“Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” Seth Godin.
Despite the rise of social media and video, content marketing remains one of the most effective marketing strategies. And we’ve got the numbers to prove it! In a recent survey commissioned by the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of respondents said they saw promising results on their content marketing campaigns. Interestingly, marketers said they put content value above SEO strength. Content marketing is also a vital element in the buyer’s journey. A recent report from Demand Gen revealed that 71% of consumers interact with blog content before making a purchase (Woo-hoo!) With staggering stats like these, it’s clear that great content is key to a successful inbound marketing campaign. The question is, how do you create content that drives results?
Here are 30 content ideas to boost your digital marketing strategy.
1. Grab Your Reader’s Attention
Of all the content ideas we can offer, “grabbing your reader’s attention” is paramount! A headline on a blog post is the gatekeeper of your content. A poor headline will make or break you. Studies show that, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only two will read the rest of the copy. A crappy headline sets the stage for crappy content. If the headline is not compelling, the rest of the copy may as well not exist. On the other hand, a great headline determines the effectiveness of your copy. So always start your content with a catchy headline. Next, set the tone of the article with a great introduction.
Here’s how to wow your audience with a stellar introduction.
- Start with a quote
- Refresh the reader’s mind with a thought-provoking question
- Impress the reader with an interesting fact or statistics
- Use an example from a real-life situation
- Kick things off with a one-sentence story
Keep in mind that the goal of the introduction is to spark the readers’ interest and make them want to learn more about the topic. If you can nail it here, you’ll have won the reader’s attention.
2. Get to Know Your Customers
I can’t stress enough how important it is to attract the right audience through content marketing. Any content produced without the target audience in mind is a waste of resources. As the old adage says, “if you please, everyone, you please no one.” That said, it’s best first to understand your audience—their pain points, preferences, etc., to prepare content that meets their needs. You don’t have to interview every customer who has ever done business with you to know them. Nah! Just sit down with your team and create buyer personas that will describe your ideal customers. Aside from the usual background and demographic information, your personas should also focus on:
- Their goals and challenges
- How they view your products relative to the competition
- The content format and channels they prefer If you have a solid understanding of your audience, your content marketing efforts will yield better results.
All the content ideas in the world can’t help you if you don’t know who your customers are. Spend the time getting to know them.
3. Use Keyword Research to Find Great Topics to Write About
Great content incorporates the right keywords. Without keyword research, you’ll be working on a trial-and-error basis—a recipe for failure. To succeed in content marketing, you’ll need to be specific about:
- Your audience
- Target market
- Keywords to use
There are many tools you could use to find keywords that will make your content searchable. These include Jaaxy, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner. Keyword targeting for SEO is a broad and complex topic, so we won’t cover it here. But if you want your content to rank higher in SERPs, this is one area you don’t want to ignore.
4. Write Relevant and Actionable Content
Once you have a solid understanding of your audience, you’ll be able to develop actionable content—content that resonates with your readers. Actionable content is the kind of content that elicits action. Better still, it answers your customers’ questions by addressing their pain points. For example, suppose your ideal customer wants to start a flower farming business. Once you understand what their goal is, you could write a blog post about “5 common mistakes people make when growing roses.” Or “How to grow a successful flower garden.” Publishing such content will make your audience build trust in you and engage with your business more.
5. Make Social Sharing Easy
First things first, your business needs a strong social media presence. In an age where social media has become the de facto channel for social interaction and access to news and information, you don’t want to miss the social media train. Social media can influence consumers’ buying behaviors through reviews, advertising, and marketing tactics. With over 3.5 billion people using social media daily, your content can reach millions of people if shared on different platforms. The trick is to make social sharing on your blog easy. To achieve that, you’ll need to add visually appealing social sharing buttons throughout your blog posts and website pages. You could use a one-click sharing button or floating social media columns that make social sharing a breeze.
