Finding Social Media Content Ideas – A Proven System
Do you feel tons of pressure to pump out lots and lots of content on social media? So much so that you feel like you’re often just run out of ideas? By the end of this article, I promise you, you will have solved that problem with a system that you can repeat over and over again.
Coming up with all of these story ideas is very, very difficult, but there is an endless amount of them out there. So, it’s really a four-step system to generate a ton of content ideas. And if you stick around with me to the end, I am going to show you another system that you can use to create specifically branded content to help you sell more stuff.
- So, the first thing that you need to do is do the persona exercise. So, this is basically drilling right down in on who your ideal customer avatar is, and then make a few columns. In the first column you put the general demographic of who this person is. Females, 35 to 50, interested in health and wellness, or something. The next column is who specifically. And this is where you give this person an actual name. Sandra, 40 years old, lives in Burbank, California, has two kids named Ricky and Steven. And then go through exactly what her life is like, the things in her life, a little bit of her history. The idea is that you could close your eyes and be able to see this person sitting across the table from you. Hey, Sandra, what’s up? The next column is where you list out all of the pain points of the avatar, and not just as they relate to your product or service. It’s all of the things that cause them little or big moments of pain in their life. So, they might not be able to sleep very well, or they may be very busy, and then their wants and needs, based on those.
- Step two is what I call the lifestyle map. So, this is where you draw a circle and then have a bunch of spokes, like bicycle spokes, coming out of it, usually about five or six. And on each little bicycle spoke, you want to put a core lifestyle trait of the avatar. Now, you don’t want to make this too specific to Sandra. For example, Burbank, California, because not everybody in your avatar base is going to live in Burbank, California, therefore they may not care about the five best gyms in Burbank, California. What we’re looking for are core lifestyle traits that are broad enough to appeal to the entire customer base. So, once you have those linked out there, then you want to ask yourself or do some actual research using Google Keyword Planner and ask, “What is my avatar googling about these core lifestyle traits?” If one of them is losing 20 pounds, it could be something to the order of, how to lose 20 pounds quickly, how to lose 20 pounds without a diet, how to lose 20 pounds with strength training. Try to list out, just to start, 10 per core lifestyle trait. Although you could go endless with this. And what you need to do now, after you have all of these search terms listed out, let those searches into headlines.
How to lose weight with strength training could turn into “10 scientifically proven ways to lose weight with strength training.” So, you’re going to come up with one headline per search term. If you have six bicycle spokes, this is going to give you 60 potential story ideas. You see where I’m going with this? And that’s just if you have 10 from each core lifestyle trait. How do we make sure that we have a good headline? That’s where we use the SEED system.
The SEED system is a filter that all of our headline ideas can go through to make sure that on the other end, we have a headline, which is not only a great headline, but it’s going to make a great story. So, the SEED system is a four-part acronym, specificity, empathy, emotion and deliver. And every single headline that you choose needs to tick every single one of these boxes. So, specificity means, is it specific? Now, I could have used the headline, “Best ways to lose weight with strength training,” but it’s not really specific, meaning I don’t know what’s on the other side of my click. And if I don’t know what’s going to be over there, I might not click it because I don’t want to get into something that might not be relevant to me. So instead, I make it more specific by saying, you’re going to get five of these things. This is why lists work so well psychologically. And I say science-backed, because it adds authority and makes it even more attractive of a click. Words like best should go away. Because best doesn’t describe anything. The first E is for empathy, which is feeling in others what you’ve felt yourself. So, the more that you can appeal to their own emotional life and pain points, the better. We’ve actually done a lot of this work already by going through the persona exercise, seeing their pain points and then doing the lifestyle map. So, if you’ve done everything the right way, every single one of these search terms and ideas should be aligned empathetically. The second E is for emotion.
If this headline does not make you feel something as soon as you read it, then it’s probably not going to work. The reason why people click anything is because of empathy and emotion. They need to feel that it could have a transformation or a change in their life. They need to feel that the value will actually have a huge impact on them. No matter how good your headline is, you have to make sure to be able to deliver on the value of that content. If you can create a great headline and then you can’t back it up with a good the piece of content, forget about it, it’s over. So, at the end of this, you have 60 different headlines that you can turn into stories across all different types of platforms. And you can see how these angles can be used for everything from a social video to an Instagram story, to a simple image. Now, if you want to make content that is super, super in line with your brand and the exact problem that your product solves, I have another solution that you can add on to this, and this is the problem/solution grid. You’re going to want to get a sheet of paper or open up a new doc and start with three columns. Those three columns are going to be problem, solution and headline. So what you’re going to do first is just a brain dump of all the problems that your avatar faces. In the middle column, you’re going to write down the solution to those problems that you can actually fix. And then next to that, a headline idea. Now, I recommend you try to come up with at least three headlines using the SEED system for each one of these pieces of the problem/solution grid so that you can get a ton of extra content ideas as well that are super, super branded to what you are trying to do, what you’re trying to sell. And if you want to know more about how to turn these into video ideas, you’ve got to use the HERO system.