How to Generate Ideas for Content Marketing

Bough Digital’s Blogs of the Week: Week Ending April 26th
June 11, 2019
Why Does the SEO Process Differ for Every Website?
June 11, 2019

How to Generate Ideas for Content Marketing

If you aren’t familiar with the phrase “content is king” by now, then you probably haven’t been giving your content strategy the attention it needs. That said, given the high volume of content that makes its way onto the internet every day, and the fact that a lot of it is high quality, it is clear that many businesses are fully engaged in a content marketing strategy. Granted, the degree to which they’re engaged and invested is variable, but at least those in this group are contributing something.

Often, it can be difficult to get fully immersed into content strategy and content creation, purely because you just don’t know where to start. Here are some suggestions you should be using that you could potentially turn into a content marketing checklist for yourself and for anyone working on content within your business.

Create a Concept

The first thing to do is to think about the concept and direction behind your content marketing. You can follow this line of thinking for every individual piece of content you create, or it might be more productive to come up with a direction and an identity for your content at the start of your campaign, and then stick to it within everything you do.

What are the sort of things you should be thinking about in terms of your content creation?

Pitch

How does your content need to be pitched to your audience? What is the difference between a piece of content that you produce with potential new clients in mind and something you want to use to demonstrate your expertise or cement existing relationships and contacts?

Something Different

What is it about the content you intend to create that stands out and is different from the content already on your site and that can be found within your industry area? It is fair to say that you’re not always going to be able to create something 100% unheard of, every time, but you should always be looking to give internet users a reason to come to your site instead of someone else’s.

You might be able to present a different slant on a particular topic, or commission a piece of original research that will get you both hits and high quality backlinks from those within your industry.

Is Your Content Trustworthy?

Coming up with an idea that isn’t already featured on dozens of blog posts is one thing, but you still need to ensure it is trustworthy and credible. This area can be where lots of small businesses trip up, as they try to write provocative content before they’ve established themselves within their industry.

This is where it can be worth investing in research at an early stage of your content strategy; presenting something hard hitting and “game changing” is a great way to make a name for yourself and establish credibility. The challenge you have then is to follow it up.

Do You Inform Rather than Sell?

There is a fine line between informing someone and trying to sell something to them. When thinking about your content strategy you definitely need to be looking at creating a resource rather than a glorified sales pitch.

By far the best approach here is to just write the most informative post you possibly can do, and then add a call to action at the end where you mention that you can help with this problem and have services that the reader might want to invest in. It is never a good choice to go down the route of having a call to action after every paragraph, like you’d find on a “get rich quick” type of site.

How Will the Content be Presented?

Getting the concept around your content correct is a big job, whether you do it for each individual piece of work you do or as a big piece of branding work prior to launching your campaign. However, that is merely one part of the bigger picture when it comes to content. You now need to look at how your content is presented and produced.

What are the main considerations to have in mind at this stage in the content creation process?

Can You Do it Yourself?

This is probably the biggest question you should be asking. You may well be an expert in your field, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do a great job of producing a piece of content. If you are looking at producing a written piece of content, then you might be able to do enough to make it work. In contrast, you may not be able to create a video or a high quality image or infographic to the standard you want. Even with writing, you should set your bar of expectation at “brilliant” rather than looking to create something that is merely passable.

If you cannot do it yourself, you at least need to be able to put together a project brief based on your needs and then find someone else who can come up with the goods. You might know someone at a digital marketing agency or can use a social platform like LinkedIn to get an introduction to someone that could do the job. If neither of these are possible, look at a popular site for freelancers like Elance or People Per Hour.

How Will the Content Look?

If your website is built on a great content management system then you should have very few issues in getting exactly the type of content you want. However, if you find yourself needing to adjust images or configure alignment issues yourself, make sure you’re able to do this before you spend the time and money on something like an infographic or high quality image.

If you’re Outsourcing, What are You Getting for Your Spend?

Admittedly, you aren’t really going to know this until you have seen the final result of the project. However, you should be very clear on your expectations and carry out as much due diligence as possible before you commission someone else to do it. Ensure you have looked at a content marketer’s portfolio and examples of previous work; get them to put together a proposal based on your project requirements if necessary and see what they come up with.

When you outsource, there is always an element of risk involved. This increases if you’re looking for a high quality piece of content that you can share on social media and are hoping to get loads of exposure for. Sometimes, you’ll find you need to spend more in order to get something exceptional, but if this will drive traffic and ultimately revenues to your website, it may well be worth it.

What you decide here will be dependent on your individual budget and how you are approaching your content strategy, and will be different for all websites.

What do You Want Your Content to Achieve?

The final part of planning content for your website looks at how it will help you to achieve your overall content marketing objectives. The biggest part of this is thinking about the portion of your target market your content will aim at. Are you using this specific piece of content to target potential customers who are only just being introduced to your product or brand, or are you looking to convert regular readers of your content into paying customers?

Essentially, you need to be thinking about what you can get out of your content. Look at everything from any internal links in your content, ensuring they are pointed at commercial pages, to the call to action you are going to feature at the bottom of your post. How many clicks are you looking for from internal links? How many actions are you looking for your post to inspire? Above all, whether you use these as your objectives or come up with some of your own, does the content you’ve created stand a high chance of achieving the desired result?

Finally, and this is particularly important if you outsource your content creation, be sure to check that the message conveyed is true to your brand position. Ideally, instruction around this would have been included in your brief, but even then, each content marketer will have their own individual style and may veer away from your brand voice at times.

Generating Ideas & Content Planning

Use this post to help you generate ideas and plan your whole content marketing strategy. This can be used as a great tool to fit to your entire content plan, but can also be worth using for each post and piece of content if you’re looking to be very specific with individual pieces of content due to targeting a broad audience and having different objectives every time you create something.

Bough Digital offers tailored content marketing solutions for businesses across a broad range of industry sectors. Contact us now to receive to discuss your options and to receive a free no obligation quote.