What is one tip for brainstorming interesting new content to help build your brand?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Plan a Group Think Tank

“I like to get together with all the guys I work with and have a fun brainstorming session where we come up with ideas to grow our brand online. We each have to come prepared with 3-5 ideas. This allows us to all have good, solid ideas to talk about and build on as a team. When someone has an idea and others can chime in, it helps get the creative juices flowing!”

John RamptonJohnRampton.com

2. Hone in on Interview Questions

“Take a listen to past interviews and consider what questions come up over and over again. Those topics are ripe for expansion and can easily become a blog, video series or podcast episode. It’s not just media interviews either — think about what potential employees asked during your last hiring round about the work you’re doing and approach you’re taking.”

Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

3. Make a List

“Make a list of things you’re an expert in, things you enjoy and topics you find yourself keeping up to date on. Then, go through the list and put a star next to the items that you feel passionate enough about to have a definitive viewpoint. This will give you a great starting point for topics you can speak to with authority. Use it as a tool to create content that will reinforce your brand.”

Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

4. Stop and Listen

“The best way to build great content to help build your brand is by answering the questions your audience is looking for. The only way you can do that is to stop and listen to them. I’d recommend using tools like Search.Twitter.com and Google Keyword Tool to look at what people are searching for, and then write content on those topics to help your target audience.”

Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

5. Get Outside of the Office

“Creative brainstorming is often difficult when we are all thinking about our actual “to-do” list. I recommend dedicating time with key employees outside of the office for a chance to generate innovative concepts that can help take your brand to the next level.”

Sean Marszalek, SDC Nutrition, Inc.

6. Use Google Trends

“Turns out, people search for the answer to a lot of stuff. Google Trends can give you ideas about what questions are asked most frequently. Create relevant content that addresses these questions, and then tie it back to your brand.”

Justin Boggs, OfferSavvy

7. Check Out Trending Topics on Twitter

“See which topics are being discussed in real time on Twitter. If you jump on the right bandwagon, you can often get a lot of attention very quickly.”

Sathvik TantryFormSwift

8. Listen to Your Customers

“What questions are your customers asking? Review notes from your team’s calls and emails with clients and prospects. Let yourresponses serve as inspiration for new content.”

Mary Ellen Slayter, Reputation Capital

9. Build Content Around Current Events

“If applicable, find out what the hottest discussions are (Super Bowl, “Breaking Bad” finale, etc.) and see if there is a fun, seamless fityour brand can make into them. If you’re a financial company, write an article estimating how much of a fortune Walter White made. It’s good, fun, timely content!”

Adam Stillman, SparkReel

10. Write a How-To

“You know that problem that should have taken 5 minutes, but ended up taking 5 hours? Save the next person the time and headache of dealing with this dilemma by documenting the solution. Those armed with their newfound knowledge will be very appreciative of not only your trailblazing, but the fact that you were generous enough to leave behind a map.”

Jeff Rohr, SquareOffs

11. Reverse Engineer Your Competitor Content

“Take the brainstorming out of creating new content. Instead, start by studying successful blogs in your niche. Find content in your niche that has already performed well using tools like Open Site Explorer, Pinterest, Wikipedia and Google. Then, take what you find to make it even better. After creating great content, promote it to people who care. The result will be more traffic for your brand.”

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

12. Talk to Kids

“It is widely known that kids see the world differently than adults, they experience life differently; kids come up with original ideas that we, as adults, wouldn’t come up with. At Pley, we have our team members bring in their children for brainstorming sessions. It may sound like work, but in reality the kids love it!”

Ranan Lachman, Pley

13. Read the Comments

“One way to create new content while building on what you’ve already published is to look at the articles that have been successful thus far and read the comments generated by your readers. Perhaps your audience has questions that you could answer via a new story, or perhaps they’re raving about how interesting the topic is. This is one of the easiest ways to give your fans what they want.”

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

14. Seek Inspiration

“Assuming you have creatives at your company, request they look for inspiration. Creatives have the natural skill to look at things from an outside perspective. If they see what other content creatives are producing, I can guarantee you they’ll naturally think of something new.”

Ryan Shank, Mhelpdesk

15. Don’t Start With a Goal

“Rule number one with brainstorming is don’t “direct” the conversation right out of the gate. Allow people to free think and they’ll take the brainstorm down paths that you didn’t even consider. Studies have shown that when a goal or ideal solution type is presented at the beginning of a brainstorm, participants only focus on that and don’t consider other options or opportunities. It’s limiting.”

Andrew Howlett, Rain