Lazy marketers are all around us…including you, if you’re honest.
Have you ever woken up from a Saturday afternoon snooze or raced back from work or the gym because you’re absolutely starving? Opened the fridge and experienced grade-A distress at the realization there’s nothing to eat?
That’s never stopped us being hungry—and it’s never stopped us eating something, either!
We always manage to rustle something up, whether it’s a courgette (aka zucchini) and sausage omelette because there’s no bread, or tomato puree and egg sandwiches because there’s no ham.
We make, we eat, and we move on.
Have You Been a Lazy Marketer?
Have you ever fed your audience a blog post in the same way you’ve fed yourself when there’s nothing in the fridge?
Then you’ve been a lazy marketer my friend, but we’ve all done it, haven’t we?
I’ve asked hundreds of marketers during the last five years of speaking, consulting and writing, “Have you ever clicked ‘publish’ on a blog post which you knew was sub-standard because you had a deadline to hit?
Most marketers nod, smile and agree without embarrassment or remorse.
Sometimes, when the gods are against us, we just need to bash it out right?
So how do we avoid finding ourselves in this situation?
It’s not easy to produce great content every time you hit publish and it’s impossible to publish a string of never ending home runs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t follow a better, more professional content publishing routine to stack the odds in your favor and make sure you always have your audience’s best interests at heart.
Eleven Content Marketing Ideas
Here are my top 11 tips for having great content ideas at your fingertips.
- Survey your customers to find out what their biggest [relevant] problem is. How can you help solve it with your products, services, or expert advice? You’ll often be surprised at the answers and you can be sure it will get a good reception once it’s published, because you know for a fact your audience is interested in it.
- Regularly ask your entire team for creative content ideas. Because they all work in slightly different roles, they’ll each have a different approach, which means you’ll get lots of different ideas. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find something you can use.
- Search Quora, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, Twitter chats, and hashtags for genuine questions. If people are asking about it, you can be sure others are wondering the same thing—and probably searching for it on a variety of platforms, including YouTube and Google.
- Spy on your competition to see what’s working for them using Social Crawlytics. You can see what topics and keywords get the most traction from their audience. Get inspired by the same topic and write your own version, making it better, more in-depth, and more valuable to your audience, of course!
- Fill in some of the blanks on my list of 60 headline templates. This will help get you started.
- Try persona empathy mapping to discover more about your audience. If you’ve never done this before, you can find our free templates online to guide you through what to do. By understanding your audience and breaking it down into the different personas of your audience you’ll find it easier to identify a bigger range of topics to write about. You’ll also find it easier to seed the content socially too, because you’ll have a greater idea of who to target with it once you’ve completed the exercise.
- Research industry conference hashtags (past and present) to see what people talked about most. Conferences are a great way to discover fresh ideas, but the audience also does a brilliant job of curating the most popular, insightfu,l and thought-provoking content. Use this insight to inspire your content ideas.
- Update previously popular content with current information and new ideas. If your audience found it interesting once, it’ll probably do well again.
- Create your own content hub so you’re clear on what types of content you need to move people through an effective marketing funnel. Once you’re clear, it often helps spark lots of new ideas.
- Get your house in order with a solid organized schedule. A tidy house means a tidy mind. You can’t be creative if you don’t have time to think. To get yourself a little more organized, there are free content planners online so you can see exactly where you’re thin on ideas and inspiration. Being prepared in advance allows you to think, research, and refine your content ideas at a leisurely pace, which often breeds more creativity and means you’re more selective with your ideas.
- I love crime and gangster movies and all the various characters found within their stories. As long as it’s not too tenuous, try being creative by relating what you love to lessons you’re trying to teach. I’ve written about the marketing lessons you can learn from The Godfather, “Making people an offer they can’t refuse” is fantastic marketing advice and that’s from Don Corleone himself!
Remember…don’t be lazy, say no to rustle-ups, and go shopping for great ideas, instead.
If you feed your audience healthy portions of pre-planned content, content you know they’ll enjoy (because you bothered to ask them), you’ll get so much more from your marketing.
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