Content fatigue: it’s the stall in creativity that so many brands struggle with. We know that continuously creating new, interesting content is the best way to keep your brand alive – but what do you do when your fresh content ideas slow to a stall?
If you feel like you’ve been creating content purely for the sake of creating content, it’s time to spice things up and get a refresh.
Here are four content tips – for both creators and marketers – to give your ideation process the boost it needs for the future. Don’t stay stuck in a rut – embrace a few of these tactics to give your readers what they’re really looking for.
1. Ask Your Readers What They Would Find Useful
When you’re running out of content ideas, or you simply want to try out some new kinds of content, there’s no shame in turning to your audience to ignite the creative spark.
People are coming to your blog, watching your videos, or listening to your podcast for a reason. Maybe it’s for entertainment, or maybe it’s to learn a new skill. Regardless, there’s a purpose behind your content, even if you don’t realize what it is.
So, why not find out what people would love to see from your future content? After all, something’s been keeping them interested – why not build off that momentum?
There are many ways to find out what your readers want. First, you could analyze your most popular existing content – what seemed to do well and why?
Secondly, you can flat out ask your followers what they want. This can be done through surveys, emails, social media posts, or whatever floats your boat.
For instance, take a look at the uber-popular podcast Crime Junkie.
Listen to one episode and you’ll hear several call-outs requesting input from listeners about the cases they share, how they organize the show, and the merch they sell. The two ladies in charge aren’t afraid to ask what their fans want – and this has been a huge source of content inspiration for them.
Chances are, your followers will appreciate your interest in their input. They’ll tune in to see if you take their advice and how they can interact with the future content you produce.
2. Look At An Industry Problem From A New Perspective
You know your industry better than anyone else – or at least, that’s the hope. What better way to bring some new credibility (and follower interest) to the table than by giving them a fresh solution to a problem they continuously face?
However, this can’t be just any solution – it needs to be something new and innovative. Create a list of the most common problems faced by a majority of people in your industry. Then, brainstorm interesting new ways to deal with the issue.
Not sure what problems to address?
Try taking a look at FAQs in your industry.
- What are the questions constantly being asked?
- Which could use better, more innovative answers?
Turning to forum sites like Reddit or Quora are fantastic for this!
You might even want to implement an FAQ page on your site addressing these questions in detail.
Remember: any website can have an FAQ system, from a personal blogger’s page to a huge corporation’s main site. Just make sure you’re not providing the same bread & butter answers that everyone else in your industry is giving – they need to be original and pertain to your brand.
This is a smart content ideation tactic because there are always problems that need solutions, no matter what industry you’re in. Think big, think small, but most of all, think creatively.
3. Bring Your Brand To Life With Video
If you’re a brand that typically sticks to the written word, maybe it’s time you try something new. You’d be surprised by how refreshing a new type of content can be – and video is taking the world by storm in 2020.
Roughly 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support, according to recent HubSpot research. As more and more people begin to skim blogs and look for quick forms of information consumption, video is a surefire way to grab attention quickly.
The question is, what do you make your videos about?
Step one is to make sure you’re creating videos with a purpose. Maybe you want to showcase your knowledge by interviewing professionals in your industry or film authentic videos of your products and customers. Whatever it is, make sure there’s a reason behind the video.
Surprisingly, this book publisher is a great example of a company that harnessed the power of social video. Although Harper Collins typically makes money on the written word, even they have turned to video as a method of getting to know/engage with their audience.
Their teen channel (Epic Reads) is especially popular, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering the younger generation’s tech-savviness and social media usage.
Don’t just rely on boring scripts! Part of what people love about brand-created videos is the chance to get more of the company’s personality on screen. Don’t be afraid to add in a splash of humor and some personal touches for effect.
4. Show Behind-The-Scenes Action
People don’t want to support a brand because of its products – they want to support the people and processes behind it all, especially in an era of consumer awareness and sustainability. They want to know what makes you tick.
In fact, 72 percent of Americans say they feel it is more important than ever that the companies they buy from reflect their values. Your followers want content that shows who you are or what your brand is all about.
Taking your followers on a bit of a behind-the-scenes tour is an excellent way to humanize your company while showing the efforts you take to produce great products. Audiences love getting to see your team members in a more down-to-earth fashion, and posts like these often get a lot of engagement.
Whether you’re a solo blogger or a content writer for a massive company, there’s always some interesting background information or inside scoop you can provide. Make it interesting and you’ve got yourself a series of new content ideas.
Another good idea is to reveal how trustworthy your production process is. Neilson’s recent Global Sustainability Report revealed that 66 percent of customers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands – so show your customers how your products are made consciously and safely.
For example, take a look at Credo Beauty, one of the most popular sustainable beauty brands.
They’ve published a series of blog posts detailing the materials they work with and how they’re pushing for cleaner, safer beauty products. Not only does this inform customers about their products, but it gives them reasons to trust the brand.
How can you entertain or inform your audience with behind-the-scenes content?
5. Update And Repurpose Your Evergreen Topics
Here’s a tip you’re going to like: dig through your archives and make something new out of something old.
“Evergreen” content is content that is always relevant. It’s something that doesn’t become dated quickly, which means search engines can pull from it for years to come.
Popular forms of evergreen content include:
- How-to instructions
- Product reviews
- Cornerstone content
Even though evergreen content stays fresh for longer than other forms of content, it could still use a bit of a facelift every now and then – with fresh data, examples, tips, etc.
You can also take old posts and revamp them for the current year. For instance, did you do a round-up of your favorite books or travel partners in 2019? Make one for the next year with more updated information and new images.
Another great repurposing technique is to transform your old evergreen blog content into a new eBook, podcast, or a video. People like to consume content in different ways, so by sharing your timeless wisdom or long-standing reviews in different forms, you’ll reach a wider audience.
Years ago, Refinery29 started a hugely popular series of blog posts called “money diaries” – of which covered the weekly expenses and activities of regular women.
The fan base grew quickly, and now, there’s a Money Diaries podcast and a Money Diaries book. Refinery29 is turning a big profit just from taking a blog series they already had and turning it into something new.
What pieces of content have done well in the past for your brand? Can you make something new out of them, even if it’s just transforming that content into a different form of media?
Content is extremely valuable, but only when used intelligently and produced with a purpose. If you’re just cranking out blog post after blog post, without giving the pieces intention, then you might as well be reposting the same article over and over again.
Use these tips to revolutionize the way you come up with topics for your website and brand. Don’t let things get stale – turn to your readers, company departments, and trending topics for some fresh content ideas.