Ideas and inspiration. If you were to ask a room full of content marketers what they need to be successful, ideas and inspiration would likely top that list. That’s because they are the fuel for everything else in the content marketing process, and at some point, even the best, most experienced and most talented content marketers run low on that fuel.
We have written before in an earlier blog post about where to find content marketing inspiration. But what do you do when those more conventional sources are all tapped out or just aren’t giving you the insight and vision you need to create a remarkable piece of content? Try these five more unlikely sources of content marketing inspiration:
1. Pop culture. Turn on a TV, browse a news website or scroll through Facebook, and you are likely to see a lot of celebrity news. While you may or may not care which famous people are breaking up or making up today, celebrities and pop culture are a powerful draw for modern audiences. To capitalize on this for your own content, think about how you can spin today’s headlines for your own audiences. Does the current top-rated movie at the box office offer insights that would be relevant to your customers? Or does the latest celebrity feud demonstrate a lesson or trend for your industry? You can see an example of this in action in a blog post we wrote about lessons B2B marketers can learn from Taylor Swift.
2. Your kids. If you have kids or spend any amount of time around them, particularly young ones, you know that they ask a lot of questions. Depending on your industry, questions like “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why can’t I eat chocolate chip cookies for dinner?” might not make for the best content. However, there is still content marketing inspiration to be gleaned here. Think about why children formulate questions like they do. They want to understand the world around them and why they should or shouldn’t do certain things. As adults, we’re no different. So, think about how you can make the world make more sense for your customers and how you can answer their questions about why they should or shouldn’t do certain things related to your industry.
3. Traveling on an airplane. I have always thought of airplanes as giant waiting rooms in the sky. You’re just killing time waiting to arrive at your destination, not able to go anywhere else. This is the perfect place for content marketing inspiration to strike. You just have to let it happen. Instead of purchasing Wi-Fi and catching up on emails, try relaxing instead. Look out the window or put in your earbuds and listen to your favorite tunes. Studies have shown that creativity is more likely to happen when we step away from work and clear our heads, and a flight is a great environment to do exactly that. To help keep your thoughts from drifting too far, try focusing on a particular topic or question. For example, what keeps your customers up at night or how will industry changes impact your audiences.
4. Binging on Netflix shows. If the recent Emmy award winners are any indication, Netflix is doing a tremendous job of creating content people want to watch. And if you’re a subscriber of the streaming service, you and the many consecutive hours you’ve spent parked in front of the TV likely know this already. Netflix’s award wins and increasing popularity is rooted in its more recent focus on original content, which is known for great storytelling. So, the next time you are binging a Netflix series or checking out one of their original films, pay attention to how the story is told. What captivates you? What makes you want to keep watching well past your bedtime? While Netflix is dealing in the realm of fiction and your content is nonfiction, you can still use the same storytelling techniques to inspire your content and make it irresistible to your audiences.
5. Job descriptions. For B2B marketers, job titles are an essential part of marketing personas. They can also be used to help you create your next content marketing hit. Simply search for employment opportunities for those job titles and read the job description section. This will give you an idea of the job expectations for your customers, and can help you create content that helps them meet those expectations. Periodic searches of these job descriptions are also an effective way to see emerging trends for your customers. For example, you might see a particular technology or skill suddenly start to appear in job descriptions. Respond to this with content and your customers will thank you.