How To Generate Content Marketing Ideas

Do you struggle to come up with new, unique content?  Well, you definitely aren’t alone. Read below for tools and tricks that will help you generate content marketing ideas.

There are a few main ways to generate content ideas – researching what your competitors and influencers are talking about to get inspiration, leverage others or your own content to create “new” content, or use content idea generator tools to uncover new ideas.

Discover What Content Others Are Creating to Generate Ideas
Conducting a bit of research on your competitors and influencers can help you generate content ideas for your own products or business. And the great news is that you don’t need to waste too much of your valuable time doing this research, because there are tools that can do this for you.

Buzz Sumo
This tool allows you to monitor the best performing content, including that from your competitors – and it comes with a free trial and low cost subscription. For example, typing in content marketing gives you the following results that can be filtered by date, content type, country, etc. You can even share the piece of content on your social channels or just “add to pocket” for later.

You can also view influencers for your topic of interest. And can filter by type, location, and see key information about those influencers. This might give you new ideas or provide new people to follow that might have a different perspective.

With a subscription, you can create alerts and create reports that will help analyze your queries.

Feedly allows you to set-up and manage feeds from your competitors’ sites, influencers’ blogs, social channels, or even topics. Just set-up an account using your Facebook, Google login or email to get free RSS feeds.

Be sure to try out Feedly’s hashtag search to spur a new idea or another topic to explore. Simply type in a hashtag for a specific topic, and the tool will serve up related topics and sites that you can easily add to your list.

Leveraging Existing Content
Your content doesn’t have to be brand new for every post. Now that you know what others are doing, think about whether you can actually use that content to create a new piece of content. Or take a look at the content you’ve published previously to see if there is a way to re-use it.

Use other people’s content:

  • Aggregate a list of quotes, tips or thoughts from influencers or key industry leaders.
  • Publish content from your employees or even your customers in a way that is relevant to your followers.
  • Respond to questions from your customers.
  • FAQ post based on recurring questions from your consumers.
  • Create a post that features a company or influencer of the week.

Use your “old” content in a new way:

  • Create a “best of” post that pulls together a few of your previous posts or content.
  • Create an infographic or video from the content from your previous pieces of content.
  • Update an existing post or piece of content with more relevant information and republish with a new perspective.
  • Ask an influencer to create a response to an existing post.

Leverage Content Idea Generator Tools
These programs are super simple, but produce a ton of ideas based on a keyword, heading or subject. You will likely get a bunch of posts that don’t really make sense for you, but you will also likely get suggestions that will trigger an idea.

Since the tools are just algorithms, you may get different results with the same words with the same tool or different ones. Here are a few tools to check out:

Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
This tool guarantees to give you a week’s worth (5) blog topics based on 3 nouns that you type in. For example, entering “Content”, “Ideas”, “Blog” resulted in the following ideas.

To get a year’s worth of ideas, you can register free of charge by inputting basic content information about yourself and your business.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator 
This idea generator is a bit more unpredictable, but creates inspiration from a word or phrase.

Type in your topic, and the tool spits out a sentence that can be used as a headline or idea statement for a post. But to build on the statement, there are idea starters to get you thinking “outside the box”, so to speak.

This tool doesn’t promise that every result will net out in a useable idea, but hopefully it will provide some thought starters for something that is usable. And it’s also fun.

Once you’ve discovered all these ideas, be sure to keep a list. You can use Google Tools to keep a list that multiple people can edit or access.

How do you generate content ideas? If you’ve got any hints or insights, keep the conversation going below.

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