Sometimes, you just don’t know what to make your content about. It’s ok. Writer’s block happens to the best of us. When a novelist hits a block, they’re encouraged to take a walk, read a book, listen to music and to free write. Their only concern is to get their ideas flowing again and resume their writing.
For marketers though, a writer’s block is much more difficult to overcome. Not only do we need to get the creative juices churning again, but we have to come up with profitable ideas. In addition to all of the standard “getting over that writer’s block” tips, here are some tactics to ensure your ideas are worthy of your campaigns.
Re-Examine Your Personas
Returning your focus on your target audience can ensure future ideas are relevant. Brainstorming up ideas that aren’t aimed properly are going to miss the mark. Take some time and really look at whatever personas or target market information you’ve created.
What type of questions or concerns are standard for them? Have you answered all of them? Are there other ways you could address some concerns you’ve covered before, but from a different angle? Asking yourself these types of questions gets you in the right mentality for great ideas.
Take time to analyze whether your personas are up to date. Has the industry changed enough that your persona’s needs are different? Your target market is evolving over time, especially in today’s world. As new research, technology and tactics are developed, you need to have spot on personas that actually represent your target market, not representing them a year or two ago. If you are behind, update your personas and then create content around what has changed.
Look At Data, Predict the Next Trend
What’s the next big thing coming up? You don’t need to phone up your local fortune teller for help. Instead, look at different data sources to guide you. Predictive analytics involves finding trends in data and using those trends to your advantage.
These trends could include when certain topics get more search traffic, content types that are more profitable for your business, and even what might be the next big thing in your industry. By properly analyzing your available data, you can get ahead of the curve with your content.
Data can guide and influence your content from start to finish. It can give you ideas on what to write about, what format the content should be in, and how best to promote it. All you have to do now is produce it.
Brainstorming New Ideas
Two brains are better than one. Having a group brainstorm is extremely effective for creating ideas and give you tons of direction on what to do next. While the idea of a brainstorm may seem easy, they are usually very difficult to control, especially with a group of highly creative people. Here are some tips to make your brainstorms extremely effective.
Everybody Comes Prepared
Nothing slows down a brainstorm than having to start by explaining the situation. Instead, everybody should come knowing the target market, the problem, and what is expected in the brainstorm. Give everybody a few hours before the meeting to prepare, so they all walk in ready to hit the ground running.
Smaller Groups Are Better
Don’t invite everybody in the company to the brainstorm, but instead hand pick certain individuals. Keeping the group small gives everybody the chance to talk and makes everybody feel comfortable.
No Idea Is A Bad Idea
Everybody in the meeting needs to understand that, in a brainstorm, no idea is “bad” and nobody should be a nay sayer. After the meeting, the different ideas can be weeded out, but the more ideas that are shared in the brainstorm, the more likely you’ll find a good one. Also, a poor idea can springboard somebody else to a better idea, so nobody should be holding back.
Don’t Invite The Boss
Employees get nervous around the person in charge of their paychecks. Having the boss there often focuses participants away from the brainstorm’s purpose. Instead of collaboration, the meeting becomes competitive, with each person wanting to produce the best idea to impress the boss. Other people will be afraid to embarrass themselves, and self censor an idea that might actually be perfect for your needs.
Follow Up On Your Best Content
If you are coming down to the wire and need something fast, look at what’s performed the best on your site. How you define “the best” could be what got you the most traffic, or what has lead to the most conversions or purchases. Either way, find what’s done the best, and do a follow up to it.
Your follow up could delve deeper into a specific part of the subject, present the information in a different format, or add relevant updates. Be sure not to just copy and paste the same content, but add to it. Further the conversation and provide extra meaningful insights to your viewers. You can do this by editing the previously made content or by making a follow up piece. Updating an old blog article with new information can encourage old visitors to read it again and capture new traffic at the same time.
Just as novelists read other great books for inspiration, you should do the same with your competitors. Check out your competitors and find out what they are talking about.
If there is a competitor that is doing really well, analyze their content. What topics are they covering and should you be covering it also? Does their content make sense for you target markets? This is great for finding holes in your marketing that you need to fix and maybe adapt their tactics to your campaigns.
You can also look to competitors who aren’t doing so well for ideas. Pretend you are a picky consumer going through their site. Record what questions and concerns you have that are unanswered on the site. Then, apply those same objections to your site. Could consumers have those same obstacles with your business? If so, you have some content to produce!
What do you do when you hit a creative wall? Got a trick for coming up with fresh ideas you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.