Undertaking a content marketing strategy requires generating a consistent supply of…you guessed it, content. Whether you’re writing a monthly newsletter or your weekly blog post, updating your website, creating a video series or your latest webcast, you’ll need to collect, and bank, ideas. Having material “in the pipeline” and ready to publish can help avoid a last-minute scramble. Implementing a system to collect and archive material that you can easily refer to for your content creation can make the job a whole lot easier.
Here are some of the methods and tools I use – try a few and see what works for you:
Sourcing — Where to Find Content Ideas:
Subscribe and follow print and online versions of magazines, business blogs (these are published under publication mastheads, by individuals and businesses of all sizes — either on their own domain or on sites like Tumblr, BlogSpot or WordPress). Also, search for whitepapers, ebooks and videos that broadcast and share news relative to your industry — and of interest to your audience.
Recommended for YouWebcast: A Week in the Life of an Agile Creative Team
Searches delivered automatically — to your computer. Set Google Alerts for keywords and keyword phrases that you would use to find out more information about your industry or on issues important to your clients or audience. Don’t forget to set a Google Alert for you personally and for your company.
Social Media Platforms
Search Twitter keywords and hashtagged terms for relevant information and trending conversations. Use Twitter’s TweetDeck app to create customizable lists (by focus, for example) and to easily scan for new tweets by your favorites.
- Searching LinkedIn Updates and on Google+ can yield content considered “remarkable” by members.
You can search YouTube for relevant video posts plus you can choose to follow certain channels and be notified when new videos on these channels go live.
Aggregators – Headlines and News from across the web
Apps like Pulse and Zite allow you to set up a customized online page that compiles articles from various publications and within interest parameters you select.
Websites like Alltop, Mashable and Technorati pull all the top headlines and stories into one location and at your fingertips.
Solicit ideas from clients
A quick email to or conversation with some of your clients to determine what interests or concerns them, their Points of Pain, can give some excellent content leads.
Solicit ideas from co-workers
On a daily basis, your co-workers hear from clients voicing their concerns, issues, problems – and satisfaction; this can be content idea generation its best…and most relevant.
Google and Yahoo Readers
Create a blog library on your computer: sign up for blogs you follow using their individual RSS feeds. Readers make it easy to scan a large number of blogs for topics of interest.
Content Curation Sites
Bookmarking Sites such as StumbleUpon, showcase top stories from across the internet and allow you to tailor content to your interests.
Capturing Your Ideas:
You never know when you’ll get a good idea…so it’s a good idea to jot, click, snap, record, type or video those ideas.
Good old-fashioned pen and paper – I always have a small moleskin and pen handy.
The “Notes” app on the iphone and ipad: the doc can be emailed and copied into Word.
On a long run, walk or hike, I listen to music or the radio on an MP3 player with a Voice Record option. It’s a good time for me to come up with content ideas and instead of having to try and remember my ideas until I get home, I record “on-the-go.”
Dictation software like that available on smart phones or via the Dragon Dictation app.
Evernote – this app gives you the option of creating your own notes or saving docs and organizing them with tags and into notebooks. Evernote also provides a clipping ability to easily save online articles and blogs you want to archive and read later. Evernote is cloud-based, allowing you to sync your files across all digital devices.
Penultimate is the ipad handwriting accompaniment to Evernote.
Google Drive is also a cloud-based file-sharing site, however, Google Drive allows you to edit both Word docs and Excel spreadsheets (after converting them to a Google format).
Dropbox – primarily a file saver and share software program.
Kindle – you can download online material and email pdf docs to your to read later.
Nobody said that engaging in content marketing is easy but it can be streamlined with the tools listed above. Pick and choose — try some and use those that best fit your Content Hunting and Gathering process. Feeding your content marketing pipeline can be a very successful strategy to growing your business. When you’re armed with the right tools, your content marketing expedition can be fruitful!