Coming up with fresh, new and exciting ideas for your organization isn’t easy.
Jeff Bullas identified eight main barriers to your content marketing plan:
1. Finding inspiration and ideas for the content
2. Creating it
3. Making it relevant
4. Resourcing it
5. Managing it
6. Monitoring it
7. Measuring it
8. Making it “liquid” and contagious
CoSchedule outlined the most important questions to ask to determine whether content is a good fit:
1. What’s in it for my audience?
2. Would I click on this?
3. Is this relevant to my business?
Without a solid plan—that includes creating, drafting and scheduling your posts at least a week at a time—content marketing can feel overwhelming. To shine, you have to step outside your comfort zone.
Reimagine the world of your organization with these 11 excellent ideas for your next piece of content:
1. Create Instagram Stories.
The photo-sharing platform offers Instagram Stories, which enables users to share more than one photo at once in the form of a story that lasts for 24 hours.
This is an awesome opportunity for brand managers, because it enables them to share more content marketing material without clogging up customers’ newsfeeds and appearing spammy. It also enables you to create a “story” for each day, which is a great way to highlight current specials or happenings at your organization.
While viewing an Instagram Story, users can send the creator a direct message, making it easy for customers to contact you. If you turn this option on, remember to have a social media point person assigned to monitor fan engagement, because the average customer won’t wait long for a response.
2. Offer a “tip of the day.”
Don’t give away all of your organization’s secrets, but there’s great value in dangling a carrot in front of your followers.
Share a “tip of the day” related to your industry to showcase your expertise. You don’t want to release too much free information, so you have to walk a fine line. For example, if you’re the author of a cookbook, share a tip about boiling the perfect pasta, but refrain from sharing the recipe for your spaghetti bolognaise. They’ll have to buy your cookbook for that.
3. Prepare a “top 10” list.
Curated content is another great option to share on social media, especially when you’re feeling writer’s block. With tons of fantastic content available on the internet, take a research day and dive into the ins and outs of your industry.
Compile these into a “top 10” blog post (adding an introduction, conclusion and your own commentary) and share it with your online followers. This helps establish you as an expert and shows that you are always learning.
4. Share a video demonstration.
Some products are hard to explain using words and pictures. If this is the case for your organization, try a more dynamic approach. Create a video demonstration of your product or hold a Facebook Live session where you can answer customer questions.
This can help shake things up, keeping your content marketing approach fresh and fun.
5. Start interviews and podcasts.
Artem Zavyalov, co-founder of Highbrow, wrote on Medium:
As of 2015, the percentage of Americans who have listened to podcasts in the past week has increased to 17 percent, and that amount is only expected to increase. Allowing users to listen to information while on the go is just another way to get your content out there in a unique way so you can meet your customers where they are and make it easy for them to access information.
6. Ask your followers questions.
Similar to sharing a tip of the day, why not ask a question of the week? This not only engages followers and brings them into your world, but it also offers you a valuable opportunity to get into their heads and collect data about their needs and behaviors.
Ask them what their favorite TV shows are so you get a sense for their preferences and sense of humor, or ask if they have suggestions for improvement on any of your products.
7. Predict future industry trends.
Do you have a great idea about a cutting-edge trend in your industry? Share it with the world. Create a blog post that details your predictions and share the link on your social media channels. Encourage your fans and followers to add their two cents, and encourage comments on your website. This will help build your organization’s credibility as an industry leader.
8. Showcase your organization’s culture.
If you and your team members have fun, show it.
Besides giving customers a peek into your world, it can help them see you as a trustworthy figure who’s passionate about your business. Does your organization have casual Fridays or picnics in the summertime? What about allowing dogs in your workplace? Whatever makes you unique, share that with behind-the-scenes images.
9. Take advantage of unique holidays.
Ever wonder where people find out that it’s National Clean Up Your Desk Day or World Creativity and Innovation Day?
Many websites list obscure holidays, such as DaysOfTheYear.com. On a monthly basis, identify holidays that would make sense for your organization to participate in. These include business-related events, customer-centric dates or fun holidays for increasing team building and morale.
10. Repurpose your organization’s blog posts.
If your organization doesn’t have a blog, it should. Blogging offers countless benefits, including:
- Marketers who blog experience 67 percent more leads than those who don’t.
- Writing 21 to 54 blog posts can increase your company’s website traffic by 30 percent.
- Websites with blogs have 434 percent more indexed pages (which helps search engines find your site and boosts SEO efforts) and 97 percent more inbound links.
- Blog posts that are shared on Twitter and Facebook receive 149 percent more inbound links than those not shared on social media.
- Blogs are 63 percent more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines.
Once you’ve dedicated time to blogging, promote your posts to increase their mileage. Take small sections of the posts and share them on social media, linking back to your blog, or take a statistic and turn it into a question to increase engagement.
11. Spotlight your community involvement.
Another way to raise visibility is to showcase your community involvement on social media. People love connecting with brands that feel human and genuinely care about giving back.
Host a local park or stream cleanup (get permission from the city first). If your community service initiatives are extensive, share the news. Contact local members of the press to let them know about your community involvement.
Beth Adan is a senior publicist and graphic designer at Three Girls Media. A version of this article originally appeared on the agency’s blog.