Need Inspiration for Content?
Look Within Your Walls

Generating content is hard, so just when you think there’s nothing new to say, think again. You can start by looking within your own walls for fresh ideas and insights that support your strategic business goals.

That’s because matching your expertise to your audiences’ needs creates a powerful connection. By tapping into your internal resources, you’ll be able to identify what’s important to your clients, customers and other stakeholders, and give your content the “oomph” you’re looking for. For example:

What are sales and customer support hearing? There may be no better way to see which issues are trending with your customers than by taking a look at the questions and concerns coming in to your customer support line. This is a sure-fire way to identify what’s confusing, not working or causing your customers to rethink the value of your products and services. You want to nip those questions in the bud and help clarify what’s giving your customers headaches.

To readily capture this information, ensure there’s an easy-to-use communications channel in place with sales and customer service – perhaps an internal wiki – to let you know what customers are saying. And be sure to find out how these customer challenges are being answered. This will give you even stronger and more relevant content.

What are your executives saying? Capture key messages from recent executive presentations and publications and build on them to create content. This will give your content currency and ensure it is aligned with what’s important to senior leadership.

What’s on the minds of division and department heads? Tap into what’s keeping them up at night. It’s very likely they are thinking not only about what must be accomplished today but also how they will address future challenges your customers may be thinking about. This is a great way to learn about new opportunities and ideas that may excite your customers.

What can you learn from the past? Take a look at topics that generated interest in the past. Is there a new thread you can pull from one or more of these topics? It also may be worthwhile to repeat past content – to celebrate an important milestone or event, to demonstrate progress in knowledge and understanding, or to remind your audience of the challenges still ahead. Remember, repetition is one of the key principles of learning, so don’t underestimate the need to repeat what’s already been said.

Let me count the ways to repurpose your content. And speaking of repetition, look at content previously created to recycle and repurpose for a different use. Can you turn a blog post into an infographic or podcast? How about adding depth and more insight by creating a webinar or how-to guide that showcases your subject matter experts? Think about converting select slides of an executive presentation into customer-focused fact sheets. And if you want to reach a new audience, try digging into your old content and adapting it for the new target group.

When it comes to content, take advantage of the content treasure trove right within your own walls. The biggest challenge may be how to make use of it all.