To market your product or service successfully, you’ve got to have that “big idea” for campaign that sets you apart from your competitors.
When you come up with a solid campaign idea that resonates with you, it will be easier to develop your headlines, sub headlines, ads, and other content around it.
But sometimes we all feel empty, when nothing comes to mind. Here are my top tips for coming up with new ideas:
Take a break
Don’t pressure yourself into a mental roadblock. Give yourself some time to think about your product, your audience, and your campaign goals.
Set your work aside, and go do something fun or relaxing. Walk your dog, watch a movie, or have drink with a friend. During this activity, avoid thinking about your campaign idea.
This incubation period separates you from your work, and allows you to see things that may have been impossible if you were just staring at your notes and trying to force yourself to fill in all the details. A little distance from your biggest challenges can sometimes provide a whole new perspective.
So when you’re stuck on a campaign idea, take a break and then come back to it. The best ideas will likely come in the middle of your break!
Set a deadline
Creativity often works better under a little pressure. So set a tight deadline to come up with the idea and start working on the campaign. Put it on the calendar, program an alert into your phone or computer, and set milestones for key stages along the way.
Don’t give yourself months or years to come up with the right idea. Procrastination is often another word for “never”.
A common reason that we can’t come up with a solid campaign idea is because we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get overwhelmed with the process and feel like we have to come up with great ideas all on our own. Instead, reach out for help! Brainstorm with co-workers, friends, family members. They may have an outside perspective that we simply haven’t even considered.
However, these brainstorming sessions should be quick and short, and because of the speed, some ideas may be imperfect, or maybe even totally impractical. But because of the massive number of ideas that your brainstorm group will come up with, there is a high chance that you will find some gold mixed in with the dirt. During the brainstorm, be sure to write down every single idea, no matter whether it’s good or bad. You will have time to evaluate them later, and sometimes a couple bad ideas on their own can merge to be a good one. The goal is simply to come up as many ideas as you can.
Check out your competitors
Your competitors probably have similar goals, products, and audiences as you. You have to be careful not to duplicate any campaign ideas you find, instead, use them as inspiration to fuel your own brainstorming. Follow them on social media, and find out what they are up to. You may even see a big gap in what they are doing that becomes the perfect campaign niche for you.
Watch other industries
Who said that you can only have to look at competitors in your own industry? Take some to look around at what is happening outside your field. That doesn’t mean you should copy these campaigns, but you can draw inspiration from them. Don’t limit yourself to your own industry – there are a lot of great ideas out there that might just fit well for your own products or services.
Get Another Point of View
Very similar to brainstorming, it’s important to remember that we don’t have to put all the burden of coming up with ideas on ourselves. Ask different people what they would do if faced with your audience’s challenge. You might try approaching friends engaged in different fields of work, or reach out to your family, customers, and suppliers.
And try putting yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself “If I were my ideal customer”, what would I want or need in a campaign? What would get my attention, or hold my interest? What magic words would make me want to buy?
When you can see the world through the eyes of your customers, you will quickly come up effective ideas for your campaigns. And you may gain a new appreciation for your target customers’ challenges.
Always Be Ready for Ideas
Keep an open mind to ideas. Don’t rule something out just because it isn’t what you expected, or seems too out there. Ideas can come in the strangest moments, and sometimes in forms we least expect.
Keep a note pad handy, or use the note tool on your phone – but record those ideas when they come to you. Odds are if you tell yourself that “it’s a great idea, I’ll remember it”, you won’t. Distractions can quickly overshadow even the best ideas. So be prepared to write them down, whether you are out on a walk, cooking dinner, watching TV, or even in the bathroom! Don’t let them get away!