As any experienced content marketer can tell you, coming up with fresh ideas for content can be tough. Here are three steps you can follow to generate your next great piece of content for use in your inbound marketing strategy.
Consume a Wide Variety of Raw Material
Good content marketers tirelessly monitor the pulse of the industries they create content for. Get in the habit of reading a wide variety of material about your subject. Set up Google alerts, customize your news feeds and subscribe to blogs so you can stay up on the latest trends and topics. Go to events and attend webinars, but be sure to take good notes. These notes can provide a great jumping-off point for content development.
If you haven't already, start building a library of this material that you can turn to in times of need. Articles, notes and links are invaluable resources you can rely on for inspiration when you feel like you've run out of ideas.
Look for Interesting Nuggets
Review your personas and then look for relationships, combinations and connections between the material you're consuming and your target audience. Don't be afraid to slice and dice elements from different sources. Lists, statistics, quotes and formulas can all be re-combined into a unique take that your audience will find engaging and valuable.
But don't just copy and paste! Put these nuggets in the context of your audience's goals and challenges -- and be sure to use your genuine, authentic voice.
Give yourself the time and space to have the "Eureka!" moment.
Take a Break
Now its time to step away from your work. Go do something else entirely and give your mind a chance to have that "Eureka!" moment. Its called unconscious processing. You don't always have to actively think about something for your brain to provide an answer or generate an idea. But be prepared! Make sure you have something to document your idea when it comes to you -- a notepad or voice recorder app works well for this -- otherwise you might lose the idea before you return to work.
Even if you don't have a "Eureka!" moment, stepping away from your efforts for a little while will allow your mind to reset and help to provide a fresh perspective when you return to your work. This always does the trick for me when I get stuck and can't seem to come up with any ideas.