6. Research Your Competitors
A large majority of B2C marketers and B2B marketers use content marketing. That means you need a strong game to get noticed. Although this means you have competition, it also means you have the opportunity to find out what others are doing and do better than them. Take a closer look at how other businesses in your niche are approaching content marketing. • What topics are they discussing? • What formats are they using? • How frequently do they post? • And how are their readers responding? Finding answers to these questions can help you improve your content delivery. It can also give you valuable insights into what is trending in your industry.
7. Create Long-Form Content
Massively detailed posts are a backlinks magnet. A recent Backlinko study found that long-form content gets 77.2% more links than short articles? So, if you want to succeed in content marketing, long-form posts are your best bet. Long-form posts don’t just attract links; they also get more qualified leads. Most marketers consider 2,500 words as the sweet spot for blog posts and guides. Lengthy posts perform better because they capture the readers’ attention by offering more relevant information. Plus, lengthy posts incorporate more keywords, making them better for search engine optimization (SEO).
8. Use Data to Strengthen Your Points
Backing up your content with research and statistics makes it look more credible and trustworthy. It also provides an irresistible hook, allowing you to show why one should read the piece in the first place. For example, we opened up this piece with data backed by research, highlighting why content marketing is essential for your digital marketing campaign. You can either use the readily available data to spice up your points or conduct your own research and surveys. The latter is the better option because it shows you’re an authoritative force in your industry.
9. Optimize Content for Search Engines
When searching for products or services online, users are more likely to choose the top 5 results that appear on the first page. SEO is key for a high rank in search results, meaning you will be easily visible online. For your website to rank higher in the search engine result pages (SERPs), you’ll want to optimize your content for SEO. While many factors come into play when it comes to page rankings, there are a few things you can do to optimize your content for search engines. These include: • Using title tags (H2, H3, and H4) to structure your content • Breaking down longer sentences to improve readability • Using optimized keywords You’ll also need to include the primary keyword in critical places such as in the introduction, meta description, URL, H2 tags, and conclusion. [Please embed] https://pixabay.com/photos/search-engine-optimization-seo-4111000/
10. Repurpose Your Content
The best content takes time, skills, and effort to produce. That’s why you should aim to get the most out of your published work. But how do you do that? One way is through content repurposing. This entails crafting new content copies out of your old or existing content. Think of the last guide or blog post you published that performed strongly. Did your readers love it? Did it offer your audience something they couldn’t find elsewhere? Did it garner enough links and shares? If so, transform it into another format. You could turn it into a video, podcast, or even convert the blog post into a webinar.
11. Build an Email List
More often than not, people will forget to visit your website. However, providing your customers with weekly or monthly email updates will keep your brand at the top of their minds. And getting started with email marketing is quite easy. Just add a subscription form to your website asking visitors who like your content to sign up for a weekly or monthly newsletter. Email marketing can set apart your business if done in the right way. While content marketing brings people to your website, email marketing aims to retain those people.
12. Personalize Your Content
Personalizing your website content is critical for your business’s success. Have you ever visited a website multiple times, and you’re presented with content tailored to your taste each time? (Think Netflix.) You can do the same on your website. For instance, you can control what customers see on your website based on their search history, account activity, and time spent on particular pages. You can also personalize by device or buyer persona. And it works like a charm. A recent Yieldify survey revealed that 75% of customers are keen on buying from brands that offer personalized content.
13. Update Old Content
In the ever-changing digital landscape, a year or two is all it takes for website content to become outdated. But it’s not just the content that can get outdated. Market conditions can change, product features can evolve, and pricing will not always be constant. Moreover, search engines roll out algorithmic updates from time to time, and what was a critical ranking metric five years ago might not be relevant today. So, always be on the lookout for these changes and update your old content regularly. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You could just update the post with newer insights, research, or stats. This way, you don’t lose any SEO juice on the original URL.
