September 17, 2013

Five Fall-Inspired Activities to Spark Content Marketing Genius

Most content marketers scour the same surfaces for idea generation: Google, YouTube, social media platforms, surveys or other blogs. At the end of the day, though, these are all one in the same. Content marketing is about creating relevant, insightful and, above all, original copy; however, running on a few cups of coffee with a jam-packed schedule, it can be hard to set aside the proper time and focus to pull the ideas out of your own head rather than re-purposing or “taking a creative spin” on an already existing piece.

Perhaps you should step away from that computer screen and take a look at what’s surrounding you outside. Here are five fall-inspired activities you can do to help keep your creative juices flowing.

1.)    Ride the Train

Children are riding the train to school and adults for their daily commute; taking a quick ride yourself could be a fantastic way to inspire your creative senses. Take a look at advertisements on the train car; perhaps you’ll be inspired by the way one company decides to market itself. Perhaps you’ll see a place, object or phrase in the advertisement that will get your wheels turning. Or, leave your headphones at home and pay attention to the conversations happening around you; someone else’s banter could make for a brilliant story. If all else fails, take a look out the window and see if any places or people can spark your creativity.

2.)    Go to a Festival or Fair

One of the greatest things about the fall season is the festivals happening almost every weekend. If there are any happening in your area, stop on by and observe the different kinds of vendors, what they’re selling and, most importantly, how they’re trying to get people to buy. Take a look at the people—from what they’re wearing to how they interact with one another. Or, examine the types of games and rides being offered; perhaps the name of a particular ride or the rules of a game will get your wheels turning. You’ll have a good time (who doesn’t like classic festival food and shopping?), but you could also rejuvenate your mind with what you take in.

3.)    Enjoy an Outdoor Run

One of the best times to go running is when the weather cools down. Taking in the fresh air, having a change of pace (literally) and a change of scenery can easily serve as a creative springboard. That father and son you see fishing, that couple walking their dog or those children on the playground could quickly become an intro or the theme to your next greatest piece. And, of course, don’t forget to bring along some good music. The next time you listen to Justin Timberlake, think about how he has branded himself. Or, just listen closely to that song you have on replay. The combination of a song lyric and the right timing can create marketing magic.

4.)    Monitor Fashion Week

Whether you’re a fashionista, observing what happened at Fashion Week 2013 can prove invaluable for content creation. If you have a natural interest in the event, think of the changes being made in this year’s top fashion trends – what are some risks being taken? Think about how top designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren differentiate their brands from the rest. What designs, cuts and pieces did they bring to the table to get people talking? Or, think about the general concepts of fashion – color schemes, matching, what’s “in” and what’s “out.” You never know, this could lead to some ingenious idea you never knew you had inside of yourself.

5.)    Leverage the Holidays

Last but not least, fall means a multitude of quickly approaching holidays, all of which you should be leveraging for content ideas. If you’re suffering from a case of writer’s block, start with the holiday basics. For example, think about the scariest content marketing strategies you’ve seen so far when Halloween comes rolling around. Or, for Thanksgiving, consider what new tools and resources content marketers should be most thankful for. When it comes to marketing strategy, take a look at an effective Halloween campaign and explore why that one works better than one at, say, Party City.

At the end of the day, good content comes from surrounding yourself with a new environment to feed from. Take a break from your redundant schedule and do something out of the ordinary. It’s then that you’ll think of something extraordinary.


Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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