5 Clever Sources for Content Ideas

Whether you’re posting on social media, writing a newsletter, or thinking about new lead magnets, it helps to have a well of ideas you can draw from. But coming up with a steady stream of topics can be tough.

That’s where it helps to have a variety of sources you can use to find worthwhile content ideas. Then whenever you’re struggling to decide what your brand should be talking about, you’ll have places you can look.

Here are five surprising sources for good content ideas.

1. FAQ pages

Your FAQ page represents a collection of things people ask about your business all the time. While FAQ pages tend to answer a lot of questions, they’re not great places to provide in-depth answers. You want people to quickly find a simple answer to the question they’re researching.

But some of your FAQs are perfect topics for blog posts or social media content (you could even use them for stories). This gives you an opportunity to provide long-form answers. It also increases visibility on information that could help your audience make a decision about your business or get more value from their relationship with you.

2. Sales and customer service teams

Marketing, sales, and customer service departments are often siloed. Each has their own goals and processes, and there’s little room for collaboration. But sales and customer service teams interact with your customers and leads on a regular basis, so they know what topics your customers have trouble understanding, what value propositions they find most compelling, and what kinds of situations your products or services are being used in.

From a content standpoint, you could lean on these teams to discover case study opportunities and identify customers who may be willing to provide a more detailed look at how your business supported them. Or you might find unusual applications and underrated benefits. If your reps find themselves having the same conversations over and over, you should probably create some content that does some of this work for them.

3. Competitors

If a competitor has a particularly successful piece of content, it’s worth looking into why it’s working. Is this a topic you should be talking about, too? Your goal shouldn’t be to copy them. Find a new angle. Find the gaps in their content—what are the things they forgot to cover? And look for opportunities to showcase your company’s expertise.

4. Comments on other content

Most comments on blog posts and social media content don’t offer much substance. But once in a while, someone asks a question you never thought to answer, or they share an insight that takes you in a new direction. Comments can be valuable signals of what people want to know more about.

They don’t even have to be comments on recent content. Or comments on your content. 

If an older post received a lot of engagement, skim the comments to see if there are good opportunities to revisit the topic and explore it in a new way. 

If you pay attention to how people interact with thought leaders in your space, you may find questions they left unanswered or things they didn’t have time to explain. There may be room for your brand (or an in-house expert speaking on behalf of your brand) to join the conversation.

5. Online forums

Online forums can feel like a black hole. Get too close to one, and you’ll be sucked in forever. But from a content marketing standpoint, forums are a great place to explore what people are talking about in your industry—and they’re particularly useful for finding a range of perspectives.

A lively forum thread could be a launchpad for your brand to explain a topic that’s relevant to your audience, or it could offer an opportunity to round up a variety of different viewpoints. Rounding up perspectives is especially valuable for topics where your brand doesn’t want to alienate segments of your audience by taking a hard stance. Instead, you’re simply highlighting the diversity of thought—which can invite your audience to share their own perspective.

Keep the content coming

Whatever channels you use to engage your audience, it helps to have a steady stream of content to keep them interacting with (and thinking about) your brand. Thankfully, if you know where to look for inspiration, you’ll have an endless supply of content ideas that are worth pursuing.