Content creation is a major and omnipresent challenge for marketers and companies of all types. Although frequent blogging is a great practice, the pressure to create original, compelling Content-Idea-Generationcontent stymies many would-be wordsmiths. Originality is tall order. How often do you see a truly original movie? I am guessing not too often. To create fresh content, you just need to inject your own unique perspective and relate ideas to your expertise and experience. Get inspired by the top bloggers in your industry. Identify the hot topics that people are buzzing about; do some newsjacking. Top marketing blogger, Jeff Bullas, advocates the stealing of content ideas, stating: “All creative work stands on what has gone before…The art of creativity is a mash-up and remix.” Although fresh content creation requires your own original writing, there is nothing wrong with perusing popular industry websites and blogs for inspiration and brainstorming to get your content ideas flowing.

Collecting and Inventive Curation

Inventive curation is about collecting ideas and assembling them in original compositions that embody your unique brand. Mold your content into a work of art by drawing on ideas pried from inspiring books, moving speakers, impactful videos and killer online content. When attending an industry conference, take careful notes on ideas that speak to you. Consistently creating fresh, compelling content requires being open to your muse—wherever and in whatever form she may appear. Great ideas can pop into your mind at any time—when driving, dreaming or showering, for example. Modern life is often busy and chaotic, so be sure to record your ideas before they slip away. If you always had an updated “ideas list,” blogging would be so much less arduous. Consider starting such a list in your smart phone, because you likely always have it nearby.  

5 Content Marketing Best Practices

1.  Highly Clickable Titles

Failing to choose enticing titles for your blog content can have serious consequences, including lower numbers of views and reduced SEO and social sharing. Your titles should appear highly shareable—advertising must-read content. While keywords are important, you should not jam-pack your titles with keywords, if doing so would leave them too long and awkward-sounding. Effective blog titles are clear, concise, highly relevant, actionable, authoritative and intriguing. The more clickable your titles, the more your blog posts will be read and shared via social media channels, which can increase traffic and generate fresh leads.

2.  Frequency and Consistency

Not having a consistent blogging schedule can cause decreases in readership, subscriptions and website traffic. Blogging often is best. The more often a company blogs, the more traffic and leads it will produce. According to Pamela Vaughan of HubSpot, companies that update their blogs at least 20 times per month generate over five times more traffic than those who blog less than four times per month. Companies that blog at least 20 times per month also generate four times more leads than those who do not blog. The reward for sharing useful, information-rich blog content on a frequent and consistent basis is improved SEO, increased website traffic and higher lead generation.

3.  Effective Promotion

Not having a strategy for sharing and promoting your blog content will cost you views and lead generation opportunities. Commit yourself to regularly promoting and sharing your blog content across multiple channels.  Syndicate your content on sites like Business 2 Community and Social Media Today; share your content on all the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Leverage your content with your professional network of industry contacts. Identify the top influencers and thought leaders in your industry, and start communicating with them. Klout is a great place to explore and identify influencers. 

4.  Variety    

Your blog should focus on a wide variety of relevant industry topics, including commentary, industry news and trends and best practices. You can also inject freshness into your blog by varying content form. Of course, blog posts are necessary. However, you can experiment by sharing video content, webinars, presentations and infographics on your blog. 

5.  SEO

You want to harness the power of your blog to help your company or organization get found by search engines.  This requires creating highly shareable content that will travel far through social media and the internet as a whole. However, you cannot neglect SEO considerations. Keyword research is critical. You do not want to waste time writing about topics, which no one will care to read or share. There are three places that are most important to optimize for keywords: the page title, the header or H1 tag, and the blog title. For example, if you are blogging about small business lead generation, you need to include these words in the same order in all three places. However, do not let these guidelines deter you from creating highly clickable, must-read titles.    

Your ultimate goal should be to collect, curate and then create content, which is broader in scope and deeper in meaning than anyone else has managed for a particular topic ever before. Do more research; Google more content, and read voraciously. Extensive research and a dynamic take on an industry topic could help distinguish you from the pack and make your content shine brighter. After a while, all your collecting and inventive curation will become part of your unique creativity and thought processes. Any original creation draws on the creator’s past experiences and all the content he or she has been exposed to in life. It is critical to ensure that your true voice shines through in the content you create. Ideas are wonderful. However, without action, they do not actually do anything to advance your brand. Start collecting, curating and creating killer online content today.