Create content that your colleagues and others will want to share. Even if you are stuck in a creative jam, our 5 great sources of inspiration will help content marketers.
Writer’s block, creative blackout or whatever you may call it, being starved of inspiration can be stressful. Marketers are measured on results nowadays more than ever with so much data available and the task of standing out is becoming even harder.
So, it is important to keep the creativity flowing by knowing where to look for inspiration and how to keep your stocks high. Here are our top 5 great sources of inspiration for you, whatever your role or service may be.
Source 1 – Statistics and studies
We’ve already said that we live in the age of big data. It’s not just company bosses and leaders who love statistics, consumers love them too. Whatever your industry, sharing the latest trends with your subscribers or viewers is a great way of proving that you’re in the know.
The good news is that there are plenty of places you can turn to, like Statista which provides data and studies from over 18,000 sources. These sorts of libraries are a must for any content creator and provide genuinely useful information to your customers. There are both free and premium options for most of them, we always recommend signing up to at least one and setting up alerts for when new relevant studies become available.
Once you’ve untapped this supply of data, all you need to do is draw out the most relevant information and present it in a way that your customers will love. Infographics are naturally a fantastic example, as they allow you to share lots of important information in a way that’s highly engaging and easily digestible.
Source 2 – Industry news
Visitors to your blog don’t just want to know about your company or services, they are very likely to care about the wider topics of your industry too. Stay up to date with what’s happening around you and share anything that may also affect your customers.
A bank is a great example of a business that is affected by wider world topics like climate change, political economic events and of course stock markets. Their customers are literally invested in all of this information because it will affect their interest rates.
Build up a list of relevant content sources for your business and share important news with your customers. Again, pull out the information that is most relevant to them and explain it in a way that you know they’ll understand.
Source 3 – Competitors
Uh oh, this one feels uncomfortable to some people but it shouldn’t be. You need to know what your competitors are up to anyway as simply good strategy. Taking inspiration from them though can be a bitter pill to swallow.
We’ll tell you now, we monitor everything our competitors share and we even sometimes say “Wow that’s really good”, you have to give credit where it is due. What’s more important is being able to say, “That’s good, but how can we do it better… what have they missed here?”
Simply knowing what sorts of content works best for them can be enough and we would never recommend outright plagiarism!
Source 4 – Marketing blogs and forums
It’s great to know that as marketers and creative thinkers, we have pretty strong support to fall back on. These come in a shape of great resources and advice from places like HubSpot and Smart Insights, but also from forums like Reddit and Warrior Forum.
If you’re ever in doubt about the direction you are heading in or how to improve in specific areas, it’s best to look at those around you. We’re all on the same journey in many respects and it’s reassuring to know that literally thousands of others have been there before.
At DSMN8 we may be experts in social advocacy and brand engagement, but we’re not shy in seeking advice on a great email strategy for example.
Source 5 – Look within
Sometimes what you’re looking for is always in the most obvious place. There can sometimes be a belief that marketers know best but how often to you look to your own employees for inspiration?
What charity events does your company regularly take part in, perhaps someone is running a marathon for charity? Content like this can add a much needed human touch to your online presence, especially if you work for a global brand. What sort of content do your colleagues share on their own social channels and why?
Your greatest source of inspiration can be just down the corridor and totally free to you. Involving others with the creation process will almost definitely improve the quality of your content and its performance.
We actively recommend whiteboard sessions with marketing and sales teams or customer service teams for inspiration. Just think how many questions they must be asked directly from customers that would make an excellent blog title!
Inspiration can’t always be switched on or off, you need to be prepared by constantly nurturing it. Think of it as a balanced diet based on; relevant news, new studies, competitor analysis, marketing support and your own insights. Also, a walk and some fresh air can also work wonders!