specific and delve into sub topics which could form the basis for a blog or video series.
Whether you work alone as a freelancer or as part of a wider team, talking to others can really help to form a great content plan. Tell them what you are planning and ask what they think. Whether you have this discussion with your mum, friends or your team – new ideas can really help to shape your plan. As long as they have your target audience in mind when doing this, you’ll be surprised what gems come up.
Look at your competitors
What’s working really well for them? What posts get their engagement levels up? Don’t copy, just get inspired. Look at your direct competitors and the big brands in your industry. Take some time to explore their engagement levels and see what your target market respond well to.
Think outside the box
Remember that your content doesn’t have to be directly related to your products or service. Ever get to the point where you just ‘can’t write one more blog about the benefits of a kitchen cleaner?’ There’s only so much you can write about one thing – whether your writing about kitchen cleaner or bespoke holidays to New York. To break the rut, you need to think laterally – or look sideways. Don’t just focus on the topic in hand – think about how you can expand that and come up with topics that are loosely related to your keywords.
For example, if you own a beauty salon in Birmingham, there’s only so much you can write about said beauty salon. Expand your content by focusing on wider topics like hair care tips, skincare advice and nail design trends. This type of content is often far more engaging for the reader and will link them back to your salon.
Listen to podcasts
There are some great marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners offering some top advice on podcasts. They’re ideal to listen to on your commute, or during any free time and can often help to build some pretty great content ideas. Here’s a few to tune into:
Change your environment
Plugging away at the same desk day in day out can have a detrimental effect on productivity. It’s therefore important to change things up when you can. Head to a coffee shop or library and plug in there. If you’re looking for something completely different then drive into the country or to the beach with a notepad. Sometimes the best ideas can come from the most random places.
To sum up
Creating compelling content isn’t easy. Even if it comes naturally to you, there’ll be times when you just can’t come up with the goods. Instead of chaining yourself to your desk and burying your head, do something different.
Talk to people, go for walks, change your working environment and explore new avenues online for research. Simple changes to your regular planning session will help you to uncover a surprising amount of inspiration.