The Cure to Content Marketing Creative Block: Brilliant Ideas Bank

by | Feb 22, 2024 | B2B PR Blog, Content Creation, Messaging development

When your usual creative watering holes run dry, do you migrate in the search of new water sources? Or do you look to hibernate until the next rainy season?

I see you. You sit down to brainstorm, fingers poised over the keyboard, but the once-flowing stream of innovative ideas has dwindled to a mere trickle. We all dread this—the Content Marketing Creative Block.

No creative is immune to writer’s block, but those of us in content marketing especially struggle to find the time to seek out inspiration in nature, daydreams, or our favourite reading nook, as clichéd advice always suggests.

Moreover, our fear of creative stagnation isn’t just a hurdle; it’s a looming cliff that could hinder our brand’s growth and vitality. Let’s dive right into the thirst-quenching cure in a content marketing drought.

How do you cure creative block?

As a marketer or PR pro, the way to release yourself from the webbed paralysis of creative block is through preparation.

How is it that preparation is the way to overcome creative block? Surely, you say, we cannot prepare in advance for this sad occasion… I say: “why struggle to free yourself from a spider’s grasp if you can side-step the web entirely?” At EC-PR, we do so with a Brilliant Ideas Bank.

The Brilliant Ideas Bank is a repository of strategically aligned ideas directly based on the communication strategy. Each persona has a set of ideas for each stage of the buying cycle. It is not a random bunch of tactics – it keeps everyone focused on strategy.

Reasons you should have a Brilliant Ideas Bank

The Brilliant Ideas Bank (BIB) keeps everyone aligned and helps to steer everyone in the same strategic direction. You can choose to go off-course, which is fine, but you know where the course is so you can get back on. Having this knowledge and a fully populated BIB saves time, and therefore money.

1Be ready to hop on trends without risking quality

We can rarely anticipate future trends but in PR, content, and marketing, staying ahead of trends is crucial. By establishing a BIB, you can be ready for shifts in consumer behaviour and adapt your campaigns proactively. It becomes a reservoir of innovative ideas that not only keep you relevant but allow you to position your brand as a trendsetter in your industry.

2Save time short and long-term

Efficiency is desirable for your team, correct? With a BIB, invest time upfront to create a repository of seed ideas. It’s a strategic time-saver that helps refine ideas you’d like to execute in the short term.

The time investment also pays off exponentially because it streamlines the content development process. No longer will you find yourself starting from scratch; instead, you’ll draw from your BIB, so you can operate smoothly for months or even years off one BIB iteration.

3Never be short of marketing ideas again

The beauty of a BIB is that it acts as a constant flow of creative concepts. With a well-populated BIB, you’ll never face the challenge of being short on marketing ideas again. It becomes a renewable resource that fuels your campaigns and, if well structured, provides inspiration for each stage of the buying cycle. This perpetual well of creativity transforms your marketing approach into a dynamic and ever-evolving force.

4Make your content marketing easily scalable

Scaling content marketing can be daunting without a structured approach, but if you populate a BIB with seed ideas, you’re laying the foundation for a scalable content strategy. Whether you need to target multiple personas, industries, or pain points, the BIB ensures that your content remains consistent, coherent, and ready to scale at a moment’s notice. Simply pluck an idea from the BIB, send to a freelance or junior marketer, and you’ve left the sticky paralysis of creative block!

5Facilitate outsourcing, even via non-experts

Outsourcing can be a game-changer, as long as effective communication is prioritised. A BIB becomes the bridge between your vision and those executing the work. By encapsulating your core ideas in the BIB, even non-experts can grasp the essence of your messaging. This not only streamlines the outsourcing process but ensures that your brand voice remains consistent, regardless of who is executing the work.

6Unite your leadership behind one goal

Need I explain why aligning leadership is pivotal to content marketing initiatives? For busy leadership, a BIB serves as a visual representation of your strategic messaging. It serves as a unifying force that your team can readily embrace, rallying them behind a common goal. With a shared understanding of the seed ideas and overarching themes, your leadership can (and I dare say, will) champion the content marketing strategy with a cohesive and collaborative approach.

7Get exposure to subject matter experts

Unlock the wealth of knowledge within your organisation. Each seed idea in a BIB is a valid reason to engage subject matter experts (SMEs). As these experts contribute insights related to the seed ideas, your BIB transforms into a knowledge hub.

This exposure to SMEs not only enriches your content but also fosters a culture of collaboration, where expertise from various departments converges to elevate your marketing initiatives. It sounds idyllic doesn’t it? A far cry from the spider’s web we started in.

How to use a Brilliant Ideas Bank to cure content marketing block

When creativity stalls, consult your BIB to reignite inspiration. Each seed idea is a potential campaign headline, there’s no excuse not to overcome creative block with this repository of plug-and-play ideas. Turn to your BIB to pose questions and explore fresh angles, alleviating the struggle of ideation.

To make the most of a BIB, however, it needs a structured format – organised into personas and matched to your brand’s key messages.

Create an invaluable resource: Step-by-step to your own Brilliant Ideas Bank

I’m going to give you a view into our in-house process. We use this strategy at EC-PR as well as for our cherished clients.

Turn your messaging into brilliant ideas  

You know what you want to say at each stage of the buying cycle, and now you need to turn your messaging into ideas, which can be developed into campaigns and content. Our approach is to create the BIB hand-in-hand with clients so that both parties are familiar with each seed idea. Here’s our process:

  • Create a table for each buyer persona.
  • In the first column, jot down your seed idea.
    • Each seed idea should be no more than a headline to begin with. It is often helpful to frame it as a question.
  • In columns #2 to #5, indicate which message the seed ideas most closely support.
    • For each message, write down as many questions that a buyer might ask, to which the message is a response. Don’t assume your buyer has any in-depth knowledge or expertise.

Distinctive tip : For each message, consider the “what, why, where, when and how” of each key phrase – these should inspire a multitude of ideas. The most valuable material will always start with “how to” and provide practical advice.

Let me put this into practice so you can see how it works: if my seed idea is, “the importance of driving marketing efficiency for tech scaleups,” my angles might include:

  • What role can B2B PR play in driving efficiency for tech scale-ups?
  • Why is B2B PR more efficient than other marketing disciplines for tech scale-ups?
  • Where will you find examples of B2B PR best practice for ambitious tech companies?
  • When is the right time for a tech scale-up to consider recruiting a B2B PR agency?
  • How does a rapid-growth company get the most impact when partnering with a B2B PR agency?

The beauty of the BIB is that each seed idea has the potential to become a fully formed asset such as a blog, roundtable, webinar, report, speech, research project, media article, or LinkedIn post and all of them are strategically aligned.

With the BIB well-fleshed out, every execution will reinforce your messaging, bringing you closer to your goal and positioning you as the go-to expert.

Want to know how your BIB will fit into a larger PR strategy? Get your own copy of Activate from the PR experts at EC-PR.

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