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How	to	Come	up	with		
Cracking	Content	Ideas	
Stacey	MacNaught	
Tecmark	
@staceycav	#learninbound
The	world	is	full	of	products	that	started	with	a	shit	idea.	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Via	h<p://paradoxoff.com/files/2012/04/canned-whole-chicken.jpg
And	the	internet	is	full	of	content	that	started	the	same	way…	
@staceycav	#learninbound	 @staceycav	#learninbound
And	the	internet	is	full	of	content	that	started	the	same	way…	
@staceycav	#learninbound	 @staceycav	#learninbound
And	the	internet	is	full	of	content	that	started	the	same	way…	
@staceycav	#learninbound	 @staceycav	#learninbound
I’m	not	saying	bad	ideas	are	the	only	
reason	that	content	fails	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
But	starOng	with	a	shit	idea	makes	the	
journey	much	tougher
And	not	everyone	always	agrees	on	
what	consOtutes	a	good	idea	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
I’ve	got	an	idea…
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Great!	Let’s	hear		
it…
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Flamingos!
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Flamingos?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Yes,	you	know	those	
	“spot	the	hidden	thing”	
	images?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Yes…	aren’t	they	
a	bit	done	to	death?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Maybe.	But	right	now	
the	media	is	eaOng	them	
up.	Here’s	my	research.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
InteresOng.	
		
And	the	flamingos?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
A	hidden	ballerina		
in	a	sea	of	flamingos.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Ok….	I	sOll	worry	this	is	a	li<le	
unoriginal,	not	necessarily	
worthy	of	top	Oer	publicaOon	
an...
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Two	hours	design	Ome	
and	half	a	day	in		
promoOon	Ome
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Ok.	Let’s	go	for	it.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
3	days	later….
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Plus	30	other	pieces	of	global	
coverage/links
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Drinks	on	you,	Stace?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
So,	why	do	we	bother	with	ideaEon	
process	at	all	if	we	can	just	distribute	
flamingos?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Because	most	projects	
are	more	costly	than	
this.	And	for	every	
flamingo	there	are	
several	fai...
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Failure	is	devastaEng.	
	
And	it	pisses		
clients	off.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
We’ve	invested	a		
heavily	into	the		
ideaEon	aspect	of		
content	markeEng
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
But	it’s	perhaps	not	as	simple		
as	that	looks….
@staceycav	#learninbound	
IdeaEon	is	challenging
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Challenge	1:	The	Brief
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Challenge	2:	ParEcipaEon
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Challenge	3:	QuanEty
@staceycav	#learninbound	
“Nothing	is	more	dangerous	than	
an	idea,	when	it's	the	only	one	we	
have.”	
	
(Émile	CharOer)
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Challenge	4:	Assessing	Quality
1
WriEng	a	Solid	Brief	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
The	brief	is	all	too		
oTen	ignored.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
The	brief	isn’t	that	brief!
@staceycav	#learninbound	
It	should	contain:	
	
1.  ObjecEves	
2.  Audience	Info	
3.  Examples	of	successful	pieces	you’d	...
2
Overcoming	ParEcipaEon	
Issues	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Not	everybody	feels	comfortable	
pung	their	ideas	out	there	for	the	
criEque	of	colleagues
@staceycav	#learninbound	
How	many	amazing	ideas	do	you	miss	
because	your	ideaEon	sessions	
alienate	them?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
For	quick	ideas	gathering,	we	allow	
people	to	choose	anonymity
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Try	getspeakup.com
#ttlpresents @staceycav
h<ps://getspeakup.com/
#ttlpresents @staceycav
h<ps://getspeakup.com/
@staceycav	#learninbound	
For	tougher	verbal	brainstorms,	we	
use	the	‘Worst	Ideas	Method’
@staceycav	#learninbound	
“You	want	my		
shiest	ideas?”
@staceycav	#learninbound	
We	give	people	preparaEon	Eme.
3
Overcoming	QuanEty		
Issues	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Confession:	I	hate	(most)	
brainstorms
@staceycav	#learninbound	
How	we	hope	brainstorming	will	be
@staceycav	#learninbound	
The	reality.
h<p://blogsession.co.uk/2014/03/635-method-brainwriOng/	
@staceycav	#learninbound	
635	Method	of	
BrainwriEng
h<p://635.tecmark.co.uk/	
@staceycav	#learninbound
4
Assessing	Quality	
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
What	makes	an	idea	“good?”
@staceycav	#learninbound	
It	isn’t	simply	the	fact	that	you	like	it.
#learninbound	
We	are	oTen	
not	the	target	
audience	for	
our	content.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Instead,	the	quality	of	an	idea	should	
be	determined	by	the	likelihood	of	it	
achieving	its	obj...
@staceycav	#learninbound	
NUF	TesEng	to	cut	a	long	list	to	10	–	20	
ideas	
h<p://blogsession.co.uk/2014/04/nuf-tesOng/
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Verbal	shortlisEng	
and	development	
sessions	to	get	to	a	
top	5	using	“Succes”	
Principles
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Simple	
Unexpected	
Credible	
Concrete	
EmoEonal	
Stories
@staceycav	#learninbound	
For	press	targeEng	content	we	
use	our	“is	it	a	story?”	criteria
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Timely	
Relevant		
Unexpected	
New	
Close	to	Home	
Human	Interest
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Before	going	into	
producEon…
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Get	external	
opinions
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Ask	your	key	influencers	
(journalists,	bloggers)	for	
their	opinion
@staceycav	#learninbound
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Warning:	It’s	tough	
having	everyone	in	
your	team	believe	in	
an	idea	for	it	to	be	
shot	down	a...
@staceycav	#learninbound	
But	it	could	save	you	
a	pricey	error
@staceycav	#learninbound	
But	what	did	Google	
Consumer	Surveys	think	of	
the	Flamingos?
@staceycav
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Why	did	it	work?
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Not	parEcularly	
original.	But…
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Simple.	
	
