5 Ways to Come Up with Fresh, New Content Marketing Ideas

content marketing ideas

We have a confession

Whipping up fresh, new content marketing ideas? Sometimes it’s HARD.
(Yes, even for us super-duper creative types!)

It’s true. We’ve been in the content marketing biz for years, yet there are still times when we get stuck coming up with new ideas. It’s one thing to write a blog post title, but coming up with great content marketing that sells? That’s a whole other ballgame.

Every piece of content must be created with purpose and meaning—so coming up with the best content marketing ideas is KEY.

We’re going to let you in on our content marketing topic creation secrets—just some of the creative tactics we use to consistently win over the competition. Let’s get started.

#1. We Join Conversations

If you’re not using social media to build community and learn more about your target audience, you’re underutilizing it. Here’s how to use social to find great content marketing ideas:

  • Participate in Twitter Chats

  • You’ll meet a lot of people, and trust us, they ALL have something to say. Listen and engage accordingly. Oftentimes, after just a little social listening, content marketing ideas will furiously flow. Learn these Twitter Chat basics to make the most of your Twitter time.
     

  • Join Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn

    Facebook Groups tend to be more personable than LinkedIn Groups, which naturally lean toward business. Try both to learn more about where your target audience hangs out most. (Hint: It really depends on your market.) Observe conversations in these groups for trends and build relationships with members. You’ll gain tons of great content marketing ideas and insights.

  •  

  • Follow Influencers in your Target Industry

    Who are the influencers in your target market? They’re the people who (in some shape or form) have power (and thus, influence) over others. When they talk, people listen. Identify who the top influencers are in your industry and observe what they’re posting about on social media. See: Post Planner’s Quick Ways to Find Top Influencers on Twitter.

#2. We Slow Down & Look Around

Great content marketing ideas are everywhere! …but we often get too caught up in our busy lives to open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us. When you actually sit down, breathe, and take a moment to see and feel what’s around you, you just might find that inspiration has been sitting near your coffee or by that photo of your children the whole time. Take a look around you and try to see everyday objects in a new light. You’ll be surprised what sparks a fire inside the content marketing machine within you.

#3. We Read, the Old Fashioned Way

We love reading articles online just as much as the next guy, but nothing beats reading ‘the old fashioned way’ to drum up more content marketing ideas. Make it your mission to pop open a new book at least once a month. If you don’t have time to read the entire thing, skip through and take notes on what you like. Choose popular books that resonate with your industry and audience. These books don’t even need to be new. Check out Amazon or eBay for deals on dated reading materials and see what older content marketing ideas you put a modern spin on.

#4. We Keep Scrapbooks, Idea Boxes and Image Stashes

Since you’re now in the habit of being more observant (after reading secret #2 and secret #3), we encourage you invest in a scrapbook or grab an old shoebox to use as an ‘idea’ box. Fill your book or box with anything you find interesting that you pick up along the way. It might be an intricately designed brochure, a paper coaster from your favorite local pub, or even an old movie ticket. When you’re feeling ‘stuck,’ pull out your box or book.

  • Bonus: As noted here on Rewire Me, collecting things we love is good for our brains and our lives. Doing so can help “build observational skills, improve organizational thinking, awaken a desire for knowledge, inspire creativity” and more. Neat.

#5. We Use Awesome Tools for Guidance

We also rely on a bunch of great tools when we’re brainstorming up our next great content marketing ideas. A few we use include:

  1. BuzzSumo – Quickly and easily research and monitor trending topics.
  2. Google Trends – Find out how often a search term is entered in relation to total search volume.
  3. Quora – Search questions to find your target audience’s specific problems. How can your products, services, or company provide the answers they seek?

You don’t need to go crazy racking your brain for fresh content marketing ideas. Inspiration is right around you (and often free of charge). Coming up with great content marketing ideas on the fly starts with being more observant. You might just be amazed at what you’ll discover!

 
related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

divider

Related Articles

[catlist categorypage=”yes”]

Content Marketing: What Does Great Content DO for Your Business?

