12 Unconventional Ways To Generate Ideas For Fresh, Engaging Content

Being part of a creative team is an exciting job. However, it’s difficult to always be in an innovative, inspired mindset. Often, creatives experience burnout and roadblocks that hinder their performance.

To help you stay inspired, we asked the members of Young Entrepreneur Council to share some unconventional ways content teams can create fresh content that will engage their audience. Their best answers are below.

1. Organize Headline Brainstorming Sessions

We meet twice a week and come up with 70-100 topic ideas together. The paradigm revolves around an endless blast of ideas—anything a customer may need, struggle with, be curious about and can utilize for their business. Set up brainstorming sessions where any idea counts. Give a small reward for the largest pool of ideas if you feel like it. – Mario Peshev, DevriX

2. Practice Freewriting

I suggest using a technique called freewriting to help creative teams work through mental blocks. You set a timer for five to ten minutes and don’t stop typing or writing for any reason, even to think or correct mistakes. As you compel yourself to write, you’ll find that creative thoughts emerge on their own. This is a powerful way to work through any creative blocks quite quickly and effectively. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

3. Encourage Reading

Encourage a lot of reading among your team. Sometimes writers need to put words back into their heads before they can pump more words out of it. So encourage weekly reading and growth opportunities for the team so they can contribute more meaningful content and advance their own writing styles. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

4. Relax Before Brainstorming

Ideas are tricky. Sometimes they come when you’re in the shower or just driving your car. That “eureka” moment is something you can’t control completely. I believe the best way to have a content team create fresh content is to have them relax a little, get them out of the office to walk around for 15 minutes, and then come back and gather them at a table and do a brainstorm session for 10 minutes. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

5. Utilize Multiple Communication Mediums

Don’t limit your content to one communication vehicle. Text blog posts, emails and website content can get stale—consider injecting other engaging mediums into your communications strategy, like video, animations, infographics and pictures. Varying your communication delivery methods keeps your messages fresh and can help them resonate better than words alone. – Traci Beach, Craft Impact

6. Keep It Open And Transparent

We like to keep things consistently open in our company, with everything. That way, anyone and everyone can contribute and spark an idea. The folly of some teams is that they let only one person lead the creative discussion. When you let the team create something new, your output will never get old. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Research Marketing Blogs

When I run out of content ideas, I like to go to popular marketing blogs and see the latest topics they’re tackling. I’m not looking to copy their ideas, but gain inspiration for myself. Sometimes all it takes is one keyword for me to think of a good content idea, so this really helps put me in the right direction. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Connect The ‘Dots’

Creativity comes when you connect “dots” of knowledge from a wide variety of content or information. Even though subjects like pottery and chess may be incredibly different, learning about both these things creates new knowledge dots. You can then combine them to make something new. So, I would encourage creative folk to try something radically different to increase their creativity fast. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Channel Creativity Toward Achievable Goals

Creativity applied in the business should be treated as a resource, channeled properly toward achievable goals, and be systems-dependent, not expert-dependent. Keep a list of client and sales FAQs to inspire business-aligned content initiatives. Depend on a system of intelligence to feed into the list of topics, so any member of your content team can pick up the winning ball and run with it. – Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs

10. Bring Your Audience Into The Conversation

Bring your audience into the conversation. Instead of putting all the pressure on your internal team to create content, reach out to your community of brand advocates to help you create the next wave of content. Host a video call and ask them engaging questions, do a poll, create a community contest or push for them to produce media of their own regarding your product or content. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

11. Share Inspiration

Share inspiration as often as possible. Our Slack channel is full of links to other company designs, marketing campaigns, blogs, etc. This is a great way to get the creative juices flowing among your team. Staying up to date with the latest trends and what everyone else is doing is essential. – Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff

12. Get Involved With Your Community

When you are feeling stuck and can’t come up with any new content, my suggestion would be community involvement and philanthropy. By getting your customers, vendors and clients involved in taking positive action for the benefit of others it is easy to get the troops rallied behind your mission. – Kyle Michaud, Experience Expositions

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