14. Set Content Marketing Goals
No matter how skilled a marketer or content creator you are, you’re bound to fail if you don’t have a clear set of objectives. Firstly, without goals, you’ll have no means for measuring success. Or simply put, you’ll have no direction. Successful marketers kickstart their content marketing campaign with SMART objectives. Typical goals to set may include:
- Increasing conversions by 20%
- Growing your customer base by 10%
- Getting more email list subscribers
- Improving customer retention
- Increasing brand authority
Measurable goals should include a timeframe within which they must be achieved, and a means for measuring performance.
15. Publish Original Work
Plagiarism is an abomination in the content writing domain. Always aim to produce well-researched content that is 100% plagiarism-free. Keep in mind that Google has a built-in plagiarism detection tool for web content. If a search engine detects plagiarism of any form action will be taken. You do not want to have any of your content blocked. Google, for instance, takes copyright issues seriously. Where there is plagiarism, the SEO of plagiarized content will take the hit and rank poorly in SERPs.
16. Track Your Performance
Tracking your performance is as important as setting your content marketing goals. Once you’ve published actionable content, you’ll want to know how well it meets your business goals. That means analyzing and reviewing a wide range of performance metrics, including impressions and conversion rate. For many marketers, Google Analytics is enough for the job. With time as your business scales up, you might want to consider more data-driven applications like SEMRush, Decibel, or Leadfeeder.
17. Pick the Right Location
You’ve probably heard the classic real estate advice “location, location, and location.” In real estate, location is a critical consideration when purchasing property—whether for business or residential use. After all, a property with a waterfront view might cost twice as much as a similar property in a remote suburb. The same principle applies to content marketing. If your business is far away from your target audience, especially if you sell offline, customers will have difficulty locating you. Likewise, where you market your products online can determine whether your products will sell or not. The trick is to find where your audience likes to hang out online and promote your products there. Are your customers active on Facebook? Post regularly on Facebook. Do they look for answers on Quora? Be an active publisher on Quora.
18. Mine Social Media for Ideas
If you want your content to appeal to your audience, you’ll need to know what makes them tick. You may need to get answers to questions like:
- What are their concerns?
- What challenges are they facing?
- What content type or format do they prefer?
And there is no better place to look for answers than on social media. Millions of people turn to Reddit, Quora, and Facebook for answers to pressing concerns. By spending quality time on these platforms each day, you can learn more about your customer’s pain points. Then address those concerns in your content.
19. Leverage Video
If we were to rank content marketing tips by points, this one would probably score the highest. In a one or two-minute video, you can tell your whole brand story. And it works! A recent Optinmonster survey revealed that 84% of consumers purchase products after watching the product’s video. Some concepts don’t just translate well to text. By adding video instructions alongside text copy, you stand a better chance of convincing prospects to buy your products or subscribe to your monthly newsletter.
20. Pay Attention to Visuals and Formatting
The human brain is hardwired for absorbing visual content, which makes vivid imagery more effective at communicating a brand’s message. It’s no surprise that visual content is now considered a staple in any content marketing strategy. Marketers who embrace visual content see higher revenue returns, in addition to more followers, site visits, and content shares. So, make a habit of adding high-contrast images, graphics, and videos to your content. It makes it easier for people to consume. As far as formatting is concerned, aim for short paragraphs and include bullet points to make the content scannable.
21. Promote Your Content
You may have great content, but no one will find it online if you don’t promote it. When you publish new content, you’ll need to promote it to get the attention it deserves. Doing so also helps to create brand awareness. There are many ways to promote your content without breaking the bank. These include:
- Sharing it on social media
- Participating in Q&A sessions
- Advertising on YouTube
- Leveraging online communities—Reddit, Quora, etc.
- Partnering with an influencer
Your audience can also do the advertising for you if your content is awe-inspiring. Treated well, your loyal customers can be your greatest brand advocates.
22. Publish Content Consistently
Besides updating old content, it’s also important to have a consistent publishing schedule. Having a pre-defined publishing calendar can help you organize your work better and build a list of fans. Plus, consistent content is also an incentive for:
- Search engines to crawl your website
- Getting more visits from social media
- Keeping your loyal customers happy and engaged
If you’re looking to make money from your blog, you should probably publish a minimum of three to five blogs a week.
