Content is a great way to raise awareness of your business and keep your customers engaged with useful and informative advice. However, creating content doesn’t just happen; it takes time to come up with new and interesting ways to communicate with your audience and keep them coming back for more. It’s all about being creative and getting inside the mind of your customer to understand what will resonate with them and create content to match.
So what do you do when the creative well runs dry? Here are our top four tips to help you overcome writer’s block when it strikes and keep your content plan on track.
1) Don’t be afraid to check out what your competitors are doing
Checking up on what your competition is doing is a great tactic to use when creativity is lacking. Subscribe to blogs, email newsletters or even social media pages to stay ahead of what is out there already. You don’t even have to be original with the content you communicate, just make sure you have something valuable to add to what your competitors are saying that will make your customers sit up and listen.
Likewise, use your competitors to help understand what not to do. If they have sparked a heated or controversial discussion, it could be a good indicator to steer away from such topics to avoid any negative attention. Also, look out for any gaps in their content. Is there something you can bring to the table that they have perhaps missed?
For example, a local high street retailer could take inspiration from a competitor’s article on the latest high street trends for summer and use it to create an article on the top five trends of the year so far and predictions for 2018. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to, use existing content and build on it to create something more insightful which will ultimately interest your readers.
2) Look back at your own successful content
As well as looking at what your competitors are doing, looking back at previous content you’ve produced that performed well with your audience, i.e reached more people, received increased shares or generated more comments than usual, can be just as effective to spark your creativity once again.
Look at the format of the content; what type of headline did you use? Did questions work best or did people find ‘how to’ guides more useful? What was the style and tone of the content? Was it more visual? These are all useful questions to ask yourself when looking back at previous content to see what’s worked well and how you might be able to replicate success for different topics.
3) Repurpose what you’ve written before
Trends change constantly so there’s no shame in revisiting previous content topics and refreshing them with updated information. It’s a good idea to think seasonally depending on your type of business as there may be seasonal changes that occur which impact your customers and therefore information can become out of date.
Going back to our high street retailer as an example, they could have previously used an article titled ‘Our top 5 fashion do’s and don’ts of 2016’ but they could equally use the same content and repurpose it for 2017 giving a new take on what’s been hot this year.
4) Change the format
Writer’s block can rear its ugly head when you’re trying to create something that’s not suited to the format you’re using.
Articles and guides are great for demonstrating your expertise with more in-depth information and advice, whereas some content pieces lend themselves to a much shorter style that achieves more of an instant impact. For example, a local restaurant might want to promote their five flavours of summer. Visual content would be much more appropriate in this instance, so they could share an Instagram post each day over the course of the week to get people talking and sharing their favourite summer recipes.
Writer’s block is something we all dread but is inevitable for any local business, especially for those tight on time or with limited resource. But it shouldn’t mean content is forgotten about. Think about all of these top tips to help you overcome creative blocks and revitalise your content plan so that readers return to your business for more expert advice.