The world today is not one that anyone is familiar with, and many of the methods we might be accustomed to using to rescue us from a creative slump are not as accessible as before.
This obstacle doesn’t mean that you are out of luck, though. Instead, it encourages us to find new methods and outlets to channel marketing inspiration, things that may have been right at our fingertips, but we never had a reason to look for them before shutdowns and closures.
Record Moments of Inspiration
An excellent place for you and your team to start with is to become more aware of all of the little moments. Inspiration, a sudden new idea, should never be passed up. Record these in an accessible way to make it so that when the marketing well has run dry, you can open up your pre-made stores.
Pinterest has been one of the best ways to find new ideas for anything from how to paint your living room with chalk paint to the most engaging ways to write an email since its beginning in January of 2010. Pinterest will always have something to offer. Even if it isn’t an entirely new idea, it can start thinking creatively, engaging the frontal cortex, or the brain’s hub of creativity, to get you in the mood to develop great marketing ideas.
Search your relevant topics in the handy search bar, and then when you find a post you like, don’t miss out and similar branches from the subject, but scroll down after clicking the post to get even more ideas. Save it all to a board to make sure you don’t lose the best ideas, even if they need to be put to use at a later date.
Make an “Ideas” Notebook
Not all good things come from a computer screen. If you are doing something else in your daily life or having a conversation, and something they say twinges the creative muscle, write it down. Many people like the concept of making an “Ideas” notebook. However, if it isn’t practical for you to carry a notebook, even a small one, and a pen with you all the time, consider making a file on your phone to add strokes of creative genius to whenever they hit.
Find a New Hobby
As you have likely seen on any social media platform, the quarantine is causing many people to try new things to avoid boredom. While you might not be trying to stave off monotony, trying something new allows you to look at things from a different perspective. Artists see the world in a brighter array of different colors, while those that do model airplanes might start to see how things come together. Trying out a new hobby, or encouraging your team to try a new project together, is an excellent way to break out of the hamster wheel of similar thoughts and look at the world through a distinct pair of eyes.
Some might find starting a new hobby too time-consuming for them. If an entirely new hobby isn’t up your alley, try playing around for an afternoon. What we mean is try something more child-like, like doing a painting or putting together a puzzle. We are at one of our most creative ages when we are only five years old, believing that the world is our oyster. Do something that brings this unstructured side of you out.
If you don’t know where to begin, go online to find some online classes. Try searching through YouTube videos or going online to a community of creatives like at SkillShare. Take a course on anything that has interested you in the past to make your masterpiece. Doing this helps give you a guide as well as a sense of success when something is completed.
Read a Book
There have been millions of people that have come before us and experienced full and creative lives. Some of these people have taken the time to write down these experiences, stories, and suggestions. Get your ideas from past lives or how-to books by settling in and reading. Burn through it with sudden extra time, or schedule nightly reading hours and write down anything that could trigger inspiration.
Don’t have time to settle down to read?
Try listening to a podcast or an audiobook. Podcasts have become increasingly popular during the modern age of long commutes and fast-tracked hours that make sitting down with a newspaper or an article an infeasible option. Now that you are stuck at home, though, they make a good choice while you are busy around the house or if reading is just not your thing.
Exercise and Sleep More
People in the Western world of the 21st century are not known for taking incredible care of themselves when it comes to our bodies, and thus our minds. Without eating right, sleeping enough, and exercising, our brains have been proven not to function as well as they would if we took care of them. Instead of sitting and staring empty-minded at a screen for hours, clear your head by engaging in some physical activity.
Sleeping is one of the essential parts of taking good care of yourself. Mayo Clinic recommends adults over the age of 18 to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. You might say that you don’t get enough sleep because of such a long work schedule. However, you are simply cheating yourself out of high productivity, efficiency, and increased creativity when you don’t get enough rest.
Take a Walk
Taking a trip was one of the most recommended things for getting outside of yourself and regular routines. Currently, though, this is not as convenient to do and can be even more stressful.
Instead of traveling to faraway lands, or even across the state border, try to get some outdoor time. Take a walk in a local natural area or even around your neighborhood whenever you are hitting a wall. Make sure to focus on breathing to clear all of the cobwebs out of your head.
