Constantly coming up with new ideas for content marketing is hard, but that’s precisely what we’re told we have to do if we want to get noticed.
And while you might have a sudden stroke of genius while walking your dog or washing your hair, that situational inspiration for blog post ideas can’t be relied on long-term.
Producing regular content is vital to build your profile, increase traffic and boost revenue. In fact, an SEO and content strategy is the most important thing for a company’s inbound marketing strategy, costing companies around 62 per cent less per lead than outbound marketing.
Across industries, companies that produce a blog generate 67 per cent more leads than those that don’t. It’s further proof that customers like to spend with brands they recognise. Creating regular content boosts brand awareness and establishes your brand as an authority.
So, besides endless team meetings and buzzing Slack channels, what can you do to generate content ideas for your blog marketing strategy? Here are seven top resources you can use to save precious time and inspire a steady flood of content ideas to produce quality SEO content .
Resources you never thought of using
There are so many resources out there for generating content marketing ideas, and there are probably one or two that you already use. Here, we suggest the ones you might not have thought of, which offer endless sources of inspiration in a rapid, painless way.
These simple sources will give you the inspiration to get your juices flowing, saving you priceless time, which could instead be spent producing that flawless content.
If your content is meant to attract customers, then who better to go to for advice? Whether or not they’re sharing glowing reviews or areas for improvement, clients' comments can be a fabulous source of inspiration.
Is your product or service working as expected? Better than expected? Perhaps they’ve even found a new use for it entirely. Whatever the gossip, paying attention to your clients’ emails, comments and tweets can turn up a goldmine of opportunities.
On this one, it’s great to get the whole team involved. Sending interesting client emails received by any department straight to the marketing team helps streamline the creation process, helping you make relevant content without the fuss.
However, the most important people to speak to will be your customer service, customer success, sales and social media teams. They’re the ones who speak to your customers and who genuinely understand their pain points.
They’ll know what customers like, which social media posts get the most attention, and any questions they hear a lot. These teams will also be the first to know about any new audiences that the marketing team isn’t yet aware of.
Focus on these key departments, then track and analyse the customer journey and behaviours through CRM systems to find clues on what they want to see.
It’s a common misunderstanding that you need an original idea for each individual post. But really, the most productive (and effective) content teams out there recycle so much content that they should be winning environmental awards.
Repurposing your content for different platforms and audiences, or simply into different formats, makes it much easier to be regular with your content. It moves away from the idea of writing every piece of content from scratch, towards a more efficient model where infographics, blogs, podcasts, and social media posts all come from the same idea.
Recycling content can range from reposting an old blog post with updated data and new industry developments to creating a YouTube video that walks you through the main points.
You might supplement that with an ebook, pairing high-impact images from your most successful social media posts. Repurposing can even tie in the customer inspiration mentioned above, with many brands beginning to repost their client’s positive comments on social media channels.
One of the best things about in-person conferences is the chances they give you to bounce ideas off others in your industry and be exposed to insights you’d never have come across at home. They’re a fantastic way to get a little overview of new developments within your field.
Looking at the programme for industry events in your area or internationally can offer an excellent summary of new developments, topics of interest, and, just as importantly, who your audience/competitors are listening to.
Follow those speakers on social media, see what they are doing, interact with their posts, and even reshare them with your own audience. As long as that person isn’t a direct competitor, it’s unlikely to hurt your leads.
The Skyscraper Technique
It’s human nature to see something incredible and want to do it better. The Skyscraper Technique is a link-building strategy that plays into this, and it was already making headlines back in 2015.
Find an interesting, popular, but not-so-recent piece of content. The priority of the Skyscraper Technique is to create backlinks, so for this to work, you’ll want a piece of relevant content with lots of them. One way to do this is to use Ahref’s Site Explorer, through which you can rank a competing site’s pages by how many exterior sites link to them.
Once you’ve found that great content, it’s time to make it even better. Rewrite it in your own style, add inspiring imagery, and update the content with any recent developments. You can even add quotes from industry leaders, just make sure that the information is as relevant as possible to your target audience.
Remember all those backlinks from step one? You’ll now use email outreach to contact as many as possible, showing them your new content and asking them to update their links. There are tools to help with this, but remember to add a touch of personalisation to those emails, and you’ll be surprised by how many swap out their old content for yours.
Google suggested search
When Google tries to guess what you want to say, it tells you what other people are searching for. This gives you some fantastic hints about the gaps in the information online. Gaps that your content can plug.
If you’re struggling to work out what your customers want to know, try Googling similar phrases or keywords and seeing what pops up below the search bar ‘People also ask’.
For example, if you work in a bakery, then people might be looking for cheap cake decoration ideas, egg-free alternatives, or where to buy wedding cakes near them. Address these common questions in your blog posts, and you’re on the way to success.
One important tip here is not to open any articles that pop up. It’s so easy to accidentally copy someone’s entire idea without even realising it. Instead, take the bare minimum inspiration and use it to trigger something even better.
Social media groups and listening
Did we mention that you should listen to your clients? The best part of producing blog post ideas in the modern day is how much your audience talks online; they’re there giving you the best ideas.
Social media groups are one place where you’re sure to pick up some inspiration, and they have the additional advantage of showing you how a whole segment of the population communicates.
If there’s a page for your brand, then head there to see what the customers really think. If there’s not, why not visit your competitor’s page to see the most common complaints?
Staying up to date with any changes to your audience helps you stay one step ahead of the average brand, and social listening is the best way to find out what they want.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a fantastic tool that can help you see exactly what your clients are searching for. Head to the website, type in your basic search term, and you’ll be presented with a long list of questions regularly asked about that topic.
You’ll see your clients' real, raw questions, which gives you the power to not only provide answers and solutions but also appear at the top of the search engines.
It takes the guesswork out of creating content strategy development, and you can even use it a few times daily without buying a subscription.
In our current digital landscape, creating unique and memorable content is the best thing you can do to increase your ROI. Surprisingly, only 47 per cent of brands research the audience, and only 41 per cent look at a competitor’s SEO and content strategy, according to one SEMrush survey.
This means that there’s always space for you to succeed, especially if you use these inspiration sources to open a flood of ideas for content marketing. Take a look and see what you can do, or if you’re too tight on time, we’re happy to do the legwork for you.