We put together these amazing content ideas for your next marketing project to keep your creative process moving. Many of them involve methods that you can reuse over time, so you’ll have a technique to turn to when you run out of ideas.
1. Build On The Basics
Your content ideation journey should start with the foundation — your product or service. As you review your main offering, you might find inspiration right in front of you.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Your Product Or Service
- What’s the #1 thing people do with your products?
- What are some uncommon uses for your products?
- What are the most common questions people have?
Try performing some fundamental marketing research techniques to collect information on your audience.
Recommended Reading: Quality Content: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Content that Engages and Converts
2. Ask Your Email Subscribers
Since your list of email subscribers often overlaps with your list of content readers, they can provide ideas that your audience will care about.
When you want information from your email list, you have two main methods of obtaining it—a single-question poll or a survey.
- A quick poll needs less commitment from your subscribers than a full survey, but it will obtain less detailed information.
- A survey is a bigger ask of your subscribers, but it’ll give you richer information.
3. Make A Twitter Poll
If you have a decent Twitter following, ask for their opinions through a poll. Depending on how many people subscribe to your emails versus how many follow your Twitter, you may also get data from a new audience segment.
Keep polls positive and clear with consistent answers. You may also want to avoid “joke” answers that could skew your results, even if they’re fun to include.
Try out a casual, simplistic poll at first to gauge your engagement levels.
Everyone has their favourite…☕
— Costa Coffee (@CostaCoffee) September 9, 2021
4. Work With Your Customer Service Team
Customer service professionals hear customers’ problems firsthand — making them a great source for researching customer pain points. Once you know your customers’ pain points, you can offer tailored solutions through your content.
Since pain points come up through all stages of the customer lifecycle, they’ll give you plenty of inspiration for topics related to your product.
You can generate content ideas to solve problems with your product or address issues found during the customer experience to make your readers’ lives easier.
5. Talk To Your Sales Staff About Objections
In addition to getting in touch with your customer support team, you should contact your sales team for inspiring insights into your audience. Ask them about the most common objections they hear during the sales process to create topics that address them.
If your sales staff has experience handling those objections well, you can learn what answers they use and elaborate on them with your content.
6. Browse Quora For Commonly Asked Questions
When searching for information on Google, you may have seen results from Quora. People visit Quora to ask questions on a wide range of topics — including those relevant to B2C and B2B companies.
Using this platform, you can research commonly asked questions from your audience to inspire content that answers them.
When you search for Quora pages on Google, you’ll see answers according to their SEO ranking, so the results can help you figure out what questions will help you rank higher.
7. Check Out Relevant Subreddits
Like Quora, Reddit has plenty of curious users ready to learn about various topics, but it has a community focus over a question-and-answer focus. Subreddits, the different communities on Reddit, can cover both broad and niche topics relevant to your audience.
8. Leverage The Power Of Social Listening
As Joei Chan explained in our conversation with her on the Actionable Content Marketing Podcast:
Social listening is monitoring online conversations to understand what customers are saying about your brand and your industry.
– Joei Chan
Just like Quora and Reddit research, social listening provides a direct look into what your audience says about your field or product.
Some businesses use a platform, like Mention, to keep an eye on social media conversations, but you can also perform social listening manually. Think of terms and phrases related to your product and industry, then search for them on social media platforms.
During social listening, try using basic phrases, like your brand name and more niche phrases related to the topics you cover, and add those terms to your list of content ideas.
9. Look At Google’s “People Also Ask” Box
When looking at Google Search results, you might see a box titled “People also ask” that features questions related to your search. Google generates this box based on searches from users who searched the original term.
For example, you’ll see these related questions pop up when you search “how to steep tea”:
As you can see, users also asked questions whether you have to cover tea while it steeps, and how long to steep tea. This box digs deep into what users want to know — providing insight into their thought process during each phase of the customer lifecycle — and giving you more content ideas.
10. Research With Google Trends
Where do you turn to find out what people search on Google to find your content? It turns out that Google has a completely free tool to monitor search patterns: Google Trends.
Each Google Trends results page shows the term’s popularity over the time you specify. The graph ranges from 0 (not enough data) to 100 (peak popularity). You can use this data to jump on trends or plan your future content calendar.
