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101 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your B2B Content

Posted by Jeffrey Willis Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 09:27 AM

B2B Content Marketing Tips"In writing, there is first a creating stage -- a time you look for ideas, you explore, you cast around for what you want to say. Like the first phase of building, this creating stage is full of possibilities."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Well that sums it pretty well. What more is there to say, really?

As content creators we have all hit that wall. I believe the cosmopolitan call it “writer’s block,” but I prefer what, I assume, were the immortal words of The Incredible Hulk, “Thinking, writing hard.”

So, how do you fill that blank page when your mind is just as blank? Here are 101 inspirational sources and tactics that you may not have thought of to get your creative juices flowing, and help create the perfect piece of content for your business.

Internally

1. Ask your sales reps for common objections
2. Ask your sales reps for areas they often have to clarify
3. Ask support about the most common issues reported
4. Create a simple how-to guide
5. Create a funny how “not” to use guide
6. Pick one of your FAQs to expand upon
7. Explain an unexpected use for your product/service
8. Detail a process around your product/service
9. Interview a coworker
10. Take an internal poll of peers and discuss the results

Competitors

11. Read their assets and social media for inspiration
12. Create your own version of their most popular blogs (try something like Buzzsumo to help analyze this)
13.  where they are advertising, the advertiser’s message and your competitor’s message
14. Create a compare/contrast
15. Read the subheadings on their website
16. Dare to agree with or compliment them
17. Be even bolder and call them out on something
18. Try to figure out what they are not talking about in your industry
19. Further explore any external resources they reference
20. Zero in on one of their markets in which you may not be as strong

Customers

21. Share a success story
22. Explain a lesson learned from a failure
23. Address a complaint
24. Highlight a compliment
25. Create a survey and then report on it
26. Share a hack that a customer passed on to you
27. Discuss your role in a current customer project
28. Create a step-by-step guide on a topic for new customers
29. Share company news about signing a big new client
30. Create an anniversary or milestone post about a customer

Analytics

31. Tell your story through stats
32. Examine Google Analytics and PPC for the search terms that brought them to your site
33. Use data to explain customer habits and reveal patterns
34. Focus on your most-read topics
35. Based upon your blog categories, where do you have the least content
36. Use customer data to create benchmarks for all clients
37. Examine your web traffic’s referral source for inspiration
38. Do a follow up on whatever asset gets your highest conversion rate
39. Use keyword searches to explain how your industry uses specific terms or jargon
40. Take a new angle on the subject of your web page with the highest or lowest bounce rate

Industry

41. Report on an event
42. Debunk an industry myth
43. Prove an industry myth
44. Respond to an industry report
45. Educate about a regulation
46. Make industry predictions
47. Explain how your industry has changed in the past few years
48. Feature an industry thought leader
49. Write an industry book review
50. Express what you disagree with in your industry

Technology

51. Report on a webinar you have attended
52. Use the Google Keyword Planner to get additional recommendations
53. Set alerts for certain keywords where you can respond quickly to news
54. Subscribe to RSS feeds
55. Use something like Trello to allow brainstorming, organizing and recording of good ideas for future use
56. Monitor backlinks to see why others are talking about you or your competitors
57. Record a presentation and post the video. Even a simple GoToMeeting recording can become a solid asset
58. Explore industry podcasts in iTunes
59. Create a roundup of apps used by your industry
60. Add a heat map (we use Hotjar) to examine what draws your audience’s attention

Social Media

61. Begin by looking at what’s trending
62. Search interactions for questions or complaints
63. Utilize a meme
64. Use hash tags (create a #tbt piece)
65. Post questions on social media and discuss the responses
66. Create a roundup of who you follow and share their words of wisdom
67. Report on a discussion from one of your LinkedIn groups
68. Get inspired from a thought leader’s Pinterest board
69. Convert a presentation into a SlideShare
70. Longer industry videos on YouTube often may have a topic that you can pull out as a standalone idea

Internet

71. Subscribe to good blogs (they don’t have to always be industry-related to inspire you - and I hear the Marsden blog is at the top of everyone’s list)
72. Create a checklist of valuable websites that influence your industry
73. Read the comments sections of blogs and respond to an argument
74. Answer questions asked in industry forums
75. Search your keywords and examine the “related searches” suggestions
76. Use a blog headline generator such as ones offered by HubSpot and Inbound Now
77. Explore knowledge sites like Wikipedia or Quora to see where it takes you
78. Search online retailers and explore the books and products that come up for your industry
79. Do an image search on your keyword to see what inspiration you might find
80. Try soovle for search suggestions from the top providers

Pop Culture

81. Everyone loves a good TV or movie connection
82. Take a hint from the movies and write a sequel to your most popular blog
83. Use a song lyric for inspiration
84. Explore if a hot new app has a play in your industry
85. Use a sporting event to create a metaphor
86. Make your case on a topic by using a favorite quip from a reality TV show judge
87. Tap into your favorite crime drama and detail a mystery about your industry
88. Look to fashion or HGTV if you are wanting to discuss design
89. Get inspired from Buzzfeed and other such sites to create your own quiz
90. Use the antics of your favorite celebutante to teach a moral for your industry

Community

91. Share company charity work
92. Reflect on a holiday
93. Get personal about yourself and why you got started in the industry
94. Celebrate a company milestone or story
95. Promote events that you are attending or speaking at
96. Everyone loves the weather, use it as a metaphor
97. Use the lessons your kids are learning in Scouts or Little League as inspiration
98. Your travels can always spark a story
99. PTAs and HOAs are often reflective of the business struggles we all deal with
100. Tell a story of customer service using a restaurant or retailer you frequent

Bonus

101. Find an inspirational quote (see first paragraph)

Now that you have the ideas, discover that More is Better: More Content Equals More Leads.

Jeffrey Willis

Jeffrey Willis

Jeffrey Willis is a Client Success Manager at Marsden Marketing.

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