3 Tips for Advanced Content Ideas

By: Chris Thompson on October 23, 2014 Categories: Content Strategy, Corporate Communications

Ideation ChallengesComing up with high-quality content ideas can stymie even the most seasoned of marketers. After all, you know that to engage your audience and attract customers you will need to produce a consistent stream of content to set your company apart from its competition. But it can be difficult to keep coming up with a sufficient volume of ideas for all of the content you’ll need to cut through the noise (of everyone else’s content). So how do you keep doing this?

The solution is a content strategy tied to your ideation process.

What Does an Ideation Process Look Like?
Ideation is the approach you take to brainstorming the ideas that will ultimately become your published content. While not all of your ideas will make it all of the way to the publishing phase, they will still help form a framework for your content strategy and help to inspire additional or complimentary content.

Ideation can be carried out by a dedicated content strategist, but is more often a collaborative effort of an entire content creation team. The ideation process can also include the input of the sales, support and customer success teams. These team members have first-hand experience interacting with your potential and existing customers, and dealing with the objections, concerns and difficulties that they report; they can be great resources for what content customers might be looking for at the different phases of the customer journey.

3 Tips for Effective Ideation
With all of this in mind, here are three tips that will get you on your way to producing ideas that will make a positive impact on your content marketing efforts:

  1. Start with Themes. Rather than trying to take on the whole world in a single onslaught, carefully picking your battles will provide a greater chance of securing your triumph. Developing themes helps you to classify where to start with your content. Then, by delving into each of your themes, you can tease out as many ideas as possible. Instead of viewing themes as restricting your latitude, they should be seen as providing clarity and direction to your ideation.
  2. Focus on Personas. Like classifying with themes, classifying with personas helps you appreciate the content that will interest each buyer persona the most. After all, we live in an age of personalization and near-limitless choice; if you try to be all things to all people with each content item, you are setting yourself up for failure. With an ideation strategy built on personas you will be able to create tailored content, with each content item speaking directly to the needs and concerns of specific personas.
  3. Map those to Journeys. Once you’ve nailed down your themes and personas, you can then progress to mapping them to your customer journeys. This creates a multiplier effect for each idea you have so far! To do this, analyze how each of your ideas can be tailored to each stage of the buyer cycle to guide a prospect from initial contact, to the point where they have become a loyal customer. Voila! Even more content ideas.

To find out how easy it is to build themes and personas and map them onto customer journeys, try using tools such as a Theme-Cycle Grid and a Persona-Journey Matrix; to assist with your collaborative ideation process, sign-up for a FREE trial today and schedule a demo.