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How to Easily Organize Ideas into Content Themes

When creativity and ideas are flowing in a brainstorm session it can be quite a rush, but what happens next? What becomes of all those insightful musings and ideas collected? This is the essential next step in the marketing ideation process. It’s what that turns a great idea into something actionable. It’s also where a lot of valuable ideas lose steam.

Many companies don’t have a consistent, specific strategy in place for managing the marketing ideation process, which is a challenge. An effective process limits extra steps for your team and allows you to come back to ideas and repurpose ideas, themes and content as needed.

Here are some simple ways to organize ideas into themes and continue to build momentum during marketing ideation.

1. Sort ideas according a specific buyer persona.

Develop categories that map content to specific buyer personas and their pain points. This ensures that when assets are published they are actually relevant, useful, or educational to one of your buyers, and ideally helps prospects move to become buyers, faster. Ask yourself:

  1. Does this idea fit into an existing buyer persona?
  2. Which pain point does it solve?
  3. Is the idea relevant, useful, or entertaining?

If you answer “no” to any of the above questions. Maybe re-work your idea so that it does fit into your bigger organizational initiatives.

If it doesn’t meet the needs of our personas, we don’t move forward with it. – Carly Stec, Content Marketing Manager at Impact Branding and Design

2. Organize ideas according to business goals.  

According to the SiriusDecisions Model for Content, one of the most important steps in the Ideation phase is architecting. Architecting is the process of mapping a specific buying stage, internal sales goal, or a demand generation strategy to a specific content asset like an ebook, white paper or event.

For example, take the strongest ideas from a brainstorm session and flesh them out in more detail using key stages along the buyers journey as a guide. It helps zero in on how specific ideas are a direct solution to a problem you actually need to solve to improve customer retention and loyalty.

“There’s a real lack of awareness out there in terms of how hard that ideation process is…and if it’s not a labor of love, then you’re probably not doing it right.” – Erin Provey, Service Director: Strategic Communications Management, SiriusDecisions

3. Organize ideas into categories.

Once all your ideas are organized by pain point and their corresponding marketing content solution, create categories for each idea. Categories are often viewed as meta data by Google and help SEO positioning. Each content asset that is tagged with a certain category bolsters your business’s rank for that concept. Not only that, but by categorizing ideas, businesses can more easily, and systematically, archive and retrieve old content assets.

One way to approach this is to pick three categories your company uses as part of their SEO keywords or social media lingo. Some examples could include marketing campaign, event, or content pillar—or it could be broader like “your industry,” “your niche market,” and maybe geotagging.

Organizing information in this way allows departments outside of marketing to find content and repurpose it in a relevant way as needed and creates archived categories that can be used to drive and organize content for future brainstorming sessions in a more organized way.

When a business can:

  • Implement a simple, repeatable marketing ideation process
  • Vet ideas based on clear, concrete customer potential and organize ideas into themes during the brainstorming process,
  • And streamline the ideation process into the content production process…

…they maximize time and resources and work much smarter than the competition.

Sounds like a win to me!

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