Content Ideas that Stick for Your Audience (& You!)
Content Ideas that Stick for Your Audience (& You!)

Content Ideas that Stick for Your Audience (& You!)

Struggling with content ideas for your business? In order to develop a quality marketing strategy, you need to know what you’re going to talk about and create content around. And no, everything hasn’t already been done.

This week on the podcast, we’re sharing how to generate ideas for your content and keep them organized so they’re there and ready when you need them.

Get ready for some brainstorming techniques, including mind mapping and the SCAMPER method, and even how AI, specifically ChatGPT, can help.

But it’s not just about idea generation. We discuss organizing and prioritizing your creative thoughts, turning a sea of concepts into actionable plans. Learn how to create ‘Zones of Genius’ and prioritize topics that resonate with your audience.

This episode is more than a guide; it’s about shifting your mindset. See content planning as a pathway to creativity, balancing structured strategies with spontaneous inspiration.

Curious for more? Click to listen to the full episode and transform your approach to content creation, ensuring your audience stays engaged and your brand remains fresh and relevant.

Mentioned in This Episode Podcast

Transcript:

0:10
Welcome to The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for service driven business owners who are ready for some real talk when it comes to marketing. There’s so much buzz out there about marketing and content strategy from people who aren’t actually doing the work themselves. And then there’s us the true small business owner, who are simply trying to make an impact in their own small circle of influence.

0:34
I’m Abby Herman, fractional Marketing Officer, content strategist and podcast manager for business owners who want to make their marketing field easier and more streamlined, so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Here we talk about real marketing strategies for those who are in the weeds and doing the work, not outsourcing it to big teams. You’ll hear from real business owners just like you who are marketing on a budget, looking for easy to implement strategies and want some guidance from people who are accessible and real. Thanks so much for being here.

1:07
If you’ve ever thought I have no idea what content to create for my business, it’s all been done before, or I’m tired of talking about whatever it is that you’ve shared in the past. This is the episode for you, we’re going to talk about generating new and reused content ideas and how you can organize them so that you never run out of content ideas again, okay, maybe never is a strong word. But if you’re feeling low and inspiration, you can come back here and walk through this process again. Today, we’re talking about brainstorming techniques, leveraging tools and resources to help you come up with ideas and organizing your ideas for implementation.

1:47
Let’s start with the importance of going through a process when developing your content ideas. When you have a process or a system in place, you’re driving your business goals, you know where you want to go with your content. And you have a clear plan with clear ideas to get there. Content ideation allows you to align your content with what your audience needs and their interests. And it helps you to create more sustainable content production. And that last piece is so important. Think about exercise or even weeding your yard, the more you stick with it, the easier it’s going to be for you, it becomes a routine.

2:29
So taking the weeding your yard example, if you do it on a consistent basis, you don’t have to do a big huge yard cleanup. If you take care of your yard on a regular basis. You don’t have to do a big weekend or month and cleaning of your house. If you just pick up after yourself each day, you don’t feel like crap. And like you have to overhaul your entire nutrition plan if you just eat well most of the time. But when you fall off the wagon, you don’t do that yard work, you don’t clean up after yourself, you eat like crap and stop exercising, you know that there’s a lot more work that has to go into making sure your yard looks good or that your house is clean, you have to do a lot of extra work for makeup to make up for all of that work that you didn’t do. So take a little bit of time every day to go outside and pull a couple of weeds. Or you know, make sure your sink is clean at the end of the day. Or you sweep up your floor once a week or something, make sure that you have healthy food in your refrigerator to make it easier to eat healthy. And do that on a consistent basis. And you can grow on that.

3:47
And the same is true for your content, have something consistent, have something coming out consistently. So that your audience knows that you’re still there that you still exist and stay visible and present in your business. So that you don’t have to start from scratch every time you decide that, okay, I’m going to make a resolution to start publishing content consistently. It’s never gonna be perfect. And that’s okay. The point is that you’re doing it and you’re showing up. So as you’re building out ideas for your content, as you are thinking about what it is you’re going to put out there consistently. I want you to remember how important your content is for your business growth. So maybe this is like the motivation that you need to get out there.

