If you’re a content marketer, I’d bet you feel nothing like Batman. Your utility belt might be full of data, LinkedIn connections and long to-do lists, instead of throwable weapons. And, your dress code might be business casual instead of black leather combat suits.
But there’s a ton that you can learn from the Dark Knight Rises.
Let’s face it: coming up with creative content ideas are tough, but they’re important for keeping marketing efforts fresh and for connecting with those hard-to-reach leads.
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Unique content marketing ideas can cover a wide variety of topics. They can include the services you offer, the strategies you use to grow your business, the way you come up with content topics, and much more.
Today on the blog, we’re taking in some content marketing inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Specifically, the final entry, the Dark Knight Rises, offering a fitting end to an epic trio of films.
(Heads up: this blog will contain spoilers from the movie!)
Brimming with brooding imagery and packed full of powerful themes like pain, triumph, and redemption, it’s an inspirational film. It should be – it grossed $1.08 billion at the box office, and ranks as one of the most popular films of all time.
If you’re looking for content marketing ideas in 2018, we’ve got you covered. Here we go – inspired by the caped crusader’s third appearance on the big screen under Nolan’s guidance: a dozen unique content marketing ideas to inspire your next campaign.
(Sadly, calling yourself Batman in a raspy tone doesn’t make our list. Unless you’re Batdad.)Read 12 unique #contentmarketing ideas to inspire your next campaign, inspired by a certain caped crusader’s third appearance on the big screen. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet
Learn from Batman: Try These 12 Creative Content Ideas & Strategies
1. Keep Up With Current Trends & Pull Topic Inspiration from One Hot Trend
As the film begins, things look much different from the end of part two. Bruce Wayne is a recluse, hidden from the public eye. But even he kept up with what was going on around him.
Content marketers should do the same. Not a social butterfly? Not one to chase down trending topics in your spare time? Learn to, for the sake of your clients. As always, base your research on your clients and their industries.
- CMI: The Content Marketing Institute offers great content (obviously) as well as educational resources, print materials, and even special events.
- Smart Blogger: From beginner tips to certification courses, Smart Blogger offers great tools to help you be creative with your content.
- OkDork: Along with great blogs, OkDork offers you videos and guides to help improve your marketing skills.
Wondering how to apply “current trends” to “new content marketing idea”?
Let’s say you write blogs for a mattress company. Think about ideas relevant to the time of year. For example, where to buy cheap mattresses for freshmen headed off to college in the summer or fall.
2. Learn What Topic Ideas Work (and Don’t Work)
“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Thomas Wayne uttered that famous line at the beginning of the trilogy.
A big part of success is learning what works – and what doesn’t. If you discover topics that bring traffic and engagement, you’re on the right track. BuzzSumo shares a great graphic about content and topic planning.
But what if your idea checks all the boxes but still doesn’t work?
Use it as a learning experience – knowing what hasn’t worked is just as important.
We’re reminded of it in the third film, and it’s true in every aspect of life – including content marketing. Why do we fail? So we can learn to succeed.
3. Choose Today’s Relationships Carefully for Better Future Results
Batman seemingly had his mojo back before he ran into Bane and ended up with a serious back problem as a result.
All because he trusted a cat burglar – in hindsight, maybe not the wisest move.
Marketers must choose their relationships carefully. Your clients, employees, partners – every node in your network can impact life as a content marketer.
If you’re looking to create B2B content marketing ideas, base yourself in an industry you know well.
It will be easier to find clients you can offer greater ROI to.
Don’t feel bad if not all relationships work out. Remember, by the end of the film, Batman was betrayed by two women. Even the world’s greatest detective can miss warning signs.
4. Consult Proven Experts for Content Strategy Guidance
If Master Wayne would’ve listened to his sagely wise butler, Alfred, he could’ve avoided a backbreaker that puts pro wrestling to shame. But he underestimated Bane and paid the price.
As content marketers, we can draw inspiration from the experts. This transcends just seeing what topics they choose and how they structure content. How do they achieve consistent success? How do they operate thriving agencies?
Look them up, read their work, and consider what they have to say. Your spine may not depend on it, but your income could!
5. Don’t Let Success Make You Stagnant
While beating down Batman, Bane even found time to talk trash – telling the Dark Knight he had lost his strength after years of peace.
Our industry is constantly changing. Even if you’ve found great success, don’t become stagnant in your approach. (Learn more about how we blog in a fresh, inspiring way that nets 99% of our leads and income at Express Writers.)
Choose hot button topics, create weekly blogs, or even ask your readers what they’d like to see.
It’s a great way to try something fresh without diving head-first into new territory – like Batman dived right into Bane’s lair. We all know how that turned out.
