What’s your biggest marketing challenge?
If the answer is producing consistent, high-quality content, you’re not alone. In fact, 60% of marketers say it’s tough to produce content consistently. And 65% say it’s even tougher to produce content that’s consistently engaging.
Of course, the rewards for getting the content thing right are pretty substantial. 72% of marketers say content marketing drives engagement up, and another 72% said it increases leads.
So what’s a marketer to do when we know content marketing is the answer, but the ideas just aren’t flowing?
Turn to the experts, of course.
Here are 18 ideas we’ve brainstormed to get you started.
Help customers figure out something that would take them oh-so-much-longer or be oh-so-much-more-frustrating on their own.
Calculators can range from the expected—quick math machines that help you figure out how much tax you owe or if you’ve overstayed your tourist visa in Europe—to the unexpected, like HubSpot’s website grader or ThirdLove’s Fit Finder.
People love infographics. If you’ve ever done one, you probably already know that.
They’re sharable, compelling, and memorable. In fact, infographics are read 30 times more often than text articles. Sites that feature infographics report 12% faster traffic growth than sites without. And people remember about 80% of what they see, as opposed to just 20% of what they read—making the visual approach of infographics a likely win for “most memorable content marketing.”
Infographics are already pretty damn great. But sometimes adding animation can make them even better, drawing the eye to the right part of the page, communicating motion or change, and highlighting key pieces of the story you’re trying to tell.
Sometimes there’s so much info to include in your infographic that it makes sense to have multiple layers. Sliders. Mouseover pop-ups. Options within the infographic that let readers dig deeper.
Enter the interactive infographic—similar to its predecessor, but with more levels for a reader to unearth by clicking, sliding, and otherwise interacting with your presentation of the data.
If an infographic visually presents a lot of data around a single topic, an infobit is her little sister—presenting a single compelling piece of data.
The benefit here is in the simplicity. Research tells us that too many choices can be paralyzing—and so can too much information. Homing in on a single, powerful stat helps combat that overwhelm while still making your point.
And if you can animate your infobit? Even better. You’ll be drawing the eye and keeping attention.
Whether you pronounce it with a hard g or like the peanut butter, GIFs are basically image files with animation. Show off more products. Show how trends have changed over time. Or just add a little movement to draw the eye to your image. GIFs are fun, small, and sharable.
Invented by Buzzfeed, listicle is shorthand for any article that’s also a list (oh, hey, like this one).
You can write a listicle with short text, lots of graphics, and a dash of humor. Or you can write something more serious with longer paragraphs and less jokes (though, really, do you want less jokes?). Either way, people love lists (in fact, articles with a number in the headline perform about 30% better). And Google loves them too.
If this sounds like an idea you want to hit the ground running with, here’s a listicle on how to write a listicle (how very meta, we know).
One of the tricky questions of content marketing is this: how do I find new audiences? You might have your loyal blog following, your podcast listeners, a nice little funnel of new readers coming in by word of mouth. But how do you grow beyond all that?
One of the most effective answers? Guest blogging. Creating valuable, compelling, trustworthy content not for your own blog, podcast, video channel, or social media, but for someone else’s.
This is the strategy that took Buffer from 0 to 100,000 readers.
Your main website might feature lots of different products, services, and ideas. But what happens when you want to home in on a single something special? An annual report. A topic your team has deep expertise in. A book your CEO just published.
The answer: microsites. Small websites designed to zoom in on a single thing and showcase it without distraction.
Bonus: This is a great strategy for SEO. Fill the microsite with strong, optimized content on a single topic and your chances of ranking go up-up-up.
Remember all those near-future movies we watched back in the 80s and 90s—where every computer was a hovering 3D touchscreen and we were all driving flying cars?
Well, the future is here. Not the flying cars part (though self-driving is quite possibly even cooler)—but the 3D animated graphics that augment reality.
Companies are finding that augmented reality—a composite of the real world with added, computer-generated information—adds sophistication to presentations and keeps investors engaged.
Face-averaging technology means we can show what the average person looks like across pretty much any use case. You could use this tech to make a point about how gendered certain professions are, what celebrity faces share in common, or what mugshots can tell us about who’s likely to be arrested.
However funny, surprising, or even dark your subject matter, face-averaged content has the potential to take your content viral.
Real-time, live-updating pages
Raising money for a big campaign? Crowd-funding your cool new project? Helping a Fantasy Football audience understand where stats stand in real-time?
Ongoing campaigns, games, and fundraising efforts all lend themselves well to real-time, live-updating stats pages that keep customers, funders, and supporters engaged with any ongoing campaign.
Think of a flipbook as an online version of your brochure—on-brand, well-designed, and full of information that customers need. To flip through the booklet, all people have to do is click the forward and back arrows.
Illustrations are nothing new, but what you do with them can be. Like when Bulimia.com re-drew Wonder Woman to be less damn skinny and highlighted the issue of portraying women unrealistically in art and media.
With 77% of Americans saying they own a smartphone, it’s common knowledge that websites and marketing campaigns should always be mobile-friendly. But for some campaigns, it makes sense to take mobile marketing to another level altogether—creating custom apps that engage, delight, and sell.
One good example of this is Disney, whose mobile apps help people plan vacations, check out on-resort restaurant menus before they walk half a mile, buy tickets, organize activities, and find character greeting times so that kids can meet up with Belle or high-five Donald Duck.
No shocker here: video is a fast-growing, revenue-increasing powerhouse. In fact, companies that use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t.
Airlines have been using this strategy for years, and more and more brands across a variety of industries are catching on.
Travel brands—like Airbnb—are encouraging people to travel with magazines—online or in print—dedicated to the destinations they serve. Fashion brands are feeding readers’ style passion with industry interviews and gorgeous fashion spreads. And Red Bull has been creating extreme sports content for years.
“A look back”
Big data-driven brands are taking content to another level by using their data to give users a deeply personalized look back at their own year, month, or brand lifecycle.
Peloton does this with fitness data, tracking goals and celebrating with its customers at every milestone. Facebook does it with looks back at your year, five years ago today, etc. And Spotify gives users a look back at their year in music.
This kind of content appeals to people’s curiosity—and, let’s be honest, ego. What was I doing five years ago today? How have my musical tastes changed this year? How close am I getting to my fitness goals? Inquiring minds want to know—and brands that have the answers can use them to drive up engagement.
What’s your content marketing strategy?
So as we get deeper into Q4, what kind of content are you creating? What are your plans for the fast-approaching 2020? What new things will you try? What tried-and-true content marketing methods will you harness?
Whatever the answers, we’d love to chat about how we can help—from brainstorming to implementation. From tried-and-true to new-and-exciting.