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How to come up with new content ideas when you’re stuck in a creative rut

Person coming up with new content ideas

We’ve all been there; you’re trying to come up with new content ideas for your editorial calendar but you’re struggling to think of anything interesting.

When you’re short on time (as many marketing professionals are), content planning sessions can be tough. The pressure is on to create content that’s unique, creative and valuable to your audience. Plus, it must tick all the right boxes when it comes to the technical side of things.

Even if you’re doing everything right by mapping out your target personas and planning content to satisfy audiences at every stage of the funnel, what if the ideas just don’t come to you?

Do not panic.

I’ve been in this situation many times myself – especially working in-house in more of a generalist marketing capacity, when you find yourself time poor and stretched thin.

Here are five tips that have always helped me get out of my content black hole and will hopefully help you too!


1.     Speak to your sales team (or better yet, your customers)

Sometimes you can get so bogged down in the minor details you forget to step back and think; what content do your target customers actually want? 

If you have direct contact with your customers or prospects, great. You’ll likely have some idea of their common challenges. However, if not, it’s important to check in with your sales teams regularly to find out the common objections they’re experiencing from customers.

Consider what content you can create to help overcome these objections. What topics are at the forefront of their minds? What are they asking for? How is their industry changing?


2.     Get out of your box

It’s easy to fall into the rut of writing blog after blog about the same topics so here is your reminder to stop limiting yourself. Dream big!

Look at what companies are doing in other sectors, listen to podcasts, think about different ways of doing things. Don’t be afraid to fail. Drop the fear; it’s all about testing and learning.


3.     Step away from your desk

When you’re feeling the pressure to come up with new content ideas, the idea of stepping away from your desk might seem like lunacy. But sometimes a change of scenery could be just what you need.

Me personally? I have my best ideas when I’m out for a walk or in the shower. You can’t schedule creativity and your best ideas might come to you in the middle of the night! As soon as something comes to you, write it on a notepad, record a voice memo or type it in the Notes app of your smartphone.


4.     Use online tools and searches

There are some useful tools out there to help you find out about the queries that people are actually searching for. AnswerThePublic, is a great one. 

It’s also helpful to refer to notable dates within the calendar – from National Burger Day to the International Day of Happiness, there is truly a date for everything! However, only look to create content around the dates that mean something to your business otherwise it might leave your audience a bit confused.

For example, creating some fun content for World Pasta Day is a great idea if you run an Italian restaurant. If you’re thinking of content ideas for an insurance company though, it might not be so relevant!


5.     Re-purpose high performing content

Keep an eye on your website analytics and monitor any blogs or articles that are generating a decent level of traffic for your site. Think of ways you could repurpose these for other platforms. This could include infographics (great for presenting information in a bite-sized format) or short-form video (good for communicating top tips or Q&As). 

You’ll often find that one piece of content can actually be turned into dozens – which can be a game changer when you’re short on time.


Remember – consistency is key when coming up with new content ideas

Finally, don’t feel pressured to overload your content calendar. Churning out content for the sake of it isn’t worth it. Quality and consistency are the most important things. Stick to a schedule you can maintain and make sure that all content is of value to your audience.


Need some help with your content planning? AB’s content specialists are here to help you! Get in touch with us today.

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