In the ever-evolving world of content creation, staying ahead of the curve is more challenging than ever. Audience expectations, topic saturation, competition, creative blocks, and rapidly changing trends are coming together to hinder your way to originality and innovation in your content strategy.

While brainstorming, social media listening, and trend analysis are reliable methods, they often lead to familiar paths. To truly distinguish yourself, you must explore less-travelled roads to bring the wow factor to your content calendar. Here are seven unique ways to generate fresh content ideas that will inject a spark of vitality into your creative process as a content creator.


Browse Nearby Library or Bookstore

In an age dominated by digital content, the charm of physical books and libraries is often overlooked. Paying a visit to a nearby library or bookstore can expose you to an abundance of topics and perspectives that may spark new ideas. Explore different sections, and pick up books from your niche along with the genres you wouldn’t typically read. By refreshing your perspective through these books, you can keep the newness alive in your content.

Example: If you are in the technology industry, browsing through books on psychology or sociology can offer fresh insights into user behaviour and preferences of niche-specific audiences.

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Facebook Ad Library

Facebook Ad Library is a treasure trove of information on advertising trends, strategies, and audience targeting. By exploring ads related to your industry or niche, you can uncover current themes, popular keywords, and engaging visuals. This can help you understand what resonates with your target audience and tailor your content accordingly.

Example: For a fashion brand, analyzing successful ads from a fitness brand can inspire content on how to incorporate activewear into everyday fashion.


Interview Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Interviewing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can elevate your content with expert insights and credibility. Whether within your organization or industry, SMEs possess a wealth of knowledge that can fuel your content strategy. Connecting with them can be as simple as reaching out to mutual friends or using platforms like LinkedIn. 

Here’s how you can make the most of these valuable interactions:

Reach Out with Purpose: Explain why you want to interview them and how their expertise will benefit your content. Personalize your message to show genuine interest.

Schedule a Meeting: Set up a meeting at a convenient time. Use shared calendars to hold them accountable and ensure they show up.

Prepare Thoughtful Questions: Draft questions that will help you extract valuable insights. This preparation will ensure a focused discussion.

Example: In education, interviewing a veteran can offer insights into the future of online learning and its impact on traditional education. This can help you educate your audience on the pros and cons of both approaches

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Set Up Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a powerful tool that allows you to monitor the web for new content based on specific keywords. By setting up alerts related to your industry or niche, you can stay updated on the latest trends, news, and discussions. This can help you discover fresh angles for your content and stay ahead of the competitors. 

Example: For a travel blog, setting up alerts for “sustainable travel” can lead to ideas on eco-friendly destinations and travel practices.

Read Research Reports

Research reports published by reputable organizations can provide valuable data and insights that can help you generate new ideas as well as enrich your content. By creating content around recent statistics, trends, and findings from credible research reports, you can add credibility and depth to your content. Additionally, citing these reports can help you establish authority in your field.

Example: In the healthcare industry, reading a report on emerging diseases can inspire content on preventive measures and healthcare innovations.

Credible sources to find research reports

Competitors’ Comment Scan

Scanning competitors’ comments is a creative fusion between traditional competitive analysis and audience surveys. Monitoring comments on your competitors’ content can offer valuable insights into their audience’s preferences, pain points, and engagement patterns. By understanding what resonates with their audience, you can tailor your content to address similar needs and interests. It can also help you identify gaps in their content strategy that you can capitalize on.

Example: For a beauty brand, analyzing comments on a competitor’s video can reveal trending skincare concerns to address in your content.

Create Your Swipe File

A swipe file is a collection of inspiring content, ideas, and strategies that you can refer to for inspiration. Create your swipe file by saving articles, videos, social media posts, and advertisements that resonate with you. Organize them based on themes or categories, and revisit them whenever you need a creative boost.

Example: As a food blogger, saving recipes from different cultures can inspire you to work on fusions of international cuisine and culinary traditions.

Video on creating swipe files

Incorporating these uncommon research methods into your content creation process can help you uncover fresh ideas, gain valuable insights, and stay ahead of the curve. By exploring new avenues and thinking outside the box, you can elevate your content and engage your audience in meaningful ways. So, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the unconventional – the next big idea might be just around the corner.

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