4:33
So creating content consistently for your audience. It allows you to speak to your audience. You can address their pain points, their needs, their preferences, you can help solve their challenges with your content and build their trust and the authority of your brand. Your content demonstrates the value of your brand and the products or services so you can showcase What sets you apart from others in your industry, for me, it’s being a real human being. And being someone who is doing this work themselves. When you’re developing your content ideas, I also want you to think about all the ways that’s going to help you reach your business goals like lead generation, thought leadership, building customer loyalty, or something else entirely. If a particular idea doesn’t do one of these things, I would rethink the time and effort that you’re spending to actually create it. And keep in mind that different pieces or types of content can serve different purposes, which I’ll talk about in a future episode. Your content is what keeps you connected to your audience, especially if you want to reach a lot of people at once.

5:43
And here’s the key, you can do it inexpensively, you don’t have to spend a ton of money, you can have a big impact on your audience engagement and brand growth with your content, especially if you’re thinking outside of the box and experimenting with different types of content. So here’s how to do that.

6:03
Your audience engagement. So when your content is creative, educational, it’s going to stand out if you’re doing something different than what others in your industry are doing, you’re gonna get noticed, when your content is original and thoughtful. And when it’s real, and doesn’t follow a formula that others might also follow. It could encourage more interactions, more shares more discussions. And this higher engagement can help you to foster relationships and build more trust with your audience. Brand differentiation, so in the b2b space where a lot of offerings can seem really similar on the surface. being really creative with your content ideas, the way you come up with your content ideas can help to set your brand apart from others, it might be more memorable and appealing to potential clients. And that doesn’t mean that you have to dance or sing on videos or create really high highly processed videos and content, or even hire a professional to do it for you. I’d like to talk about things that others aren’t talking about, or in a different way, I don’t spend a ton a ton of time creating flashy stuff, I would much rather focus on the message. That’s what’s more important.

7:20
And that leads you to increase brand visibility, creative and really highly educational content is more likely to be shared. So when your audience notices it, and you’ve hooked them, they’re more likely to share it with others. This expanded reach, so the people they’re sharing it with can increase your brand visibility, which brings new people to you. And that helps you to build brand authority and trust. When you consistently provide valuable content, you establish your brand as an authority in your field. And this credibility is key to the growth of your business. Because people who are making decisions about buying are looking for people who they can count on. When you create content for your audience, when you publish it on your website, or in linked.in articles, you’re supporting your own SEO efforts, the search engines favor unique and engaging content. That’s the stuff that people are clicking on. And that means that your content can rank better in search results. And that gives you organic traffic to your website, which of course is essential for your long term growth.

8:37
And your content should help to adapt to market changes. When you generate content ideas, this isn’t a static like one time effort, you have to continuously adapt to market trends and your audience preferences because those are going to change over time. The more adaptable you are, the more you remain relevant and can pivot really quickly in response to industry shifts, sustaining growth over time. And notice I said pivot quickly. This is why it’s important to not buy into the one year marketing plan idea because this is why I recommend that you plan in 90 day segments. Because things change life changes the world changes your business changes all of that changes and you have to be able to make shifts quickly about something that I will talk about over and over again till the end of time.

9:36
Okay, so I know you’re here to find out how to find your content ideas. So how do you know what to actually create? Let’s talk about those brainstorming techniques. I’m going to share a few ideas and then of course, my favorite way to generate ideas. But before I do that, I want you to let go of the idea that the ideas you come up with have to be perfect. They don’t have to be and they won’t be The big idea is to just get your ideas down on paper or on the computer screen. You can go through your list of ideas later to decide what will work and what won’t. I also want you to remember that in general, your content ideas should align with your business goals. And what you want to accomplish, sell and focus on in your business three months from now, this is something that I teach inside the your 90 day content plan mini course, which you can find in my shop at thecontentexperiment.com/shop.

10:34
When you start your brainstorming, I want you to think about what ideas and materials your audience will need in order to make a buying decision a few months from now, of course, not every piece of content is about driving people to the sale it shouldn’t be. However, it’s something that everyone should keep in mind as they’re developing ideas. So here are some ways to start brainstorming your content ideas. The first is mind mapping. Start with a central idea or theme and branch out into sub themes, topics and ideas. Each branch represents a different aspect or approach to the main idea. Use a visual format like a diagram to organize and connect your thoughts. This helps in seeing the relationships between different ideas. You can use digital tools like MindMeister, or Miro, or traditional pen and paper for creating mind maps. The next is a scamper technique. And this is something that I learned as I was researching around the topic of brainstorming and content ideas before I wrote out this episode, kind of a different name for a method that I already use. But this is called scamper.