Search Out Trending Topics
You don’t always have to rely solely on yourself to figure out where the next marketing inspiration will come from. There are plenty of other tools and other people out there that have had good ideas before. We are NOT saying to take these ideas, but borrowing aspects or combining them with something unique can be a great place to start towards a new idea.
Buzzsumo is an online tool that allows you to search through keywords to find the highest trending topics being shared on social media. Take advantage of tools like these, since everyone is also stuck at home and more active on social media than ever. Type in an appropriate keyword to discover topics that you might be able to use.
With all the time that people spend in front of TVs lately, a lot of extra money has gone into commercial development. Instead of tuning these out, or skipping them, turn them up! Find out what other businesses are doing and research to see how well those ideas are working out for them.
Whether it is looking into other competitors or other companies that you are a fan of, almost everyone will have their email subscription. Although you might typically send these into a spam folder or right into the trash, consider pausing for a moment. Read through their stories and ideas to get some unique ones of your own.
Finding outside resources isn’t the only way to find marketing solutions. Learn from your history. Search back through the archives and reports to see the posts and ads that had the most success. Figure out what made them popular and dive deeper into these to encourage that level of engagement all over again.
Marketing Inspiration From the Top Down
Sometimes you don’t need an entire idea to form immediately right in front of your eyes. Most of the time, a full-fledged plan starts with a single thought or prompt. If you are looking for the topic of a new ad or hoping for content ideas, harness the power of more online tools to get started.
Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator is an easy place to begin. By typing in a noun or a topic, it automatically generates blog ideas for you. It gives you multiple different angles to look into when trying to approach a well-worn subject and is a fast way to find a different perspective.
Another handy tool is the Content Idea Generator from Portent. By entering in your subject, it gives you a title to work from to be able to generate new content. Some of the ideas it comes up with might be a bit wacky, but taking a look at a subject from the left-field might be just what you need. Mess around with it to get different results each time until you land on one that is just right.
Ask Yourself if You are Asking the Right Questions
Answering a question is a useful way to generate content. Once you have run out of your own questions or are no longer applicable to your topic, finding new ones is a must. Gratefully, thousands of people are coming up with questions and posting them online every day.
The well-known search engine, Google, is a good beginning point. Type in one of your own questions, then scroll down to find similar questions people have asked in the past. If you click on any of these to find the quick answer, more questions pop up below that.
Another resource for finding questions and exciting answers is on Quora. Quora has become the internet king of question and answer communities. Almost anything that anyone has ever thought to ask has been posed to this community. Find new topics and perspectives by searching through relevant questions and creating content to answer them.
Change Your Environment
Getting out of the same old place can be a quick solution for changing the pace and encouraging new thoughts. For many people, though, this might seem downright impossible since everything, from cafes to libraries and offices, has been shut down tight.
Gratefully, there are still options, such as shared workspaces. CircleHub offers a space just like this, enabling employees to honor social distancing mandates while getting them out of their house for a little while. Look into your region’s shared workspace and office areas to find options that fit your needs, from conference rooms to smaller office spaces.
Host a Zoom Brainstorm
Don’t just rely on yourself and what you can find to gain marketing inspiration. Everyone has their own way of engaging with and thinking about the world around them. Although it might not be an option to call everyone together for a meeting, use free resources like Zoom and Skype to engage with your team.
Host a Zoom meeting and invite team members, or if you don’t have a team, try getting together with interested friends and family. Title it a “Brainstorm” meeting and figure out different prompts to get the ideas flying.
Use Social Media and Email Marketing to Ramp Engagement
Although you are the one meant to be curating content and marketing for them, those that engage with your resources and services can be a deep pool of ideas. They are engaging with you or your company for some reason, and many have specific things they are watching for when they read your emails or watch the ads.
Tap into this pool of devoted followers or fans by asking them what they want to interact with or want to see. Asking your community what they are interested in is perhaps the surest way to guarantee interaction with at least a fraction of your audience.
And that’s what it is all about, isn’t it?