The internet is a busy place and getting your opinions and insights heard, no matter how interesting and helpful, can be incredibly difficult.
It can feel as though your content and blogs will constantly be overshadowed the Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame and whatever Josie Cunningham is up to that day.
But fret not friends – at Banc Media we have put together 50 content marketing ideas to give your blogs and content a little extra va va voom and help them generate the interest they deserve.
1 – Create a Listicle
A listicle is an article in the form of a list; listicles are heavily used by websites such as Buzzfeed and are incredibly popular due to the bitesize nature of the information shared. An example of their efficacy is you, reading this listicle, right now. When you probably should be working instead.
2 – Align with Positive Parties
You will be judged by the company you keep, so only market content in tandem with sites, individuals, brands or celebrities who share your ideals. This is why I linked to an Emma Watson article in the previous point – because she is smart and lovely.
3 – Challenge your Audience
Rather than being passive and dull, engage the audience and interact with them. Quizzes and challenges will promote active participation rather than passive participation – improving the rate of information retention. The Cone of Learning identifies the great rate of information retention in active participation.
4 – Engage with Other Brands
Take the lessons learned from watching Game of Thrones and build powerful relations with other brands. Tesco Mobile provides great examples of inter-brand relationships proving beneficial for all parties. But it’s not just big corporate brands – there are plenty of smaller fish who are getting engagement right, such as this Twitter feed from CNWL.
5 – Go Multi-Sensory
Content can come in almost any form through almost any medium – appeal to all the senses. Written content, videos, doodles and ditties can all appeal to your target audience. A multi-sensory approach will give you greater, more comprehensive scope to get the audience to react.
6 – Be Timely and Newsworthy
Take advantage of news items related to your brand by offering specialist insight. It is important to be sensitive if using controversial or impactful news – as demonstrated by the negative feedback received by Build-A-Bear and other brands hoping to use 9/11 as a platform to market their wares.
7 – Put your Hashtags On
Get involved with trending and popular hashtags related to your brand, products and services to draw potential new customers and instigate dialogue. Here is a Beginners Guide to Hashtags for those with undeveloped Twitter skills.
8 – Simplify Sharing
Let your audience do some of the legwork for you by sharing your content. Make it simple for readers to share your content with social media share icons located in an easy-to-find place. One click and your audience could exponentially increase.
9 – Produce Content for your Audience
Consider who your archetypal customer may be, and write for them. Collate information about your audience where possible to determine their interests and appeal to these tastes directly.
10 – Interlink your Content
If you have written an article about a topic closely related to an article you wrote last month, link to it. This provides additional value for your reader, demonstrates your expertise and helps increase brand identity. Following my own advice, here is a blog I wrote about blogging and article writing.
11 – Break Up Written Content with Pictures
A timely photograph can make a long body of written content more digestible.
12 – Ensure Information Guides and Instructions are Simple to Follow
Creating ‘How-To’ guides is a fantastic form of content marketing. Many consumers now turn to Google rather than their wise old Dad to help them with practical problems, DIY emergencies and general muck ups. Clear, concise help guides can establish your brand as the expert voice in your market.
13 – Create Infographics
If you have a lot of stats and facts to present, make it more digestible with a fun infographic. Ensure you include branding as a good infographic can get re-blogged and re-posted all over the net – increasing your brand’s exposure.
14 – Identify your Successes
Use an analytical tool to determine your most popular pieces of content and create new pieces about similar subjects or using the same mediums/techniques. Over time you will be able to get a greater insight into what your audience responds to and polish your content production skills and methodology.
15 – Expose Your Brand to Questions and Criticisms
Opening up the floor and panel to questions can help audiences identify your brand as a trustworthy source with nothing to hide. An open questions and answers panel using a service such as Reddit Ask Me Anything can help you interact directly with interested parties and help them recognise you as a leader of industry and expert voice.
16 – Provide Expert/Celebrity Insight
Implement a bit of good old fashioned journalism into your content and pursue experts/celebrities for a quote/insight. This can help generate interest and add authenticity to your content.
17 – Digitise your Old Content
If you have a load of old newsletter and manual brochures, turn them into online content if they are still relevant. A simple way to add volume to your blog.
