For many small business owners, content is one of their sticking points. We’re overwhelmed by platforms. With micro content (easily consumed pieces), you’ve got to choose from Facebook, Instagram. Twitter, LinkedIn, Clubhouse and TikTok. For macro content, you’ve got blogging, Youtube, podcasting, PR, newsletters and your website. You shouldn’t try to be on all platforms or you will get overwhelmed. Pick one or two for micro and one or two for macro and you’re all set. I’ve come up with 7 ways to come up with content ideas when you’ve narrowed down your platforms.
One of my favourite things to do as a biz owner is brainstorm ideas. I sit down, brain dump all my thoughts and ideas and collate them in one place in a content bank. Because I’m old-school, I start by using pen and paper. I’ll sit down with blank paper and lots of colourful pens and just let the ideas flow. It doesn’t matter if they’re any good, just getting them out of your system is what’s required here! From then, you get to go through them one by one, determine which platform they’d be good on and start creating.
If you prefer to jot down ideas first, your content pillars should come next. Pick a couple of main topics you want to post about, no more than five. Put them down as headings at the top of a page and organise your ideas underneath. This exercise is great to do in advance so for those days when you’ve no idea what to post, you’ve got a Blue Peter ‘here’s one I made earlier’ idea right there!
Go back through your own comments and DMs from business friends, current clients or potential leads. Were there any questions or popular posts? Did you get the same question asked multiple times? Turn all of these pain points into content! Maybe you can do a social media post as a brief chat and then turn it into a piece of longer content for a podcast or blog post?
The best way to find out what your customers and clients want is to ask them! Set up a survey or schedule video calls for more in-depth discussions. You will find out invaluable information through market research so you can cater your content towards those problems that customers are having!
There’s nothing wrong with looking at what your competitors are doing. What are they writing and posting about? Whatever you do next, DO NOT COPY them! Could you spin a similar idea for your audience or personalise it? Many content writers like myself post about similar topics and issues, it’s how we write or interpret it that makes us unique or make it fit for a niche audience.
There’s plenty of news going on at any one time (especially right now) so could you take inspiration from it? Whether it’s world news, industry topics or popular culture (Line of Duty memes are my new vibe), make it relevant to your audience or add in an opinion piece on a meaty topic.
Why not re-read old posts and see if you can update them? You could do a follow-up piece for a popular piece of content or a reflection on a personal post. Times change so the topic may still be relevant but just needs a new take on it.
Content doesn’t have to be a struggle to come up with if you take the time to do it right. Come up with ideas regularly, jot them down in one place when inspiration strikes and return to them when you have the time. If you enjoyed reading about 7 ways to come up with content ideas, follow me on Instagram for more help!