Creativity and ideas are the two of the key contributors to valuable and effective content, but what happens when the creative juices run dry and your ideas are few and far between? This blog post takes a look at three ways to refuel your content strategy and inspire creative content ideas.
1. Share and discuss creative content ideas
As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work and discussing clients with your team (or customers with your client) is a great way to inspire creativity and approach your content from a different angle. Collaboration with the people around you can be a great way to generate ideas and stepping away from the desk into a different environment can refresh the mind and inspire a whole host of new ideas that can reactivate your creative juices.
In a digital agency environment it’s also important to really get to know your clients and their target personas to really delve into the questions they may search for online. Recently, one of our lovely clients invited us to spend the day with them, meet their customers and experience a typical working day in their business. Aside from being a really interesting day, the trip also gave the team exclusive access to the people we were writing for.
The feedback we received from the conversations we had from their customers was invaluable, highlighting unanswered questions and hot topics to focus on for future blog posts. If you cannot meet your target audience face to face, there’s also online surveys and communicating via social media to generate discussions that will help you delve deeper into the minds of your buyer personas. Tapping into these minds is an invaluable source of information for idea generation and pointing a few questions in their direction may lead to some fresh thinking when approaching your content.
2.Think about context
Search engines scour millions of resources in order to provide users with the best answers to their questions. So why shouldn’t we?
We may not have the time to go in quite as much detail as Google but we should always be thinking of the wider context behind a single search query and the other related questions and search terms that feed into the same search.
Google’s ‘related questions’ are a great way to see what other people are searching for in relation to a particular search query. If you structure your blog post or page around a number of different related questions, you will have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results as Google will recognise that you have provided a detailed and well-rounded answer.
Using a search query data visualisation tool such as answer the public also helps to establish the wider context behind any given topic or subject area and helps you create relevant and authoritative content that correctly serves your target audience. These sorts of tools are a natural evolvement from the days of keyword planner, especially for content creation, as they are more concerned with those long tail, niche search queries that will help you create valuable content tailored to the audience you are trying to reach. Answer the public enables you to tap into the real life questions potential customers are searching for so you can make sure it is you that is providing the most valuable answers.
3. Strategise content ideation
It’s all well and good having an engaging content idea, but if that idea isn’t developed, strategised and put into action then it remains just that – an idea.
Of course, creating high quality, valuable and informative content is an integral part of your overall content marketing strategy. But what’s arguably more important is how we measure the effectiveness of the content and how successfully it is achieving an objective. Introducing Google Analytics. A measurement tool such as analytics will give you detailed insight into your target audience, their online behaviour and their reading habits. Once you know your way around analytics it’s easy to uncover performance-inducing ideas that will help you write content that will deliver.
Here are our three favourite destinations in analytics to measure content success:
Page Views: Measured independently of other metrics, the number of page views a blog post receives may not offer much in terms of insight. However, this metric is key in finding out just how popular your content is. Analysing the number of page views your content clocks up is the gateway metric to delve deeper into your measurement of content performance.
Avg. Time on Page: This metric not only shows who visited your content, but also who stuck around long enough to quantify its worth. When the average time spent on a piece of content is longer than a few minutes, you know you’re doing something right. It suggests that your content is grabbing and maintaining reader’s attention and adding value to a customer journey.
Bounce Rate: Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who enter the site on a particular page, then leave the site without any further interaction or navigation to other pages. It’s often seen as an indication that a page isn’t fulfilling users’ needs, but there’s a caveat to that argument; bouncing visitors could also be a sign that the page is very fulfilling. It could also mean they showed up and found exactly what they were looking for, so they left happy.
Context is king in this case so look at other metrics in conjunction with this such as time on page. Is it high? That’s a good sign for the better kind of bounces. If it’s low, users might not be finding what they’re looking for, and are leaving your site very quickly – which indicates you aren’t serving user needs with your content. If you have trouble understanding google analytics, our recent blog post takes a look at some of the other key terms and phrases which make up this hugely beneficial measurement tool so you can make sure you’re using it to its full potential.
Google has recently delved deeper into the customer journey, breaking up the passage of purchase through intent-driven micro-moments. People are led by thoughts, experiences and influences during the smaller moments of their day, searching in want-to-know, want-to-do and want-to-buy moments. Each of these searches represents an opportunity for a brand to influence and shape customer decisions – paving the way for a smoother journey in and around your site.
Although Google’s micro-moment initiative centres on mobile responsiveness, the fundamentals which drive this concept should be used to inform a successful content strategy. Plugging into the customer’s want-to-know moments can be a goldmine for creative content ideas. In these moments, customer expectation is high and patience is low – they want to find the right answer and they want to find it fast.
Creating high quality, relevant and useful content which answers the want-to-know moment will position you on the frontline in the battle to make the best impression. And if you do your research right and do the best job of addressing those needs, you will win that battle time and time again.