Content marketing, Your editorial calendar has holes. Your content creators aren’t feeling creative. Your content marketing strategy is wilting. When challenged to create, rejuvenate, or rethink what your team does, it’s time to connect for a good brainstorming session.
What is Content Marketing
Keeping a relaxed and informal environment matters. When Content Marketing is too structured, it inhibits the creative process and disrupts the flow of ideas, which is the antithesis of the concept.
Here are a few rules of group Content Marketing
- There are no bad ideas.
- There’s no need to stop and evaluate or expand on ideas until the end of the session.
- Don’t set a numerical goal for your ideas.
- Don’t be afraid to use multiple techniques in a single brainstorming session.
- Save all your ideas. What you don’t use right away may be the inspiration for getting unstuck in the future.
1. Gap Filling
Start with a statement of where you are and a statement of where you want to be. Then, ask everybody in the brainstorming meeting to come up with ideas for how to get from point A to point B.
You will get everything from highly specific suggestions to generalized overviews. At the end of the session, you can organize all the thoughts to develop your vision and action plan. (Flow charts can help).
For instance: Right now, we sell 10,000 units per month of our best-selling product vegan vanilla protein powder. By the end of the year, we want to reach 20,000 units of our bestselling product.
Gap-filling brainstorming might produce ideas like:
- Run a campaign to connect with more distributors.
- Start a social media campaign to increase brand awareness.
- Conduct an influencer marketing campaign to reach more potential customers.
With brainwriting (also called slip writing), each participant gets a piece of paper or an index card to use to write down ideas. In some versions, participants pass the paper to another person who adds their ideas. Once the papers have made a full journey around the room, the participants share and discuss the ideas.
3. Collaborative brainwriting
Collaborative brainwriting is similar to brainwriting, but idea generation may happen asynchronously. To start, have someone write a question or problem on a large piece of paper or a whiteboard displayed in a public place. A leader asks team members to write down their ideas over a week or so. From there, the team can collate the ideas for content marketing
Also known as online brainstorming, this technique works well for remote teams. Set up a system where people can share their ideas independently, then collaborate. A Google Doc or a Slack channel can work well in this process. Have each team member contribute ideas to the system on their own time. Set a deadline, then schedule a meeting where everyone comes together in real-time to discuss the ideas.
6. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is among the most popular brainstorming techniques because it adds a visual component. By drawing a picture of the relationships between ideas, you and your fellow team members can develop more creative ideas. It’s a good option because you can do it alone, too.
Here’s how to do it: Write down your goal, challenge, or content idea. Think of related issues. Add related ideas to the map to show how they all relate and connect. You can find mind-mapping software online, but old-fashioned pen and paper will work well, too.
7. Round robin
In a session, each participant shares an idea and until everyone has shared something. Only then does the floor open for additional ideas and critiques.
This is a great way to get some creative ideas from team members who are shy or otherwise uninterested. It also keeps one or two people from dominating the conversation.
8. Image Method
The image method, another type of visual brainstorming, involves setting your intention. To start, close your eyes and describe what you want to create. For instance, new e-book for a software provider client.
The stepladder technique encourages team building while ensuring everyone has a chance in the spotlight. You start by sharing a challenge with everyone in the room. Then, you send all but two people out of the room.
The duo in the room has a set amount of time to come up with ideas. After that, you send one more person into the room. The new person shares their ideas before the previous ideas are discussed.