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What to Do When You Have Run Out of Content Ideas

by Todd Berkowitz  |  May 6, 2014  |  3 Comments



Most marketers struggle to come up with new, creative ideas for content, especially the kind of content that will get attention. You can only talk about certain topics so many times without getting repetitive and at a certain point, the content creation process takes much longer.

Data-driven content in the form of primary or secondary research is often the best performing. This is not only because the content is more compelling as you go from mere opinion to actual facts, but also because it can be visually represented in charts and infographics and easily shared on social media.

But commissioning a large-sample primary research study can be pricey and time-consuming. So that leaves two options. You can create a simple survey using a free or low-cost tool. Or you can simply make use of the power of the Internet and craft your own “original” content based on other existing research. That’s exactly what a data scientist by the name of Matt Daniels did.

Using a tool from RapGenius, he charted the vocabularies (based on unique words) of 85 different rappers against the vocabularies of Shakespeare and Melville. Then he arranged them on a graph with picture icons instead of dots. (See the graphic above). A quick Google search turns up stories from NPR, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Huffington Post and dozens of blogs. I saw several people mention the study on my Twitter Feed and on Facebook today.

Coverage of the study got amplified because stories and blog posts could be written about so many different things. Did you know that Wu-Tang Clan rivaled Moby Dick, but Snoop Dog and Kanye West were in the bottom quintile? Let’s say your a fan of Outkast and the Roots. Well they are in Shakespeare’s class, but DMX (who your co-worker likes) is down at the children’s book level.

If you are a technology or service provider, it doesn’t behoove you to write stories about hip-hop. But Facebook got a lot of coverage in both tradition and social media by creating a map of Major League Baseball team allegiance by zip code. There is probably something out there that would be both cool and also makes sense for you to create.

My advice is to find something that is at least semi-relevant to the story you are trying to tell with your marketing and at least minimally aligns to what type of solutions you offer. Then either do primary research or use a publicly available database and create your content. Make it easily digestable and share-able and use all of your channels to promote that content.

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Category: content-marketing  storytelling  

Tags: content-marketing  storytelling  

Todd Berkowitz
Research Vice President
3 years at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Todd Berkowitz is a Research Vice President focusing on B2B technology marketing and sales. He advises product marketing leaders, CMOs and sales enablement leaders on how to improve the effectiveness of their demand generation, sales enablement, account-based marketing and upsell/cross-sell efforts. He also looks at how data, analytics, content and tools can improve marketing-sales alignment and overall effectiveness.. Read Full Bio

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