#3 in our Top Ten Tips to Engaging Content: Idea Generation Tools

Published by TEN ALPHAS | 30th September 2020

Last week we looked at the story behind your video content, and in Exercise #6 we set you a task to timebox yourself to write some stories around your product or service.

Timeboxing is a really useful tool to force ideas out of your head and onto paper. But video content marketing requires consistency in output, and so here are a few exercises to help generate ideas. 

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.” Emile-Auguste Chartier, French Philosopher

The art of idea generation

Ideas come and go pretty often. But great ideas usually show up unexpectedly in moments of inspiration. When we clear the thought space of our brains and free ourselves from restraints, it becomes easier and easier to come up with great ideas.

Think back to when you were little and your imagination ran wild. Now try and remember when that stopped. When did you begin to restrain or censor your creativity? And why? 

How do you get back there now that idea generation is critical to your brand? 

Keep reading, and we’ll help you find your way back.

A storm is brewing

 For decades, people have used brainstorming to generate ideas and come up with creative solutions to problems. The goal of brainstorming is to get down as many ideas as you can in as little time as possible. 

While brainstorming is a very productive way to spark ideas, there are some other useful tools and techniques that might be worth giving a shot to challenge conventional thinking. It’s always good to have a few different idea-generating methods in mind since different challenges call for different ideas.

To help, here is a Free Idea Generation Workbook, a free resource we created a few years ago to help Chief Marketing Officers help their teams with a few of our go-to approaches to inspire big ideas.

Download our Free Idea Generation Workbook

Exercise #7 Word association

Start by writing a list of all the ideas you can think of. We generally set time limits around this process to assist with free thinking. Use oversized paper, think butcher's paper or an A3 notepad. 

You don’t need to be sitting at your desk—take yourself into a nice corner of your house or office, get comfortable and prepare for the unexpected.

Write down the key theme or idea in the middle of the butcher’s paper and then continue to write down every word or idea that comes to mind, no matter how silly that might make you feel. The key is to carry on writing until the timer goes off. We like to do these exercises in 3-5 minutes.

The next step is to narrow down the list. Try to refine it down to ten words. With these words, perform some internet research to see what else comes up. Remember to keep this all very relaxed and tangential. It’s important to give your mind time to go free-range.

Exercise #8 Mood board

A picture paint a thousand words right? Use this moodboard template to generate lots of nice images that reflect your brand.

Exercise #9 A-Z List

Think of a list of words starting from every letter of the alphabet from A TO Z about one topic. 

You will find other idea generation exercises in the workbook.
Now that we’ve covered this, you will never need to sit through another boring idea generation session again. The time has come to explore innovative and fun ideation techniques. 
And remember, the more creative you make the thinking process, the more unique—and probably better—ideas you will see in return. 

Have fun! 

Top Ten Tips of Engaging Content, brought to you by TEN ALPHAS and supported by City of Sydney