Get found more often, more effectively, by more customers.
Written by: Jared Carrizales
For some, coming up with ideas for content creation can be an excruciating, grueling process. For left brainers like myself, it doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, whitepaper, or video, it’s just tough – especially if you have robust content schedule to adhere to.
So why not make that process a little easier? One of the best way to do this is through developing several “streams” of ideas from the places you visit most often – social media networks.
We are all familiar with LinkedIn for the obvious reasons, but there are many ways that you can generate content ideas from it as well. LinkedIn Polls are a perfect example of this.
The Polls option allows you to get information by sharing on social networks or your own website (embed code), and even analyze basic details of the results. Metrics like gender, job role, and age are all included in the poll results.
There are a variety of ways to use this to your advantage, but for content specifically you could use polls to for:
- Content research
- Getting the pulse of what content your community wants to see
Both tactics are great for generating multiple ideas. Protip: participants make for perfect outreach candidates since they are much more likely to share and promote the content that was produced since they have a vested interest in it.
Twitter has options such as Discover and your own customized lists, that you can use to help generate ideas. You’ve probably used the Discover option before, just search by using a hashtag (say, #contentIdeas) and you’re off to the races.
The List option on the other hand is a very underused method (I’m a perfect example), but it can work beautifully for generating ideas. Open the List tab, then click Create List. From here it’s as simple as searching for accounts that you want to add.
Create a type of folder system by create lists for different topics that you’re going to be creating content around, and before you know it you’ll have a ton of ideas for each avenue.
Depending on what industry you’re in, this could be a big hit as far as content generation goes. The most common (and super fast) method to getting content ideas on Google Plus is by using the Save This Search option.
Simply search for a keyword you’re looking for, then click the red Save This Search button on the right. Getting back to that particular query, or any others you’ve saved, is just as easy. When at your main feed, click the “more” button and all your previously saved searches will appear in the drop down.
I’ve got to admit, this isn’t my go-to avenue when it comes to sourcing ideas. However, when I have searched Pinterest with this intent I always seem to come away with good ideas.
Other than a regular email updates, there aren’t many built in ways to stay updated on Pinterest. This is where some creativity and know how come into play. Using RSS feeds and a trigger tool like IFTTT, there are several cominations (or recipes) that can be built to accommodate your content generation needs.
Some of the more interesting ones include Pinterest to WordPress, Upload new Pinterest pins to Google Drive, and even Individual pinterest board, emailed to specific notebook in Evernote, with thumbnail. Using recipes like this not only make it easier to think of ideas, but it also helps facilitate parts of the curation process a smooth process.
Ah, my favorite. Quora is the perfect mashup of a crowd sourcing and Q&A site. I’m a firm believer that simply reading threads on Quora will make you a better content creator.
To start using Quora as a content idea generator, the first step is to browse the topics you’ll be writing about and follow them. Once you have a good list of topics that you want to get info from, your home feed will be appropriately customized every time you login.
Like anything with a long turnaround for completion, getting ideas for content creation is an ongoing process that continues to reap rewards as you continue to mine for ideas. That said, make sure to keep the pipeline full of ideas from these social channels so you can always have drafts that can act as “creation catapults”.