Here’s how to quickly find ideas and build a content plan using a couple of tools and some searches.
First, you will need to install some tools:
MindNode get the mobile version, it is cheaper
Bear, or Evernote or even a word doc or text file (those are affliate links by the way)
Access to some search and buzz monitoring tools, more on those in a minute
Your content plan template or tool
Content plan, step one: mind mapping
Using Mindnode, I add my clients brand or related topic and start expanding on it on the sort of connotations and topics they can relate to.
Let’s say your client is a carpet manufacturer (I prefer using dull topics as they are more a challenge to build content plans for)
Mindnode is a great little tool for creating mind maps, and you will get the hang of it quickly. Here’s an example of the Carpet brand:
See what I did there, I thought about things that people might associate with the term Carpets. At this point you could start plugging those topics into the sites, I am about to mention, but I like to take it another step and expand on the items.
So now you can see I have expanded even more. The cool thing about mind maps is that it inspires you to think of things you may not have.
Once you have completed your mind map, you need to export it as a text file. There is a button in the top right corner for exporting. Click that and then share it to your favourite note taking tool. It could be Evernote or just a plain text file. I am a fan of ‘Bear’, unfortunately, it isn’t supported in the export process. To fix that I export as a text file and then copy and paste over.
You should now have a document that looks something like this:
That right there is your research template for content planning for this particular brand. Each one of these list topics now becomes a search term that you can filter through various tools.
As you find things or come up with ideas add them to your text file under the topics you searched for.
Content plan, step two: Finding content and inspiration
Let’s give it go. Take ‘Colours + this year’s colour trends’ as an example.
First thing, you want to make your own content before aggregating others, so take this terms and first add them to answerthepublic.com
I added ‘carpet colours’ and found the following:
So already we can see in the UK, in this instance, people are asking questions about what carpet colours work best in areas of the house.
Already I am thinking of a tool that shows colour swabs for a typical house plan based on a questionnaire, then asking the users for their emails to see the results. Although that is probably a big project. So we will stick to a blog post. I see there is a question about carpet colours for stairs. So our first post will be ten best looking carpeted stairways. Even better if they are pictures of the brand’s work. That blog will have ten images which will become ten Instagram posts too. Try to expand on the content types you are creating, taking into account how it will be shared or what other assets it can create.
How about ‘Carpet Colours for bedrooms’ this could be a blog about celebrity bedrooms and their colour schemes, alluding to the carpet choice. Alternatively, ‘how a carpet can change the whole look of your room’ – which could lead to some great before and after shots on Instagram tagged with hashtags like #rennovation #home, #bedroom and #house
Don’t just stop at blogs, create a video slideshow too.
That’s just one section of Answerthepublic.com, in most case you will see even more types of questions you can draw inspiration from.
So now let’s see what sort of thing people like about carpets on buzzsumo. Let’s use the example ‘kids bedroom’
So the most shared content on social media is articles showing amazing kids bedrooms. So this could be a sign to create more great bedroom images with a slight emphasis on how the carpet helps maybe? No one reality concentrates on that in a photo, do they? What if you had the same photo with different carpets and showed ten was a carpet changes a room to help inspire people.
On Youtube I looked up ‘Carpet stain’ this brought up a shedload of videos
You could either embed and share them or create your own. Look at the most viewed ones and make a better one.
Don’t stop there, search Reddit (although be careful using ‘carpet’- I learnt the hard way), medium, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s a bonus tool you could use, though, head over to The Content Idea Generator V3.Very handy Google doc, where you can type in a term and get loads of ideas. Make sure you head to this site to get setup instructions: The Content Strategy Discovery Tool They are under the heading: ‘How to get set up’. Scroll down, and you will find them.
Now your document should have plenty of content that’s ready to go or needs to be created. Once done, copy and paste into your content plan, and you are ready to go.
Over time start to monitor what works, what helps you reach goals and then start concentrating on that. There’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s for another post.
For now, this technique will help you create the foundation of your content plan and inspire you to create original assets, not just resharing other people’s content.
Any other processes you use when coming up with content ideas?