Fresh content ideasGreat content marketing ideas come at a premium. Some days the blank screen can stare back at you for an uncomfortably long time. But it shouldn’t be any other way, should it?

After all, if ideas weren’t hard to come by you’d have to question the quality of the content you are delivering to your readers.

As such, we all go in search of some inspiration for an idea that will really capture the attention of your audience.

As anyone who has ever written content is all too aware, finding that inspiration is easier said than done. However, there are certain tactics that can be deployed when your brain decides it’s not going to play ball, as an article on the Hootsuite website explains.

It lists four principles which have helped the company stay ahead of the game when it comes to content marketing:

Make it a team effort

X number of minds are better than one – see what ideas you can come with as a team. If your office is anything like ours, your colleagues will stop at nothing when tasked with helping you out.

Encourage an environment whereby your colleagues will not think twice about sharing their ideas with you. They might have been sitting on a great content idea for ages, but they weren’t sure it was their place to say.

Set up an email list of all the people you feel comfortable asking for ideas, sending idea requests out to them on a regular basis. Don’t expect to hear back from everyone, of course, as some people might simply not have the time, or the inclination.

From those that make your content their business, a team of creatives might emerge, making lengthy stares at a wordless computer screen a thing of the past.

Indulge colleagues’ passions

Everybody has their own individual personal passions, but they might have gone without mention until now. They could provide the basis for a great content marketing idea, however – particularly when you’re trying to show off the human side of the brand.

We’ve written countless times on our blog about showing a more personal side to your business, which offers customers an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with your brand.

By incorporating the personal passions of employees, you can do exactly that. Not only will it make for better content, it will be more original and thus have a greater chance of being shared by your audience.

Make a great idea count

If you come up with an incredible idea, don’t blow it by rushing to get it out the door. It’s obviously important to get a content marketing project out into the public domain before it becomes out of date, but there is value in holding fire on something special.

Once a trend hits, everybody wants to impart their “unique” take on it, but there’s a danger your voice will get lost amongst the masses. Instead, go down the route of formulating an idea that will be somewhat immune to trend sensitivities, thinking about more profound, long-term payoff, rather than short-lived, immediate gains.

Become a trendspotter

You might think this goes against the previous point somewhat, but the key is to have a balance between more well thought-out ideas and content which is more time responsive.

It’s every content marketer’s dream to latch on to a potentially huge trend before your competitors have got wind of it. That’s because being one of the first brands to get involved in a movement can bring with it that all-important exposure.

Identifying the next big thing on social media is no mean feat, but set aside some time each day to go through the top trending hashtags. What has the potential to go on to be a nationwide or global trend? Just remember to keep your audience in mind as you let those trends wash over you.

What idea-generating tips are you willing to share with us?

Ben Hollom

July 8, 2015