Hearing a lot about “content marketing” lately, but not sure if it’s something you want to implement? Here’s the truth: We are ALL already engaged in content marketing, the questions is whether or not you’re being strategic about it.

Let me explain… Your existing website and marketing materials are all comprised of content. Content is simply all the “stuff” that works together to create an interesting, helpful and relevant experience for your prospects and customers. Content marketing is simply being strategic about coordinating information and your content options in a way that maximizes engagement, leads and revenue.

Out in their everyday lives, your prospects respond to different types of content. Some people like to read books, some prefer to watch movies, some like listening to audiobooks, while others just want to flip through magazines for the pictures. The same is true on the web. Different folks, different strokes.

So, what are your marketing content options? You can focus on: webpage copy, articles, blog posts, social media updates, reports based on research or surveys, case studies, whitepapers, graphics, videos, and oh so much more. Of course, the direction you choose is based on your budget and business objectives.

Content Marketing: What Does Great Content DO for Your Business?

What Does Great Content DO for Your Business?

If you’re already monitoring your sales pipeline and measuring your marketing results, you’ll see direct results from a solid content strategy in your reporting.

On the people side: When you provide content that appeals to your target market, you attract more prospects ready to buy and retain more customers by inspiring brand loyalty. You encourage prospects and customers to engage with your business.

On the techie side: Great written content boosts your search engine optimization (SEO). This means that Google and other search engines will boost your website up to the top of the search results page when your prospects are searching online.

All-in-all, well-planned content:

  • Establishes your business as the go-to source for information
  • Boosts your search engine ranking
  • Builds your brand
  • Inspires customer trust and loyalty
  • Attracts traffic to your website
  • Provides opportunities for social media shares
  • Sparks conversation and engagement
  • Answers customer questions and concerns
  • Provides in-depth information about your product or service and your company
  • Increases sales

Unfortunately, many businesses have yet to invest in creating great content. The web is still crowded with websites no more informative than your average brochure. Some of those subpar websites are your competition. Ready to leave them in the dust?

Filling your website with compelling content is no small feat. Content without context simply isn’t enough. Your content strategy requires purpose and vision to be effective. Quality information trumps quantity every time. Flooding the web with words isn’t your goal here. Instead, work to create great content full of insightful answers and industry knowledge your customers can use.

When you create great content, you’re sparking conversation with your customers and engaging with your prospects. As your content gains audience, your website’s traffic will increase, and you’ll earn organic links—another great way to boost your SEO.

More site traffic? More customers?

More sales. Period.

That’s the value in creating great content.

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

divider

Related Articles

[catlist categorypage=”yes”]

Your Content Marketing IS Your Brand: Here’s Why…

Back in 2009-2010, Toyota spiraled into what was the largest car recall in United States history, eventually recalling a total of 9 million vehicles worldwide. The recalls were the result of mechanical problems that caused unintended acceleration, leading to a number of preventable accidents and even several deaths.

Your Content Marketing IS Your Brand: Here’s Why…But by 2014, Toyota had regained its image, topping the charts at #1 in brand perception according to the 2014 Car-Brand Perception Survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. And this is despite the fact that Quality (90%) and Safety (88%) were rated as the top 2 most important factors when buying a new car.

*record scratch*
Wait, what?!

Content Creates Public Perception
Today, branding is so much more than an image or slogan. Thanks to the Internet, today’s consumers have the ability to go much deeper into a company’s brand. Consumers want to know who your company is, whether your company aligns with their core values, how you treat your employees…and most importantly in the case of Toyota: how you respond to customer complaints.

To even begin rebuilding what was arguably now completely shattered consumer confidence, Toyota took to social media, creating content on Facebook and Twitter to inform nervous consumers about the situation. They even put on a Digg Dialog with then President and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Sales (USA), Jim Lentz.

Toyota also created an online recall hub for consumers, where they honestly and transparently helped customers navigate fact from fiction amidst the media frenzy surrounding the recall. On top of that, they launched “Auto-Biography” on Facebook, amassing over 5,400 positive Toyota ownership stories from loyal fans in just one month. …and this was just the beginning of Toyota’s massive comeback to win over consumers and put the past behind them.

