The average marketer today uses 12 different content marketing tactics.
Let that statistic just sink in for a minute. Ten years ago, only a handful of us had even heard of content marketing. Today, your typical brand is investing in original articles, social media, blogs, eBooks and more. It goes without saying that the wider you’re able to cast your net, the better your results will be. You need to consistently come up with more content marketing ideas to publish even more engaging content.
Recent studies by the Content Marketing Institute have found that 78% of best-of-class marketers are creating more content than they were a year ago, and you can be sure this includes more visual content, audio files, and slideshows than ever before.
To help you create a content strategy for the coming year that’s bigger, better, and bolder than ever before, we’ve compiled 57 fresh and inspiring content marketing ideas for new content types.
We’ve expanded beyond your basic blogs, eBooks, and white papers to incorporate some truly groundbreaking concepts:
One of the fastest and most-effective ways to drastically increase the reach of your next blog article is with co-creation, a content marketing tactic where you collaborate with experts and compile their ideas.
2. Customer Interviews
Showcasing your client’s stories in content is pretty much a double-whammy – you and your audience benefit from the social proof of their story, while your customer can revel in the exposure.
3. Graphs & Charts
The easiest way to explain a complex idea isn’t with a ton of words, it’s probably with a helpful visual. We love the simplicity of the example below, which can be recreated in PowerPoint in about 30 seconds:
image credit: bruce clay
4. Employee Profiles
Major brands have been using their real-life employees to recruit and market for decades, an idea we famously saw with IBM’s “I am an IBM-er” campaign:
image credit: IBM
However, brands of all sizes can benefit from putting a more human face on their outreach efforts.
5. List.ly Posts
The only thing better than list posts are list.ly posts created in real-time, using a collaborative process. You can turn your blog into an interactive debate or strategy session with this awesome tool.
6. Brand Stories
The idea of the narrative is much older than content marketing, and there’s a fair chance it’s going to last much longer. If you’re in need of some inspiration on how to share your history, check out Aston Martin’s drool-worthy success in this arena.
7. Old-Fashioned Serials
Why not create a likeable brand hero and share their story in installments? While this tactic isn’t seen often, a well-written, longform story is sure to be an effective way to increase your subscribers and build some hype around your brand.
In case you hadn’t heard, podcasting is currently one of the fastest-growing forms of content marketing:
Don’t just settle for a single cast when you could launch a show, with the goal of growing a dedicated audience.
9. Thought Leader Interviews
What would you ask if you had a few minutes with Ann Handley? Or Joe Pulizzi, or anyone else in your niche? There’s a good chance your audience has wondered the same things you have.
Before you bristle at the idea of boring presentations, hear me out. Slideshare means serious business and serious traffic, and there’s no rule that says you have to use the network for sales-focused materials. Upload an visual-heavy eBook or create a storyboard – the sky is your limit.
11. Survey Results
Original studies and research may not be the easiest form of content marketing, but they’re a pretty darn effective way to build your thought leadership, improve links to your site, and gain loads of exposure once you publish the results.
12. Long-Form Articles
Google loves in-depth articles, which is why content that’s 2,000 words or more in length tends to rank higher in search. Strive for a mix of feasts, snacks, and meals with your content marketing.
13. Animated Gifs
Who doesn’t love an animated GIF? While these short, often humorous clips have traditionally been the domain of teens and humor-lovers, they’re a perfect way to break up your content.
14. Social Photography
Have a shutterbug on staff? Hand them a DLSR, and use the resulting images in all forms of content you publish. High-quality images will never go out of style.
15. Tip Sheets
The step-by-step guides your customer service representatives give over the phone to new customers every day could actually make a pretty awesome content offer to generate leads.
16. Pricing Guides
If you’re in a price-sensitive industry and offer better rates than your competitors, why not cut down your prospects’ research by creating a quick chart that shows how you stack up against the others?
17. Product Comparison Guides
It won’t take long to compile a chart that objectively compares your product or services to others in your industry, but you’ll be sure to win the hearts of prospects for making their life so much easier.