11:47
scamper is an acronym for substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate and reverse. For each of the scamper elements ask questions about existing content or ideas to explore new angles. So for example, what can be combined to create a new topic? Or what can be adapted to a new audience? How can I reverse this idea? or modify it? Is there an idea that I can use to substitute another? So I like to think about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of topics as well. So if a topic is something like creating content ideas for your business, yeah, pretty matter. I know. You could ask the question, who should be creating content ideas for their business? Who can help you with creating content ideas for your business? What are tools you can use? What are methods you can use? When Should someone brainstorm content ideas? Why is this a good idea? How do you do it? There are so many different pieces of content and types of content you can create around one central idea.

13:00
The third and my favorite way to develop content ideas is something I learned from the book they ask you answer by Marcus Sheridan, I will have a link to the book in the show notes. And it literally completely changed my whole perspective on how I create content. Essentially, you are serving your audience about what they need from you what their pain points are, you will be really surprised with all of the gems you come up with just by talking to your audience. And it doesn’t have to be something difficult or super formal either. Though, I do think that there is a right way and a not so right way to survey your audience. I have a free challenge that will walk you through the process and give you some templated surveys and questions to ask and the methodology of why you should ask certain questions in certain ways. You can access that free challenge at thecontentexperiment.com/ask.

13:57
And again, it’s totally free for you. As you get results back from your surveys. You can also think about the responses in another way. Think of questions that target your audience’s needs, interests and challenges. So for example, what are the common pain points for your audience? Or what trending topics are currently relevant in your industry? What are people talking about? Use these questions to explore different angles of your potential content topics. And to the fourth, I saved this for last because this might be an unpopular method for creating content ideas. But I think it’s an important one, especially in this day and age. I will often ask chat GPT for thoughts on what to create using AI as a tool is so important and such a big time saver. Now of course, you need to have the right prompts to ask it you need to know what to ask and how to Ask it. But it is possible and chat GPT can get you to think about things in a different way. And of course, you’re going to want to make them your own, make the ideas your own. But this is a really good place to start just to generate a bunch of ideas.

15:16
In fact, I have a simple chat GPT prompt guide coming out soon to help you with this. And with actually creating some of your content for you. If you’re listening to this in real time, in real time, it’s not ready quite yet. But if you’re on my email list, you’ll be notified when it is it will be sometime in February 2024, hopefully early in the month, and I’ll be talking more about AI and chat GPT and how to use it with your content and upcoming episodes. So make sure you stay tuned. Alright, so are you ready to brainstorm, here are some tips that I have for an effective brainstorming session, whether you’re doing it on your own or with a team. So first, I want you to set boundaries, you need to get some time on your calendar where you can be uninterrupted, prioritize this, what are you most creative block off an hour to every month or quarter just for brainstorming. Over time, you might get quicker and you might learn to write down ideas when they come to you throughout the week. I struggle with this holy cow. The number of ideas that I have lost because I haven’t written them down right away is probably staggering. But it’s important to have time blocked out just for brainstorming.

16:35
Also, if you’re brainstorming with other people, make sure that you create an open environment for brainstorming. It’s open it’s non judgmental, and encourage free flowing ideas. No idea is a bad idea. When you are in brainstorming mode. Make sure you have clear objectives set aside for your brainstorming session know what you want to achieve with the brainstorming session. Are you brainstorming ideas for your next 90 days? Are you brainstorming ideas for a particular launch? What is it that you want to accomplish? And then use time constraints. So this goes back to the first step where you’re setting boundaries and blocking off time on your calendar. Make sure that there’s a time limit so that the session is more focused and productive. And then build on ideas and courage building on and combining ideas. So just because one idea gets written down, doesn’t mean you can’t tweak that in different ways.

