For some organizations, continually generating killer ideas for content creation can be a challenge.
I think it’s probably safe to say that at some point or another we’ve all run into the issue of having a difficult time thinking of great ideas for future content.
Have you ever encountered this block?
Fortunately, if you know where to look and who to talk to, there is a great deal of inspiration to be found for content creation, and it’s probably sitting right in front of you.
Here are 5 places to find inspiration for content ideas to keep things fresh and valuable for your targeted audience:
Have a chat with customer service to see if you can find some inspiration from them. Ask if there are any particular questions that are frequently asked, or common concerns that your customers have. If there are, you’re in luck. Create content to answer these questions or concerns, and as a side benefit, you might even save your customer service team some future calls.
By the nature of their job, your sales team likely spends a significant amount of time speaking with current and prospective customers. Perhaps there is interesting insight or stories that you can glean from them that will inspire your content. Alternatively, think about opportunities to capitalize on their frequent interfacing with customers to learn more about how they use your product, their favourite features, or pain points. All of these things can be crafted into meaningful content.
You’re probably already tightly connected to your marketing team, but do your best to stay as connected as possible. Find opportunities for content creation through the integration of social media and content in your marketing team’s broader communication platforms and the various initiatives that they pursue.
In most organizations, senior leadership serves as the compass of your organization. They have a unique perspective on your business, where it is going, and many other facets that a typical employee won’t have visibility to. Also, they frequently serve as the figureheads of your organization and carry some clout with admiring consumers. Sit them down for an interview, or ask them for some insight that will be of interest to your audience.
This one is simple; speak with your customers. And ask them about what content they’d like to see from your organization. The best part is that you can do this right on your various social media channels.
These are of course just a few ideas for where to find inspiration for original content, and depending on the structure of your organization, there are likely to be many more.
As a content creator, spend some time away from your desk talking to the people around you in search of content ideas and think about what will be meaningful to your audience. Even if these people don’t give you ideas directly, spend some time speaking with them anyway and try to extrapolate ideas from their daily experiences.
How do you tap your organization for content inspiration?
Where do you find the most ideas for original content?
Do you have any additional suggestions to share?
It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Listen up agency friends!
I know there are some of you that find the ongoing creation of social media content to be a bit of a drag.
It takes a huge amount of time.
It is a constant and ongoing requirement.
It can seem fleeting and trivial.
It often doesn’t allow for the same level of crafting as other communication platforms.
But, there is huge creative opportunity here that you really should be excited for.
Conceptualizing and creating killer social media content couldn’t be more on-trend and be capturing more attention than it is right now. Businesses are buying into the power of social media marketing, and big name marketers and advertisers are receiving accolades and awards for the amazing quality of their content.
Creative convergence means everything is content
Creative that used to be well defined by its respective (media) channel is no longer so clearly delineated. Let’s face it, with the proliferation of digital, mobile, online, social media, and countless other technologies, there has been a massive creative convergence happening for some time. All advertising, marketing and communication is increasingly becoming content of one variety or another – text, audio, video, and visual – and being on the cutting edge of acknowledging this will lead to better, more focused creative work.
It can be easier to sell a crazy idea
Let’s face it, not many of us are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars producing a single piece of social media content. In fact, most of us are spending next to nothing (nothing being a relative term), save for our time. Because of this, our Clients are much more likely go along for a ride and test an exciting, maybe even crazy, new creative idea on social media (of course it needs to make strategic sense). And why wouldn’t they? If it works, everyone looks like a rock star. If it doesn’t, it can easily be viewed as a test or learning opportunity. No big deal.
You get to do more work
I know this may seem counter intuitive, but doing more work should be a good thing. Versus traditional media, you typically get more opportunities to think about interesting ways to engage a brand’s targeted consumers, and more opportunity to execute your concepts on social media. Thinking of amazingly smart, creative ideas and seeing them in market is a big reason why many of us got into this business, right?
