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3 Ways to Meet the Endless Challenge of Coming Up With Great Content Ideas

3 Ways to Meet the Endless Challenge of Coming Up With Great Content Ideas
Image credit: Kevin Dooley | Flickr

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Content marketing has become an integral component of a brand’s online marketing plan. Marketers are just getting the hang of proving content marketing ROI, and businesses, irrespective of their size, have started trusting the ability of content to generate brand awareness and enhance niche reputation.

Content marketing is a good tactic to use provided you are able to meet some of the challenges it throws at you. It’s your ability to overcome these challenges that determines the efficacy of your content strategy. About half of business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) marketers report grappling with the challenge of consistently producing a variety of engaging content.

While there are many things you can do to find a solution for these challenges, it all begins with getting the right content ideas. You need to integrate a failsafe ideation process in your content marketing strategy.

You must be tapping into various sources to come up with content ideas, but there are some really underestimated avenues of content ideation that you might be failing to explore. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Reports and surveys.

Behind every report or survey lurks a truckload of content ideas. While these reports and surveys are commonly used to reinforce a particular assertion made in content, why not use them as a source of ideas.

For example, Razor Fish has just come out with a 2015 Global Digital Marketing Report. Each key insight in that survey and each section is a potential content idea. If you think about it, this report alone will help you come up with a collection of relevant and worthwhile ideas that result in tons of engaging content.

And I am not just talking about content in the form of guest posts or blog posts. You could come up with an infographic or even a podcast that makes sense of the insights underlined by this report and how they will impact your target audience. Reports and surveys are definitely a low hanging fruit when it comes to ideation.

Related: 5 Content Pieces You Can Create in 5 Minutes Or Less

2. Infographics and videos.

Intuitive infographics and compelling videos are fertile sources of ideas that unfortunately are not eagerly tapped by content marketers. I get great ideas by closely following Moz’s Whiteboard Friday videos and searching for domain related videos on YouTube. Not only have these videos made me a better online marketer but also inspired me to come up with a great idea for my next content piece.

The thing about these two content formats is that very often they are simplifying a complex topic. This gives you a deeper understanding of that particular subject, in turn allowing you to come up with absorbing ideas related to it.

Related: As Online Video Explodes, a Look at 5 of the Industry's Biggest Trends (Infographic)

3. Stakeholders.

You might be finding it difficult to come up with the right idea at given point of time, but there might be an idea sitting in the heads of a person who isn’t a marketer, but still has immense knowledge about the business, its target audience and the operational niche. I am talking about the various stakeholders of the business.

Why should the responsibility of coming up with content ideas only rest with content marketers or the writing team? Why not ask the sales team to come up with ideas or for that matter, business owners, or somebody in the HR or accounts department.

This is not to say everybody will come up with a fantastic idea; some people might not be able to come up with even one idea that has merit. But there will be others who will offer ideas that can form the basis of some amazing content.

You must foster a culture of content in your company, which allows stakeholders to make meaningful contributions to your content strategy. This will help you convert them into content partners.

Coming up with great content ideas is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. Look for ways to make content ideation simpler. The three ways given in this article help you do just that.

Related: Need Fresh Content For Your Blog? Try These 3 Idea-Generating Tips