Two of the most important aspects of an effective content marketing program are consistency and creativity. The former is really just a matter of will—putting out high-quality material on a regular basis to keep your target audience informed and engaged. The latter, however, is a little more tricky.
Creativity is not simply a matter of will. It’s a characteristic that involves both the mind and the muse, so to speak. You can’t force it to appear. Instead, when a creative slump hits, you have to trick and tease and entice your creativity to return. The good news is, there are ways to do that.
Tricks for Tickling Your Muse
When it feels like you’ve used up every clever idea you will ever have, use one or more of these strategies to get the creative juices flowing once again:
- Ignore your problem. You have a general idea for project A but the details just aren’t coming to you. Turn your attention to project B as if you don’t have a care in the world about A. You’ll be surprised at how often the details for A will creep into your consciousness when you’re not actively looking for them.
- Play with your toys. Look around the office of any successful creative company and you’ll see toys. You’ll find them in cubicles and offices, conference rooms, and pretty much anywhere people congregate. Why? It seems that returning to that childlike state where you are simply focused on enjoying a toy frees your mind to come up with the solutions you are seeking.
- Reread old marketing content. Often the work you complete today has within it the seeds of projects for tomorrow. You may not see them as you are hustling to complete the piece, but when you take a second look, they might just be there in plain sight.
- Don’t write it; block it. Often our creativity is stifled when we try too hard to drill down into the details of a project. Rather than trying to get into specifics, just jot down some of the highest-level ideas you want to hit, then put the project aside. In many cases, your mind will start to fill in the blanks for you. This is similar to the “Ignore your problem” item above. It’s amazing how much work your brain is doing when it feels like it’s not working at all!
- Steal. OK, no… I’m not advocating plagiarism. But, looking at the work of others will often spark unique creative ideas of your own.
- Get an outside perspective. We sometimes lean on those we work closely with when trying to come up with creative concepts. Unfortunately, your “creator’s block” may be contagious and affecting them as well. Get input from someone outside your immediate circle who can bring a totally fresh perspective to bear on the problem.
- Trade tones. Many companies produce content that sticks to a particular tone—more serious and businesslike, for example, or lighter and more playful. While that is most often done to establish and maintain the voice of the company, switching gears every now and again can be good for you as a content creator and a welcome change of pace for your content consumers.
Helping You Deliver Your Creative Content
In its simplest form, content marketing involves two steps: create outstanding content and get it in front of the right people at the right time. At 30dps, we help with both of these processes. From offices in Colorado Springs, CO, and Springfield, MO, our creative team can help you break out of your creative slump and produce engaging marketing materials, websites, and more. Then, using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot (we’re a HubSpot Certified Agency Partner) we can help your content get the attention it deserves. Want to hear about what that approach has done for some of our clients and can do for your company? Give us a call anytime!