Good content starts with better source content

Trappe Digital LLC may earn commission from product clicks and purchases. Rest assured, opinions are mine or of the article’s author.

Any good content starts with suitable source materials. The content, after all, has to come from somewhere – especially since an excellent corporate content strategy shouldn’t be an art of fiction writing and should be based on fact and relevancy. In this article, I share several source material examples and how marketing teams can use them to create better content.

To create blog posts – and even to distribute social media content, that content needs to come from somewhere, which is why it’s important to have source materials.

So how do we go about getting functional source materials, and what are source material examples anyway?

Article sections

Source material examples?
How to use source materials?
What source materials are best?
Why do some teams struggle with source materials?

Source material examples in content strategy

Source content can come in various ways in our content creation process. That can include:

So those are at least 11 source content examples of where we can get the content for our article or other content assets. For instance, I’m writing this article mostly on my own experience in the content marketing industry. So my experience is my source material.

But in reality, in many industries with content teams – even experienced content teams – those teams need to reach outside their knowledge to get the foundation of what they are going to cover. And that means they usually have to find existing content in a company or talk to experts. So I still highly recommend not to use Google for source materials and respin what’s already out there.

Read next: How to respond when people tell you to “look it up”

How to use source materials for good content?

Before we even go looking for the material, I usually start with the strategy:

  • What content do we need to cover next and why? That can include a keyword strategy, relationship building in the form of inviting specific people on my podcast, or editorial decisions to keep topics on my podcast unique.
  • Are there topics we can discuss that are unique? What do we have to say that isn’t just parroting what everyone else is saying?

Keyword research

When I use podcast episodes for source content. That usually looks like this:

  • Record the podcast and livestream it
  • Upload, the video file into Otter for transcription
  • Export, and then import the txt file into Claude AI, and ask it to write an article draft on a specific topic based on the source material

From there, identify what can be used going forward:

  • Do we already have whitepapers or other content on the topic that we can repurpose?
  • Are there existing marketing materials that haven’t been used digitally yet or not in this format?
  • Who are the internal experts to talk about the topic?
  • Which external experts might be good to talk to?
  • What questions do we have about the topic?

Starting with an outline is also a good idea.

What source materials are the best for unique content?

I find interviews with experts the best way to get unique content. That’s even the case if they have written about related topics before.

When content strategists interview experts, they can bring specific questions to shape a unique story. And depending on the level of questions, you may get slightly different answers or responses that go deeper or touch on different angles from previously published content.

Read next: How being helpful can propel your business forward

Why do some teams struggle to get suitable source content?

There are still plenty of content creators out there who have to follow this outdated model below, unfortunately:

  • Somebody decides content is needed on a specific topic
  • “Please go write it.”
  • No interviews are allowed.
  • And then they complain that it’s not unique enough or maybe even wrong.

I actually had an executive tell me before about an agency that ghostwrote an article for him. He read it and said: “It’s all wrong. I don’t know where they even got this.”

“When did you talk to them?”

“I didn’t.”

Well, that’s the problem right there. How can they write up your thoughts, especially when it’s thought leadership if they aren’t talking to you? It’s close to impossible. Some writers who have worked with an executive over time (likely years) might be able to pull it off. But the writer on their first project or hired for one article likely can’t without that interview.

Creating useful and impactful content can happen for companies, but it does start with a good strategy, and the right team and that team needs to be given access to the best source materials to set that content up to succeed.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Listen to my podcast