You’ve heard it before: Content is king. Crafting valuable content can help hook new customers and keep your current ones engaged. But coming up with fresh, new ideas can be challenging, especially if your product or service falls within a narrow market.
To help prevent your content from becoming stale, I asked 13 members of YEC the following question:
What is one unconventional way your content team sources ideas for creating fresh content?
Their best answers are below:
1. Check unanswered Quora questions
Quora is a popular Q&A site that is very useful to find topics people are interested in but may not have great content or answers. You can do a quick search on Quora to find the new trending questions that are related to your business, answer them on Quora and use them as inspiration for new content on your website. – Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS
2. Talk to software developers
Content teams usually work with management, sales, and business development teams but rarely with software developers. We found a great, unconventional way to come up with new ideas for blog posts every week. Chat with your engineering team — they’re always on the bleeding edge of tech news, talking about cryptocurrencies, the future of flying cars, and so on. – Andrey Kudievskiy, Distillery
3. Have a dedicated Slack channel
We have a dedicated Slack channel where our content team can share ideas and fresh content with one another. This is the best way for our distributed team to brainstorm and share ideas they think might be valuable to the rest of the group. We share everything from interesting articles to inspirational content — it’s an open space where our content team can freely collaborate with one another. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com
4. Use Google autocomplete
Google’s autocomplete feature is our go-to tool for creating fresh content ideas. Our team simply types in our target keyword followed by a space. Immediately Google delivers our team search predictions based on what other people are searching for. These autocomplete suggestions are excellent sources for content to create. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
5. Consult with your users
As our editorial lead was getting ready to do an interview with a high-profile physician about common concerns women have during a pregnancy scan, she consulted with our users in a private Facebook community to hear some of their questions. This process allowed us to provide high-quality content that’s targeted directly toward the topics that are most relevant to our audience. – Mark Krassner, Expectful
6. Try the skyscraper technique
Look for subject matter that is considered to be expert knowledge in your field. Then you want to find key items in other content that would lend itself nicely to this type of subject matter. Things like tools, calculators, videos, etc. In SEO, this is called the skyscraper technique, but it can easily be applied to creating ideas for fresh content. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
7. Use Twitter search
One way to search for content ideas is to see what people are talking about. You could use Twitter search by searching for problems to solve. One great search entry is: “Does anyone know (insert niche word).” – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
8. Search social media discussion groups
It’s great to go into forums and groups online and follow conversations to see what is on everyone’s minds, and then use that as the basis for new content. Existing publications also show trending topics that give a list for launching your own content and a spin on those hot subject areas. – Peter Daisyme, Due
9. Check YouTube comments
YouTube comment sections are like modern-day forum threads, with users sharing their opinions on the content, ancillary topics, rumors, etc. Most people head straight to the comment section on their mobile phones while the ads load (in order to gauge if the content is worth their time). A lot of these comments are not followed up on, which makes them a content goldmine. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja
10. Walk it out
Our team operates out of an arts community in Miami and we take walks. Some of the best inspiration comes from simple conversations that turn into creativity sessions and we source content, right then and there. In 15 minutes, we often create weeks’ worth of content derived from a simple walk around the block. Walking around the block knocks out any mental blocks that stall content! – Matthew Capala, Search Decoder
11. Listen to conference chatter
Our industry has its share of conferences, and while participating in these events is always equal parts challenging and rewarding, one of the other benefits is they allow us to stand in the middle of the conference floor and take in the dialogue. You’ll find a lot of candor and sharing of thoughts and ideas that can lead to great content for your team down the road. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
12. Ask your customer support team
Your customer support team will have the best sense of actual customer pain points and questions, and your current customers are the closest thing you’ll get to your prospective customers. Ask your customer support team to identify trends in what customers are asking about or feeling frustrated with, and create content for them, then promote it to everyone else who isn’t a customer yet. – Roger Lee, Captain401
13. Mine your data
We’ve recently started to create infographics from data that we already have. For example, we identify the most popular item by state and share that information in a colorful infographic of the U.S. Getting started with one piece of data opened our mind for a great number of ways in which we could use the customer and sales data we already had to create fresh and shareable content. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors
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