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4 Ways to Capture Ideas for Your Content Plan

There’s content, and then there’s content people care about. You know, good content.

We’re talking about social media posts that get comments, blog posts that get shared, and emails that get replies (not “unsubscribe” clicks). 

Here at Every Little Word, we’re vehemently opposed to spoon-feeding audiences information they already know. Instead, we pursue fresh, authentic, story-driven content that piques your audience’s interest.

How do we do it?

We start conversations that cultivate content. 

We create content that starts conversations. 

Rinse and repeat.

Ready to kick off your own conversations and unearth incredible content possibilities? With these four strategies as the foundation of your content plan, you’ll never run out of ideas for content your customers will love!

1. Talk a Little, Listen a Lot

Maybe you’ve heard that you need to blow your budget on pricey market research to know what your customers care about. Or that you have to send out survey after survey to find out what they think. 

But there’s a better way.

Get in on the customer-centric conversations that are already happening.

  • What are your customers saying, doing, and experiencing?
  • What are your customers worried about, searching for, or dreaming of?
  • What are your customers buying—and buying again and again?
  • And what is your business doing to meet their needs?

Learn the language

As you start digging up key customer stories that you want to incorporate into your content plan, don’t fall into the trap of hiding great ideas behind marketing jargon. Embarrassingly, content marketers are notorious for enveloping messages in so much “ad-speak” that it no longer resonates with the intended audience.

Don’t let that happen to you. Stay focused on who your content is for!

Use the words your customers use, embrace the language of your audience, and respect their perspective. It’s the only one that really matters.

2. Answer the Questions No One Has Thought to Ask

The term “thought leader” gets thrown around quite a bit, yet only a tiny percentage of content can legitimately be considered thought leadership content

That’s because thought leadership isn’t defined by the quantity (or even the quality) of someone’s content. (There are plenty of well-written articles in the world that are—pardon our honesty—painfully dull.)

Thought leadership makes people pause and ponder. Thought leadership answers questions that no one has even thought to ask yet.

The Every Little Word content approach is rooted in our belief that there’s a thought leader in all of us. In you. Sometimes inner thought leaders just need a little push.

  • What valuable lessons have you learned?
  • What interesting experiences can you relay?
  • What do you wish you could tell the “you” of 10 years ago?

Someone wants to know what you know. People need to know what you know.

This is how you will define your voice, your brand, and your content.

Follow the feedback

Likes and comments, shares and replies: they are so much more than status symbols. Interactions with your content are feedback. Think of them as the other side of the conversation you started.

And give your audience more of what they’re telling you they like!

3. Tackle Your Industry’s Trending Topics

What are the hot topics in your industry right now? What are industry experts worried about, raving about, or enraged about? And how can these trends fit into your content plan?

Contributing to an ongoing conversation is a great way to get your content in front of a broader audience. Use trending hashtags and targeted keywords to generate traffic and introduce new people to your brand. 

If your on-trend content is well-crafted and helpful, provocative, or even funny, you’ll see results.

Talk to people who care

Stay on top of the hottest hoopla by reading industry blogs, following relevant social media, and attending webinars, conferences, and other industry events.

I know, I know…

Founders and owners and CEOS can’t do it all. And that’s okay! 

Your company’s content plan doesn’t need to come from you and you alone. Remember: content starts with a conversation. So have conversations with people who can keep you connected to the pulse of your industry. Lean into those interactions for inspiration. Then lend your voice to the conversation with high-quality content.

4. Invite Your Audience to Look Behind the Curtain

You don’t always have to look outward for content ideas. Invite your audience into your own world and give them a guided tour of your company’s products and services, its values and motivations.  

  • What changes are coming, and how will they benefit your customers? 
  • What challenges has your team been navigating, and what solutions have they discovered? 

Get vulnerable

When you reveal something true about yourself or your business or your values, you claim the conversation. You own the story.

Ironic, isn’t it, that vulnerability is power? 

But here’s the thing: when the story is yours, so is the audience.

Start the Conversation

When you’re trying to generate content ideas, take a stroll in your audience’s shoes. Then ask yourself these questions:

  1. How are my customers’ lives enhanced by a product or service I offer?
  2. What are the answers to the questions our business hears most often? 
  3. When has a customer come to my business with a serious issue that we’ve solved?
  4. What truths can I reveal about an industry myth or misconception?
  5. When have we applied our core values to solve a problem or make a decision?
  6. Why will an impending industry change impact my customers?
  7. Who can benefit the most from choosing to work with my business?
  8. Where do I see my business making the most impact?
  9. Why does my business offer particular products or services?
  10. How is my business helping to improve our industry as a whole?

Document your ideas

When inspiration hits, take notes! Record voice memos, keep a note on your phone, format a spreadsheet, scribble a message in the steam on your shower door…all that matters is that you maintain a list of content ideas that you can draw from at any time.

Join the Content Conversation

All of the content we produce starts with a Content Conversation℠.

You bring the passion, the knowledge, the insight, the expertise—and, most of all, the story. 

And we’ll bring the talent to turn your stories into great content: every post, every email, and Every Little Word.

Want a digital content strategy that creates conversations? We’ll guide you in the right direction when you Book a Discovery Call!

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