Ever sit down to write something and “um” is the only thing that comes to mind? Two hands raised over here. Sometimes it feels like you’ve said it all. You’ve posted as often as you can, and you’ve covered every single angle. You’ve repurposed, you’ve laughed, you’ve cried, and you’ve researched all the sides. You’re all out of ideas. It’s the content marketing slump blues (sung in our Aretha Franklin voice).
Yet there’s still the unrelenting pressure to keep creating. Everyone knows that consistency is key. Right? (We talk about finding your sweet spot with how often to post here). I mean, how you can drive engagement if you give the people nothing to engage with? On the other hand, you’re starting to wonder if your content is just becoming a bunch of fluff that people are going to ignore anyway.
The struggle is real. We feel it every day. Oh, the life of a content marketer.
Well, we had a little huddle and concluded a few things. First, we agree that you can’t post just to post. You know what Momma said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
However, you may have more content in you than you realize. If you’re in a content marketing slump (or are deathly afraid of crossing into that creative wasteland), we’ve gathered some ideas (with help from a few sources) that might pull you out of the quagmire and keep you going.
So, let’s spark some creativity! Here are 6 ideas to get you flowing:
1. Use keyword search.
Using keyword search to find what prospects are actually searching for as it relates to your area of expertise has a twofold benefit. First, it can help spark content ideas that people actually care about. Second, it can help improve SEO for your site – the more content you have that is relevant to your top keywords, the higher you’ll rank for those search terms. How it’s done: If you could select a search term within your industry that your customers would be likely to use, what would it be? With a quick Google search, you might get content ideas by looking at the related search terms that appear at the bottom of the first search results page. Additionally, reviewing your site data to find the most popular search terms that led people to you might also help you determine which topics are of greatest interest to your audience.
2. Take a look at your data.
Sometimes we forget that we don’t need to look externally for information and content. We can review email open and click rates, Google analytics (most pages visited, pages with most time spent, most read blogs, most clicked links), Instagram views/shares/comments, and other channels you may be using. These can become an area of focus for new content; approaching it from a different angle or drilling down on a more specific or related point. In addition, you could create content about your data. For example, you could create infographics about user behavior (eg. top products or most viewed blogs) and tease out conclusions that might interest others.
3. Tap into your sales or customer-facing colleagues.
If you’re not always talking to prospects and customers, you may lose touch with what the people want. Pick up the phone or shoot an email out and ask what questions come up most often in conversation with customers/prospects. They might know the greatest pain points that customers need addressed, the points of most confusion, your organization’s greatest strengths (the reason why they select your organization to serve their needs), the areas of greatest competition, etc. Maybe they would even be willing to jot down ideas as they come up in conversation with customers and keep the inspiration flowing to you on an ongoing basis.
4. Get out more.
Hey, no offense. Maybe you’re already out there. But in case you haven’t already looked into it, there could be content out there just waiting for you. Consider joining associations or attending conferences, webinars, meet and greets, or other places where professionals in your industry are meeting and exchanging ideas. You’ll hear about the current trends, get to know the competition, and learn about emerging technologies. You could even write about your experience and what you learned at the event! Come to think of it, you could even start by going to the library and grabbing books or periodicals about your industry.
5. Mix it up.
If you’re usually writing serious content, consider something lighter. Or let’s say you normally use text, consider adding video. Maybe you often post quotes; try adding narrative. Add a case study, testimonial, or spotlight on an employee or client. Sometimes a change of format can spark a slew of ideas!
Okay, not for real! But you know how in school days, you could never look at someone else’s paper in the middle of a test? Well, if you haven’t looked at what the competition is doing, now you should. What content are people engaging with on your competitors’ social media accounts? What blogs or websites seem to have most engagement or capture the most attention? You may be able to find a different angle or come up with a new perspective to write about in your own content.
To sum it up
Consistency is great, but quality is better when it comes to content. If you’re in a content marketing slump, we’ve provided several practical sources for inspiration that you can tap into. Or if you’re just plain out of time, we may be able to help with ideas, strategy, design, or content creation.