It’s no secret that content marketing has proven itself to be one of the best ways to build an audience, establish your brand, and increase traffic and sales. Coming up with great content on a regular basis isn’t always easy, but it’s an investment in your marketing strategy that will certainly pay dividends.

There are many ways to come up with unique content marketing ideas, and these are just a few of our tried-and-true favorites to help keep your content calendar full of valuable information that will help and serve your audience. Content creation will go a long way in keeping your audience interested and engaged, and maintaining your business’s reputation as a purveyor of timely, relevant, content

Check out these six ways to come up with creative content marketing ideas your audience is sure to love.

1). Turn to Your Analytics

When it comes to gauging your audience’s interest, there’s no better place to start than your business’s analytics. Analytics provide your business with invaluable statistics that can tell you what your audience is really thinking. Identify which posts are performing well and promoting engagement from your audience, and give your audience more related content to replicate these positive results.

2).  Ask the Audience

Ask and you shall receive. Instead of guessing what your audience is going to like, simply ask them. It seems like a no-brainer, but taking the guesswork out of the equation and just asking your audience what they’d like to see more of is a great way to come up with content ideas you know they’ll love. Using your frequently asked questions will give you an idea of what your customers are thinking and feeling, presenting an opportunity to address their specific questions and provide value through direct engagement.   

3). Competitive Snooping

In the connected age of the Internet, it’s hard to keep a secret. Fortunately, there is a distinct advantage in having access to most of your competitors’ content. Take a look at what sort of content your competitors are creating and use it to generate some of your own ideas. Following trends of the competitors in your niche is a good practice to make sure you stay sharp and keep pace with the competition—plus it will give you plenty of new ideas to beef up your own content.

4). Use Research Tools

Content marketing research tools like BuzzSumo help businesses find popular content that is being shared on social media platforms. You can also utilize social media management tools such as Oktopost, Sprout Social, and Feedly to see what consumers are reading, watching, and talking about, and respond to these topics using your own content.

5). Follow the Trend

Like fashion trends, Internet trends come and go. Trending videos, posts, ideas, and hashtags will give you insights into what audiences are consuming at any given time. Trends are a great opportunity to demonstrate your business’s ability to respond by impressing your audience with timely content creation on the latest news and topics. Try taking a look at hashtag tools like Hashtagify and For Display Purposes Only to stay on top of popular hashtags and make sure your content always keeps your audience in-the-know.  

6). Try Something Completely New

When all else fails, it’s time to take a chance and try something completely new. While it’s important to cover what’s trending and popular, don’t be shy about taking a risk every once in a while. Throw your audience a bit of a curveball every so often to keep them on their toes, and see how they react to it. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one setting the next trend that everyone else will rush to follow.