You’ll also see the term’s popularity by region:
11. Play With Keyword Modifiers
Keywords make great inspiration for content ideas in addition to their main use in SEO. According to our keyword research guide, a keyword consists of a core term and modifier.
By trying out different modifiers, you can find new angles for your content and rank for more search terms.
Try adding these modifiers to your topic to see what you come up with:
Ideas For Modifying Your Topic Search
- [KEYWORD] + Examples
- [KEYWORD] + Samples
- [KEYWORD] + Templates
- [KEYWORD] + Tips
- [KEYWORD] + Process
- [KEYWORD] + Checklist
- [KEYWORD] + Quotes
- [KEYWORD] + Mistakes to Avoid
- [KEYWORD] + Statistics
- [KEYWORD] + Strategy
- [KEYWORD] + Plan
- [KEYWORD] + Ideas
You can also use some of the search methods and tools we previously discussed, such as Google Trends and the “People also ask” box, to find more modifiers.
12. Use BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is another online tool that provides insights on content that performs well with your audience. It offers detailed data on how articles rank on social media and lets you track the performance of different topics and keywords.
It’ll serve you well as another source of inspiration if your business pays for one of its plans. The BuzzSumo knowledge base also has tips on how to use the platform for content marketing research.
That being said, BuzzSumo works best when you have a paid plan and a North American audience. Its free features are limited to an overview of trending content.
13. Share Book Recommendations
According to Pew Research, about a quarter of adults haven’t read a book at all in the past year. Why don’t you help your audience keep up with the best reads on relevant subjects?
Try reading a book related to your product and industry and share what your audience can learn from in your content.
14. Write A Case Study
Do you have a successful campaign, project, or client relationship that shows off what you can do for your customers? Write a case study about it!
A case study breaks down how you solved a problem and the results you achieved. As you’ll see in our guide to writing a case study, this content format typically includes a title, executive summary, subject, problem, solution, and results.
15. Interview A Subject Matter Expert
Subject matter experts have a treasure trove of information that can make your content more unique and authoritative. Talking to one of these specialists is often easier than it seems, so try it out and learn what you can from the people who know best.
16. Make An Expert Roundup
An expert roundup works kind of like a subject matter expert interview — except on a broader scale. These articles gather responses and insight from experts in your industry on the topics and questions you choose.
17. Repurpose Your Existing Content
As content marketers, we’re all looking for ways to get the most mileage out of our work — especially when we have limited time and resources. Try repurposing your content to reach more customers across channels.
For example, when you make a blog post, you can also repurpose its images and text into content types.
Content Types For Repurposing Images
- Social media posts
- Video content and descriptions
- Email intros
- Online courses
18. Conduct A Gap Analysis
Checking what content your competitors are making is a common strategy in marketing, but have you ever tried analyzing what they’re not doing?
A gap analysis evaluates what kind of content your field doesn’t cover, so you can fill those spaces in the media landscape. You can learn how to conduct one with our free guide and template.
19. Bring Your Own Angle To Industry News
Consider sharing your thoughts on the latest happenings in your field so you can add more content to your website and solidify your thought leadership.
By providing your takes on what’s going on in your industry, you’ll give your audience context they won’t find anywhere else. Plus, you can adapt this strategy to both B2B and B2C audiences.
For example, you can explain to customers how a change in your industry could affect their experience when targeting a B2C audience.
Recommended Reading: How to Emotionally Support Your Customers Through Content
20. Craft Some Holiday Content
As you plan out your content calendar for the year, think about tailoring some of your topics to relevant holidays. In the marketing world, holidays go beyond Halloween and New Year’s — there are tons of novelty holidays out there that make great hooks.
We created a list of social media marketing holidays that you can apply to a wide range of content types.
21. Publish According to Seasonal Demand
Remember to pay attention to your customers’ behavioral trends throughout the year to craft content that meets their most urgent needs. Seasonal marketing goes beyond holidays because every business has annual trends to follow.
You can follow seasonal demand with your content by looking for patterns in your business.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What time of year is the busiest for our business and why?
- When can customers get the most use out of our product?
These principles apply to both outdoor and indoor industries. For example, a lawn care business might create content about preparing your yard for spring in March and April.
Meanwhile, an accounting business in America could explore topics related to tax returns around that time.