Unexpected.	
	
Annoying.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Lesson	1:	SomeEmes	
you	should	skip	
process	in	the	name	
of	experimentaEon
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Lesson	2:	It	doesn’t	
maler	if	you	believe	
in	an	idea	as	long	as	
the	key	people	in	
the	projec...
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Lesson	3:	There	are	
excepEons	to	every	
rule.	SomeEmes,	
things	“just	work”.
@staceycav	#learninbound	
Lesson	3:	There	are	
excepEons	to	every	
rule.	SomeEmes,	
things	“just	work”.
#ttlpresents @staceycav@staceycavstacey.macnaught@tecmark.co.uk
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Generating Ideas for Content Marketing by @staceycav

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My presentation from Learn Inbound in October 2016 on generating ideas for content marketing projects and campaigns. We've invested a whole lot of time and resource into putting some process into ideation. Here's how we're approaching coming up with ideas for content marketing projects with tactics, tips and tools.

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Generating Ideas for Content Marketing by @staceycav

  1. 1. How to Come up with Cracking Content Ideas Stacey MacNaught Tecmark @staceycav #learninbound
  2. 2. The world is full of products that started with a shit idea. @staceycav #learninbound
  3. 3. @staceycav #learninbound Via h<p://paradoxoff.com/files/2012/04/canned-whole-chicken.jpg
  4. 4. And the internet is full of content that started the same way… @staceycav #learninbound @staceycav #learninbound
  5. 5. And the internet is full of content that started the same way… @staceycav #learninbound @staceycav #learninbound
  6. 6. And the internet is full of content that started the same way… @staceycav #learninbound @staceycav #learninbound
  7. 7. I’m not saying bad ideas are the only reason that content fails @staceycav #learninbound
  8. 8. @staceycav #learninbound But starOng with a shit idea makes the journey much tougher
  9. 9. And not everyone always agrees on what consOtutes a good idea @staceycav #learninbound
  10. 10. @staceycav #learninbound I’ve got an idea…
  11. 11. @staceycav #learninbound Great! Let’s hear it…
  12. 12. @staceycav #learninbound Flamingos!
  13. 13. @staceycav #learninbound Flamingos?
  14. 14. @staceycav #learninbound Yes, you know those “spot the hidden thing” images?
  15. 15. @staceycav #learninbound Yes… aren’t they a bit done to death?
  16. 16. @staceycav #learninbound Maybe. But right now the media is eaOng them up. Here’s my research.
  17. 17. @staceycav #learninbound InteresOng. And the flamingos?
  18. 18. @staceycav #learninbound A hidden ballerina in a sea of flamingos.
  19. 19. @staceycav #learninbound Ok…. I sOll worry this is a li<le unoriginal, not necessarily worthy of top Oer publicaOon and possibly tough to pitch to the client. Costs?
  20. 20. @staceycav #learninbound Two hours design Ome and half a day in promoOon Ome
  21. 21. @staceycav #learninbound Ok. Let’s go for it.
  22. 22. @staceycav #learninbound 3 days later….
  23. 23. @staceycav #learninbound
  24. 24. @staceycav #learninbound
  25. 25. @staceycav #learninbound
  26. 26. @staceycav #learninbound
  27. 27. @staceycav #learninbound
  28. 28. @staceycav #learninbound Plus 30 other pieces of global coverage/links
  29. 29. @staceycav #learninbound Drinks on you, Stace?
  30. 30. @staceycav #learninbound So, why do we bother with ideaEon process at all if we can just distribute flamingos?
  31. 31. @staceycav #learninbound Because most projects are more costly than this. And for every flamingo there are several failed experiments.
  32. 32. @staceycav #learninbound Failure is devastaEng. And it pisses clients off.
  33. 33. @staceycav #learninbound We’ve invested a heavily into the ideaEon aspect of content markeEng
  34. 34. @staceycav #learninbound
  35. 35. @staceycav #learninbound But it’s perhaps not as simple as that looks….
  36. 36. @staceycav #learninbound IdeaEon is challenging
  37. 37. @staceycav #learninbound Challenge 1: The Brief
  38. 38. @staceycav #learninbound Challenge 2: ParEcipaEon
  39. 39. @staceycav #learninbound Challenge 3: QuanEty
  40. 40. @staceycav #learninbound “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it's the only one we have.” (Émile CharOer)
  41. 41. @staceycav #learninbound Challenge 4: Assessing Quality
