Last week, I wrote about how to unblock writer’s block (by focusing on what your clients and prospects want to read about).
But if that’s the perspective you need… what sources do you use to come up with content? Where does the information come from that you then write about? For me, sometimes I’m just struck by everyday occurrences that trigger ideas, sometimes I draw on recent experiences with clients or vendors and other times, I just know what I know and I write about it.
However, if you’re looking for some new places to go to find some things to write about, let me give you three that work really well:
You’re in the research industry… so do some and report on the results. I have a couple of clients who regularly (a few times each year) conduct a nationwide survey on items of general interest to their targeted market. For example, I have a client that focuses on the healthcare industry and conducts surveys on the current state of healthcare, insurance and patient experience in the country. I have another that focuses on Hispanic research, so their studies are about current trends among Hispanic consumers. It’s well-run, legitimate research, the results of which provide the basis for their content and which help to position these firms as experts in their respective specialties.
There are a lot of really smart, interesting people in our industry… and you probably know and even work with many of them. Why not interview them for their perspective on what’s happening in our industry or in the verticals in which they work? It doesn’t even have to be a live interview… they could just respond to 8-10 questions you email to them. If it’s a client, they will be flattered you asked, further cementing your relationship. If it just a really smart person from the industry, they will also promote the interview on your website, drawing even more visitors.
Going to any conferences this year? I’ll bet you are. Why? Certainly to network, but also to learn… new ideas, new methodologies, coming trends and industry issues. Take what you learn and write about it… you can summarize it, expand on it, give your perspective on it or even disagree with it. All of that is fair game for content fodder. Note: you can even combine this idea with the last one and interview a key industry executive at the conference.
Effective content marketing is critical to helping your firm develop its competitive advantage… so put some thought and creativity in to doing it right. You’ll be glad you did.