When you’re managing content marketing for your business, it can be easy to get stuck into a rut, or worse yet, to face total writer’s block. When it comes to generating fresh, creative ideas for your consumers, headlines are key to grabbing their interest so they click, share, and take action on your content.
One way to kickstart your content marketing is by playing a brainstorming game. Not only is this a fun, creative exercise, but it’s also a great way to add life to your content. Whether you’re writing a blog post, creating a video, or writing something more in-depth like a whitepaper or ebook, you can start by writing headlines and then outline the flow of your content. Here are three engaging headline-writing games that can help you get more from your content planning.
Force Yourself Out of a Rut with Headline Bingo
Forced association headline writing can help you break out of a rut by adding new concepts, words, and metaphors into your content. To play Headline Bingo, you’ll need a set of common topics or terms your content uses, a set of random or off-the-wall words that don’t typically make it into your content, a set of numbers or superlatives, and a set of headline power words. Then, plug these word sets into a free online Bingo card generator. Print out your Bingo cards and, if you have more than one person creating content, give one to each team member. Then, use the different Bingo card combinations to create 5-10 forced-association headlines including one word from each line of their Bingo combination. The results may be humorous, awkward, or inspired. Select a few of these headlines, adjust them as needed to best fit your needs, and start coming up with content!
Get the Picture with Stock Photo Headlines
Instead of starting your content ideas with words, use images as a different path to get to content ideas. To play this game, you’ll need to print pages featuring a few samples of stock photographs that are visually compelling but wouldn’t normally make it onto your blog. For example, earlier this year, one of my team members got a cute photo of cupcakes – not something we typically write about on our online marketing blog. But, it sparked the idea of writing a post about how to diversify your online marketing strategy. The bonus of this game is that it automatically provides a great visual to go along with your content.
Parody the Pros with Magazine Headlines
Professional magazine headline writers get paid the big bucks to make sure consumers are judging their magazine by the cover and selecting their title from the impulse counter. So, why not get inspiration from your favorite magazine? To play this game, you’ll need several magazine covers (pro tip: if you don’t have any lying around, you can always do a Google image search for the latest covers of your favorite publications) and a stopwatch. Select a random magazine cover and take 10 minutes to re-write as many headlines as possible to fit the topics your content focuses on.
If you have a team of content generators, you can end each game with everyone reading their headlines to the group, then offering suggestions or ideas to make the best ideas work for your business.
What are your favorite tips for keeping your content creative and engaging? What tricks do you have for making sure that your readers stay engaged and interested in the same types of topics time and time again? Share your creative content marketing ideas in a comment!