18 – Use an Idea Generator
If you’re blocked, stuffed-up and at a loss for new content ideas, use the Portent content title generator to inspire new ideas. Some ideas will be nonsensical rubbish but you may be able to find the perfect idea for your next piece of content.
19 – Publish a Reader Poll
People are always interested to learn how their opinions differ from peers and contemporaries. Carry out a poll amongst readers/customers and publish the results. Your audience will then be able to have a read to check if they are a part of the homogeneous mass or a special exception within the realms of your content base.
20 – Map out Content
Make relevant content simpler to find for readers and customers so they have access to the information they need immediately. Instructional guides can be lifted from the blog and instilled in the main body of the website to ensure they remain a simple-to-find fixture of your brand’s value. Tag and categorise your blog posts so readers don’t have to clamber down a rabbit-hole to find the information they are seeking.
21 – Dine on Vine
Vine videos have been a surprising hit since their launch in 2012. The six-second vids shouldn’t be enough to convey a message or story, but small nuggets of content seem to be just enough for the fast-paced, instant-distraction nature of modern content.
22 – Don’t Go on the Hard Sell
Your readers will see through the ruse if your article is entitled ‘Why Brand123 is the best company in the world and why you should empty your pockets in exchange for their products/services’. Be subtle and treat your audience with a little respect. Appeal to their intelligence and promote your brand as an authority.
23 – Attribute Photography
Either in your CMS system or on-page, add an attribution to the owner of any photography you are using. Additionally, write your website’s URL on any of your own photography, ensuring the brand gets sufficient attribution when used by a third party site.
24 – Responsively Designed Content
Responsive design is the practice of ensuring your website and content can be displayed on all web-faring devices. This ensures all users can see your excellent content whether they are visiting from their computer, phone or tablet. This is increasingly important as more people are surfing the net on their mobile devices than ever.
25 – Include Clear Call to Actions
Make sure the reader clearly understands the next step they are expected to make upon finishing your content. This can be in the form of ‘Leave a Comment’, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Call on 0800…’ button or almost anything you want to make your customers do.
26 – Respond to Comments
Engage your audience by replying to any comments, adding extra value and information. This will demonstrate a transparency in your endeavours and actions and further exemplify your expertise in the field.
27 – Compile Useful Resources
A compilation of useful resources regarding your industry can create a one-stop shop for your customer base. If your audience has to come through your site or blog to access these resources, they may end up staying for a bit of a read and a bit of a shop.
28 – Invite Guest Contributors
Invite guest contributors from other parts of the industry to offer other points of views and opinions on important and relevant topics. Your readers will appreciate your endeavour to share important and interesting information about the industry and expand their knowledge. This can help produce a bit of interlinking between your website and the sites’ of contributors.
29 – Include Nuggets from the Office
Show more than the public face of the brand and give your readers an insight into the office activities of the business (like this photo of our Content Marketing Manager Nadia, who took part in Cycle to Work Day). This can personalise the company and help potential customers connect with your brand and make it simpler for them to place their trust in you and your dealings. These insights can be simple pictures of new stock items in the office or a picture of the office clown, clowning around.
30 – Improve Old Work
If you have been content marketing for a long time, some parts of your historic work may not be entirely accurate or conducive to positive SEO impact according to current standards. Check old posts for keyword stuffing and other bad practices. Plus it’s a chance to remove any claims you may have made which did not come to pass such as “…and that’s why Matt Cardle will be X Factor’s biggest success story yet.”
31 – Introduce the Team
Give readers additional insight into the team who is providing their content, products and services by introducing all the members.
32 – Increase Value for Members
Draw audience members to your social media channels and other platforms by offering exclusive insights and deals. These can be as simple and cost-free as just revealing a new product a day earlier to members of a Facebook page than the plebs who aren’t even your Facebook mates.
33 – Play Games
Further instigate and promote interaction with your audience by inviting them to play games with you and other members of the fan base. Simple quizzes and riddles on a social media page can improve interaction and promote your identity as more than just a money-making machine, but rather a lovely, passionate bunch of people.
34 – Reward Ability Rather than Participation
People are more likely to participate in the Countdown Teatime Teaser than the impossible-to-get-wrong question at the end of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here due to the increased level of knowledge required. The sense of achievement in answering a difficult question is more likely to encourage participation so any competitions should be tinged with a touch of challenge. And if you get a bit of controversy and argument going – all the better!
