15 Go-To Sources for Content Marketing Ideas and Inspiration

By Shyam Bhardwaj

Sixty-three percent of marketers agreed that generating traffic and leads are their biggest marketing challenges, according to State of Inbound 2017 report. To get qualitative as well quantitative leads, they use blog content creation as one of their top marketing priority. On an average, B2B businesses spend 28% of their online marketing budget on content marketing.

Brands and online marketers believe that content marketing (visuals, podcasts, vlogging, and PR) work well and they are supposed to invest further in it. Zazzle Media’s State of Content Marketing Study found that content marketing departments of small- to medium-sized businesses face two challenges – shortage of talented staff and knowledge (in terms of writing as well as picking up interesting topics that might go viral with SEO and social efforts).

And you know what? The common problems of marketers are:

Hey, I know a well-planned content strategy can work for my organization, but I am not that creative. I don’t know what to write about and from where should I start? I know blog posts with more than 2,000 words will perform better in Google search but what should be the blog topics I would use to market the services my organization serves.

By doing extensive research and checking out a few of the resources, you can find and collaborate new content ideas and even snippets of information to use yourself and bring an enhanced credibility in your blogging plus content marketing strength. Here are 15 resources filled with content marketing ideas worth checking out.

1. Flickr

If you want somewhere to begin then this is a great place, and it is very easy to get distracted. You may start looking for movie review inspiration and before you know it you have looked at over 200 pictures of women in Cosplay outfits. This is a great place to start your research and can be bags of fun, too.

2. Facebook & Google+

It seems a little unfair that they are lumped together as one, but let’s face the fact that they are both basically the same thing except that one is massively more popular than the other. Basically, you look through the newsfeed and the posts of other people to find stuff you can use.

3. Twitter

It is a microblogging site, but those microblogs can act as cool little ideas that you can use, with the added benefit that you can go through them very quickly so that you go over a lot of ideas before you have finished.

4. Pinterest

This is a place where people pop their ideas onto a board, and most of their ideas and inspiration for posts come from stuff they have seen on other websites. So, basically you are getting a curated view of all the stuff that other people have found interesting, which is great if you are doing research.

5. YouTube and YouTube Trends

With this, you may see lots of inspirational content that you may use for ideas. Oddly enough, it is better used if you either use YouTube trends or if you look through the posts at will. Just try skipping from one video to another suggested video until you hit upon something interesting.

6 . Academic Textbooks

If you want ideas on something specific then academic textbooks are the way to go. Even if you are not interested in reading it from cover to cover, you can look at the chapter headings and then pick out the one that you think may interest you.

7. A Newspaper

A newspaper is an ideal inspiration for ideas if you think about it because a newspaper has to cover a wider range of subjects if it is not to sink into oblivion. This means there is a wider range of content ideas for you to pick up on and use within your blog or website content.

8. Movies

There are thousands of movies you can take inspiration from, there are surely some good ideas nestled in them that you could use to inspire yourself.

9. Video Games

Take them as inspiration on hundreds of levels. You can even steal the ideas they have, such as the funny illnesses found in the old PC game Theme Hospital, or you can base your ideas on the plot twists of the most recent BioShock game.

10. Forums

These types of websites talk about a massive range of topics. Skim read a few forums to see if anything catches your eye.

11. Q&A Websites

There are often people faced with the same problems that you are, so they go to question and answer websites to find inspiration. You can ask questions if you want, but it is more productive to go through the questions and answers on there already and get what you want.

12. Statistics Directories and Websites

These are great material for content ideas because you can lift the data and put it in your content as research. Plus you can draw so many fuzzy conclusions that appear to be true via the data you present. In essence, you can come up with your own facts that are supported by actual data.

13. The Blogosphere

Blogs come up with material all the time. The weird thing is that people forget they have competitors who face the same problems as you. Even if you do not have a blog you can still check to see if your competitors do and steal a few ideas from them.

14. LinkedIn Groups

They chat about all kinds of topics within the groups. All you have to do is monitor a few to see if any take your fancy. Just pick up on a few that either interest you or that get people talking and excited on the LinkedIn group pages.

15. Industry and Manufacturer Publications

They produce them all the time, and finding them is not too hard because they want them publicized as much as possible. Sadly for them, they are often ignored in place of bigger advertising pushes, but if you have the energy to go through them then you will find some great idea material.

What are your proven and tested content ideas generation methods?
Please feel free to share them below.

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Shyam Bhardwaj on Twitter
Shyam Bhardwaj
Shyam Bhardwaj is the VP of marketing at Calgary SEO Company. He runs day-to-day operations of content and growth marketing for SMBs. He frequently writes about start-ups marketing, social media and SEO.

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