Practical Tips For Generating Great Content Ideas
We write a lot of content, both for the LimeLight Marketing website and for our clients. And when you write a lot of content, you have to think of lots of great content ideas. Ones that are interesting, entertaining, relevant to the audience, informative – you name it. And it can be hard to come up with strong ideas all the time.
That’s why we use a content marketing framework (it’s our system for thinking of lots of ideas quickly and easily – you can find out more about it by watching this webinar), and it’s also why we love these practical ways of generating great content ideas.
12 tips for generating great content ideas
We use these content marketing tips a lot, sometimes to generate ideas from scratch, and sometimes as a way of sense-checking ideas we’ve already come up with.
1. Use your data
If you have a website, you’ll have access to reams of data about how your customers are interacting with your site, what they’re searching for, how often and how many times they’re searching, etc. You can use the data you have at your fingertips to figure out what keywords to target (because they’re the ones your customers are searching for) and create content based around those. There are also tools you can use to find semantically related keywords and create content around those, too.
2. Look at what your competitors are doing
You can use platforms like BuzzSumo, SEMRush and Ahrefs to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and what type of content performs well for them. Look at the pages that rank to figure out what they might be missing, and create content around that gap. Another idea is to try and rank higher than your competitors simply by writing a better piece of similar content to theirs (and making sure you have your keywords, on-page and off-page SEO spot on). You could also read through the comments on their blog posts to see if what their customers say sparks any ideas.
Quora is a widely-used question-and-answer site where anyone can ask a question and get answers from the community. Although anyone can participate, moderators generally limit noise and irrelevancy and maintain quality. Simply input the search term or relevant keyword for your business, and Quora will provide the most popular questions related to those words. You can then answer those questions in a creative piece of content.
4.Google Search Console
Google Search Console will tell you the queries users have typed into Google to find your website as well as the topics you’re ranking for, even if you’re not ranking on the first page. This knowledge is especially valuable because you can see the actual words people are typing to search, and it means you can use those keywords in your content. Speaking your customers’ language can be incredibly important in creating meaningful connections with them, and you might also see an uplift in your page rankings.
5. Google Trends
Google Trends is much more generalistic than Search Console, but it does tell you what people are generally searching for related to your business or industry, and you can drill down geographically as well. Use Google Trends to make sure your ideas are focused on the right keywords.
6. Google and YouTube searches
When you start typing a search into either Google or YouTube (the world’s second-biggest search engine), the rest of your phrase will autocomplete. Simply see what comes up when you type the start of your keyword into the search bar for more ideas. You can also look at “related searches” to your keyword term on Google, and suggested videos on YouTube. Try starting a search with “how/how to, why, what, who, when” for the best autocomplete responses and related searches.
7. Social listening
There are some great social listening tools out there you can use (we love the one from Hubspot) that tell you what your social followers are talking about, which brands they interact with, and what content they share. You could also simply ask your social followers what content they want to see.
8. Topic generator platforms
Topic generator platforms such as Answer the Public, Portent, and the Hubspot generator help you come up with new content ideas by creating topic suggestions based around the keywords you input. You’ll get some random and unique answers (“Will a washer and dryer fit in a Jeep Grand Cherokee?”, anyone?) but you’ll find real gems in there, too.
9. Sign up for industry-relevant newsletters
Signing up for your competitors’ newsletters, or any other relevant industry newsletters, is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your industry. Reading, listening to or watching what they’re saying is a great way to come up with ideas of your own (or steal with pride).
10. Social analytics
As with your website data, you can use your social media analytical data to figure out what your followers are talking about. Look at the content of your top-performing posts and the type of content your followers most engage with. What other similar content could you create?
Ubersuggest is a piece of software powered by search volume data from Google users. It provides you with data on exactly what people are searching for, right down to the specific keywords they’re using. This type of data is really useful in helping come up with great content ideas, or even ideas for keywords you should be including in your content.
If you have a blog and social media channels, make sure to read all the comments your followers post to find out what they’re asking or talking about, and what they’re really engaging with. You could try taking their ideas and using their comments to answer any questions they’re asking in the form of a new piece of content.
Want to find out more about content marketing and how to generate content ideas quickly and easily? Sign up to our free webinar and find out how to deliver great quality, unique, and relevant content that sets you apart from your competitors – with free downloadable templates that help you get started straight away.
Need support for your content marketing? Let’s chat.