How to get the most out of your content ideas

All content marketers know that creating great content takes a lot of work—you have to analyze data, monitor competitors, or follow communities to find great ideas; then, you need to evaluate these ideas. This is all before spending even more time actually planning, creating, publishing, then distributing your content.

With all the work that goes into creating a great piece of content, it’s no surprise that conventional wisdom says to refresh, repurpose, and redistribute your content to get the most out of it. But what about the great content ideas that never made it to the production stage? Whether you did your research manually or enlisted a platform like Quietly Insights, chances are that many great ideas are left on the cutting room floor. With all the analysis, research, and evaluation that went into these ideas, there’s a lot you can do with them, even if your team doesn’t have the bandwidth to create a fresh piece of content. This post outlines some our favorite ways to make use of the ideas that never became content.

Start conversations with your audience

Whether you’re using data-driven content ideation methods or recommended content ideas from Quietly Insights, the concepts you come up with are likely of interest to your target audience. Maybe you notice these topics have historically reached, engaged, or converted your own or a competitor’s audience, or have been extensively discussed in community forums. Either way, these ideas are effective because they capture your audience’s attention and inspire action.

Offline, knowing about topics that interest others make you a good conversationalist, and that’s no different online. Why not start a conversation and try to generate a discussion around the ideas you’ve worked so hard to find? Specifically, try:

  • Posting compelling questions or polls on social channels to stimulate discussion
  • Starting a Twitter chat or hashtag to prompt an online discussion
  • Participating in LinkedIn groups or other industry forums to make your voice heard
  • Answering relevant questions on Quora to showcase your knowledge

The interactive nature of these platforms means you not only save time by letting others share their points of view, but also serve as an excellent source of ideas for future campaigns.

Inform your wider marketing strategy

Knowing your target audience’s interests and challenges is important for just about every aspect of marketing, not just content. Rather than keeping this information in a content silo, use your researched ideas to inform your other campaigns.

  • Need some inspiration for your next round of ad creative? Use the content ideas that have been helpful at generating attention.
  • Trying to find the right approach for your next social ad campaign? Look at content ideas that have been historically effective at generating conversions.
  • Not sure which influencers to engage for your next marketing push? Use topics related to your industry as search terms to refine your search.
  • Need a theme for your upcoming newsletter? Experiment with ideas that have generated a buzz in your industry lately.

Aside from informing specific marketing activities, your well-researched content can also help with better defining your target market. After all, evaluating how your audience interacts with and reacts to various topics is a great form of user research—you can use this information to add further depth to your target personas, or fill in missing steps in your customer journey maps.

Support other company functions

Finally, well-researched content ideas can provide value outside the marketing department. If you’ve conducted keyword research or looked into community groups and forums, you’ve likely come up with ideas that address areas of confusion in your industry. Whether these ideas eventually became content pieces or not, they provide great insight into issues that your customers are facing.

Sharing this information with your sales or customer service team can help them prepare for likely questions. These ideas can even help teams handle issues proactively by informing case studies, sales materials, or support articles. Similarly, this information can help with developing or improving your organization’s product or services—understanding the problem with existing solutions and knowing what’s missing can give your organization a leg up on the competition.

While your unused content ideas aren’t going to solve every problem your organization encounters, research- and data-backed content ideas can—and should—be used for more than just content. Whether you’re leveraging these learnings to improve your social efforts, inform your marketing strategy, or support other company functions, it’s important not to let your good ideas go to waste. After all, good ideas are just ideas until you do something with them.

Image: HAKINMHAN/Shutterstock

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