Ideas are the lifeblood of great marketing content. The more ideas we can draw on, the more creative and compelling our content will be. Now, if only our ideas shot us a calendar invite whenever they wanted to make an appearance…
Indeed, there’s no telling when the marketing muse will call. Like us, you’ve probably had the experience of hearing your muse call at an inopportune moment when you’re away from your computer and can’t take notes or jot down ideas. Isn’t it frustrating when you lose a revolutionary content idea because you didn’t immediately write it down or revisit it after scribbling it on a cocktail napkin? In our quest to help marketers better harness their creativity, we want to make sure your half-baked ideas and fleeting whispers of inspiration have a forever home.
Introducing the “Content Spark Book”
At Access Marketing Company, we’ve started using what we call a content spark book as a tool to document ideas and capture our on-the-go inspirations. Sounds sophisticated, right? And get ready for this—the tool takes the shape of literally whatever we want, need or have available when our muse calls. The only rule is it must be something that’s handy and accessible at our fingertips, like:
- Good ol’ pen and paper
- Sticky notes
- The “Notes” app on any smartphone
- OneNote (for all you Microsoft users)
- An email to yourself – be careful of this one, emails can easily get lost and buried.
- Pro-tip: Set a calendar reminder to check your content spark book and activate the good ideas that are consistent with your content goals and strategy.
How to Use the Content Spark Book
Odds are you have a content spark book of your own and have already discovered its infinite number of utilities. Here are some of our favorite uses of the content spark book:
- Initial content ideas, continuation of thoughts on a topic
- Design sketches or image concepts
- People who you can collaborate with, reach out to, quote or learn from
- Ways you can activate and amplify your content
- The occasional grocery list item you don’t want to forget ?
Who Should Use the Content Spark Book
Perhaps the greatest and most overlooked utility of the spark book that we’ve discovered is that it helps break down silos—especially at large enterprises—and drive collaboration between teammates. See, we believe that great content ideas can come from ANYWHERE and, as marketers, it’s our job to find them and catch them whenever those ideas spring to life. At AMC, we’ve encouraged our non-marketing clients and collaborators to leverage their own spark books, and the results have been exciting!
You may find value in offering a spark book to the folks on your team, including…
- Your executive team – they can share their perspectives on the business, the industry, the product/solution, etc.
- Your sales team – probably the group that’s in the thick of it the most, your sales team hears directly from prospects and gets their authentic sentiments to make note of. That could be pure content gold.
- Your client experience team – ditto on the sales team except that CX hears what clients are thinking and encountering, which informs another very important stage of your client journey.
- Your product team – they’re usually out in front and see the futurist side of your business.
- Your ops team – smack in the thick of it, they’ve got a front-row seat to the realities of your solution set and can provide helpful insights.
At the end of the day, every marketer is different, and no two spark books may look alike. No matter how you log your thoughts and inspirations, the fundamentals stay the same: capture your ideas, refer back to them regularly, prioritize the best ones and act on them to bring your content to life.
We want to know what works for you. Share your personal content spark books with our community of weird, passionate marketers!