Generating Content Marketing Story Ideas: Infographic

When generating content marketing story ideas there are a number of key themes a good journalist or storyteller looks for. Browse through any mainstream news site and you will find nearly all of their pieces contain one or more of the below themes.

A common trait in many of these is emotion. Good content makes audiences laugh, cry, feel empathy, awe, frustration, outrage or indignation.

Of course journalistic values such as integrity, truth, impartiality and attention to detail must lead. Without them you lose credibility. Without credibility, your content marketing efforts will struggle.

Content That Works:

Relevance: Content consumption is driven by relevance and content marketing ideas should cater for the informational desires of your audience. Relevance is largely determined by many of the below.

Local: People are most interested in what’s occurring in their own backyard. The geographic significance of your content to its audience is a major determinant of engagement, unless there are other factors that feature heavily.

New: News is “new” by its very name and the timeliness of a story is critical to its success. However in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, news can become old very quickly. You should be using monitoring and listening tools to quickly pick up on relevant content.

Danger: Humans are genetically designed to pay attention to danger, it helped us avoid being prey to a sabre-toothed tiger. As a result, story or content marketing ideas that showcase or present danger can do quite well. Avoid hysterical though, that’s just annoying.

Scandal / Shocking: We love a scandal and nothing drives traffic quite like it.

Informs: Delivering content into people’s informational desires with thought leadership content is a core premise of many content marketing strategies. Educating, informing and serving insight.

David vs Goliath: In Australia, we are known for our support for the underdog, however the love of a David vs Goliath-type tale is prevalent word wide. Do it well and you’ll have your audience gripped.

Conflict: While most people avoid conflict, the media embrace it, both in the creation of a story and in the story itself. George Orwell said “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed – everything else is PR”. While a lot of brand journalism is still very PR focused, the best content marketing ideas will not shy away from conflict – if it is in their audience’s interests.

Surprise: Nearly every good tale has a twist or two; a surprise that keeps the audience guessing. Predictability bores. Mix it up.

Extreme: Content that makes the jaw slack or the eyes wide is sure to drive engagement and social media shares. It might be the extreme power of nature, extreme sports or an extreme accomplishment. If it’s extreme, it sells.

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