According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62 percent less. With stats like that and statements like "content is king," content marketing is hard to ignore in today's marketing landscape. However, marketers are often challenged by creating enough content to meet their company's goals and objectives, while also producing high-quality content.
So, whether your team is new to content marketing or old pros, here are five places you can look for inspiration for your next pieces of first-rate content.
1. Co-workers. Your sales team is a great place to uncover content marketing inspiration. Ask them what questions they face from prospects or what are the pain points of potential customers. Along the same lines, your company's account management or customer service teams can provide similar insights for existing customers, and help you form ideas about what's going to be a winning piece of content with your audience. In highly-regulated industries such as healthcare or finance, your company's vice president of compliance or compliance officer can be a great source of information about issues impacting your industry.
2. Customers. While you can always ask other internal teams about customer thoughts and preferences, you can also go straight to the source too. If you don't typically have direct access to customers, ask a salesperson or account manager to connect you with a customer that they think can provide you with valuable insights about your company's products or services, or your industry in general. Surveys can also be very helpful in collecting customer sentiment on a variety of topics, and you could even release the results as a piece of content.
3. Old content. At ClickDimensions, we produce a new Marketing with Microsoft CRM Idea eBook every year, and it's always among our top downloads. When we prepare the new edition, we look through the previous year's version, remove dated content and add many new articles. This lets us use our old content in a way that's brand new to even those that have read every past version of the eBook. Look around your organization and you're likely to find old content that you can make new again too. In addition to updating content, you can also look for ways to publish old content in new formats by turning a blog post into a video, an infographic into a SlideShare presentation or a variety of other repurposing options.
4. Marketing colleagues. Let's say you work in marketing for a healthcare organization and an old co-worker of yours now works in marketing for a manufacturer. While the two may seem to have nothing in common on the surface, there's still plenty to be learned and inspiration gleaned from the content created by other marketers. Perhaps it's the format they use, a theme that would also work well in your industry or even their overall strategy that can help inspire your next piece of content. So share your work freely with your fellow marketers, either one-on-one or at events, and encourage others to do the same.
5. Social media. In addition to providing comic relief or commentary to social media posts, hashtags are still a great way to search for conversations on Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. So get out there and see what your potential leads and customers are talking about and interested in. LinkedIn Groups are also a great social media destination for discovering new content marketing ideas, either by seeing what others are talking about in existing conversations or starting a discussion of your own.
Want to learn more about developing a successful content marketing strategy? Download a free copy of our Hooked on Content eBook here.