It’s Friday, somewhere around 2 pm. You hear the Zoom ringtone. It’s your boss calling. “Quick, I need you to whip up some new content ideas – original ones that are going to get people excited about this new product. And have them on my desk by the end of play.”
You think: “New content ideas that are going to appeal to our audience’s interests, provide a solution to their challenges, keep them engaged, and I’ve got less than a day to come up with them?”
It’s a challenging brief – and on any other day, you’d go to an experienced B2B copywriter to help. But in this case, there’s no time.
Even worse, you already used your best ideas in a previous campaign, and the cogs in your brain have seized up after a long week. Inspiration has well and truly left the building.
So, what do you do? How do you find the spark again? Where is inspiration hiding? Here’s where to look.
1. AnswerThePublic will tell you what your audience is thinking
AnswerThePublic is a search listening tool for market and customer insights that pays attention to autocomplete data from search engines. It provides a direct line to what your customers (and admittedly, everyone else) are thinking.
Use it to track trends, and generate content ideas that reflect what people might want to know based on what they’re already searching.
2. Your team are the experts – make the most of their insights
If you want to produce more targeted content that will speak to your specific market, you need to look closer to home. As far as we know, Google processes at least 2 trillion searches a year. That’s around 3.8 million searches every hour. But these searches won’t all come from current or potential customers, or from folks with a robust understanding of the hot topics in your industry.
Your team are experts about your products and services, the industry, and current trends – and they might have ideas of their own to contribute. Your salespeople, in particular, are talking to customers all the time, determining their interests and challenges. So get in touch with your team and use their expertise to fuel your creativity.
3. See what generative AI has got to say
We’ve already investigated if generative AI can write like a B2B copywriter (spoiler alert: not quite yet), but how does it fare at generating content ideas?
With a well-thought-out prompt, AI solutions like ChatGPT can churn out a lot of ideas in seconds. But these chatbots are designed to borrow and collate ideas from other sources, which means they’re unable to produce unique ideas. (Plus, you don’t know how many other marketers are asking for the same thing and receiving very similar results to you.)
It’s not all bad news. The AI-generated content ideas might just be the thing to get your cogs turning again, and give you a starting point where you can add your own personal touches.
4. Don’t do anything at all – not a single thing
Really, I mean it. I’ve stolen the idea from Andrew Boulton, freelance copywriter, lecturer and brand language consultant. In Andrew’s list of 99 ways to have more fun as a copywriter (and possibly get a bit better at it), he says:
- “Let yourself be idle – your brain will thank you, and reward you.”
- “Treat your imagination like a puppy – feed it, walk it, let it snooze, clean up its poop, treasure it always.”
- “Don’t type a thing until the words are bursting out of you.”
These ideas might feel counterproductive, but sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and your brain is just to take a break. You never know what ideas might come to you when you’re not even trying.
Okay, let’s replay the scene…
It’s Friday, somewhere around 2 pm. You’re full of excitement for the weekend when you hear the Zoom ringtone. It’s your boss calling. “Quick, I need you to whip up some new content ideas – original ones that are going to get people excited about this new product. And have them on my desk by the end of play.”
You think: “New content ideas that are going to appeal to our audience’s interests, provide a solution to their challenges, and keep them interested? I know exactly where to start.”
And, hey, if there’s a twist of fate and the deadline gets pushed, leave it up to the experts.