Whether you’re writing a blog, recording a podcast or filming a video, finding content inspiration isn’t always easy.
In our experience, there are three excellent places to find content marketing inspiration.
Here at Bear Content, we are huge advocates of content marketing.
Creating and sharing valuable content is a seriously effective way to attract customers and engage with your target audience. It helps to build trust and position yourself as a subject-matter expert.
Here are three handy sources of content marketing inspiration.
One of these alone will ensure you never run out of content ideas or topics again. Use all three, and you will be virtually swimming in content inspiration for years to come.
1 – They Ask, You Answer
Marcus Sheridan coined this approach to finding content inspiration in his book of the same name.
It’s a straightforward and practical approach; all you do is listen out for questions asked by your customers and then create content answering their questions.
Sheridan used this They Ask, You Answer approach to rescue his failing swimming pool company when the recession hit in 2008. He did this by answering every question a potential customer could have about swimming pools in the form of blog posts.
This approach to content marketing is about becoming a teacher.
Each time you meet with a client, customer, or prospect, pay attention to their questions.
As business owners, we are often blind to some of the more fundamental questions asked by our clients or customers. Because we deal with these questions each day, we risk treating the answers as tacit knowledge.
After all, we know the answers, so surely everyone else does too?
Never neglect the power of a great answer to a simple question.
And, if you work in a team, ask everyone in the business to start paying attention to the questions being asked. Your colleagues might hear questions from a different perspective.
With a bank of questions in place, answer each of them in turn, in the form of content. You might write a blog post, posing the question as the title and answering it in the body of the post.
Or you might record a podcast conversation with a colleague or another subject-matter expert, answering the question in that format. Or you could record a video answering the question.
2 – What’s in the news?
I drink my coffee each morning while listening to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
Without fail, there’s a personal finance or business-related story on Today each morning, which I can turn into a piece of content.
If I look at what’s hit the news headlines this morning, there’s no shortage of content inspiration. What’s topical today that you could share your insights about in the form of a piece of content?
Moving beyond casual radio listening, you can create Google News Alerts for keywords in the sector, generating an email each time something newsworthy happens.
On receipt of a news alert, create content to tell your target audience what is happening and why it is essential to understand, placing your perspective on the news.
3 – Research and reports
Large businesses love conducting research and surveys, often as a precursor to a press release.
You can create content by reporting on their research findings and then adding your spin to their work.
Speak to your suppliers and ask them to add you to their mailing list for any research they carry out or reports they publish. Most suppliers will be willing to add you to their press distribution list as a way to access this material.
Another way to get your hands on this content inspiration is to keep an eye out in the press for stories that reference studies and then look up the original material on their website, sometimes hidden away in their media centre.
All three sources of content inspiration – they ask you answer, what’s in the news, and supplier research – these all give you an almost unlimited amount of content you can create for your audience.
Where do you find inspiration for your content marketing?