More often than not, marketers run out of ideas – even when they have a solid content marketing strategy in place. You’ve crossed all your t’s, dotted all your i’s, and conducted keyword research. So, why are you feeling burned out from turning this research and strategy into production? How does this happen?
First, don’t panic. You’re not alone.
Content marketing is critical to business growth. Even though we know this, that doesn’t mean new content is going to flow automatically. This guide outlines what to do when this happens and steps to prevent idea shortages.
What Happens When Marketers Run Out of Ideas?
We all have a “bank” of ideas, but sometimes you can’t cash in on them. For example, they might not target your audience specifically. Or they might not be evergreen so, you can’t run with them until you update them for relevance (like a top 10 post about a specific year’s products, services, events, and other ideas like that).
But what happens when the ideas just don’t come?
You’re at your computer, staring at a blank screen, and waiting for something new to come to mind for an article, blog post, eBook, video, or other content. Nothing happens, though, no matter how long you sit.
Many refer to this issue as writer’s block, but, in reality, it’s a creative block. You can’t think of what creative step to take next. If this is happening to you, it isn’t impossible to fire up those creative embers again.
Has Marketing Always Been About Copying?
It might look like some of the most successful marketers are copying from each other. Keep in mind, though, that there’s a significant difference between copying and stealing. Another thing to remember is that copying your most successful competitors is a dangerous strategy.
First, you’re not copying the brand’s success. Instead, you’re mixing their brand strategy into yours. Not only is this confusing to your target audience, but it also dilutes your brand’s power.
Second, you’re losing originality. Producing marketable ideas requires ability, confidence, and expertise. Copying someone else’s marketing ideas makes it look like you’re out of touch with your brand and depending on others to fill those gaps.
Steps to Prevent Idea Shortages
There are TONS of resources available to prevent idea shortages. Look to resources like Quora, Reddit, YouTube, and Google’s PAA questions to spark ideas if you hit a block. Along with those ideas, you’ll find some additional steps for preventing idea shortages below:
Check out Reddit for trending topics and news
- Identify which subreddit matches the closest to the niche or topic you want to produce content for
- Find the most valuable threads using the site’s search function, and then sort them by the number of comments to see which ones are the most active
- When searching, add variations (like “how do you,” “ideas on,” and other phrases to expand targeted results
Turn to Quora to learn which questions users ask most about specific topics
- Identify which topic matches the closest to the niche or topic you want to produce content for – keep in mind that, on Quora, you can look for specific topic pages
- Use the site to mine for ideas, participate in discussions, link to content, use information as a source (with a link to credit, of course)
- Follow your niche’s most popular influencers to see what topics users ask them most about
Look at YouTube to see what people are posting videos about
- Searching YouTube is just as straightforward as searching with Google – enter a search term, and then click on the results
- Use the “related” content the search produces to see what else your target audience is searching for
- If you have a channel with many subscribers, use the comments feature to see what questions or feedback viewers have about specific topics
Unlock PAA questions when typing topics into Google’s search bar
- Type in the keyword or key phrase into the search bar like you usually would when searching on Google
- Look at the search results for the “People also ask” – or PAA – questions to see what else your target audience is searching for
- Identify additional PAA questions within your niche each time you click on a question in the list
Survey Your Social Media Followers
- Ask your followers what they’d like to see
- Create polls and trivia questions focused on your niche
- Encourage user-generated content to give your brand an authentic voice
Repurpose Your Top-Performing Content
- Use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to identify your site’s top-performing content
- Focus on high-performing evergreen content
- Repurpose that content into other creative assets—like eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, courses, and more
Create Content from Topical News and RSS Feeds
- Follow your favorite blogs, podcasts, news sites, and more using RSS
- Generate RSS feeds for social media accounts using a feed URL generator like Rss.app, fetchrss, or something similar
- Use the content in the feeds as a primer for an article, blog post, and other content ideas
Embrace Tools–Like HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, Ubersuggest, and More
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is straightforward to use – add some keywords, click “add,” and it does the rest
- Use Ubersuggest by entering keywords to generate topic ideas, see keywords competitors use, and see how much traffic each page generates
- Other tools worth mentioning include Content Idea Generator, Portent Idea Generator, SEO Review Tools’ Content Idea Generator
Your content marketing success doesn’t need to hit roadblocks when you have the right tools in your arsenal. Because it’s challenging to rely solely on your own ideas, it’s a good idea to put the step above into practice. Do you feel like you’re running out of content ideas and need help? Check out nDash’s managed services to see how we can help.
What to do when you run out of content ideas?
Check out Reddit for trending topics and news, turn to Quora to learn which question users ask the most, look at YouTube to see what people are posting about, unlock PAA questions when typing topics into Google’s search bar, and more.
How do you never run out of content?
Survey your social media followers for content ideas, repurpose top-performing content, create content from topical news and RSS feeds, embrace content generation tools, and more.
What to post when you run out of content?
Find interesting topics on Reddit, write about your successes and failures, create updated resources using old content ideas, look for commonly searched topics using Google’s Keyword Planner, and more.