20 Jan 2015

Content Brainstorming with Mind Maps in a Group [VIDEO]

The statement “if you build it, they will come” may have worked on the ball field, but you need to be careful with that mentality when it comes to your content marketing. It takes a lot more than creating content and pressing “Publish” to draw out a crowd. The success of your content marketing efforts is dependent upon a good understanding of your audience and how you are catering to their needs with the topics you cover. The ideation of these topics is a key component to your content marketing strategy, and we’ve even devoted one step to it in our 8 Step Process. So really, in the world of content, the saying should be: “If you understand your audience, develop a strategy for them, address their needs through great topic ideation, and generate that content…then they will come.”

This video focuses on a unique brainstorming activity through mind mapping that can generate strong content topics for your audience’s needs, while being a fun team building exercise at the same time.

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Transcription

Mind Mapping is a great way to offer an overview of an idea, by expanding on a thought — or many thoughts — through diagrams. For content marketers, it is a great tool to use when developing content ideas for your company or for your clients. For even better content ideation results, mind map as a team. Aside from being a collaborative team-building experience, your mind mapping results will cover more ground from the various viewpoints

Before you get started, you need a few things first.

You need your team, or a group of people to participate.

Select a topic to mind map; this could be as broad as an industry vertical or as specific as a client project. Provide as much background information on the topic, client, or industry as possible. For instance, if you’re mind mapping for a client, share the company’s target demographic as well as product information. Presenting this information before you start mapping will help define goals. Mind map on a large piece of paper, like butcher paper — something that is large enough to hold all of your team’s ideas.

Bring a variety of colored markers. Each person mind mapping will need their own unique color. Ask them to write their name in the corner of the paper, so if there’s a good idea mapped out, you can ask specific people to explain further.

Before you start mapping, present the topic or client to the group. Then write the topic or client name in the center of the paper, so you can expand on that thought.

Its important to set a timer. By giving yourself 10 minutes for an idea to be mapped out, you are not burning yourself out, and not going overboard.

When you start mapping, briefly write down everything that comes to mind that is connected to the center topic. Remember, there are no dumb ideas. What you may consider dumb could spark an idea with someone else. Also, try to mind map in silence. So no talking. Let you and your team’s ideas flow through the markers.

Once your time is up, go person-to-person and ask them if they saw anything that stood out. Sometimes more ideas can come from a post-mapping discussion. If they do, you can jot down additional notes on the map.

Here’s an extra tidbit: If you have more than one topic or client you want to mind map, don’t be afraid to set up 4 tables with paper, each ready for mind-mapping! If someone draws a blank on ideas on one map, move to the next map. Just be sure to set a little bit more time for multiple tables, and try to limit your team to 4 tables at one time.

In the end, you should have plenty of content ideas at your disposal.