Content Marketing Ideation
In our experience, the hardest aspect of content
marketing is the ideation phase. Great ideas are
fundamental for effective content marketing. This deck
contains 21 quick tips, tools, and ideas to improve how
you generate content ideas.
#1 Read Edward De Bono’s books
Edward De Bono pioneered the
phrase ‘lateral thinking’ and is
generally considered the godfather
of idea generation.
His book ‘Lateral Thinking’ has
some great advice on how to
generate more creative ideas.
#2 Speak to your customers
Go for a coﬀee with a customer or
someone in your industry – these
people know better than anyone else
what challenges they have.
I wrote this post on recovering from the
panda update after speaking to 3-4
people in the same week about panda
recovery tactics. It’s now one of the
most visited pages on our site.
Create content that solves your
#3 BBC On This Day
BBC on this day is a
great tool for ﬁnding key
events that happened
on certain days of the
year in the past. Very
useful when planning
your content calendar.
#4 what myths can you bust?
What myth do the majority of your
industry believe is true? Could you
provide a compelling argument that the
opposite is true?
When I wrote “What Happens When
You Build 10,000 Links to a Domain in
24 Hours” it got covered by Moz, The
Guardian, Huﬃngton Post, Forbes, and
others. It worked because it was
surprising and debunked a myth that
many marketers believed at the time.
Ubersuggest is a useful tool
for ﬁnding out what phrases
are most searched for around
your products or services.
For example, typing “content
marketing” will output phrases
such as “content marketing
books”, “content marketing
blogs”, and “content
#6 Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is
useful for seeing what people
are searching for in your niche
and how much search volume
and competition there is for
#7 Social Crawlytics
Use Social Crawlytics to identify your competitor's most
shared content. Replicate what has worked for them.
#9 Use Forums to Find Topical Ideas
Forums are great for seeing what
people in your industry are talking
about right now, and what questions or
challenges they have.
There are a number of forum search
engines, such as BoardReader.com,
Don’t be afraid to ask people what
they’d like you to produce guides on.
#10 Google Hot Trends
Google Trends can be useful for ﬁnding ‘breakout trends’ to write
about, as well as seeing whether the topics you’re writing about
are increasing or decreasing in popularity.
Similarly to Ubersuggest, Soovle is great for ﬁnding content ideas from
phrases that are regularly searched for. The key diﬀerence is that Soovle
also shows ideas from Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia and more.
#12 Find common Questions on Quora
Use Quora or Yahoo Answers to ﬁnd
what questions people in your industry are
asking. Create content that answers them.
#13 find high-performing content on
Open Site Explorer
Use Open Site Explorer to
ﬁnd the most linked to blog
posts on your competitor’s
website or industry news
sites. Write a follow-up or
similar (better) story.
#14 What’s Unusual in Your Niche?
Pick something novel or unusual about
your niche and create content around
Reader Sheds host an annual
competition to ﬁnd the ‘shed of the
year’. This is great content marketing
for a company in the garden shed
#15 Replicate exceptional ideas from
other niches, in your niche.
#16 Ask your sales team
The questions that your customers ask
your sales team are probably very
similar to the questions they search for
Ask your sales team what objections or
questions are common, and produce
content that answers these.
#17 Google Alerts
Setup Google Alerts on
your focus keyword
and keep an eye on
trends around that term
and what others are
#18 Recycle Content From Best Sellers
Read new and best-selling books in
your industry. Pull out any noteworthy
or controversial ideas and write about
#19 Find local trends on Trendsmap
Use Trendsmap.com to ﬁnd
what’s trending on Twitter in
your city (or in other major
cities). This is great for agile
content marketing due to the
real time ﬁltering of trends.
#20 when in doubt, Be Useful
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
If you’re struggling to think of what to
write about, think about what would be
useful to your audience. Useful content
is more likely to outlive the novelty of a
one-oﬀ viral idea.
#21 clip facts in Evernote
Install Evernote and clip any
interesting facts or ﬁndings
while browsing the web. This will
provide a useful pool of ideas to
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