I’m the first one to scoff at headlines like “How to Brainstorm 100 Article Topics in 10 Minutes,” because great ideas take time. But I also understand the pressure of running a marketing department for a B2B company while executing a killer content strategy. It can feel like you’re forced to be creative on command.
But speed and quality don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, the more knowledgeable you are on a topic, the more they should trend upward together.
When you’re in a bind to create a high-quality blog post that generates brand awareness, educates your potential audience and draws in qualified leads, you can’t expect to come up with an idea for the perfect topic in one sitting. Instead, incorporate the following practices to store, manage and inspire new ideas:
1. Build a knowledge bank.
A knowledge bank is your secret content marketing weapon. It’s where you store, organize, tag and reference all the information you extract from your team, the content you’ve already created and the insightful research you’ve gathered.
Each employee has a wealth of specialized knowledge that could spur fresh content ideas. And beyond those specialties, the average person is inundated with 174 newspapers’ worth of information each day. What better way to leverage your staff’s collective knowledge and perspectives than by building a knowledge bank?
Growing a knowledge bank is a lofty task initially, but if you have a knowledge management template, you can easily start populating it with quotes, entire articles, answers to industry questions and other information you might need for an article. It makes creating a new article as easy as searching, copying, pasting and adding some context.
2. Keep a running list of client questions.
Your sales team is truly a content marketer’s best friend. Your salespeople interact with the exact audience you’re writing for. Ask them to send you frequently asked questions they hear from customers and prospects, and you’ll quickly amass a long list of potential article topics. Solving these customer pain points through content will not only help you educate and engage your specific readers, but it will also build trust, nurture leads and position your company as a viable solution.
3. Store and respond to articles you disagree with.
If you read an article and find holes or areas the author failed to explore, you likely have the foundation for a compelling counterargument. If you stumble upon a generic, overused topic, taking a unique approach is also a great starting point for pushing your creativity and writing a powerful argument that comes from a place of passion (or disgust).
4. Revitalize old content with new research or a fresh spin.
Look back at articles you published months, even years ago. Have trends changed? Has your company implemented new processes that have simplified or transformed your old ways? Using what you’ve already created and building on those ideas will kick-start the initial process of writing an article. And, as an SEO best practice, you can link to the original article to make it easy for people to read your earlier thoughts.
Your next great idea is out there but to consistently create something that awes and inspires your readers, you need to streamline the creative process. Don’t make the brainstorming and content creation processes overly complicated. By building a knowledge bank, challenging existing points of view, storing FAQs and reviving old content, you won’t have to slog through your next article. You’ll have every resource at your disposal to produce dynamic content more often.