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4 Content Ideation Methods

Content Marketing | 4th Nov 2015

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Video Transcript

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

Coming up with content ideas can sometimes be a little tricky. This is even more apparent if you’re working towards specific deadlines. So if you’re in charge in your company of coming up with content ideas or you do this within a team internally, this video for four content ideation methods will help you.

We’re not talking about the specific forms of content, for example blog posts or infographics. This is basically the initial ideas, how you come up with the actual piece of content you want to write before it takes a form as it were. So this is right at the start of the content marketing strategy, just looking at the ideas and how you formulate them to start off with.

Number one on the list is key dates, events, and seasonality. It’s worth creating an events calendar or using an Excel spreadsheet or some form of table to basically log these three things. Key dates being things like conferences, trade shows, events, product launches, any breaking news in your industry, any news related to the company and the business and transformations in the business as well. Anything you can think of, just write it down. At this stage it’s all about choosing lots of ideas and refining them later, rather than not sharing any at all.

Put them into a calendar. Look at the events that are coming up in your industry that you might not necessarily be associated with initially, but it still helps for you to write about when it actually comes around to that event. Very good for ego bait and linking out to other sources as well. So put them in there. You don’t always have to choose them. Obviously, you’ve got the record, and this will help with ideas of how you can begin to start creating content.

Seasonality as well. Are there certain times of the year, i.e. Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, that you could basically use to come up with title ideas off the back of that and focus content around those particular areas?

It’s best to present that information in an Excel table or a calendar, because then you’ve obviously got all of it at hand. But maybe break it up into those three subcategories so you’ve got the key dates, events, and seasonality, and then off the back of that you can then look at focusing in on particular ideas.

Second on the list is problems and solutions. No doubt when you’re doing your day-to-day job you’ll come across a number of questions that you might ask yourself or questions that customers might ask as well. This is even more apparent if you use social media, because a lot of the time people will complain or they’ll ask questions for you to solve on social media as well.

So you can actually use that. You can use a specific problem and then try and use those as ideas for content to provide a solution to that problem. That’s a great way, instead of emailing people back or telling someone over the phone or repeating yourself over and over again at networking events or conferences. Use that as a way to solve people’s problems and put that into a piece of content, be it an infographic or a blog post. Again, you will decide further down the line, but you can use those particular problems to format that into your content.

Third on the list is the “5 Ws and 1 H Method.” This basically stands for . . . the 5 Ws are what, who, why, where, and when, and the H is how. So this basically involves choosing a particular topic or theme and then addressing all of these six questions.

You might have a massive trade show event coming up in your industry. So you could look at what the event involves, who’s involved, why people would need to attend in your industry, where it’s being held, when it’s being held, and how to get there or how you can get involved or how you can present at the trade show. Picking a theme and answering these questions again gives you ideas for what you can write about further down the line.

Lastly on the list as number four is mind mapping. This is more of a visual way of doing things. If you work better doing things visually as opposed to just lists and putting things in calendars, it’s a very good one for you. So I’ve given an example of what it is here. But essentially it’s about picking a theme and then picking your sub-themes and smaller categories off the back of that.

As an example, the main theme we’ve got for my mind mapping is marketing. So we’ve established that we want to write about marketing. Which areas do you want to cover that expand from that central theme? We’ve broken that down into SEO, PPC, and content and then again you can break these sub-categories down even further to look at things like Meta if it was SEO, or web copy for example in content.

Doing this, take a large piece of paper, plot all your ideas down, and you will end up with a big visualisation of all of your ideas for the different subcategories. Once that’s complete, you can basically look at which areas you want to write about off the back of that. Or again, it doesn’t have to be written content, but it gives you a much more visual way of seeing all your ideas in the different subcategories.

Again, any of these can be dropped into tables or things like this, or the problems and solutions if you create a table for that as well that you can refer to later on.

What I would say is don’t be afraid to put your ideas out there. It’s much better to start off with loads and then reduce them, rather than trying to pick the best one straightaway, because you might find that you come up with an idea that you don’t think is right, but you might adjust it slightly later, or you might find another unique angle on it that someone has not done before. So no idea is wasted.

Best of luck when it comes to creating your own content ideas. Thanks for watching. For more information, please visit or visit any of the social icons at the bottom of this video.

About the author

John Waghorn

John works as a Senior Content Marketer at Koozai. With previous experience in PR, he helps the team by writing a range of client content including press releases, guest blog posts and website copy. He is also a regular contributor to the Koozai blog.

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