Content, content, content! If you’re involved in the social media game or doing your best to get involved, you know that content is what makes up the guts of social media. We need it, we create it, and we are constantly looking for more of it.
But let’s be honest – even though we’re overrun by content on a daily basis, we still have problems getting inspired when it comes to content creation.
Have no fear, Ahna is here!
I’m going to share my list of places I gain MAD inspiration from when creating content for myself or clients, which is, oh everyyyyday.
Many of these places you’ve heard of before, but perhaps you haven’t looked at them as inspiration channels. What I hope to convey to you is that our social communities are ripe for content inspiration on a daily basis, and when you look at it as a fun expedition instead of placing major stress on yourself to always create AMAZING content, the ideas will flow.
So I’m going to cover a variety of places for all kinds of content: text, photo and video, and I hope you gain mad inspiration from these content ideas.
If you’ve been online lately, the new Meerkat/Periscope craze has probably wandered its way into your stream at some point. Maybe you didn’t notice them, but you SHOULD.
Both of these social networks feature LIVE video streaming for users. It’s an intense experience for those of us who find themselves immediately in the midst of someone’s personal space, but watching them sets those inspiration bells a ringing!
Both of these channels are being used for personal and professional reasons, and while I prefer watching someone talk about a conference they just attended or share an awesome concert I’m unable to attend, the personal streams are giving me the confidence to jump in.
So if you’re looking for video inspiration or simply video confidence, I highly recommend checking them out!
Just yesterday I recommended a photographer friend who specializes in property photos (houses, apartments, etc) that he should begin using Meerkat or Periscope as a way to showcase these places since he’s generally working with real estates folks.
Once you start watching – it will be tough to not begin dreaming up videos ideas that you can create.
We all know what Facebook is, but have you considered it a place to get creative for videos?
Facebook Business Pages have been one of my greatest sources of inspiration lately because they show me what other small business owners are doing, what’s working, and what seems to dull the audience.
In addition, it throws in the added pop culture references, so you can stay on top of what other folks are talking about.
YouTube and Vimeo might seem like obvious choices, but are they? If you have a topic that you’d like to expand on there are surely hundreds if not thousands of videos on similar subjects.
My favorite thing about YouTube in particular is the massive library of advertising commercials and campaigns – talk about inspiration!!
PLUS, if I’m having a down day or feeling underwhelmed with my content creating self, I just look up any number of motivational talks and get my attitude back in line!
Finally, if you need a few video ideas:
- Demo features of your product/service
- Interviews with leaders in your industry
- Interviews with users of your product/service
- Tips & how-to’s
- Webinar invites
- Holiday greetings
- Video infographics
.. see, the SKY is the limit!
Canva is a tool I use basically every day, and not just for creation! But also inspiration. The Stream tab is FULLLL of all kinds of inspiration for images, and not just photos, but event invites, social media covers, PDF covers – all kinds of awesomeness.
It’s really something to be cautious of because I can spend a lot of time there.
Any kind of visual content inspiration, except videos, can be found here and on large scales for those of us that may squint at smaller screens.
I’m a big fan of Canva, BIG fan.
If you follow me online (and you should!), you’ll know that Instagram is currently my favorite social network. I scroll through it when I need a break from my computer (don’t ask me how that works), when I’m brushing my teeth (multi-skilled), standing in line (what did we DO before cellphones?) or basically just about anytime I possibly can.
I love Instagram!!
But it’s not just because I can peruse through my friend’s photos, but also because Instagram is a VERY creative community and I love seeing what other business owners are sharing, how they are marketing their business, how they are humanizing their brands, and how they’re sharing their personal lives.
Plus, it offers an extremely rich environment for all things visual thanks to its UBER powerful Search function that only requires a keyword to bring up thousands of pictures relating to what you punched in.
Yep, ‘old-fashioned’ magazines! My sister, who’s in fashion PR would blow YOUR mind with her massive collection of magazines. She’s basically always carrying one around and loves reading up on her industry and ingesting all the fashion photography.
Same thing for you. There’s a magazine out there for basically every industry and it’s an excellent idea to go to your local bookstore and flip through the pages.
There’s something magical that happens when we utilize our ability to touch – the connection between hand and mind gets those creative ideas churning.
We’ve already discussed Facebook being a source of inspiration for videos, but its incredible for photos as well. And if you’re looking for photo inspiration, then it’s best to go right to the source.
My friend, Zaire Kacz Photography‘s business page is a rich environment for beautiful photos, and because she has Liked a large amount of other photography pages covering a wide array of photo styles, it’s an inspiration playground!
Utilize the Search bar on Facebook and start looking for art and photography pages and then find out who they’ve liked. If they’re doing Facebook right, you’ll have plenty to look through.
The guys at PostPlanner knew EXACTLY what I’m talk about in this article when they decided to develop PostPlanner – we ALL need inspiration for content. And that’s exactly what PP helps you do. You can set up streams where you find the most shared and talked about content online in whatever industry you’re in, and they offer PLENTY of links to get you started if you’re stumped.
We’re talking memes GALORE. Find out what the most popular ones are and share them with your audience. Hey, if over 200,000 people love PP, then they’re doing something right!
What is Pinterest? A visual social network, but it’s ALL visual, and it’s got ALL kinds of visual content: infographics, photos, GIFs, memes, etc.
There’s nothing that you need inspiration for that won’t be available on Pinterest. For the first part of my social media career I used it everyday for content inspiration, but fortunately there are even more avenues today. However, it’s power can’t be underestimated.
If you haven’t used BuzzSumo yet, you’re missing ouuuuut!! It allows you to search by topic and then brings up the most shared content under that topic. Brilliant.
One of our clients invented a tool that helps inside sales folks do their job more efficiently, but before they became a client I had no familiarity with the inside sales industry. Enter BuzzSumo and I’ve got relevant, timely and popular content to share. Bam.
While GoogleAlerts used to be my GOTO source for text content, it’s been replaced with Bundlepost’s awesomeness. And if you follow me online, then you’ve heard me sing their many praises because we use them everyday for our ARCH clients. Period.
BundlePost takes me all my favorite GoogleAlert streams and aggregates them into one place where I can choose the topic and then pick which content I want to share. LOVE it.
So when I need an article for a client page or am looking for news, I just sign into BP and check that feed, easy peasy.
This is a nifty, handy little toy. Throw in 3 nouns and they’ll give you ten blog ideas. While I don’t use this tool very often, it certainly gets the inspiration flowing FAST. And it’s so easy to use that I have it tacked to my Bookmark tabs.
4. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is EXTREMELY powerful when it comes to generating and getting inspired to create content, and it can be used for any type of content: video, photo or text, because it helps you create topics.
If you aren’t familiar with mind mapping, I’d suggest utilizing Google or YouTube to watch someone in action.
Basically, you start with a circle in the middle and then extend legs on it from which you add other circles. So if I placed a circle with content in the middle, then I’d have three stems coming out that extended to text, photo, and video circles. Then I could extend even further.
Similar to magazines, it’s using the connection between mind and hand, and while we can gain inspiration from online sites, my best ideas (for basically everything I do) came from mind mapping. I truly enjoy pulling out my multi-colored markers, big sheets of paper, and drawing – makes me happy!
Try it – you’ll be surprised.
My last suggestion (see what I did there?) comes from an SEO tool. Type in a content idea and it will not only give you a list of ideas related to that keyword, but will also show you what is most popular right now. Easy and quick!
And finally, if ALL else fails, follow the fantastic wisdom of Miss Marie Forleo :