For small business owners who don’t have unlimited budgets, limited resources, or plenty of free hours, one of the biggest challenges they face is coming up with different content marketing ideas.
We’re going to look at some effective channels for creating and distributing your own original, high-quality, valuable, useful, and engaging online content.
Table of Content
- Coming Up with Content Marketing Ideas
- Repost Your Existing Blog Post
- Start an Instagram Contest
- Get Inspired by Trends and Controversies
- Product Comparison Guides
- Feature Your Employees
- Share Your Experience with Micro Influencers
- Share Your Personal Experience with Others
- Send Out Exclusive Content
- Predict Future Trends
- Document a Buying Trip
- Snap Your Conference
- Write a Post-Event Summary
- Create an Audio Version of Your Videos
- Create a Massive Links Round Up
Coming Up with Different Content Marketing Ideas
You know what it takes to make great content – whether it’s video, written, audio, or even visual. But how do you come up with those ideas? And once you have them, how do you execute on them? There are many ways to approach content creation and distribution, including social media, blogs, newsletters, paid advertising, and much more.
Content marketing is about creating content that helps people solve problems and achieve goals. In other words, coming up with content marketing ideas is also about helping customers find solutions to their needs. This doesn’t mean it’s always about solving problems or achieving goals. Sometimes it’s just fun.
And while there are plenty of ways to produce content, there are three main types of content marketing that tend to work well together:
1. Content Marketing Strategy
2. Content Creation
3. Content Promotion
The combination of these three elements makes up a successful content marketing plan.Content marketing isn’t just about creating amazing content.
Repost Your Existing Blog Post
One of the simplest ways to create new content for your site is by republishing old content. Simply take an older post and repackage it into something new. In this case, you are taking the essential points of a long-form blog post and then putting those same points into a slide deck. You can even take this one step further by adding images, videos, infographics, etc., and publishing this to LinkedIn SlideShare, where it will be shared across LinkedIn’s network of 2 billion members.
An example of this is this presentation made by Mark Schaeffer. He used the PowerPoint template he created for his content marketing study several year ago and repurposed them into a presentation. He presented these presentations to different groups and networks.
If you write a blog post that’s performing really well, you might want to consider updating the information you’ve included and then re-publishing it. Doing so helps extend the lifetime value of your article and boosts its rankings on Google.
At the same time, you’ll be helping it rank even higher. This is one of the reasons why HubSpot publishes long-form articles like this one. Visitors know that they are reading comments left by other people who visited the site months or years ago, so there’s no confusion about whether they’re seeing something current or outdated.
The one thing to keep in mind when updating old blog posts is to include some sort of disclaimer letting visitors know when the original version was published. By having this in place visitors won’t get confused when they see older comments left by others.
Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools used by social media marketers. These tags allow people to connect over a specific topic. For example, let’s say you work in customer support and want to promote a customer satisfaction survey. You could tweet something along the lines of: “Hey everyone! If you’re interested in learning how we can help improve our customers’ experience, check out our Customer Satisfaction Survey!”
This type of post is great because it provides information about what you do while connecting with others who care about the same thing. However, it doesn’t include a hashtag. A hashtag is simply a word or phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#). So, in the above example, you might add a hashtag such as #survey. This makes your tweet stand out among the hundreds of other tweets being sent out every day.
You can even participate in popular weekly hashtags. For example, on Thursday, May 25th, the #throwbackthursday tag will be trending. For instance, on Thursday, May 24th, the hashtag #throwbackthursday will trend. On Friday, June 23rd, the hashtag #freebifriday will trend. To make sure your brand stays relevant, you’ll want to participate in both.If you’re looking for ways to rank higher on Google, you might want to pay attention to what GaryVee says about it. He advocates publishing long-form content and shortening it into micro-content. This is exactly how he does it.
He published a video interview with Simon Sinek called “How To Start A Movement,” which has over 2 million views. Then he shared another version of the same video on YouTube, where it now has almost 10 million views.
The original video was longer, but he took out some of the fluff. Instead of talking about why people should start movements, he focused on the mechanics of starting a movement.
Start an Instagram contest.
The White Cup Contest was one of the most popular photo contests ever launched on Instagram. They rolled it out on January 23rd, 2014.
They had over 2 million entries submitted within just three days.
In total, they received over 8 million submissions.
And the winner was…
She won $5,000 cash prize, a trip to New York City, and a chance to attend the Grammys.
And she didn’t even have to pay to enter.
That’s how much people love white cups.
Get inspired by trends or controversies
Controversial topics are already generating massive amounts of attention online. Whether it’s due to a viral video, a celebrity scandal, or a major news event, people love talking about whatever topic is dominating headlines. And there’s no better way to gain traction and build awareness for your brand than by creating content around those hot topics.
By creating a list of content ideas and campaigns related to these topics (and your brand), you allow yourself to benefit from the conversation surrounding them. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 84 percent of marketeers claim that social media conversations influence buying decision. So, if you want to generate leads and sales, you need to be part of the conversation.
Product comparison guides
Many people struggle with making decisions because there are just too many products to choose from. A product comparison guide can help you narrow down your choices and increase your chances of converting into sales.