17:38
And you can go back to earlier in this episode where I talked about like questioning techniques and ways to shift the ideas into new ideas. And then of course, record everything document every idea, even the ones that seem totally outlandish at first, because you can refine and combine them into viable ideas later, if you’re using the zoom, you can record the whole zoom session. Obviously, if you’re working with a team, this is what you’re going to want to do. Or a team member can go back later and record any ideas that you missed. If you are handwriting this or typing it on the computer because you’re doing this solo, that’s totally fine. Just write down every idea even if that thing seems weird and off kilter. Try out different methods of generating ideas and then expand on them. And then when an idea comes to you after reading or listening to something, as I often do, when I’m scrolling through social media, or listening to a business podcast, make sure you write it down again,

18:40
I have lost so many ideas because I forget them. Alright, next is how are you going to organize all these ideas. So you have a big mind bat map or you have a big brainstorm a list of topic ideas. Once you have that list, like let’s do something with it so that you can manage the list. Now, I probably should have led with this because this is how I do a lot of my own brainstorming. But hear me out. I talked about something called zones of genius, where you pick four or five big ideas that align with your business, your products or services, your business goals. And you put these zones of genius in a spreadsheet. I talk about these a lot more in other episodes, there’s a few of them, I’ll put links in the show notes, so you can check them out, but essentially your zones of genius. The way you record them is on a spreadsheet or something that you’ve created in a project management tool like Trello, Asana or clickup. And it holds your ever growing list of ideas.

19:42
You can make adjustments and add and subtract to it all the time. You have your big ideas at the top of the spreadsheet or at the top of the project management tool. And underneath that you brainstorm your list of ideas so it really compartmentalizes your ideas into themes Guess. So you can make adjustments and add and subtract to it all the time. And I like to use it as a tool to really organize my ideas before I start mapping out specific topics. Essentially, you need some sort of organizational tool for just your ideas. This isn’t necessarily your content calendar or your editorial plan. It’s just a place to store ideas, so don’t overthink it too much. And then you need to prioritize these ideas. Once you have your content ideas, it’s time to decide which topics to produce content around. I talk about this a lot more in the your 90 day content plan mini course.

20:41
But essentially, you need to think about what is it that your audience needs to know in order to make a buying decision from you? What pain points can you address in the content so that you can sell that program? Or a course or service down the road? How can you nurture your audience into knowing that they need your product or service? And of course, what content can you create in a timeframe that works for you, you don’t want to create a piece of content that’s going to take weeks and weeks and weeks to finish. We all have time limits. So take that into account. And there’s also the consideration of content variety, not only in the topics themselves, but in whether or not the content is going to be evergreen, or more time sensitive, whether it’s going to be educational or promotional. So think about that as well. I know that a lot of people think they don’t need to create a content calendar or that having a mapped out list of content topics and ideas and creating a calendar around that is stifling, and it will limit their creativity when it comes to marketing their business.

21:46
But honestly, I have found the exact opposite to be true. I personally, am recently back from a little hiatus of publishing this podcast, I wanted to take a little break and I have really enjoyed that break. But during that break from podcasting, I had planned to publish on social media, LinkedIn specifically the whole time. I also planned to email my audience weekly during my three month break. But did I absolutely not. I sent a couple of emails in September or October. But honestly, that was it. I’m kicking myself for doing that now. But I did not have a content plan mapped out because I was pausing the podcast. And that’s my pillar piece of content. And I know we all have really great intentions of publishing content on the fly, and when we’re really inspired.

22:37
But to be honest, when you don’t have a content plan, when you’re shifting your focus a little bit, maybe you feel inspired, but you don’t feel like you have a place to go to actually publish that content. And, you know, consistency is key when you’re trying to grow a business. And it’s important to stay visible to your audience, especially in their inboxes with your emails. So please create a content plan, make it sparse, if you feel like you need to do that. But then you can publish other content on the fly when you’re feeling inspired. But make sure you have something coming out. The next step is actually building out a content plan with those well thought out ideas. I’ve gone on long enough here. So we’re not going to address that here today. In this episode. This episode was meant to just help you develop your ideas.

23:29
But if you’re ready to start building your 90 day content plan, you can get that mini private podcast with the workbook at a tiny offer price at thecontentexperiment.com/shop. It’s ready for you right now. And you can start taking these ideas and putting them into a plan right now. If you found value in what you learned here today, I would be so honored if you would leave a rating and review. And please don’t be shy about sharing the episode with someone who might need it. The more you share this podcast with others, the more we can get it into the earbuds of more business owners just like you who are looking for easy to implement strategies and want some guidance from people who are accessible and real. That’s what you’ll find here. Thanks so much for being here. Take care.

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