Content Brainstorming Twitter Chat with Stoney deGeyter @StoneyD #VCBuzz

Content Brainstorming Twitter Chat with Stoney deGeyter @StoneyD #VCBuzzComing up with new awesome content ideas is tough! Luckily, I had a chance to speak at content inspiration session at #Pubcon together with @StoneyD who agreed to come and share his wisdom with us today!

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About Stoney

.@StoneyD is author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! (which I am happy to have read because Stoney sent me a free copy: GREAT one! Very actionable!)

.@StoneyD is president @PolePositionMkg, professional speaker and all-around nice guy ?

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become digital marketer? Please share your career path!

Shortly after I bought first computer, got a book called, Learn HTML in 24 hours. I got half way through and built first site.

Feeling good about it, I offered to re-design my parent’s business website–complete with the latest in HTML technology: frames. I think I may be dating myself a bit there. Show of hands, who doesn’t know what frames are?

Ha! I remember using FrontPage! Good times!

Shortly after that, my dad asked me to optimize his site for AltaVista, Excite and WebCrawler (Google was just a baby then)… so he bought me an SEO program called Web Position. That launched my career as a web marketer!

I like to tell people, “I started in my bedroom and quickly expanded into my living room!”

I started the same year as Google. I’d like to think we had similar growth trajectories but… sadly no.

Q2 How to brainstorm a great content idea? What’s your process and tips?

Most brainstorming is situational. Rather than thinking up ideas, I generate ideas through context and conversation. You hear writers talk about keeping a pen and notepad handy so if an idea strikes you can write it down. That’s pretty much me.

As a marketer, a lot of my ideas come from interactions with clients and prospects. That offers a wealth of ideas right there.

Sometimes it’s just about thinking outside the box. Kind of a mashup of multiple ideas that have been done before.

One idea I had for a company that sells vehicle batteries was to do a battery of the month calendar. We would show a pic of a battery in various stages of undress for each month. Heck, it’s even perfect for a nip-slip!

So far I have been unable to convince the client (or my strategists) that it’s a good idea.

That’s a good way to go as well

Q3 Do you believe in our era of content overload there still exist truly original un-written content ideas? How often do you see something really original being published online? Can you give some examples?

Is anything “original” anymore? Authors write original books, musicians sing original songs, comedians tell original jokes, but… none of it is really original. I mean, how many songs can there be about sex before we realize it’s just not that original! How many movies have we seen with the same tired plot lines?

In my mind, original content isn’t necessary so long as there is something unique to it. The idea of a calendar is not original. But has anybody done it with batteries? In bikinis? Probably not.

So, that would be a way to deliver unoriginal content in an original way. Chipotle did it by creating a TV show. TV isn’t original, but what made this work is because restaurants don’t typically create TV shows. They took two unoriginal ideas and made it original by virtue of who they were and how they did it.

Don’t worry about doing something original , but be original in how you say (or present) it. That’s what matters.

Q4 Please share your favorite content brainstorming tools. We love tools!

I honestly don’t use tools a lot however we created a spreadsheet called the Mix It Up Content Planner.

We outlined 75 content ideas and the tool helps you figure out which format each works for (written, video, audio, image, tool).

I also a sucker for going back, revisiting old content, taking key points out of them and expanding it into a new post of its own.

I often just let lightning strike, which is NOT a recipe for consistency! Sometimes it’s more of a very small elec current.

Add Diet Mountain Dew to that list for me!

Q5 What are your favorite content marketing productivity tools? Which tools help you be an efficient writer?

Checklists and spreadsheets are my best friends. It also helps to be organized about how and when to write.

Set aside certain days of the week for writing. That helps eliminate distractions, as I won’t do any other work on those days. Writing has a tendency to be nudged out for important things. I force everything else to wait a day so I can say focused.

Not sure if those qualify as tools. I’m more of a process guy. Good processes are just as good as any tool!

Our previous content brainstorming chats:


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