Content ideation can often become an arduous process, especially when the content strategy is owned and executed by a single person. In this post we explore different ways in which content ideation and brainstorming can be made easier.
Look at what has already been done
Consider your brand and content pillars within your content strategy. Your content should be segmented into different hero topic areas to help you better plan which content to produce and when. You may then also have seasonal hero content pieces that need creating around specific events, however all of these need to fit into one of your pillars.
Ask yourself, what content have you created for each of these pillars, and what customer queries have you answered with your content? Is your content factual, inspirational, or both? More importantly, have you created content in different formats to help different users digest it?
When looking at all of the content you have created across different channels (including social media and your website), consider your audience and how you can best reach them with different types of content. How has your audience engaged with your different content pieces, and what seems to be the most popular?
Not only is it important to think about your target audience, but it is also important to understand what they need and how you can use your content to give them what they need.
Taking a look at what you have already produced can spark some interesting ideas for future content creation. This is based on potential gaps that currently exist in your content, as well as what users are engaging with the most.
Using search data to brainstorm content
One of the best areas to find inspiration for new content ideas is search data (organic & paid). The reason for this is simple, the data provides information on what your target audience is looking for, so you can get an understanding for what they need.
Some of the best tools for finding search data are:
Answer the Public: This is a fantastic tool for finding any questions or longtail search queries that users are searching for surrounding your industry or a specific topic you are looking to create content for. It is best used in combination with a tool such as Ahrefs or SEMRush to determine which of the queries contain the highest search volumes, to help prioritise content creation.
Ahrefs: This is a tool that provides insights around many different areas of SEO, including content, technical SEO, and backlinks. We want to focus on content in particular, and how the tool can help build your content strategy. Ahrefs provides data around what your website (and your competitor websites) already rank for, which is helpful in determining content areas that you could explore based on competitor activity. Additionally, Ahrefs has a keyword research tool that will help you discover new keywords to target with content you are creating on your website. This can be used in conjunction with their content explorer tool, which will give you results of who is ranking for the queries you are interested in, as well as domain and page performance data to help you understand the competitiveness of content ranking for these terms.
Google Keyword Planner: If you spend £5,000+ a year on Google ads, you can unlock useful search data in Google Keyword Planner. The data includes information on how many people search for specific keywords every month, as well as how much those terms cost from a paid search perspective on Google. Additionally, you are able to get up to 24 months of historic data for these terms, which helps with seasonal content planning.
Looking at competitors for inspiration
Another place to get inspiration for new content creation is to see what your competitors are doing, especially those that are performing better than you. Ask yourself:
- What can you learn from their content creation?
- How often do your competitors create content?
- What content formats are they using?
- How narrow or wide do your competitors go in terms of topics for content creation?
- What content are users engaging with the most?
All of these questions can help you identify how to compete with other businesses by creating content which you know users are likely to engage with.
Don’t forget to build content in different formats
You will have many different ideas for content creation, but part of the brainstorming process requires decisions being made around what format to create content in. We mentioned it before in this post, but creating content in different formats is important in order to reach more users. For instance, an infographic can help users digest bite-sized facts more quickly, and such content can be re-purposed across other channels such as social media.
Video content tends to get users more engaged if it’s short and provides helpful information, however users may not always be in an area where they can listen to a video. Include captions on all of your videos to help users better digest information.
Video and infographic creation requires more resources than article writing, so it is important to consider when it makes most sense to use this kind of content format. You might decide that this is the kind of content that becomes one of your seasonal hero pieces.
Content ideation and brainstorming can be difficult if you are a team of one. You may not know where to start and because of the sheer volume of content that is put out every second of every day you may feel slightly overwhelmed.
Take a step back and look at what you’ve already created, and what your competitors have done. You’ll find some immediate new content ideas based on the gaps you’ll discover in your content. You’ll also discover the type of content that your users mostly engage with.
Once you have begun planning out your content, ensure that you consider your target audience in terms of how they digest your content. Could a different format be more useful? Could information be simplified for them?
Don’t forget to create a clear plan of what you’re looking to create over the next quarter to help focus your energy in the right place and ensure a steady stream of content is being created.
Do you need help with your content strategy? We offer many services from strategy through to execution! Book a call with us today to have an initial conversation.