Whether you’re writing copy for your website, blog posts, or social posts, sooner or later you’re going to get that feeling that you just don’t have any more good content to share. Don’t worry, it’s normal. If you’re committed to an ongoing content marketing strategy, it can be easy to reach the point where you feel like you just don’t have anything helpful left to say. After all, with bazillions (yes, it’s a real measurement) of pages on the internet, hasn’t everything already been said?
But the real goal in a good content marketing strategy is figuring out the things to say and the ways to say them to be relevant and helpful to your audience. So, how do you get inspired when you’ve got writer’s block?
Here are 5 ways that work for me:
- Talk to strangers about what you do for a living – OK, don’t be creepy about it, but do find some people, maybe at a networking event, or in a LinkedIn group or just somewhere outside of your normal path who might be able to offer you a different perspective on what you offer. Their fresh look can help open up your eyes to the things your audience might care about and give you ideas on new ways to reach your audience and the questions they might be asking.
- Reach out to your customers – Pop into sales meetings, take a client to lunch, spend an afternoon on the golf course, and find out what they’re thinking about these days. Maybe they have a problem that they’re trying to solve that you don’t know about (but could offer some perspective on!), or perhaps things are changing in their business and they are trying to figure out how you fit in. Whatever the case, getting some face-time with your clients can give you fodder for all kinds of content, whether it’s some simple “did you know?” style content that’s great for social posts, or ideas for longer form content that really speaks to a concern or opportunity. Your own customers can be a great source of content ideas! (And sometimes these meetings turn into more business, too!)
- Talk to your customer service and sales staff – As marketers it can be easy to get caught up in your own portion of the business and forget the resource that you have available to you in your own staff. These are the people who are on the front lines with your customers and get to hear about all the day-to-day and real things going on surrounding your industry. Use these resources to learn about what’s happening in your market and tailor your content to speak to it. Common complaints or questions can be your best content inspiration because you know that these are real issues that your audience cares about.
- Attend an industry event – I went to Content Marketing World last year and I’m still using nuggets that I learned last year to help me with content ideas for projects I work on. Getting outside of your own walls and into a larger audience can help gain a better perspective on what’s going on in your market, what’s trending, and how it applies to your company. These kinds of events can be quite the investment (the cost of the event, travel, time away from work) but if you go with an open mind, there’s a lot to be gained.
- Pick off a list – Sure, it’s nice to be fresh, on-point, timely… but let’s be realistic. We can’t always be that “on”. So, gather your team together and brainstorm ideas that are tried-and-true, things you hear “all the time” so that when the well is dry, you’ve at least got a starting point. Chances are a few words are all you need to come up with something great to share!
How else do you get inspired to come up with content ideas? Tell me in the comments.