“Dumb” Places to Find Smart Content

Posted 17 AprilIdeas, Tips

Do you find yourself in a losing battle when it comes to supply and demand — where “supply” is fresh content ideas and “demand” is the ever-increasing need to produce quality content?

A recent article from the Content Marketing Institute touched on this conundrum. It’s answer: Look everywhere for content ideas, including “things you find dumb.”

We agree with the notion to leave no stone unturned when it comes to searching for new content ideas. Here are our favorite places to look for inspiration.

Conferences and Tradeshows

Conferences and tradeshows are rich with content opportunities because they cover the most important, timely and relevant topics for your audience. Study the schedule and speaker lineup beforehand, and attend sessions with a primary goal in mind: Listen for potential content topics and potential subject matter experts.


You don’t always have to travel to conferences or tradeshows to find ideas. Follow industry trade groups or professional associations, and take advantage of the webinars they offer. Stick around after the formal presentations end for the question-and-answer sessions, which can provide the truly authentic voice of your audience.

Customer Feedback

Tap into a tremendous resource you have right at your fingertips: your customer-facing teams. That includes sales, customer service and even social media teams. They, more than anyone, hear your customers’ challenges and pain points on a sometimes daily basis. Consider creating a content panel from this group that meets regularly to share ideas.

Your Competitors

If possible, subscribe to your competitors’ blogs, newsletters and magazines. The goal isn’t to rip off what they’re doing. But you might get inspired to put your own spin and unique touch on popular topics.

What You’re Already Doing

Scout your organization for prime content topics: Could you film one of your leader’s upcoming speaking events and create a short video for your social channels? Could you pull pertinent data from your latest research report and produce an infographic? Could you pull key themes from your latest annual report to yield a few blog posts?

Your Metrics

If you want to know what topics resonate with your customers, metrics don’t lie. You can leverage your most successful content in a number of ways: Create a “10 Most Popular Blog Posts to Date” piece that provides a quick summary of each and cross-links to the original pieces. Study your analytics to identify the most popular topics and plan new pieces around related sub-topics — essentially extensions of those most popular pieces.

The bottom line: When the content idea well runs dry, it’s time to cast a larger net. Where do you look for inspiration?


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