If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your marketing campaigns, you’re not alone. Sometimes you hit a wall, and your brainstorm only results in ideas that feel boring, unoriginal, and uninspired. We get it. We’ve been there. But we also know you can break through.
Even if your brand isn’t the hippest or coolest, you can still bring creativity to your marketing campaigns and engage people through content. (If you don’t believe us, check out these examples of creative brand storytelling for incredibly boring products.)
Still, it can be frustrating if you’re just plain stuck. In that case, we’d say you just need a creative jumpstart. Luckily, we have some tools to help you.
10 Helpful Ideas For Your Marketing Campaigns
Having sat through thousands of brainstorms for brands of all sizes, we’ve discovered a few helpful angles to help you find inspiration in a content desert. Here, you’ll find some of our favorite storytelling ideas, plus our best tips and examples to inspire you to bring your own ideas to life.
1) Start With Internal Data
Your own company data can easily become storytelling gold, allowing you to create unique, original, and newsworthy content. Whether you’re translating complex data into actionable insights, using data to confirm or refute a long-held belief, or revealing a surprising finding, data is a great way to establish your credibility and become a trusted resource.
To turn your data into compelling marketing campaigns:
- Start with these 9 places to look for internal data.
- Follow our steps find the stories in that data.
- Use our Data Visualization 101 guide to design charts and graphs that bring data to life.
Example: LinkedIn combed their proprietary data, including 133 million U.S. worker profiles, 20,000+ company profiles, 3 million+ job listings, and 50,000 skills listed on profiles, to produce their monthly Workforce report, which offers an overview of the state of the American workforce. This report provides valuable insight for journalists, publications, and industry thought-leaders while reinforcing the brand’s value prop.
2) Provide Transparency Into Your Company
You don’t want to create content that is brand-centric and self-serving, but sometimes there are opportunities to show people who you are through content. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do that. Whether you’re celebrating a company milestone, announcing a new product, or sharing a unique story, you can find inspiration within your own walls in all sorts of ways. For example:
- Find out how to turn your culture into interesting content.
- Get inspired by these 10 brands that put their values front and center.
- Share a behind-the-scenes look at your service, product, or company.
Example: This Nadaam infographic details all their product selling points: how they source wool, how they do it differently than traditional retailers, and how purchases go to help the sheep herders that provide the wool.
3) Think of User-Generated Content
Sometimes the best way to engage people is to have them contribute or create content themselves. Not only does this put them front and center but it helps them feel like a part of your community. Some easy ways to gather user-generated content:
With the submissions you get from these, you can either share the content as-is or turn it into a larger piece.
Example: Newscred conducted a survey of content marketers, then turned the results into an eye-catching and easily shareable animated infographic.
4) Repurpose Existing Content
It’s likely that you already have some great content in your archives. It’s a shame to let all that work go to waste, especially when it can easily be converted into a fresh campaign.
- Expand existing content. If you have content that’s a couple of years old, it’s probably time for a refresh or expansion. This is an easy way to provide value to people without starting from scratch.
- Combine content. A blog post can be visualized with an infographic, while a roundup of tweet tips can become a blog post.
- Add new or updated data. Data is a great way to add credibility to your content, and there are plenty of places to find it on the Internet. If you’re having trouble finding any, here are 100+ free (and credible) data sources. (FYI, as a rule of thumb, you don’t want to feature data that is more than two years old.)
- Repurpose existing content. An old e-book can become a new infographic. An old infographic can be used in a motion graphic. Here are a few ways to repurpose infographics, e-books, and data visualizations.
Example: We turned our Ultimate Guide to Visual Content Marketing e-book into several additional pieces of content, including this infographic.
5) Turn to Your Experts
Some of the most interesting, untapped stories lie not just in your data but in your people—the pros and experts who make your company run. Their knowledge is highly valuable, and a great way to establish credibility through thought-leadership. Consider the unique ways you can turn their brains into interesting content—in a variety of formats, including:
Example: As pioneers in data visualization and infographics, our founders turned their knowledge into our first book Infographics: The Power of Storytelling. This allowed us to share valuable knowledge with industry creators and demonstrate our expertise and authority to prospective partners.
6) Fill in the Missing Knowledge Gaps
Admittedly, there is a ton of content in the world—and it’s likely that your competitors have covered many of the same angles you have. That doesn’t mean you can’t cover those same subjects, but it does mean there is probably an opportunity to cover the things they haven’t.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Look at your buyer’s journey. You want your marketing campaigns to say the right things at the right time, so map your buyer’s journey to identify what people need to hear at every stage, then assess your existing content to identify knowledge gaps.
- Know your keywords. Identify the right keywords to target. (Your keyword tool will also generate related suggestions, which may inspire an idea.)
- Use Internet tools. Answer the Public is a great tool to generate common questions asked about a particular keyword.
Example: We searched “Marketing Campaigns” on Answer the Public and found a bevy of related questions.
7) Consider Upcoming Holidays and Events
Seasonal events, holidays, and other annual occurrences can help inspire all sorts of ideas—so long as they are a natural fit with your brand. (We’d suggest avoiding topics that are inherently political or polarizing.)
- Check the calendar. Hubspot’s Ultimate Social Media Calendar is a great source to find upcoming events to ideate around.
- Create something useful for an event. Provide something that will help people celebrate or enhance the experience.
Example: The mint julep is the staple drink of the Kentucky Derby. To help people celebrate the holiday, we created an infographic of variations on the popular drink.
Bring Your Ideas to Life the Right Way
Once you have the right idea, your work is just getting started. To make your content as effective as possible, keep up on best practices and look for ways to work smarter, not harder. To help you do that…
- Set yourself up for a successful campaign with our step-by-step guide to marketing campaigns that work.
- Find out how to master your content creation process.
- Work more efficiently with these 100+ tools for content creation.
But if you’re still feeling uninspired, let us help you find fresh ways to tell your brand story. Just holler at us.