Let’s face it, as marketers and business owners, coming up with original marketing content day-in, day-out is exhausting. You know you need to be writing blog posts, keeping active on social media and giving potential customers good reason to visit your website, but finding the time to come up with interesting new ideas to consistently create content is seriously challenging.
And this is supported by recent stats from optinmonster:
Despite the challenges, creating engaging content offers businesses some serious long-term benefits, especially when it comes to lead generation. Here are the stats:
While it might be more time-consuming, it’s an effective and affordable option for businesses looking to expand their reach online. To help you make the most of your content marketing strategy in 2019, here are 11 ideas you can use to help with content creation.
Event-based content is content you create that’s reactive to current events. Current event content is great for everything from social media posts and blogs to video content and podcasts.
As an example, we recently wrote a blog post about the policy change announcements at Facebook’s annual F8 conference outlining how the changes might affect small businesses. It’s worthwhile signing up to any news outlets specific to your industry to keep yourself informed about news that might be interesting to your target audiences.
Try using humour
While you don’t want to become the class clown of your industry, there’s nothing wrong with cracking a joke from time to time. It’s a great way to create engagement and showcase your brand’s personality.
For example, Zendesk are a business software company, and their brand tone of voice is usually straitlaced and to the point. But when they realised their competitors were trying to steal customers with the search term “Zendesk alternative”, they decided to use humour to capitalise on the inadvertent attention they were gaining.
They created a spoof website, with a Spinal Tap-esque video about a Seattle-based rock band called Zendesk Alternative. The website now ranks #1 in search engines whenever anyone types “Zendesk alternative”, and best of all, it redirects to the Zendesk website.
Though you don’t need to go to the extremes of Zendesk, it’s beneficial to find small ways to make your audience laugh from time to time. Laughing makes people feel good, and you want them to associate feeling good with your brand!
Pillar content is when you create offshoot content related to a central theme that your audience is interested in. To create it, you ask yourself: “what would someone interested in the central theme also be interested in?” The original piece of content acts as a primer on your chosen topic, with each offshoot diving deep into specific aspects of the topic. Chances are, anyone reading the original post is also going to be interested in learning more from the offshoots. The other benefit of creating pillar content is that you’ll be able to build a bigger pool of internal links to use in future content.
Rewrite old content
If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you’ve got some dusty old content sitting on your website. In such a fast-changing world, there’s probably also some outdated information in that content, which means it’s time to recycle it and bring it up to date. Refreshing old content offers a few great benefits, too.
It’s less time-consuming than writing posts from scratch. You’ll improve the quality of your content offering for your audience. And it also helps boost your search rankings.
Guest content is when you get someone from outside of your business to write or create content for you. Here at Elastic, in the past we’ve had our university placement students write posts: it’s a great experience for them as aspiring marketers and great for us and our audience, since the students offer interesting new perspectives.
More recently, we asked our meditation coach to write a post for us, too. By reaching out to clients, customers and other people in your network, you’ll find opportunities to offer exciting new content with fresh perspectives. And that’s sure to engage your audience.
Instagram story features
The Instagram developers are champions when it comes to adding app features that make user experience more engaging, and this is great news for brands. Story stickers – things like polls, sliders, quizzes and questions – have been on the app for a while. So when you’re short on ideas, why not try some of them out in your stories? If you’re feeling particularly bold, you could even use the question sticker to find out what type of content your audience would like to see more of.
We all know that modern technology is causing our attention spans to decrease. Rather than complain about it – we’ve had more than our share of rants here in the office! – why not try using it to your advantage by creating some short video animations to impress your audience?
Videos are more likely to be remembered than other forms of content. And they’re also more likely to encourage a response from your audience, so it’s well worth the initial investment to drive lasting results.
Let’s be honest, when you think of gifs, something like this springs to mind:
The truth is, gifs don’t need to be funny to be effective. And since the file size is small, they can be a space-saving alternative to videos. Gifs work great in ads and also on your website. Here’s an example of a blog header we made for our client CDS:
In-office social media stories
Many brands spend so much time posting ads and offers to their social media channels, they forget to have fun! These days, though, consumers like to engage with brands with a little personality. Try mixing things up and using stories to showcase the day-to-day events and fun you have at your office. The image below is a selection of stories posted by American tech giants Cisco:
The brand uses Instagram Stories to champion their colleagues and showcase all the fun stuff employees get up to in the office, and it’s clearly working for them, since they have over 300k followers.
Use your tweets
Earlier this year, Carlsberg made headlines when they created an entire advertising campaign out of negative tweets about their beer. Though it was a bold move, it was an ingenious way to introduce their “improved brew”.
Now, I’m not suggesting you go away and dig out some negative tweets about your brand and post them all over the internet. But it’s definitely worth thinking about how you can leverage user-generated tweets in your content.
You could, for example, run a tweet of the week campaign, where you give a shout out to your favourite customer tweets. Or you could repurpose tweet comments for ad content.
Let’s be honest, most of us are pretty awful at keeping the case study sections on our websites up to date. But they’re one of the most effective ways to convert leads into customers, so we really should spend more time on them. Next time you’re struggling for content ideas, why not get in touch with some of your more recent clients, collect a few testimonials and put together some new case studies?
From blog posts to social media, videos to case studies, there’s no shortage of unique content you can leverage to drive brand awareness. Need some help getting started? Contact us today!