35 – Dig Up History
A company history can generate interest amongst your audience, interested in the humble beginnings and battles against adversity. Evoke emotions as you tell your underdog story of victory against the odds. An animated timeline can make it even more digestible and enjoyable for readers.
36 – Video Tutorials
Add extra value to your brand and make it even easier for your customers to use your products/services with video tutorials. Small simple-to-follow videos amplifying your brand’s image can help build identity and aid the customer journey.
37 – Push Social Media Handles
Plug your team’s Twitter handles as well as the brand’s official accounts to add a personal touch to content and marketing copy. However, double check your team’s online behaviour is savoury to protect against any embarrassment – always avoid using personal Twitter handles if you’re trying to promote the Tory party.
38 – Involve Cats, Dogs, Sloths and Capybaras
As the internetisforcats.com will testify, the majority of internet users are only here for hilarious/cute pictures/videos of cats and other fluffy animals. Cynically monetise the cute appeal of baby animals by aligning them with your brand.
Even more unusual animals are getting involved, with Caveman Circus decreeing 2013 was the year of the sloth. Always stay abreast of the latest animal hype trends (we’re predicting big things for the Capybara, because they’re daft).
39 – Use Deal Sites
Tools such as Groupon can directly draw traffic to your website and can help build up brand identity over time. Align your brand with your specialist product/service over a period of time to gain recognition as an authority.
40 – Use Rafflecopter to Reward Sharing
Rafflecopter adds incentives to sharing, liking and commenting on posts, increasing their visibility and subsequently the visibility of your brand. A little sugar to sweeten the deal will improve the chances your readers will comment “I, valued customer, agree with the above” rather than just think it.
41 – Retarget Through Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a tricky tightrope to walk. Email too frequently and you’ll soon be marked as spam but email too infrequently and you are potentially missing out on sales. One mail shot every week should suffice, and always ensure you add plenty of value. Don’t just email imploring your customers buy your wares – have a chat, tell them something funny/worthwhile/interesting.
42 – Incorporate Graphs and Charts
Akin to infographics; graphs and charts can make stats and figures easier to digest and retain in the old noggin. The stats can be hard-hitting and newsworthy or light-hearted representations of abstract concepts – however you wish your brand to be represented.
43 – Link to Stats and Authority Sites
If you are presenting facts and figures to the reader, make sure you link back to primary research sources. This adds authority to the content and the brand.
44 – Make Bold Predictions
‘Matt Cardle to Make Comeback!’ will generate interest due to the perceived unlikelihood of the event. Unlike an obvious prediction like: ‘Next Beyonce Album to Sell Lots!’
45 – Product Comparison Lists
If you stock multiple similar products, incorporate a simple comparison table detailing all the important facts and figures. This helps safeguard consumers against the necessity to open innumerate tabs and compare products manually. This makes your website simpler to use, adds value and builds trust amongst your audience.
46 – Check Google Related Search for Trends and Popular Searches
Google related search or auto-complete is the service provided by Google search, wherein it pre-empts your search term using popular searches. Open a sentence relating to your product or industry and see what the peoples of the internet have been searching for. Then produce pieces of bespoke content to answer these questions.
47 – Carefully Incorporate Memes
Memes can very quickly become passé and unfunny. If you’re not a part of the first wave of a meme, your joke can look dated and tired. A good rule of thumb is: ‘if your mum and/or dad are aware of a meme, don’t use it’. Intelligently-used, timely memes can spread quickly along with your new found infamy.
48 – Making Commenting Simple
Exhaustive sign up processes may stop some people from joining the community to simply comment ‘lol’. Allow a ‘Sign In with Facebook’ functionality to make it quick and simple for new users to contribute and add value to the conversation.
49 – Use Titles Intelligently
Take a leaf out of Upworthy’s gamebook and incorporate intelligent, clickable and shareable titles. Take a little time to develop a title which would attract your attention and your click.
50 – Produce Awesome Content for Other Sites Too!
Don’t selfishly keep all your content to yourself and your blog, share the wealth! Producing content for sites related to your industry/expertise can help build your authority as an expert voice and a market leader.
Phew! Well that’s our round up of 50 ways to jazz up your content – do you have any more to add? Share your thoughts below…