How To Generate Content Ideas Quickly & Easily (With Minimum Stress)
Creating new and unique content isn’t easy. You’ll sometimes find you’re completely stuck for ideas, there’s a deadline looming, and you need to make sure you’re creating content that fits into your plan and is relevant and useful for your target audience. Sound familiar? Never fear, there’s a quick, simple and easy way to generate plenty of ideas – you just need a framework to get started.
The Content Marketing Framework
The Content Fuel Framework is a new book by Melanie Deziel. It has inspired me to create our own framework at LimeLight Marketing. Using Melanie’s book, we’ve been inspired by her thoughts to put together our own ideas, tips, and recommendations. We’ve also created a webinar which you can watch at any time.
Find your content focus
You might not get very far by looking at a blank screen. It’s much more useful to something tangible which will guide you and help you generate new content ideas quickly and easily.
The first step is to find your content focus, or think about the different types of story you could create content about. These are ten of the content focuses we use to generate ideas – and we think they’ll be helpful for your next content idea generation session, too.
- History – this type of content provides information from the past related to a person, event, product, industry, organization, technology, or trend. Information from the past can be useful to new audiences over time because these stories do not change – it is evergreen content.
- Data – data-focused content tells stories that utilize numbers, data, trends, facts, figures, or statistics you can use to convey your idea. Simplifying data is a great way to make a complex topic more palatable.
- People – people like content about people. Success stories about people who have undergone unique experiences, made great achievements, participated in something outstanding or any newsworthy events can be particularly successful, as long as the content has a new angle.
- The basics – going back to the basics is always an effective way to create content. Provide your audience with a general overview, background information, or definitions that are useful to them. Creating content based on the fundamentals means you are targeting new audiences or those who have limited knowledge – you can really help them. This type of top-of-funnel content can help attract potential prospects.
- The details – build out detailed content based on your basic content. Expand on elements or sections within the basic content and create new, in-depth content just around that. Detailed content means you are looking deeper and taking a more comprehensive approach, and it’s great for audiences who would like to know more about the basic content you’ve already provided.
- Opinion – businesses sometimes avoid opinion-based content for fear of being controversial. However, creating content based on your opinions does not have to be controversial. Instead, you could be providing your audience with a new perspective on the topic – a lot of people search for different opinions to help them make an informed decision.
- Process – this type of content gives your audience an idea of how a certain function or process takes place. It can be informative, instructional, and educational, or even a step-by-step guide.
- Curation – curated content is a collection of things that meet the same criteria or have similar characteristics. Think about how many items you want to include in your list and how each item follows your selected criteria.
- Product – when you create a product content, you are going closer to the mid-section of your funnel. Here you can give supporting facts on your product or service. This type of content includes landing pages, sales pages, reviews, or anything that is related to the product or service you are offering.
- Examples – this type of content offers a two-part story where the first part is the example you are referring to, and the second part is the broader story that the example reflects. Case studies are often the type of content in this content focus.
Start generating your own content ideas
1. Use these different focuses to think of ideas related to your business and work with others to brainstorm new content ideas (if you need some more structure to do this, watch our content marketing webinar and download our free framework templates).
2. Write all your ideas down, no matter how crazy – nothing should be off the table. You never know what other ideas will come from the crazy ones…or they may turn out not to be as crazy as you think.
3. Ask people from different business areas for ideas. You’ll get different perspectives and opinions. You can even ask your audience what kind of content they want from you – you can do this by asking them directly or by reading through comments on your social media channels or blog posts to gather ideas.
4. Content multipliers – when you have an idea you like, think of all the different ways you could use it by applying content multipliers. This means you can generate a broader range of related ideas and go really in-depth into one topic. Let me explain…content multipliers include time, demographics, location, and resources. Take each of these elements and combine them with your original idea.
For example, let’s say your original ideas was “The 6 Best Books Architects Should Read About Woodwork”. Multiplying this idea out might give you:
- The 6 Best Books Architects Should Read About Woodwork In 2020 (idea multiplied by time)
- The 6 Best Books Junior Architects Should Read About Woodwork (idea multiplied by demographic)
- The 6 Best Books Architects In Humid Climates Should Read About Woodwork (idea multiplied by location)
- Resource: The 6 Best Books Under $10 Architects Should Read About Woodwork (idea multiplied by resources)
5. Multiplying the multipliers – yes, you can go one step further and multiply the multipliers with each other. Using the same example, “The 6 Best Books Architects should Read About Woodwork”, here’s how you can multiply the multipliers:
- The 6 Best Books Senior Architects Should Read About Woodwork In 2020
- The 6 Best Books Wannabe Architects Should Read About Woodwork In 2020
- The 6 Best Books Of All Time Junior Architects Should Read About Woodwork
- The 6 Best Books Under $50 Architects Should Read About Woodwork This Year
As you can see there are numerous ways you can expand on one idea – just don’t go overboard!
Need support for your content marketing? Let’s chat.