One of the hardest things about content marketing is to come up with new and fresh content ideas that will resonate with your audience.
When you have been running a blog or website on a topic for a while, it can get difficult to generate new and original ideas without repeating existing content.
The option of recycling or repurposing existing content is there, but it’s a short-term fix since you still have to produce new relevant content to keep your audience interested.
Below are a few tools that we use to help us when developing new content ideas.
Content marketing tools to help you come up with fresh content ideas
Answer the Public
Feedly & other news feeds
Google’s Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is quite an obvious one, but it strongly deserves to hold the first position on our list. The keyword planner is mainly meant to help you build new Adwords search campaigns or expand existing ones, but it is also very useful regarding providing you with useful content ideas based on searches related to your keyword.
To use Google’s Keyword Planner you first need to set up a free Adwords account in case, you don’t have one. Google will ask you for your billing details, but you can skip this step if you’re only planning to use it for the keyword search without running any campaigns.
The keyword planner will provide you with information on the volume of monthly searches, the competition and suggested bid price for particular keywords related to your query. The best way to search for content ideas is to make sure that you don’t limit yourself to only concepts closely related to your search terms; make sure that you have selected to also search broadly associated ideas to your search term in the customize your search section.
After you enter your query, the keyword planner will generate a long list of different ideas based on the relevance to the keyword. We suggest that you cover both trending topics with high competition for the particular query and less popular and common long-tail keywords which are likely to bring you traffic over the long run. Here is an example using unified communications:
The keywords I have chosen and circled are cloud-based unified communications and benefits of unified communications with average monthly searches ranging between 10 and 100. These are only two amongst the hundreds of options you can choose from, so as you can see the keyword planner gives you a good starting point for your next content piece.
A similar tool to Google’s Keyword Planner is Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Moz’s tool provides you with data on the volume of searches, difficulty, opportunity, and potential to rank for the particular keyword. The keyword explorer also provides you with keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and mentions.
Answer the Public
This is one of my very favorite tools to use when looking for fresh content ideas, hence the second position on the list. Answer the Public helps you identify potential topics by fetching Google search query suggestions and presenting them in different categories in a very visually attractive way, also allowing you to save the generated images for future use.
You merely need to enter a keyword and select a country on the right-hand side and Answer The Public will suggest hundreds of content ideas in seconds. Here is a screenshot of my query for cybersecurity:
As you can see, there are hundreds of suggestions that the tool fetched in seconds and which are divided into two main categories – questions and prepositions – and then also separated into subcategories to make it even more comprehensive.
Another great tool from Google is Google Trends, as most of you are probably familiar with already. Google Trends is quite a useful tool if you are unclear about your starting points and want to see what is trending. For instance, if there is something relevant to your business activity you can research more details on the trending subject along with the trend for some increased short-term traffic. It is also helpful for comparing a few different topics when you are unsure which one to focus on.
Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its users. When you register for a Quora account you select your interests which can range from very generic topics (such as Marketing) to very niche ones (such as discussions around the email marketing software MailChimp); this process helps create your personalized feed of questions relevant to your interests.
In my feed, I can see all kinds of questions from How does social media affect SEO? to In MailChimp, how do I set up split automation, so that one email opens and the other doesn’t?.
Quora is a great tool not only to identify questions and get new content ideas by merely answering and expanding on them but also to promote your existing content if you have already produced some relevant to the question at hand.
Feedly & other news feeds
Feedly, as most of you may already know, is a news aggregator that compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user. Feedly is handy and saves you a lot of valuable time as you can quickly read all the news that interest you in a single place, instead of checking out dozens of news sites and blogs separately.
As Feedly is very popular, most blogs and websites have RSS readers so you can quickly add them to your Feedly feed and follow them from there. Feedly also enables you to organize all topics of interest in different categories. For example, I have separate tabs for marketing, sales, and technology where I can quickly scan through the latest updates on the subjects.
You can also filter and organize the way you view the stories by most popular, popular + latest, latest, and oldest. Here is a quick preview of Feedly’s dashboard:
Flipboard is another news and social network aggregator that brings together news, popular stories and conversations around any interest. Similarly to Feedly, you pick your favorite topics and sub-topics to help Flipboard personalize your feed for you. The main difference between Flipboard and Feedly is that Flipboard is a lot more visual, it’s like having a board with all the digital magazines that you like in one place, as you can see on the screenshot below.
Content Idea Generators
Portent Content Idea Generator, as its name suggests, is a tool which generates content ideas for you. You merely have to enter your topic or subject, and it will create a title suggestion for you. However, the downside of Portent is that it only generates one idea at a time (unlike Answer the Public which gives you hundreds of suggestions to choose from). Additionally, the ideas are not as relevant as with other tools, and important will only be used for a somewhat informal and conversational type of content and writing style.
Another similar tool to Portent is HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator. Hubspot’s tool asks you to enter three nouns, and it suggests five content titles based on these nouns. However, the ideas are quite repetitive, and again the style is more informal and conversational.
We hope this article has been of interest. If you want to improve your content strategy but you don’t know where to start, shot us an email and we are happy to help!