 

So you’re not Toyota. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply these same ideas to boost your brand appeal (scandal or not)—even in B2B.

 

Your Customers Define Your Brand
Modern branding is public perception. You can meet or exceed customer expectations, or you can fail both yourself and your customers by not living up to your reputation. Today, your image is controlled by: 1. The content you put out there, and 2.) How your customers respond to your brand. Companies are expected to engage on every level, and even B2B buying decisions are based on trust relationships built over time.

Major brands understand this, and you’ll find them on every channel, trying with various levels of success to establish their companies as caring, humane brands encouraging you to have fun, spread the love, be healthy, be brave, and live life to the fullest.

The message has shifted from “we’re awesome” to “you’re awesome and we can help you be more awesome.”

Getting There: Building Your Brand Strategy
Developing consistent content with the power to convince and convert isn’t easy. It takes commitment and patience—but it’s worth it: your content marketing is your brand. Effective content marketing depends on your ability to convey your company’s authenticity, expertise, and guiding principles. If you weave a richly detailed tapestry of worth, you build trust and customer engagement.

To build an effective content marketing strategy, focus on your target market: answer their needs and address their pain points. If you’ve taken the time to get to know your customers, you know just what they want to hear from you. If your content strategy drives engagement and engagement results in more sales, you’ll know your strategy is on the money.

B2B companies (especially those with smaller budgets) are advised to work from a place of truth. Discover what your customers want you to be…and then be that. Sincerely. You’ll cultivate an emotional connection with your customers and your great content will make your brand shine.

related-resources_01

Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Content marketing IS your brand. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how you can use storytelling as part of an effective marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource

free-download

 

5 (Un)Magical Ways to Draw in Customers with Content

Have you heard? Great website content attracts more prospects and results in higher conversion rates. More customers? Woohoo! But…

How do you effectively create and shell out GREAT content to draw in those customers?

You can’t just put stuff on a webpage and expect people to find it by magic. (Ok, you can, but it’s unlikely to happen.)

Here are 5 ways to (really) Make the Magic happen

 5 (Un)Magical Ways to Draw in Customers with Content

1. Offer Extras Prospects WANT. Everybody loves free stuff, and enriched content (like an eBook or white paper) can work wonders for your lead pipeline—but ONLY if you’re offering up tactical content your potential customers really want. Either give away your content for free, in exchange for their precious email address (Presto! A new lead!) –OR– launch a special giveaway for an information-laden eBook across different social media channels to engage your audience on a broader spectrum.

(Abracadabra: Here’s everything you need to know about How to Run a Successful Social Media Sweepstakes.)

2. Provide Answers. The majority of people search the web for answers to specific questions. The more in-depth information you can provide about topics they’re looking for, the more eyes you’ll get on your page. The longer visitors stay, the more likely they are to buy from you, or at least return for more information. Providing information builds trust, and people buy from businesses they trust. Be the authority. They’ll love you for it.

(Abracadabra: How do you find out what your prospects want to know? Listening in on social media is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the market and inform your business decisions.)

3. Hold Webinars. People love to participate in webinars, especially when they’re on a not-so-easy-to-understand subject. Give your prospects an opportunity to ask questions live and you give them a voice: answer their questions and they’ll know they’re heard and that your business cares. Plus, displaying recorded webinars on your website allows visitors to find out what other people are asking. You demonstrate your expertise and build credibility during that delicate research phase.

Growth Cycle Marketing: Free White Paper Download(Abracadabra: A report commissioned by Adobe found webinars are effective throughout the buying cycle, so check out these tips for a successful webinar.)

Download Free White PaperWant to learn more about this mysterious buy cycle? No need to pull a rabbit out of your hat. Just download our FREE Growth Cycle Marketing white paper to better connect with your prospects before, during and after the sale.

