Stuck for content ideas? Try these!

The best ways to work out what types of content your audience wants is to observe or simply ask them. But let’s face it, we all run short on ideas now and then! If (or when?) this happens to you, we have a few ideas to get the content idea ball rolling again.

1. News and current events.

Pay attention to what’s happening in the news and often you’ll find something that ties in perfectly to your audience’s interests. For example, if your target market is parents of teens and stories of online dangers or even of inspiring kids is a potential subject to share and comment on.

2. Keep a notebook of ideas

Always keep a little notebook or your smartphone handy when you come across ideas. Sometimes a little story about what happened to you at the weekend or even your kid’s football match can become a relevant lesson to your readers.

3. Product reviews

People always appreciate detailed and honest product reviews. A good review will discuss a product’s features and potential benefits. It will also clearly show who the product is suitable for and perhaps who it is not. Don’t forget to mention about any potential drawbacks.

4. Create case studies with your clients/customers

Case studies are perfect because they can be highly-informative, but also provide amazing testimonials for your business.

5. Interview other experts/celebrities in your market.

This doesn’t have to be Angelina Jolie or some other celebrity. Just get people in your market that people turn to for information, guidance and even entertainment.

6. Be interviewed by someone else

This is an ultra-easy way to create content simply by answering questions. You can even ask  your own readers submit questions for the interview.

7. Look at previous content and expand on it

If you previously created some popular content, see where you can expand it or possibly target a certain aspect of it in finer detail.

8. Create a “Top 10” list

Writing not your thing? This is an easy way to come up with plenty of ideas in point-form. For example, ‘Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Groceries’.

9. Entertain them!

People use the Internet for information but also for entertainment. You don’t always have to come up with earth-shattering information to impress your audience. Have fun, inspire them or make them laugh.

Photo: lum3n.com

How to use content marketing to make more sales

You’re probably familiar with the idea of giving away a free ebook or report to demonstate what you know or build trust. But how can you use content to lead directly to sales?

Sometimes you’ll give content for the sake of giving out something useful just to be helpful, but usually you’ll want to create a plan for your content so that you can profit from it. Sometimes the profit will come directly through a product promotion, other times you might use your content to grow a mailing list so you can profit in future. Whatever your choice, make sure most of the content you publish has a very specific purpose.

That means that every article or piece of content should have some type of call to action. A call to action simply means telling your reader what you want them to do, for example ‘download here’, ‘sign up’ or ‘if you like this please share’.

It may sound obvious to you that they should take an action when they’ve finished reading your article, but you really do need to tell your reader exaclty what to do or they’ll move on without taking any action at all.

As you can see, it’s vital that you plan your content so that it brings you the outcome you want.  Here are some ideas for how to do that:

During a Product Launch

  • When you’re getting ready to launch a product, plan related content well in advance. That way, you can release a little bit every few days or each week to really build excitement for the product.
  • As you release your content, invite your readers to sign up for a notification list so they can get more content and get advanced notice of the new product.
  • Try to provide content in a variety of formats through the process. Try PDFs, blog posts, audio, worksheets, video or anything else you think your audience may appreciate. This will help you reach a wider audience and increase the perceived value of the content when your audience sees you releasing all this great and varied material.stuff.
  • Remember to ask for feedback and questions through the process. This allows you to overcome any objections to purchasing the product. Publish the answers to questions publicly so others can benefit from the answers too. It will also get more people interested in your product.

General content, when you’re not in ‘launch mode’

  • Every article should recommended related products or invite people to sign up for your mailing list.
  • Videos should have your URL or some type of offer at the end.
  • Reports and ebooks should include a promotion of your business.
  • Audios should always include product, website and/or mailing list information.

Always give your readers the opportunity to get more information that they are seeking or buy a product to further help them solve their problem. That way you can help them and your business at the same time. It’s a win:win!