Social media begs for innovation
By it’s nature, social media is a dynamic, ever-changing landscape. Platforms are being updated, new networks are being developed, usage behaviour shifts, technology enables new features, and on and on. This dynamism carries over to the content we can create for each respective platform. The prospect of using tools in new and interesting ways should be exhilarating, and there are countless ways to engage, interact with, and provide value to your targeted audience. What all of this means is that there has never been a better time to produce work that is truly innovative. Exciting stuff!
The creative opportunity that social media content provides is near limitless, and is hugely exciting.
For those who have come up through advertising, marketing and communications working primarily on more traditional channels, the conceptualization and creation of content for social media can be a shock. It’s a never-ending creative assignment. But it’s also one of the most opportunity rich assignments one can have, and those who are truly innovative on these platforms are getting recognized as being leaders in creativity.
Where do you see the biggest opportunities for creativity on social media?
What work have you done, or see, that is absolutely killer?
It would be awesome to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
There are businesses and brands producing and publishing amazing content, and doing some really amazing things on social media and with digital technology virtually every day.
It’s probably not surprising that a concert series put on by Apple would be pretty fantastic, but there are many more facets to what makes this killer than just the sheer scale of the month-long event.
What they did
The iTunes Festival is – you guessed it – an annual concert series, during which high-profile performers take the stage every day, for a month.
Each day a new concert is performed in front of a live audience and is broadcast via iTunes, an iPhone and iPad app, and on Apple TV.
Check out the following site for more information including a full lineup and schedule of performers for the 6th annual iTunes Festival:
Why it’s killer
Sure, Apple is massive and iTunes is the largest retailer of music in the world, so you would expect that if they were to put on a concert series that it would be of equal proportions.
And it makes great sense for iTunes to hold an event like this. It builds on iTunes’ value proposition, is tremendously entertaining to iTunes users, likely creates a surge of affinity for the product, and perhaps even draws lapsed iTunes users back to the platform.
What makes this concert series even more amazing is that it would be so simple for Apple to become complacent with their music distribution dominance that they cease to promote it with vigor. This is a trap that many leading brands fall into, which in some cases leads to their demise. But they haven’t done this, they’re continuing to push their promotional efforts, and are doing it in a grandiose, and likely very costly, fashion.
Additionally, Apple has tapped their ecosystem of technology products to heighten the value proposition for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Mac users.
Finally – and I know you’re wondering where social media comes into play here – there is a robust pipeline of content being created from each performance; videos and photos of performances, retweets from participating artists, and more. This entire event is an amazing source of content, conversations, and shared experiences for music lovers across the world.
What can be applied to your business?
Organize your audience around shared experiences
Whether they are online, on social media, or offline, organizing and fostering experiences to be shared can have a greatly positive impact on your business. An experience that consumers have and share online is a high prize as people are creating a very literal association with, and endorsement for your brand. Ultimately, this acts as a sort of social validation that will work toward earning you the trust and attention of other consumers.
Always act like a challenger brand
Even when you’re on top, and by a considerable margin, there are always competitors who will have you in their sights, and will be waiting for an opportunity to take a bite out of your dominance. Stay hungry and continue pushing to undertake smart, strategic activity to keep your brand in a leadership position.
On social and digital media this will mean finding new and interesting ways to provide value and connect with your audience.
Take full advantage of opportunities to feed your content pipeline
You should always be thinking about ‘social media’ and opportunities for content creation, and particularly so when planning and executing communication programs, promotions, events, or any similar activity. Capitalize on every opportunity to create and capture content to maximize the ROI on your programs, and keep your audience satiated and involved with your brand.
Ensure that your content builds on your brand’s core value proposition
Sure, you can provide value in a multitude of different ways, but unless the value connects back to your brand’s core value proposition, you’re not going to experience any meaningful long-term benefits. All of your social media content, advertising and marketing should be contextually relevance to your business, brand and consumers; otherwise, you’re wasting your time and resources.
Have you tuned into the iTunes Festival?
Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform?
Have you seen any killer content recently that you’d like to share?
It would be great to chat with you about your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Your blog should be feeding your social media content pipeline, including Pinterest.
I know it seems counterintuitive that a largely text-based medium, your blog, could feed your content pipeline for Pinterest, which is such a visually based platform, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Following are a few ideas for how you can reimagine your blog content as highly visual content for Pinterest:
Visualize key points
Every quality blog post typically has several key points that support the main theme. Sometimes these individual points can make great bite-size content, so take advantage of this and reimagine them for Pinterest.
Try isolating the key points from your latest post and re-write them as short snippets of text – think something along the lines of a tweet. Then create or find a compelling, attention grabbing visual that illustrates each individual key point, and spend some time nicely laying out the associated text on the image.
Depending on the length of your article, and number of points or support points made, you could create a nice series of pins from a single blog post.
Graphically demonstrate stats, numbers, or anything you’ve quantified
If your blog post features statistics, or if you’ve quantified virtually anything, try to think of interesting ways to visually demonstrate those numbers and give them richer meaning to your audience.
Consider finding interesting or entertaining points of comparison, re-think how you create graphs and charts to make them more visually stimulating, or lay out your numbers on top of an image to give added context.
Create pin-worthy header images
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but try spending a bit of time on a key visual or header image for each of your articles.
The bit of added time you spend creating a stunning key visual will serve the dual purpose of also being interesting content for Pinterest.
Infographics for added information
Finally, think about how you can create a supplemental infographic to the content of you blog post. You could include a breakdown of key points with added context, give a more detailed analysis of any stats or numbers provided in your post, provide a detailed back story or ‘behind the scenes’ for interested audience members, or more.
There are a number of ways that you can create supplemental value for interested readers through the crafting of an infographic, or infographic-esque image. Get creative and give it a shot.
Have you ever converted blog content into valuable Pinterest pins?
Do you have any unorthodox sources of content for your Pinterest boards?
It would be fantastic to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Do you pay any attention to the continuous flood of Tweets that fill your stream from the hundreds or thousands of people, businesses and brands you follow?
I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you’re like me, you probably don’t.
The simple solution to more effectively absorb content on Twitter is of course to create lists, or search streams in a service such as HootSuite.
This lets you focus on want you want to be paying attention to, and filter out much of the noise.
But here’s my question…
Why does there have to be so much noise on Twitter?
A stat I came across some time ago indicated that roughly 15 percent of retweeted tweets had zero clicks (Source: HubSpot).
People – many people – are blindly sharing content without even looking at it. If people are sharing content that they aren’t even looking at, then there’s an absolute zero percent probability that they’ll be able to add thoughts, a new perspective, or their take on the content. By not doing these things, they’re failing to provide additional value and added context to their audiences than the link alone would provide.
Consider re-thinking best practices for how many tweets to publish each day.
As I’m sure you have, I’ve been exposed to a number of ‘best practices’ about how many tweets a company should publish each day. The number given has varied widely, but I’ve seen numbers as high as 30 or more being recommended to maximize engagement.
What works best in the long-term is focusing on the value of your content.
Instead of being fixated on a particular number of tweets that need to be published each day, focus on publishing quality content that is going to be of value to your audience. Links to articles you haven’t even read I would consider as being not overly valuable. You don’t know what the content is, and you won’t be equipped to carry on a conversation about its main points should a conversation be sparked.
When making the suggestion to be less focused on the number of tweets your business or brand publishes each day, I’m of course not including conversational tweets such as @-replies. In fact, the openness of Twitter is one of its biggest strengths, and it’s an amazing platform on which to proactively reach out to a broader audience outside of your own.
What’s your take on the quality and value of content being published by the majority of businesses and brands?
Have you adopted any ‘best practices’ for how many tweets to publish each day?
If so, what caused you to land on that number, and what benefits have you experienced by sticking to it?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or of course on Twitter @RGBSocial