4. Be a Tease. Think about how news programs entice viewers to tune in: “Are you at risk for Ebola? Find out at 11.” If they just stated a conclusion like, “Don’t worry, you’re not at risk for Ebola,” fewer viewers would tune in. Their goal is to get your attention—and your viewership—by adding a sense of urgency to what would otherwise be fairly ordinary reporting. But you don’t have to follow the example of our hyperactive media—it’s better to be measured and honest than simply sensational. For your business, post enticing teasers with a clear call to action.

(Abracadabra: Last year, Twitter offered advice about the most effective calls to action on Twitter. Check it out!)

5. Offer Fresh Content—Often! One of the most important things you can do to attract visitors is keep your website new and updated. Even your old customers will get bored with the same content day after day. Serve up piping hot fare fresh every week and they’ll keep coming back for more.

(Abracadabra: While you’re working to build regular, fresh content, pretty please avoid the crap. If you have to choose between quantity and quality, pick quality.)

If your website isn’t bringing in the traffic, there’s no need to wave your magic wand—instead, it may be time to rethink your content strategy. Too many businesses make their web and social media offerings all about themselves and not about their customers. While telling your story is important, always do so with a focus on how you can help your customers—then watch your content work its magic!

3 Types of Killer Content to Slay Your Competition

Online shoppers have one goal. To find what they want. Sure, they want a good price and good shipping terms, and a company with a solid reputation and the right range of services—but what they really want most is enough information to make an informed decision…you know, to find what they want.

The Google Gods understand this and that’s why they create algorithms designed to defeat terrible content and drive it off the top of search engine results pages (or SERPs).

As a business, your armor against the scourge of Google updates is high quality content.

Because high quality content is what users want, it’s what Google wants to show them…and if you’re smart enough to provide it, your website will never suffer the Google smackdown. (And, hey, it’s not just about Google—all search engines run algorithms written to deliver the best quality results.)

Is Your Content Killer?

3 Types of Killer Content to Slay Your Competition : As a business, your armor against the scourge of Google updates is high quality content.There’s no single definition for quality content. The definition changes by industry, niche, target audience, type of product, etc. Nevertheless, you can follow these basic guidelines to ensure your content is solid each and every time.

Killer content comes in the following forms:

  1. Stable, evergreen content that includes popular draws like instructional how-tos and in-depth information about your product or service, industry, and related topics.
  2. Fresh and relevant content like industry buzz, breaking news, and new ways to think about your product or service.
  3. Copy—your top-level sales pages that tell customers about your products and services, and about your company.

With a mixture of in-depth information and a constant stream of new angles and fresh information, you can cover a lot of bases.

The length of your content should correspond to the topic, but a good rule of thumb for average blog posts and articles is 550-850 words. You can also benefit from longer content in the form of eBooks, white papers, and newsletters. Length is a controversial subject, especially if your audience is largely mobile.

One way to address mobile users is to put a lot of information at the top. Make that headline count. In journalism classes, they call that impactful title and the first sentence “the hook.” The success of your written content (whether people care enough to continue to read) often depends on the quality of your hook. In a web search, users often only see a title and the first sentence. Don’t waste that space.

3 Types of Killer Content to Slay Your Competition : As a business, your armor against the scourge of Google updates is high quality content.

Fierce Fightin’ Tips for Wicked Content

  • Add Visual Appeal: Content is not limited to words. Graphics and videos add appeal and drive traffic. Visuals can be in any or all formats—videos and vines (micro-videos), slide presentations, infographics, product or user photos, and branded graphics. Visual content is popular and more likely to be shared than anything else. But more importantly, companies using visual content have 7x higher conversion rates.
  • Go Pro: Be sure to take your content seriously—every piece should be free of grammar and spelling errors.
  • Document Your Content Strategy: The Content Marketing Institute found that only 35% of B2B marketers have a documented strategy…and that those who do have a documented strategy are twice as successful.

Before you can start any successful marketing effort, you have to have a complete strategic plan working for you throughout the Growth Cycle Marketing process, from attracting the attention of potential customers to inviting repeat customers back with new offerings. That’s what creating quality content is all about. You can’t fake it or cheap out by hiring terrible writers to churn out terrible writing in volume. When it comes to content, quality is always better than quantity if you want to slay the fearsome beast that is your competition.