As we all approach content overload, coming up with ideas that are fresh and unique is more important than ever. The following five tools serve as a great basis for researching what content already exists and where there are gaps to fill in terms of adding insights, updating time-sensitive information, or presenting a story from a different angle or in a more organized manner.
1. Spy on the Internet with Reddit.
Stories trending on Reddit will give you a good feel for what people are talking about and how they feel about certain topics. Beside the stories that are “hot” on the front page, you can find out what people in your niche are discussing on relevant subreddits. Have a presence in these subreddits so you can directly connect with your audience and get their ideas and honest feedback.
2. Examine sharing patterns with the Topsy API.
The Topsy API lets you search all the tweets that have been sent since 2006. In older tweets, look for content that performed well in the past that you can refresh. For newer posts, think about what opinions or facts might be missing from current trends that your brand can add.
3. Find information gaps with Quora.
Answering questions from Quora via blog posts enables you to create resources on your site that you already know people are searching for. The most upvoted answers on certain questions can also inspire fresh content because you’ll learn the types of responses that people are looking for and find the most helpful or entertaining. Finally, ask your own questions on Quora to crowdsource a post filled with users’ answers.
4. Curate examples with Pocket.
Every time you come across an article, video, or visual that you feel serves as an example of great content or something you feel that your brand can build upon, save it to Pocket. Scrolling through your queue the next time you’re ready to write can help you with ideas on everything from format and layout to voice and tone to external resources to reference.
5. Analyze data with Google Trends.
Use Google Trends to discover the topics and visuals most frequently appearing in content and search queries. Whether you draw conclusions about why certain patterns are emerging or decide to add your spin on popular topics, you’ll be sure to find something useful.
As long as you keep relevancy at the forefront of your brainstorm and stay away from trends where your brand has no natural tie-in, these tools will help you create powerful content.