6. Return to What Originally Made You Great
Content marketing is hard, but our habits can make it harder. Sometimes we spread ourselves too thin. We want to do anything and everything, when less is often more.
Remember how part of Batman’s return involved bracing his wounded appendages and getting back to training? You can take your content further by putting the focus on your specialties and niche first.
We’re not saying not to explore new content types. But if you’re a blogger who got success by blogging, you should probably keep blogging no matter how big your business gets.
7. Don’t Underestimate Your Competition (Study It Instead)
Back to the scene where Alfred tries to talk sense into Bruce by telling him he wasn’t ready to handle Bane at that point, this dialogue delivers a powerful and clear lesson – don’t underestimate your competition.
It’s easy to get caught up with your own creative content ideas and forget there are thousands of competitors just as determined and skillful as you. Don’t underestimate your competition. Better yet? Study it.
That’s a screencap of SEMrush’s domain vs. domain analyzer’s benefits. You can compare keyword, topics, and more. It’s good to know how you’re doing – but better to know how you’re doing in relation to the competition.
8. Plan Out Your Topics Ahead of Time
During the climax of the film, we see Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and numerous other characters all working together like a single, cohesive unit to stop Bane’s destruction of Gotham City.
Not only was that inspiring from a cinematic perspective, but it shows the benefit of planning ahead. If you’re looking for content marketing ideas in 2018, as far as topics go, why not plan out a whole schedule in advance?
Try choosing topics for a week’s worth or a month’s worth of content as opposed to choosing on a piece-by-piece basis. You can create a series and even full calendars ahead of time for better results.
9. Reestablish Yourself Even if Things Get Hard
One of the most impressive things about Batman’s journey was how far he had to come to recover from his losses. He’d had his back broken, his riches wiped away, and the bulk of his arsenal stolen by his rival.
So many times as content marketers, we find things that once worked for us just don’t anymore. Maybe a long-running blog series isn’t bringing in the traffic it used to, or our social media polls don’t elicit as much participation.
If this happens, it can be the perfect opportunity to launch a new series or take a new approach. Don’t let a minor setback derail you – view it as an opportunity to try something new or revisit older successes.
10. Go in for the Long Haul (and the Long Word Count)
There was a time when Batman was ready to sacrifice his life for Gotham. We don’t want you to go that far for the sake of work, but we may ask you to make another sacrifice. According to Top Rank Marketing, longer articles are better at engaging the reader.
The lengthier side of content gives you extra room to be expressive, which is the key to engaging more viewers. You can add more references, more facts, and more calls to action.
If a user is glad they clicked your link, they’re even likelier to return. If Batman can haul a bomb outside city limits and abandon ship before detonation, we can all add a few extra hundred words to our content.
11. Don’t Work Yourself into a Corner
Creative content ideas are easiest to come up with when we have a clear mind. But our thinking can become clouded if we have too many clients, too many projects, and not enough time.
Even Batman needed a break – by the end of the movie, he’d gone on a permanent hiatus. We aren’t telling you to find someone named Robin and pass your business onto them when you get tired. But we are saying planning out a schedule ahead of time can help with your content marketing efforts.
This image from CoSchedule shows us how even social media sharing can be scheduled out ahead of time on a piece-by-piece basis. Plan ahead, and you’ll have less clutter with better content.
12. Triumph Over Your Rivals – and Over Yourself
The ending of the movie shows Batman finally defeating Bane. But his real victory was over his own weakness, fear, and pain.
As content marketers, we know how frustrating the creation process can be. Trying to create that killer content piece or lead-generation sensation is hard. It can require tireless dedication, research, and promotion.
But don’t just overcome the statistical hurdles in your way – improve your own self as a content marketer. Become better organized, with these simple tips:
- Document Everything: Taking notes can make your life a lot easier. Document projects, client requests, appointments – everything. You’ll be glad you did later.
- Create a Single To-Do List: Your lists aren’t helpful if they’re all over the place. It’s better to have one master list than a half-dozen shoddy ones scattered about.
- Commit to the Changes: Changing your approach can be tough, but you need to constantly commit to overcoming your obstacles.
Bruce had to take off the rope to make the jump to freedom. For marketers, that’s the equivalent of continuing to improve no matter how hard it seems. Scary, but ultimately freeing.
Rise Up to a Better Approach Toward Content Marketing
Batman had it right – there’s no obstacle that can’t be triumphed over if we apply ourselves and utilize our inner strength. Even when he was broken physically, mentally and financially, betrayed by two women, and seemingly overmatched, he rose to the challenge.
Creating that killer content piece or that refined approach to marketing services can be easy once you get inspired with these tips.
The bonus? You’re fighting against search algorithms, not the League of Shadows – so you’ll have an easier time than the Dark Knight did.