content creation ideas

4 Ways to Come Up with Content Ideas

Content is such a great small business marketing tool. It’s cheap or free to produce, it’s easy to reach tons of people, and it gives you an outlet for your creativity.

But what kind of content should you be making? How do you choose among thousands of potential topics?

Here are some simple ways to figure it out.

1. What are the most common questions you hear from customers?

If you listen, you will notice that questions tend to focus on just a few big themes.

Those big, common questions are the most important.

They could be anything from “where to find the best coffee” to “how to stay motivated for weight loss” to “networking techniques for six-figure jobs.”

Look at what customers talk about in emails, on the phone, social media, and in person.

Dive deeply into those common challenges and explore different angles of the question.

What are their most common concerns or worries? What is weighing on their mind? What are those burning questions they desperately need answers for?

That is your inspiration for content.

2. What are people currently watching?

Look at the big names in your field. What kind of content are they creating? Look at their websites, blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram stories and more.

They are big for a reason, so they must be doing something right.

As you look at their content, check to see which articles, videos and images seem to be the most popular. See which posts get more likes and shares and which get less. See if you can find a pattern.

For example, on Instagram, motivational quotes and inspirational images are popular among people interested in entrepreneurship.

If you run a dance studio, fun dance performance videos are popular.

For some fields, a formal informational presentation will be your go-to content type. For others, something more casual that gives a window into your personal life will be ideal.

3. Analyze your own content

I go through my own blog posts on a regular basis and analyze what is receiving lots of traffic.

This helps me focus on results and avoid wasting time theorizing about “what might appeal to my audience.”

I don’t have to guess because the audience is already telling me in the form of traffic, views, likes and shares.

Whatever is already working, just do more of it.

WordPress has useful tools for blog stats, as does Google Analytics (both free).

4. What do you have a talent for?

I’ve always been a good writer and editor. I’ve written and published hundreds of articles on all types of topics. Blogging is a natural fit for me.

You may not be a great writer, but perhaps you’re a great speaker. In that case consider focusing on audio content and podcasts.

If you always have great conversations with people one-on-one, put a camera in the room and publish interview videos.

If you’re good-looking, then post photos of yourself for Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat (just make them interesting and cool, not a string of boring selfies).

Use your natural talents and strengths. Not only will the content itself will be higher quality, but it will be easier to make. You will make better use of your time and be more efficient.

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