Wine Folly, for example created a scorecard for every single wine they sell to help their customers find their ideal bottle. They even went a step further and created a scoring system to rank each wine based on taste, price, and value. If you want to learn how to use this strategy yourself, check out our article here.
Feature your employees
Hubspot Life is a hub for sharing stories from real people working at Hubspot around the globe. From sales teams to marketing managers, HR professionals to engineers, it gives you access to real-life examples of what makes us tick.
The account features posts from people within the organization, highlighting their passions and interests outside of work. These include everything from running marathons to playing guitar to learning a language.
Share your experience with micro influencers.
When it comes to influencer advertising, most marketers would: Reach out to a microinfluencer in their niches. Provide the micro-influence with the details of the products/services to offer to their followers Provide the micro-influent with a unique link to share With their followers Give the micro-influent a commission for every lead generated through their unique link Pay the micro-influent for each lead generated through their unique Link. Here are three ideas you might want to try:
1. Offer free samples to influencers in exchange for social media posts. This is a great way to give your brand exposure while generating interest in your product. You can even set up a contest where people submit photos of themselves holding the sample and receive points based on how much interaction their post generates. If you’re looking to promote a specific product, consider offering influencers a discount code that they can use to purchase the item. For example, say you’re promoting a new line of shoes. Instead of paying $100 per shoe, you could pay $50 and offer influencers 20% off their purchase price. Influencers love discounts, especially if they can pass those savings onto their audience.
2. Create partnerships with influencers. By partnering with an influencer, you gain access to their audience without having to spend money on ads. Your partnership will probably involve sharing revenue from sponsored posts, but there are plenty of other options. For instance, you could split ad revenues 50/50, or offer to pay the influencer a flat fee to feature your brand. Or, you could simply help the influencer reach his or her goals. In return, the influencer can provide recommendations, like featuring your brand in one of his or her videos.
3. Use influencers to market your events. Have an event coming up soon? Consider reaching out to influential bloggers or podcasters in your industry to see if they’d be interested in attending. They’ll likely be excited to hear about what you’re doing and enjoy meeting others in the same field. Then, ask them to spread the word about your event through social media. Not only do they earn some extra cash through the referral fees, but they’ll also be helping you grow your network and expand your reach.
Share personal lessons learned from your experience
Michael Hyatt, founder of Platform.ly, shared some insights into how to use different content marketing ideas. He says there are two ways of doing it. You can either talk about the lessons you’ve learned while building and running a business, or you can share what others in your industry have done to succeed. In both cases, you’ll want to make sure that you’re sharing something that is relevant to the audience you’re talking to.
Hyatt explains that because he knows his audience, he talks about lessons that apply specifically to him. This way, he can help his readers learn from his mistakes and avoid making similar ones themselves. At the same time, he wants to give credit where credit is due. So, he shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have been successful in their businesses. These are lessons that he could have learned himself had he paid attention earlier.
Send out exclusive content to your subscribers.
In today’s world, it’s essential to segment your email lists. Otherwise, you are sending one generic email to everyone — and that’s never a good thing. Email marketing platforms such as MailChimp allow you to do exactly this. You can use tags to group people into different groups based on certain criteria, including location, gender, age, interests, etc. Once you have identified those groups, you can send out emails that are tailored specifically to each audience. In this case, the author sent an email to his entire email list, but he also published some exclusive content just for his female readers. He did this by creating a separate segment called women.
This way, he could personalize the content and make sure it was relevant to the segment. By doing so, he increased the chances of his email being opened and read. And because he had a specific segment, he knew that his email would reach the right people.
Predict Future Trends
As we enter 2020, it seems like there are countless predictions being thrown around regarding technology, social media, and even politics. But what trends will really shape the way businesses operate over the next few years? I looked into five areas where I believe disruption will occur in the digital space. Read on to see how each one could impact your business.
1. Predictive Analytics
The ability to predict consumer behavior based on data collected from multiple sources is becoming increasingly important for marketers. As consumers continue to rely on mobile devices and apps, predictive analytics becomes even more useful. For example, if a customer buys something online via Amazon, she might be interested in buying products from brands associated with Amazon. Marketers can use this information to target ads to her and increase sales.
2. Voice Search
Voice search is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years. In fact, according to eMarketer, voice searches will account for 22% of all internet queries worldwide by 2021. This means that many people will start searching for things using their voices rather than typing out keywords. If you don’t take advantage of this trend now, you’ll likely miss out on a lot of traffic.
3. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is another area where companies will begin to make big changes soon. AR allows virtual objects to be placed within real world environments. For example, if someone sees a billboard while driving, she might tap on the object and learn more about a product or restaurant. The possibilities for AR are endless.
Document A Buying Trip
Do you ever think about documenting your trips to source goods for your store or restaurant? Maybe it’s just once in awhile, but maybe it’s every day. In fact, I know many people who do this. They use apps like Shopify, Venmo, Square Cash, etc., to document their purchases and receipts. And guess what? Customers love to watch videos of your sourcing adventures.
