A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Engaging Content Ideas

March 7, 2020 - 11 minutes read

Boost your business success with the power of content.



“Content is king” was once considered a throwaway marketing buzzword, but over the years, it has become an essential part of the digital business philosophy. If you want to connect with your audience in a way that really resonates, you need to publish words, graphics, images, and videos that offer direct value.

There’s a great deal of analytical thinking and strategic planning involved in eCommerce. However, when it comes to brand content, your ideas will fall flat without a healthy dose of innovation and a creative spark. If this happens, you can kiss any return on investment (ROI) goodbye.

With so much to consider and such little time, conjuring up consistently creative, value-driven ideas can feel like an uphill battle.

So, how do you go about filling your content calendar with ideas that will engage and inspire your audience, leading to increased business success?

We’re going to show you how with a step-by-step process for creating content ideas that convert. But first, let’s take a moment to consider why content marketing is so important in the digital age.


The enduring power of content marketing


Ninety percent of brands use content marketing to generate valuable inbound leads. In such a busy space, creating relevant inspirational ideas will help you gain an edge on your competitors while boosting brand awareness in your niche.

Here are the main reasons why great content ideas are integral to the growth (**link to growth strategy article when it’s published) of your eCommerce business:

  • You will boost your brand reputation and create a sense of trust with your consumers.
  • You will make yourself more attractive in your field, becoming more respected and more visible to the right consumers.
  • You will increase your search visibility, which will accelerate your commercial success while helping you reach a wider audience.
  • You will generate an increased number of worthwhile leads by answering your audience’s questions and assisting them with their pain points in a way that’s both engaging and digestible.


eCommerce content ideation: The process


We’ve considered the primary benefits of getting creative with your content marketing efforts. Now, we’re going to explore a practical process for creating ideas that convert.

Set your goals

Whether you’re looking to launch a seasonal email marketing campaign or want to create a standalone blog post to promote a new product, if you fail to establish your goals, your ideas will swim around your head with no direction.

Mapping out clear-cut aims and goals will get your creative juices flowing in a way that is productive. When you’re setting these benchmarks, ask yourself the following questions about your content:

  • Am I looking to educate your target audience on a particular trend or subject?
  • Do I want to outline my brand values and USPs while giving a direct plug to a new product?
  • Is my aim to boost brand awareness by hopping on a relevant, time-sensitive trend or subject?
  • Should I base my ideas on answering a very specific yet common consumer pain point?

You could find that you have more than one core aim for your content, but by taking the time to narrow down these objectives, you will stand a greater chance of landing on convertible content ideas.

Brainstorming and mind-mapping

After setting your key aims and landing on your general subject matter, it’s time to start the brainstorming process.

At this point, it’s worth collaborating with your team members to help you curate those all-important early ideas.

Brainstorming and mind-mapping are potent in content ideation as these processes will empower you to dig deep into your content aims in a digestible, visual format. Tools like MindMup are excellent for this stage of the content ideation. Whatever platform you decide to use, this tutorial will inspire your creative efforts:

By arranging your subject-specific content ideas visually, you will be able to spot patterns and connections that will lead to concepts that you never thought you had in you. Create a long list of content ideas and move to phase three of the operation.

Research, refine, and branch out

With your long list of potential content ideas at the ready, you should set aside a little time to absorb each concept, letting the subject matter sink in. Before long, you will be ready to crop down your list further, creating a shortlist of three potential ideas.

Once you’ve created a shorter list, you should research each concept in further detail, making notes and gathering resources that will help you make developments and refinements.

With three well-rounded ideas at your disposal, you can use content-centric platforms like BuzzSumo or Feedly to request the insight you need to develop your ideas further.

BuzzSumo, for instance, allows you to punch a key phrase or term (based on your potential content idea) and returns a list of the best-performing content related to your search. By gaining insight into what content is currently converting in your idea, you’ll be able to make tweaks that will help your idea to stand out and resonate with your audience. From here, you’ll be able to land on a definitive idea or two.

Step away and forget about it

Many studies suggest that taking a break and stepping outside can boost productivity and aid creativity.

It may seem a little counterintuitive (especially if you’re on a roll), but the only way to know if your content ideas are really worth pursuing is by taking a break, doing something unrelated to the task at hand, and returning with fresh eyes.

Walk, run, swim, read, grab a coffee, chat with a friend, or do whatever else you like – just make sure that you take a positive break and return to your desk and laptop when you’re ready to continue working on your content ideas.

Create convertible content titles

Your content titles are responsible for around 80% of your ideas’ success, so getting them right is essential. Plus, generating inspiring, convertible titles will cement your content ideas and allow you to produce something that your audience will want to consume.

Here are some essential tips that will help you create content titles that people will want to click on:

  • Keep your content title as direct and punchy as possible.
  • State your intent and explain why your content will benefit your audience.
  • If you’re writing a list-based article, use numerics. The numbers 4, 7, and 10 often convert the most.
  • Use marketing action words in your content titles where possible.

Also, it won’t hurt your progress to use tools like Title Generator or Portent’s Content Idea Generation Tool for targeted tips and suggestions. When you input your ideas or specific subject matter, such tools will return a well-crafted result list that you can use to finalize your content title.


Armed with one or two inspired ideas complete with actionable content titles, you’ll be ready to start bringing them to life. These handy resources will help you with your content creation efforts:


Essential content ideation tools


In addition to the resources already covered in the guide, here are three content ideation tools that will guide your creative initiatives:

Google Trends

If you search for a certain subject or term through Google Trends, you will be able to gain insight into the topics and content that are most popular in different parts of the planet. This is an invaluable tool for generating content ideas for audiences according to region.


This popular question and answer platform offers a wealth of invaluable insights, information, and personal opinions on just about every subject you can think of. Search its seemingly infinite archives to open yourself up to a world of content research opportunities, or ask a question to receive direct answers to your content-related curiosities.


An easy-to-follow news aggregator, Alltop will give you the information you need to keep your finger on the pulse with carefully-curated overviews of the latest trending info, news, and topics according to a particular niche, trend or subject. This is an amazing tool if you’re looking to create trend-based or highly topical, time-sensitive articles or posts.

We hope that this practical guide to convertible content ideation brings you success this year and beyond. For more eCommerce-inspired pearls of wisdom, explore these practical ways to boost your online store’s bottom line.