Some people seem to have a never-ending supply of creative, out-of-the-box ideas. They’re always coming up with new campaigns in meetings, delivering creatives that wow the entire office, and dreaming up innovative ways to reach the right audience.

These people are inspiring, but the reality is, even they get stuck every now and again. If you’re in a social media marketing rut, or you just need a boost to your brainstorming power, here are five ways to generate fresh new ideas for your next social campaign:

  1. Check out the competition

What the competition is up to on social media can be the source of great new ideas for your next campaign.

One of the benefits of social media is its transparency – you can easily gain full insight into what your competitors are up to. Not only can you view all of the content they produce, with a little creative thinking you can discover the keywords they’re targeting, audience(s) they are speaking to, and how successful their efforts have been.

Plus, social media exists for posterity, so you can go back weeks, months and even years in your efforts to spark your own creativity based on what the competition has done in the past.

  1. Learn from the best

Similarly to spying on the competition, you can generate campaign ideas by looking at what the leaders are up to.

You can be specific, and explore leaders in your own industry, or branch out and see what the best of the best in B2B or B2C in general are creating.

Everything from seasonal campaigns, to viral marketing, to guerilla marketing, to integrating social with real-life will be on display when you search through the past campaigns of leaders, so you’re bound to be inspired.

  1. Do your keyword research

SEO doesn’t have to be all about data. Why not use the principles of search to brainstorm your next campaign?

You can either use Google and feed it a few keywords to start yourself off, or try using Twitter and exploring popular hashtags and keywords used by your audience. If you go the Google route, pay attention to the content topics that bloggers, journalists and content creators have produced around your chosen keyword. Can you add anything of value to the conversation? Likewise on Twitter, try searching for the popular terminology that your audience uses and explore the related sentiment, opinions and articles shared.

  1. Leverage social intelligence

Ultimately, your social media campaigns are aimed at improving engagement, reach, sentiment or other factors among your target audience… so why not use data about them in your next brainstorm?

What do you know about their online browsing behaviors? Their likes and dislikes? Their position within the buyer’s journey? Social intelligence can provide you with insight into what your audience wants, which you can then use to fuel a killer social campaign.

  1. Break the content mold

If you’re really stuck for ideas, you might be caught in a content loop. You’re only thinking about blog topics, or a Twitter-based campaign – you’re not thinking out of the (content) box.

There are dozens of different formats you can choose for your content: video, infographic, whitepaper, webinar, podcast, blog post, Slideshare, apps and more. So if you find yourself running on fumes, flip the switch and consider creating a campaign around a brand new type of content. This will allow you to think in a different way, and could be the solution to your creativity block.

There is pressure on marketers to continually develop innovative campaigns, but sometimes creative juices run dry. We hope these five tips will help you refresh your creativity and launch your best campaign yet!