23. Publish Shareable Content
Do your homework well and find out about what your audience likes. You could also search social media or use digital tools to determine the most shareable content. In most cases, shareable content that’s popular for all niches include:
- Top 10 lists
- Best tips for…
- Top ways to…
- How to guides
Once you’ve identified shareable content ideal for your niche, adjust your content marketing strategy to satisfy this need.
24. Publish Evergreen Content
Your content marketing blueprint should include what type of content to publish. For best results, we recommend you publish evergreen content. Evergreen content has the following characteristics:
- It’s searchable—created for people but optimized for search engines
- It’s shareable
- It’s unique and original
- It’s thorough, detailed, and informative
- It’s relevant—adds value to the reader
Evergreen content can help you build a solid list of followers or readers. And it can further assist in a higher SEO rank in search engines.
25. Gain Authority with Guest Posting
Gaining quality backlinks through guest posting is a great way to improve your website’s domain authority. Guest posting also helps improve the credibility of your site. According to Optinmonster, 62% of readers perceive blogs with multiple authors to be more credible. Most importantly, you get to tap into the host blog’s audiences and promote your brand. If they have a solid and loyal following, you should get a pretty good ROI.
26. Make Sure Your Brand Voice Is Consistent Across Channels
Content marketing is one of the best ways to develop and refine your brand’s voice. However, defining your brand’s voice can be a challenge, especially if you’re working with large teams. It’s a task that may require you to constantly review your editorial standards to ensure quality and tone are consistent and that the writing reflects your company’s values. Consistency transcends to even what you post on social media. You don’t want to showcase “warm and fuzzy” photos on Facebook while promoting salesy “buy today” messages on Instagram. It signals unprofessionalism in the way you do business.
27. Understand Your Customer’s Journey
A good content strategy should incorporate content that meets the customers’ needs in all stages of the buyer’s journey. Don’t just settle with content for attracting prospects to your business. Instead, create varied content intended to meet the needs of prospects and customers in all stages of the buyer’s journey. That means you should have content to guide buyers on the purchase process as well as content to convince hesitant prospects to purchase. For example, perhaps a customer is hesitant to buy your product because they believe you need technical know-how to operate it. To help mitigate their concerns and facilitate a purchase, you could create short instructional videos on how to operate the product.
28. Take Care of Readability
You already know how important a good copy is to your website. After all, great content is what defines the relevancy of a website. But what if the information you present to your readers is too wordy and complex? You risk losing some of your audience to websites with more readable content. Readability is a critical factor to consider when creating content. By compromising readability, you risk losing vital interactions online. You could improve the readability of your content by using shorter sentences, eliminating jargon, and breaking up your copy using headers and bullet points. There are also tools you could use, such as Readable, to improve the readability of your content.
29. Check for Grammatical Errors
It may seem like an obvious point, but nothing degrades the quality of content more than typos, spelling, and grammatical errors. Spelling and grammar errors make your work look unprofessional. Worst of all, they can make you lose your customers, hurt your brand, and damage your website’s ranking in search engines. Luckily, there are free tools, like Grammarly, that can help you correct grammatical errors and improve your writing.
30. Include a CTA
Sometimes, people need an extra push to take action. Have you ever heard of “A call to action”? Aka “CTA”. This is a question…or a line…or something that will ask your blog reader or visitor to take some sort of next step or action. A CTA doesn’t need to be salesy or gimmicky. It’s a polite invitation; you’re inviting your readers to take action following the information provided in your copy. That said, don’t just slide any CTA into your article. Make sure to match your CTA to what the content is about, so there is no disconnect. The Bottomline Success in content marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey that requires planning, skills, resources, and time. The trick is to understand your audience, set goals, and prepare your marketing campaign accordingly.
We hope these tips will help you improve your content marketing game and achieve a competitive advantage over your competitors. Feel free to comment and share!