  42. 42. 1 WriEng a Solid Brief @staceycav #learninbound
  43. 43. @staceycav #learninbound The brief is all too oTen ignored.
  44. 44. @staceycav #learninbound The brief isn’t that brief!
  45. 45. @staceycav #learninbound It should contain: 1.  ObjecEves 2.  Audience Info 3.  Examples of successful pieces you’d like to emulate 4.  Key limitaEons (compliance, Emescale, budget)
  46. 46. 2 Overcoming ParEcipaEon Issues @staceycav #learninbound
  47. 47. @staceycav #learninbound Not everybody feels comfortable pung their ideas out there for the criEque of colleagues
  48. 48. @staceycav #learninbound How many amazing ideas do you miss because your ideaEon sessions alienate them?
  49. 49. @staceycav #learninbound For quick ideas gathering, we allow people to choose anonymity
  50. 50. @staceycav #learninbound Try getspeakup.com
  51. 51. #ttlpresents @staceycav h<ps://getspeakup.com/
  52. 52. #ttlpresents @staceycav h<ps://getspeakup.com/
  53. 53. @staceycav #learninbound For tougher verbal brainstorms, we use the ‘Worst Ideas Method’
  54. 54. @staceycav #learninbound “You want my shiest ideas?”
  55. 55. @staceycav #learninbound We give people preparaEon Eme.
  56. 56. 3 Overcoming QuanEty Issues @staceycav #learninbound
  57. 57. @staceycav #learninbound Confession: I hate (most) brainstorms
  58. 58. @staceycav #learninbound How we hope brainstorming will be
  59. 59. @staceycav #learninbound The reality.
  60. 60. h<p://blogsession.co.uk/2014/03/635-method-brainwriOng/ @staceycav #learninbound 635 Method of BrainwriEng
  61. 61. h<p://635.tecmark.co.uk/ @staceycav #learninbound
  62. 62. 4 Assessing Quality @staceycav #learninbound
  63. 63. @staceycav #learninbound What makes an idea “good?”
  64. 64. @staceycav #learninbound It isn’t simply the fact that you like it.
  65. 65. #learninbound We are oTen not the target audience for our content.
  66. 66. @staceycav #learninbound Instead, the quality of an idea should be determined by the likelihood of it achieving its objecEves.
  67. 67. @staceycav #learninbound NUF TesEng to cut a long list to 10 – 20 ideas h<p://blogsession.co.uk/2014/04/nuf-tesOng/
  68. 68. @staceycav #learninbound Verbal shortlisEng and development sessions to get to a top 5 using “Succes” Principles
  69. 69. @staceycav #learninbound Simple Unexpected Credible Concrete EmoEonal Stories
  70. 70. @staceycav #learninbound For press targeEng content we use our “is it a story?” criteria
  71. 71. @staceycav #learninbound Timely Relevant Unexpected New Close to Home Human Interest
  72. 72. @staceycav #learninbound Before going into producEon…
  73. 73. @staceycav #learninbound Get external opinions
  74. 74. @staceycav #learninbound Ask your key influencers (journalists, bloggers) for their opinion
  75. 75. @staceycav #learninbound
  76. 76. @staceycav #learninbound Warning: It’s tough having everyone in your team believe in an idea for it to be shot down at this stage.
  77. 77. @staceycav #learninbound But it could save you a pricey error
  78. 78. @staceycav #learninbound But what did Google Consumer Surveys think of the Flamingos?
  79. 79. @staceycav
  80. 80. @staceycav #learninbound Why did it work?
  81. 81. @staceycav #learninbound Not parEcularly original. But…
  82. 82. @staceycav #learninbound Simple. Unexpected. Annoying.
  83. 83. @staceycav #learninbound Lesson 1: SomeEmes you should skip process in the name of experimentaEon
  84. 84. @staceycav #learninbound Lesson 2: It doesn’t maler if you believe in an idea as long as the key people in the project do and can back up why.
  85. 85. @staceycav #learninbound Lesson 3: There are excepEons to every rule. SomeEmes, things “just work”.
  86. 86. @staceycav #learninbound Lesson 3: There are excepEons to every rule. SomeEmes, things “just work”.
  87. 87. #ttlpresents @staceycav@staceycavstacey.macnaught@tecmark.co.uk
  • JacksonGilbert1

    Feb. 1, 2018
  • KieranFlynn5

    Sep. 22, 2017
  • sylvanaa

    Oct. 20, 2016
  • BernadetteWalsh4

    Oct. 20, 2016
  • PetyaKalinkova

    Oct. 19, 2016

My presentation from Learn Inbound in October 2016 on generating ideas for content marketing projects and campaigns. We've invested a whole lot of time and resource into putting some process into ideation. Here's how we're approaching coming up with ideas for content marketing projects with tactics, tips and tools.

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