Coming up with content ideas that attract ideal clients is one of the most frustrating aspects of social media for most business owners. One of the common questions I answer for my clients is, “What should I post today?”
I have written a lot of articles, blogs, and social media posts through my decades-long career as a journalist and digital marketer. While writer’s block happens to everyone, the one strategy that never fails is having a content bank of ideas for blogs, posts, email newsletters, and video scripts at your fingertips.
So how do you create a content bank of awesome post ideas to reference?
There are so many digital tools that can help you come up with content ideas — websites such as BuzzSumo, Pinterest, Also Asked, and Answer the Public being among my favorites. The trick is to tailor these broader topics into content ideas that reflect your brand values while speaking to your ideal audience.
These are my five favorite ways to generate on-brand content ideas that people want to read. Plug-in the content ideas you get from these sources in a content management tool, such as Trello, or a simple Google Sheet to start building a content bank to reference later.
1. Search the Comment Section for Content Ideas
Reading and responding to all the comments you receive on your blogs and social media posts should be a part of your regular engagement routine. It’s a golden opportunity to connect with your readers and build an engaged community, which will always serve you well.
The comment section of your blog and social media pages is a gold mine for on-brand content ideas. These comments can be a great source of inspiration for you to pull from when coming up with content ideas.
Whether your readers ask questions about your content or simply note what was helpful about your post, you can use that feedback to inform new content ideas from what is already resonating with your audience.
The great thing about the comment section is that it’s a never-ending source of content ideas. So the more you’re posting, the more content ideas you’ll get from commenters.
If you’re new to content creation or haven’t received a ton of helpful comments yet, check your competitor’s comment section. Then, answer the questions they receive in a future post to attract more of your ideal audience.
2. Poll Your Audience
Do you want to know the type of content your audience wants to read? Just ask!
One of the greatest benefits of using social media for business is the ability to poll your audience to gain insight into want they are looking for from your content. Instagram and Facebook Story polls are excellent to boost engagement while finding out what topics your audience wants to know more about.
Your email list is another great resource. New people are joining your list all the time. Dedicate on newsletter a quarter to surveying your list members to ensure you’re creating the type of content that will keep them coming back.
Some Content Idea Questions Can Include:
What’s your favorite type of content?
A) Blogs B) Social Media Graphics C) Videos
Do you want to learn more about [one of your content pillars]?
A) YES! B) No thanks
These types of questions will help you come up with topic ideas and help you determine what format your audience prefers.
3. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Why do your clients hire you? Aside from your sparkling personality and fantastic customer service, of course, your clients come to you to answer questions they’re struggling with or to solve a problem.
Think about the questions you’re asked during discovery calls or the common issues your clients face when they start working with you.
Creating content around these common stumbling blocks will make your readers aware of the problems you solve and the solutions you provide without being overly sales-y in your posts.
4. HOTH Headline Title Generator
I know you’re going to love this content idea hack as much as I do!
As previously mentioned, several websites can help with the content creation ideation process. BuzzSumo, Pinterest, Also Asked, and Answer the Public are some of my favorite tools to research broader topics that fit your niche.
Tailoring those broad topics to your audience and brand values is where you have to get creative. That is where one of my new favorite tools comes into play.
HOTH’s Headline Title Generator is a free plug-and-play content tool that allows you to develop ideas that fit your brand in a flash. It’s technically a blog headline generator, but it’s also a rich source of social media post ideas.
The tool asks you audience-specific prompts, such as “Enter a problem that is common for your target audience.” Then it pops out a list of ideas based on your content pillars.
Read more about How to Create Content Pillars here.
5. Use Your Analytics
You probably have a good idea of what content is a “greatest hit” for your business.
Analytics is the gold standard for determining your top-performing posts, but if you’re not that techy about it, a good indicator is a high engagement rate. If your audience commented, clicked, saved, and shared it several times, it must have provided value.
Measuring results after an established amount of time is an excellent way of finding out how well the content did and gives you extra information about which content interests your audience. Each month check in on what post performed the best and plug it into a content management program like Trello for reference. This helps you realize your successes as well as how to improve in the future.
Now, what are you going to do with that fantastic piece of content? I think you know the answer. You’re going to repurpose it, of course!
Content repurposing doesn’t just mean that you reuse an old piece of content again and again. Instead, great repurposing — that increases your SEO and brand awareness — builds and expands on itself over time.
Like a fine wine, your content can get better with age.
This is how the simple and aptly named A.C.E method will help you ace your repurposing strategy — pun very much intended.
- A is For Adjust: Ask Yourself What Needs to be Added, Removed, or Re-Worded?
- C is Combine: Where Can You Combine Related Content to Provide New Value and Meaning?
- E is for Expand: Is there an Opportunity to Expand on Something You’ve Already Done to Dig Deeper into the Topic?
These steps can help you improve content over time without starting from scratch all the time.
Read More about How to Repurpose Content to Improve Your Marketing
Coming up with a content bank of on-brand content ideas your audience will love can seem daunting at first. The comment section, polls and surveys, frequently asked questions, content generation websites, and analytics are great sources to nail down content ideas that your audience will resonate with every time.
Cyndi, Owner of Ascent StoryCraft
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