18. A Round-Up of Influencer Insights
Get straight to the heart of a complicated issue by interviewing a few thought leaders on a hot topic, and sharing their thoughts.
19. Online Communities
By providing the space online and a commitment to moderate conversations among your prospects, you’ll win their trust and respect. The Home Depot is one of several brands with a highly-popular online community.
20. eLearning Portals
Imagine how much value you could provide to your customers by creating a center for online professional education, which could include videos, white papers, eBooks and more!
Silly, fun and educational quizzes have recently experienced a resurgence on social media. Why not provide value – or just a little entertainment – to your audience by building one fo your own?
22. Buyer’s Guides
What are the pitfalls of purchasing in your industry? Is there anything your customers need to know to make the most of their new product? Chances are, you know the answers to these questions like the back of your hand. Share the knowledge with a valuable buyer’s guide.
23. In-Person Events
Many marketers believe that in-person events, like free trainings or networking parties, are the single best way to get publicity with content marketing. If you haven’t invested in these yet, it’s certainly worth a try.
24. Company Manifesto
What does your brand value? Why do your employees love coming in every morning? These factors that make you unique also make you far more likeable, which is why they’re worth sharing with the world.
25. Scavenger Hunts
Content marketing should be fun, which is why a scavenger hunt could turn your audience into a dedicated tribe of treasure hunters. The tactic’s been used successfully by major brands before, including Pepsi.
26. Mobile Apps
Designing an app for your own customers or prospects is actually pretty simple, with the help of easy-to-use tools like Conduit’s customer builder.
27. Statistics Round-Up Posts
You can provide an immense amount of value to your prospects by rounding up the hottest statistics and research findings in your industry into a single blog or eBook, a tactic we’ve used very successfully here at Writtent.
28. Conference Lists
It’s relatively simple to compile a list of upcoming industry conferences into a single, easy-to-use schedule for your audience – and this approach is actually bound to get you notice, since it’s a lot less common than you think!
29. Vine/Instagram Videos
Every second, at least 5 Vine videos are shared on Twitter. Short videos are one of the fastest-growing forms of content marketing, because they’re so incredibly easy to consume.
30. Instagram Direct Content
Less than 24 hours after Instagram’s Snapchat-inspired feature was released, the Gap was already using it to promote a contest. Entries were compiled when their customers sent in photos of themselves wearing the brand’s clothes.
31. Professional Groups Guides
Provide your customers with the tools to become better professionals by compiling lists of educational opportunities, including:
- Networking Groups
- LinkedIn and Google+ Communities
- Twitter Chats
- Free Educational Resources
- Must-Follow Thought Leaders
- Top Blogs
Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to professional guide ideas for B2B content marketing.
32. Event-Specific Content
Make the most of your conference attendance by compiling insights on top speakers, most-ReTweeted thoughts on the event, or any other form of content marketing that can provide your audience with a first-hand look at the event.
33. Flickr Photostreams
Consider modeling your content marketing after Nightmares Fear Factory, a haunted house in Canada. They capture pictures of their frightened guests, which are published to a highly-popular and amusing Flickr Photostream.
34. QR Codes
QR codes aren’t just a trendy way to get your mobile prospects and customers engaged – they’ve got a load of potential for mystery or exclusivity-based marketing campaigns. Why not create a QR code that’s the only path to a secret landing page, and watch your hype build up?
35. Customer Loyalty Programs
If you haven’t invested in designing, promoting, and sharing a customer rewards program, it’s probably time to start. These initiatives can increase loyalty and referrals.
Everyone loves an infographic – provided it’s valuable, unique, and has something new to bring to the table. Curate away, or create your own with a website like Piktochart.
37. Custom Images
Drastically increase shareability and appeal of your blogs by incorporating custom images, which can be created in seconds using a tool like Canva.
38. Employee Mascot
Does your company have a living or inanimate mascot, like a dog, cat, or even a teddy bear? Create some fun social media content “through the eyes” of your company’s unique representative.
