Consistently coming up with content ideas to fuel all your various web properties and social channels can be a challenge, especially with new formats and platforms popping up all the time (Hello, TikTok!)
Here are 25 content prompts to help inspire you to tell stories, share your message, and engage your audience in new ways.
1. Profile the Prominent: Most organizations and industries have thought leaders and advocates who can change the conversation with a single quote. Find one of these experts, within your organization or your community, and —
2. Shine the Spotlight: There are often people within our organization or industry who don’t get a chance to stand in the spotlight. Employees, engineers, groundskeepers, servers, and other crew members have valuable experiences and perspectives to share. Create a piece that offers one of these lesser-known experts to share their expertise.
3. Give a Vocabulary Lesson: Most industries are packed with words, phrases, and acronyms that experts know, but new entries might find confusing or alienating. Create a piece of content that defines these common terms to help onboard new clients and customers, or create individual pieces that explore each term in-depth.
4. Examine a Trend: Identify a trend in your industry or space, and dedicate a content piece to explaining how that trend came to be and what the implications might be for your industry and more specifically, your audience.
5. Bust Myths: There are undoubtedly several misconceptions that your prospective customers and clients have about your business, product, services, and the industry as a whole. (If you’re not sure what they are, speak to your sales team, customer service team or anyone who is client-facing). Create content that debunks these myths to aid in the sales process.
6. Answer Social Questions: One of the best ways to ensure your content will have an audience is to build your content with an audience in mind. Search through your social media replies, comments, and DMs to find questions your audience is asking, and create content that answers those questions.
7. Offer a History Lesson: Our content is often looking forward, but there are lots of stories hidden in the past, too. Create a piece of content that shares the history of something, whether that’s your company, industry, product category, a specific product, an ingredient, a process, a tool, or something else.
8. Share Information About a Process: No doubt your audience finds themselves wondering “how did they do that?” Share the steps in a process they may not know about, or your experience going through that process. They may not be trying to replicate it, but they’re likely curious how it happens.
9. Walk Through Instructions: Sometimes our audience does need our help completing a process, and it’s helpful to share step-by-step instructions showing just how they can do it correctly. It could be a recipe, a tutorial, or some other educational instructions. Remember to be as detailed as possible so they can follow your lead.
10. Go Behind the Scenes: Most businesses have a portion of their activities that happens outside the spotlight or parts of their operations that the end-user doesn’t get to see. Create a piece of content that takes your audience behind the scenes to see how things happen in the background.
11. Curate a List: Don’t let your audience search for the things they need to potentially end up somewhere else. Create a list that collects similar items to make it easy for your audience to get where they need to go. You can create a list of resources, blogs, tools, products, gifts, people, events, books, podcasts, shows, movies, people, or almost anything else.
12. Calculate the Numbers: Consider creating a new piece of content about a topic you’ve addressed before, but this time, tell that story primarily through the numbers around the topic. This type of content tends to work well as an infographic, so you can share those numbers quickly and easily without making the content too dense.
13. Collect Some Data: Think about what data you may have within your organization that you can share, or spend some time collecting available data from other reputable sources to compile useful stats for your audience on a specific topic.
14. Product Reviews: Reviews won’t work for every brand, particularly if you have to remain objective on specific platforms, but consider whether you may be able to create a review of coordinated, compatible, complementary, or other similar products that can help your audience improve their experience with your own.
15. The Sounds Around You: When we think of audio content, we often default to podcast series, which can be intimidating for individuals without audio production experience and a wealth of guest ideas. Instead, consider the value of environmental sounds and how you can add those to your content. Share the sounds of your destination or workspace, or a list of clips of possible malfunction sounds to help customers identify potential issues.
16. Time Lapse: You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, a timelapse is a series of photos that tell a chronological story in a shortened time span, allowing you to share a compelling visual glimpse of a process that would normally be too long for your audience to see in its entirety.
17. Archive Dive: We often focus on telling brand new stories, but many of us have wonderful stories and assets from our past that have never gotten the proper attention. Spend some time digging through the archives for old content that can still have its moment to shine.
18. Timeline: Identify a story you have to tell that features some chronological element and plot that story on a timeline. These can be static images or interactive experiences that allow the audience to explore a story at their own pace.
19. Test Audience Knowledge: Most of us think we’re pretty savvy, and we can’t resist the urge to prove it. Create a quiz that lets your audience test their knowledge on a relevant topic. Be sure to identify potential content you have that answers each question so you can serve up helpful information when the audience might get things wrong.
20. Make a Map: Identify a brand story you can share with a geographic component, and create a map that plots the points of the story visually. This can be a static map, like an image, or an interactive map that allows the audience to explore only those points which are relevant for them.
21. Multiply by Time: Identify a piece of content that has done well in the past, and consider resurfacing it and refreshing it for a new time period. Create a new annual recap, a new monthly bestseller list, or a new tutorial that adapts for a different season or holiday.
22. Multiply by Demographic: For an upcoming content piece, consider breaking it into several pieces that are customized for different types of audiences. Instead of one guide, create three or more similar guides that are each targeted to specific subsets of your audience.
23. Multiply by Location: Identify a piece of content that can be split and adapted by several locations. This could mean creating altered versions of instructions customized to different climates, adapting a list of recommendations based on the room in the house, or splitting a list of stretches based on the ailing body part.
24. Multiply by Resources: Oftentimes our instructional content pieces or recommendations require certain resources—an amount of money, specific tools, necessary ingredients, a certain number of people, or something else. Create altered versions of these successful content pieces that change or reduce the number of resources needed to ensure all segments of your audience can benefit and take action.
25. Update Old Content: If you’re really stuck for content ideas, find an old piece of content that could use some refreshing. Remove inaccurate information, correct out-of-date information, add in new information, and link to other relevant content you’ve since created. In doing so, you give your audience new reasons to appreciate the quality content you’ve already worked so hard to create.
Which of these content ideas are you most excited to bring to life?