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32 simple questions to boost your content production

Say you want to produce more content, or even just get started. Where do you begin? Here’s a list worth bookmarking!

1. Where do you see yourself in one year? Can you try to reach that in one month? If so, how?

We’re drawing inspiration from the famous saying of investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel: “How can you achieve your 10-year plan in the next 6 months?”

2. Am I placing too much importance on the results of my content rather than on my sales?

Of course you need data and a sales funnel—but in the end, the most important figure is still your return on investment.

3. Where can you capture the attention of your audience for a ridiculously low price?

We’re all in the business of vying for people’s attention. Where can you buy attention at the lowest price for maximum return on investment? You might be surprised.

4. Where is your audience every day?

Are they going to Tim Hortons every day? Are they on Facebook all day? Do they always need to search for the same information online? You have to identify a distinctive element or pattern in their behaviour and help or accompany them in their daily life.

5. If you were your competitor, what would you do right now to steal your customers?

It’s better that you try to compete with yourself rather than letting your competitor do it.

6. What if, instead of finding one good idea, you looked for 50 average ones?

If you often get blocked by trying to find the One Idea to rule them all, lowering your expectations could show you other paths to your goal.

7. Is there a shortcut—a hack—that would let you reach all your potential customers in one fell swoop?

For example, what if, instead of targeting all of your 100,000 potential customers, you targeted your product dealers so they’ll recommend your product instead of the competition?

8. What information about your industry is a given for you but a surprise to your customers?

What interests and engages your audience is sometimes right there, in front of you.

9. What is the most counterintuitive idea you could have to produce content?

Doing the opposite of what you’ve always done or thought was right can often take you out of your comfort zone!

10. What internal rules could you break to simplify your content production?

What is the greatest barrier to the success of your content? Internal guidelines and standards are often too strict and hinder agility.

11. If someone documented your daily life, what would be the highlights for your audience?

What happens behind the scenes, in meetings, at your plant or elsewhere can be interesting, surprising or entertaining for your audience.

12. What partnership could you enter into right away that would change the dynamics of your content production?

Turning to our close collaborators will often produce an ally, whether it’s for sharing content or creating guest content, for example.

13. What is the quickest and easiest step you could take right now to make the rest of your content production work easier?

Is it leaving an old cellphone lying around the cafeteria so employees can post photos to your company’s Instagram account? Or recording the weekly speech of your most inspirational department manager and have it transcribed into an article afterwards?

14. What are the easiest and freest steps you could take right now? (make a list)

There are surely things you could do right away using just five minutes of your time. Get on it!

15. What is the most useful thing you could tell your audience right away?

It might be something that seems obvious to you, but isn’t for your audience.

16. If you had all the resources in the world, what’s the first thing you would do in terms of content production? Now, try to do it with the resources you have!

Fake it till you make it! But seriously, you don’t need a 4K camera or a drone.

17. What content gets you the most return on your investment? Would you be able to reproduce it 10X?

There must have been a striking piece of content in the last few months that stood out by its results. What was it? Could it be reproduced quickly and exponentially?

18. If you had to give your audience a crash course on your industry, how would you do it in a tweet, a status update, a photo or an article?

You can say the same thing in different ways, depending on the platform and media.

19. What content can you recycle?

It’s not about repeating content, but transforming it for another platform. For example, an article can become four or five photos or a few Facebook status updates. You should also take the time to update the information when you reuse content.

20. What kind of content do your competitors produce, and what could you do better?

If you don’t know, monitor the competition to find out.

21. What content have your competitors not yet produced?

By keeping an eye on what others are doing, you can do even better and answer questions they haven’t addressed!

22. Who could you interview right away?

Does one of your colleagues have an interesting story? Interview them!

23. Who in your company is the best at communicating with customers?

There’s surely a content champion just waiting to be asked to contribute.

24. What subject most interests your audience that has nothing to do with your company (e.g., yoga or golf)?

You might be surprised to learn that what you have in common with your audience isn’t always your product, but sometimes a completely different and seemingly unrelated subject.

25. What perception of your brand do you want to change?

By auditing the perceptions of others, you can easily discover issues and work to change that perception.

26. What essential information does your audience need before making a transaction?

If you had to choose just one piece of important information, what would it be?

27. What is the best free advice you could give your audience?

In the new content economy, free advice isn’t a plus, but a priority.

28. And if your customers were going at it alone without your help, what advice would you give them?

In our case, we wrote this article!

29. What question comes up most often? Could you create an FAQ section or write a series of articles about it?

Creating an FAQ section allows you to go more in depth and to make updates and changes as necessary down the line.

30. What important questions do your customers never ask?

Customers don’t have all the information, and they certainly don’t always ask the right questions.

31. What have you learned about your work and field of expertise recently? Could you explain it quickly and easily?

We learn something new every day, even if that something is small. If you share your new knowledge, your audience will recognize that you are up to date on new practices and methods in your industry.

32. Is there a company similar to yours in another market? Can you talk about it?

At Toast, we take inspiration from big agencies and brands around the world and their content practices. You could do the same thing, and maybe even build some new connections.