39. A “Day-in-the-Life”
Inc magazine’s “The Way I Work” series offers revealing and fascinating portraits of how highly successful entrepreneurs spend their days. Repeat this formula on your own blog around employees, and expand to interviewing other leaders if it’s successful.
40. Tipping Point Portraits
Google ran a highly gutsy but successful content marketing campaign called “Zero Moments of Truth,” which profiled their customers’ thoughts in the moment when they decided to make a purchase. It’s certainly worth emulating!
41. Print Newsletters
Direct mail may be down, but what if your contacts could opt-in to an exclusive, mailed newsletter that included content you don’t print online?
42. Virtual Summits
Organize, sponsor, and promote a remote seminar or conference, where you invite industry leaders and experts to share via Webinar or Telecast software.
43. Spotlight Your Supply Chain
Eco-friendly brand Patagonia offers what they call “The Footprint Chronicles,” content designed to give their customers a look into where their clothing comes from. Why not showcase your vendors and supply chain in the same way?
44. Live-Streaming Broadcasts
Are your employees attending a valuable training? Why not share the insights you’re learning with a larger audience by broadcasting the session to the web?
image credit: hubspot
HubSpot isn’t afraid to let their employees go head-to-head on hot issues, in their highly-popular “Marketing Debates” series. Create a little tension and energy around topics that matter by sponsoring one of your own over webinar or a Twitter chat.
How do you accomplish your work load in a given day? Screencasts can be a highly effective form of tutorials, allowing you to showcase critical skills in video form without a need for expensive lighting or editing.
47. Exclusive Email Offers
Who hasn’t fallen for a “flash deal” that showed up in their email inbox? Let your subscribers know you appreciate their business by offering a limited-time offer that’s just too good to pass up.
One of the most engaging ways to showcase one of your brand’s verticals, products, or even values is with microsites, which are literally mini-websites dedicated to just one topic. One of the most successful examples of this idea is Procter & Gamble’s “Being Girl,” dedicated to their pre-teen girl customers.
Tap into a younger audience and showcase your content curation skills on Tumblr, a fast-growing platform that fuses social media with blogging. While it’s a relatively underutilized form of content marketing, it’s become increasingly popular among brands.
50. Excel Spreadsheets
Make your prospect and customer’s jobs a little easier by letting your resident excel whiz put together a spreadsheet that quickly hacks a problem they may have. Who knows – you could even have one already that’s ready to share.
51. Powerpoint Templates
Literally everyone can use another original, visually-appealing and beautiful PowerPoint template in their lives. Sharing your designers’ work freely can be highly effective lead generation tactic.
52. Web Television Series
In one of the sharpest content marketing turns we can recall, XBox sponsored “The Guild,” a web television series about the lives of people who closely resembled their end users. Collaborate with indie artists in your community to do the same.
53. Facebook Apps
There are few shortcuts to developing a custom Facebook App…oh, wait. There definitely are. Even marketers who can’t code can create an engaging platform with App Builder or other similar tools.
54. Mobile Magazines
Just because consumers aren’t subscribing to print magazines like they used to doesn’t mean we don’t crave many attributes of traditional media – like the high-quality articles, gorgeous images, or exclusive ideas. Use a platform like FlippingBook to bring your publication to life.
55. Video Tutorials
Did you know that over 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each month? You can capture some of this engagement by releasing your own, branded video tutorials.
56. Anonymous Insider Blogs
One of the most-popular brand presences on Tumblr is known simply as “OscarPRGirl,” which is supposedly written by an anonymous member of the Oscar DeLaRenta marketing team. Plausibility aside, it adds a layer of mystique to the insider glimpse given on this blog.
57. Web Comics
Are your buyer personas likely readers of XKCD, Toothpaste for Dinner and other beloved web comics? Why not create your own nerdy or funny comic strip to be shared regularly?
How many content marketing tactics do you use on a regular basis? Are there any you are especially excited to try out?