4 ways to fuel your content creation process

Writer’s block is no joke. Even the best content managers and editors can get dry after a while. Add to that the pressure of customer demands and ever-changing search engine optimization efforts, and it’s easy to understand.

But the need for fresh, engaging, and effective copy doesn’t stop. In fact, content marketing is easily one of the most requested components of successful organizations’ growth strategies. Instead of shaking your head in disbelief that another editorial calendar is on the way, consider implementing new approaches to developing topics. By using a new strategy, you might be surprised at the angles you discover, potentially renewing your energy and enthusiasm for the task.

1. Batch Content Needs

The feeling of overwhelm that sets in when looking at an empty content calendar can be crippling. To tackle the beast, consider using content clusters to cloud your thoughts. Content clusters identify a central topic that feeds into narrower topics, which maintain a common thread that connects them. In application, this process is ripe for a whiteboard, which provides a visual manifestation of the various components and the connections between them.

For example, if your team is tasked with tackling content for mental health services, you would put that front and center. Then you would expand on narrow topics like therapy, medication, self-care, exercise, and meditation. These groups focus on the level of detail, ultimately bringing the reader back to the parent topic of mental health services. Leverage SEO keywords in alignment with your content strategy, and you’ll create useful, strategic content that engages your audience.

2. Review social channels and comments for inspiration

One of the best and worst things about social media is that most users engage unfiltered. Comments, reviews and direct messages are ripe with inspiring – and maybe even shocking – content ideas. Pain points and customer perceptions are enough to drive action in your organization’s day-to-day content efforts. But using this handy sample of qualitative feedback can provide a double benefit.

At first, these feedback portals give you an indication of unmet needs. Whether it’s dissatisfaction with a product, a misunderstanding of a process, or a request for a solution, such comments provide grist for the content mill.

Identify customer issues in their entirety and examine your ability and authority to address them through dynamic content. If certain topics are too risky, escalate them to your product or legal team to provide expertise.

3. Ask your customer-facing team for hot issues

Just as social media can be a window into customer realities, so can a conversation with your frontline employees. Call center representatives and account managers are the most affected by customer feedback. These daily interactions can become monotonous for them, but their insight can be invaluable when it comes to filling an editorial calendar.

Use their ideas to inspire curiosity in your content team. Weave real pain points into potential topics, ranking them based on what you know is on the horizon for the business.

For example, if your team is releasing an improvement soon, place content supporting that effort at the top. If a new product feature meets persistent customer demand, be sure to tell the world. When release day rolls around, your new relevant content will be in high demand, which could boost engagement in the short term.

4. Look at competing sites, then beat them

Knowing where you stand against your competition is key when it comes to products and content. But understanding where your organization can outperform them is the goal when it comes to analyzing the content of your rivals.

Your marketing and sales teams probably have a clear idea of ​​what your business offers compared to others. Use this lens and inside information when evaluating and reviewing what others in your industry are offering through content. Record your results in a spreadsheet, noting links, keywords, and web reach.

Once you’ve looked at competing sites, do a content analysis of your own site to see where you stand. Compare and contrast your content with theirs, identifying gaps where you can surpass their efforts. If they provide a text tutorial on how to use their product, develop an explainer video to demonstrate yours. Track competitor content over time as part of your regular process and you’ll stay ahead of the game.

Keep content fresh, even when handling high volume

Fresh, relevant and relevant content can open a new perspective to the possibility of engaging with your organization. When teams focus on adding value through their content, the solution offered by your product or service becomes the consumer’s natural choice. But getting there is easier said than done, especially when the need for new content is endless.

Aim to create a content development cadence, defining a manageable recurring content generation methodology. Record the ideas that pop up as teams write new content, identifying potential stories uncovered through the creative process. Categorize your ideas into actionable items and assign work in a way that takes into account your review process and delivery needs. Once you’ve established a robust content generation process, your team can focus on creating high-quality content that drives results every time.

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Jenny T. Curlee