Nine Ways to Flex Your Creativity For the Next Content Campaign
Guest post by Erika Rykun
Are you planning your next content campaign?
Whether it’s a simple series of blog posts and tweets, or a carefully planned series of high-quality videos that amounts to a whole online course, you’ll want to be at your creative best.
Creativity is a bit like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it grows. If you feel like your ideas are all a bit flabby and weak, here are some great ways to flex your creativity:
Warm Up Your Creative Muscles With Some Gentle Stretching
Maybe it’s been a while since your last content campaign, or you’re trying to work on something new. If those creative muscles are feeling a bit creaky, it’s time to give them a bit of a stretch!
Some great ways to do that are to:
#1: Meditate Before You Begin
It can be tempting to jump straight into brainstorming ideas or putting together content – but pause before you begin.
Spend a few minutes sitting in silence, or listening to gentle music or ambient noise. Notice the thoughts that crop up and let your attention move naturally from one thing to another: this type of “open-monitoring” meditation has been linked with greater creativity.
#2: Free-Write (At Your Computer or Longhand)
If you feel like you’re lacking in ideas, or if you’re struggling to get started, a great way to “unblock” your creative thinking is to free-write. You can do this at your computer or longhand, in a notebook.
You might have come across the idea of free-writing through the concept of “morning pages”, a practice advocated by creativity guru Julia Cameron. They’re a popular creativity and self-development tool.
#3: Doodle Without Judgment
Forget what your teachers or parents thought, and don’t worry about your artistic skill … doodling is a great way to tap into your creativity. Grab some scrap paper and have fun!
There’s a bonus to doodling: it can help you get more comfortable expressing your ideas visually. As LogoGeek explains, visual communication matters.
Get Those Muscles Moving By Crafting New Ideas
#4: Brainstorm Around Your Topic
Grab a blank piece of paper (or use an app) and brainstorm lots of ideas related to your campaign. Put the name of the product/service you’re promoting in the center, and go from there.
This type of mindmap can help you find links between ideas … as well as allowing you to throw ideas down on the page without worrying whether they’re “good” or “bad”.
#5: Borrow Inspiration
Look at what other brands are doing (not necessarily in your industry). What content engages you and what could you borrow from this?
For instance, could you take someone else’s article headline and twist it to suit your context? The title “Four People to Avoid at Networking Events” could become “Four People to Avoid at the Gym” or “Three People to Avoid in the Lecture Hall”.
#6: Put Two Different Ideas Together
Juxtaposing two elements is often a great way to be creative. You might use an analogy to make your point, for instance, or you might make a slightly dry topic more interesting by framing it in terms of “superheroes” or by drawing a comparison with a deal with the devil at the crossroads.
#7: Consider How “Big” Each Idea Will Be
When you’re coming up with ideas, it’s helpful not to have too many preconceptions about exactly how and where you’ll publish the resulting content.
For instance, you might be brainstorming ideas for blog posts – but one of your ideas might be so big in scope that it would make a great webinar or even an ebook, not just a single post.
Alternatively, some of your ideas might end up being better as tweets or Facebook posts, rather than as full articles for your blog.
#8: Plan to Link Between Different Content Pieces
As you plan different pieces for your campaign, look for areas where you could link between them.
Do some pieces naturally follow on from others? Can you link back from them? Could some pieces support others – e.g. could a blog post include some embedded tweets, or could a podcast mention a couple of pieces on your blog?
Referring back to previous pieces in the campaign and mentioning what’s coming up can help build a sense of cohesion and excitement for your audience.
#9: Use Limitations to Spark Further Creativity
You’re unlikely to have an unlimited budget, particularly for things like design/development ... so you’ll need to use some ingenuity about how your content could work.
Maybe you can’t afford video cameras and professional lighting … but you use Powerpoint slides with animations to create great video content?
Perhaps you don’t have a full-time designer on staff, but could you create a simple template in Canva so you can give all your content the same “branded” feel? Creativity often thrives within constraints.
Sometimes, when you need to be at your most creative, you might feel like your ideas are weak (or non-existent), or you might struggle to see how to implement your ideas so they stand out from the crowd. The above tips, though, should help get your creative muscles working in top form.
Author Bio: Erika Rykun lives in Ukraine and is an ambitious SEO and outreach strategist who believes in the power of networking and white hat SEO. She is always happy to see how quality link building improves websites' positions, traffic, visibility and revenue. She loves helping people and companies grow. In her free time, she shares her thoughts on her Medium blog, reads tons of books, runs, and waits for a new GoT season. Click here to learn more.