I recently did a quick survey of my friends and family members who work in retail, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, and other places that sell food and drink. Here are some of the things they told me:
• 90% of consumers want to see where their food or drinks come from.
• 80% of consumers want to learn more about the farmers and producers behind the product.
• 60% of consumers say they trust companies more when they show customer purchase data.
• 50% of consumers want to know the origin of their food or drink.
• 40% of consumers would pay extra for produce sourced locally.
Snap Your Next Conference
Snapchat is big. Really big. And growing. There’s no doubt about it — the social media app is one of today’s hottest marketing platforms. Brands are leveraging the platform to engage with customers, build brand awareness, and get noticed.
But what many people don’t realize is how much money companies are making off of this platform. In fact, according to research conducted by HubSpot, more than half of marketers surveyed say Snapchat is the most effective way to connect with consumers.
If you haven’t jumped into the world of Snapchat yet, now might be the perfect time.
Write A Post-Event Summary
In my opinion, it’s one of the most important things I do for myself every week. After attending numerous conferences, workshops, seminars and trainings over the years, I find it difficult to remember everything I learned. So, I take extensive notes during each session, and immediately after the conclusion of each conference, I compile my notes into a simple, easy-to-read document that summarizes what I learned. This allows me to quickly review the information later, and makes sure I don’t miss anything.
I use Evernote to store my notes, and I make sure to include the name of the presenter, the date/time of the presentation, and the topic covered in each note. Here are some tips for creating a great post-conference summary:
1. Use bullet points to organize your notes. You can even add pictures to help illustrate key concepts.
2. Make sure to list out the main points covered in the presentation. If possible, try to summarize the entire presentation in just a few sentences.
3. Include the speaker’s contact information, including email address and phone number.
4. Try to keep your posts short — no more than 500 words.
5. Add a link to the original source material where applicable. In addition to helping others learn about the subject matter, it helps you track down additional resources and ideas.
Create an audio version of your videos for podcasting.
YouTube videos are great for sharing information, but many people don’t want to sit down and watch them. They’re busy, they’re lazy, or they just prefer listening over watching. But you can still use your YouTube channel to reach those people. All you have to do is turn your videos into podcasts.
The steps are simple enough. Once you upload your video, select “Create a Podcast.” Then choose the format you’d like to record in — either MP3 or AAC. Finally, add some text to describe what you’re talking about. This could be anything from a link to a blog post explaining why you think your topic is important, to a short quote from someone else who shares your viewpoint.
Once you’ve finished recording, hit Publish and you’ll have a podcast ready to go. And since you didn’t actually watch the video, you won’t have to worry about copyright issues.
Conduct A Case Study
Interview a client or customer that has had a great experience with your product or service. This person could be anyone — it doesn’t even have to be someone within your organization. If you’re working with a freelancer, try asking a friend or colleague who works with them. You’ll find out about how they like working together, what problems they encountered along the way, and what they’d do differently next time around.If you don’t know anyone who fits the bill, you might consider reaching out to people on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc., who have similar interests. Ask questions such as “What are some things you wish you knew about?” or “What advice would you give someone else starting up?”
Once you’ve gathered enough information, write down everything you learn. Then take those notes and put them into a document that includes the following sections:
2. Problem description
3. Solution overview
4. How did we solve
Create A Massive Links Roundup
You’ve probably seen some people do this already. They’ll go out and find hundreds of articles related to a certain topic and put them together into one post. They’ll even add a bunch of images and videos to make it look like a really great resource. But why are they doing this? Why aren’t they just creating a regular list of links? Because they want to rank high for that keyword phrase.
And guess what? If you’re linking to a ton of different sites that don’t directly relate to your niche, you’re still going to rank well for the keywords you care about. You might not see much traffic, but you could still be making money. And that’s pretty cool.
So how does this work? Let me show you. I’m going to use “how to start a blog” as my example because there are tons of resources online about starting blogs. So let’s say we wanted to write about blogging. We’d head over to Buzzsumo and type in our keyword phrase. Then we’d copy down every URL that had been shared around the web. Now we have a giant list of sites that talk about starting a blog.
Now we’re going to take that list and paste it into a spreadsheet. We’re going to separate the URLs by category, such as “How To Start Blogging,” “Best Free WordPress Plugins For Beginners,” etc. Once we have those categories organized, we’re going to pick the best ones and group them together into a single document. In this case, we’d end up with something like this:
Now we’ve got a huge collection of articles that we can build upon. Each article gives us information about a particular aspect of starting a blog. From there, we can either choose to include the entire article or just the most important bits. Either way works fine.
The reason we did this is simple: we want to rank highly for the terms we care about. By grouping the articles together into a single resource, we’re able to provide value to readers without having to spend hours writing individual posts. Plus, we’re getting free traffic from the links we’re sharing.
This technique isn’t limited to blogging topics. There are tons of ways to group articles together. Maybe you’re interested in learning about social media marketing. Or maybe you’re looking for tips on improving sales conversions. Whatever your interests are, you can find a lot of helpful stuff online. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to put in some time organizing the data.
Ok, so its not 101 ideas, but it should get you started. If you want the full list, you’ll have to send us an email 🙂