Now that most of the holiday season is over, we’re all looking to New Year’s next week to cap it off. And what would a new year be without some resolutions?

Many of our resolutions seem to focus on things we won’t do instead of things we will. In business just as much as in your personal life, it’s important to look on the positive side of things. What can you do that will better you as a person? What can you do that will better you as a business?

Unfortunately, we can’t help you out too much with the personal side of things, but we can offer you some tips for moving in the right direction when it comes to your business.

At the end of 2011, experts predicted that 2012 would be the year for content marketing, and now they’re predicting that this trend will continue to grow and flourish in 2013. Many companies have begun blogging for business and creating content that will help to educate their markets, but much of the content they’re creating is rather vanilla. Sadly, there’s just not a whole lot of variety.

So why not make 2013 the year you take some risks with your content development? Instead of traditional blog posts every day, why not spice it up a little and add some variety? There are so many different kinds of content out there, but here are seven ideas to get you started off in the right direction.

7 Kinds of Content to Use in 2013

#1: Video

Video is white hot right now and can’t be ignored. Bear in mind that it shouldn’t completely replace the text of your blog, but it’s a great way to allow people to associate a face with a name. It’s also great for humanizing your brand. Instead of just reading your words, your audience can see how you articulate your ideas.

If you haven’t tried your hand at video content yet, it’s time to hop to it. You don’t even need a lot of fancy equipment (though if you try it out and decide you like it, you might find that you’re willing to invest in better technology as time goes on). A Flip Cam, iPad, or regular digital camera will do the trick in a pinch, especially if you’re just starting out.

Don’t forget about your computer’s built-in webcam, either. You can record using Skype, YouTube, or Google+. One of the great things about recording right from Google+ (a hangout, say), is that you can link your YouTube account to Google+. When you do this, not only will the video show up in your Google+ feed, but it will also show up on YouTube, meaning anyone who missed the live broadcast can watch at their own convenience. This will ultimately help you to attract a larger audience as a result of the wider exposure.

#2: eBooks

Maybe you’ve got this great idea and you’ve sort of been toying with writing a book about it. This is your year. After all, there’s no time like the present. E-books can be completely new, previously unpublished material, but they can also be an excellent repurposing effort. A lot of bloggers have found eBook success by simply pulling together a number of their best blog posts in a certain theme. They smooth it out and add some transitions, and before you know it, you’ve got yourself something comprehensive that can be sold on Amazon or other sites. Many writers use this as a way to monetize, while others make their ebooks available as free downloads.

So if you think you have something worth teaching and it’s a little too long for a blog post, don’t rule out an eBook as an alternative. They’re great ways to share your knowledge and position yourself as an authority in your field.

#3: Newsletters

Newsletters can be a wonderful way to share news and content with your customer base and others who are interested in the work you do. There are a number of ways you can use them, including the following:

  • Company news (note that you probably want to mix this kind of news with other news as well so that you don’t appear to be self-obsessed)
  • Industry news. If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of your industry, you might consider sharing some industry news to keep your readers in the loop, as well.
  • Best-of content. What blog posts were your most popular last week? Which ones got the most social response and feedback? You can take those and provide links to the posts in your newsletters so that readers don’t miss your best posts.
  • Original content. Got something new to add to the conversation? Perhaps a thought leadership editorial-style newsletter might be for you.

#4: Interviews

Interviews are a popular form of content because they’re so easily digestible. Readers like to know what thought leaders and industry big-names think about important issues, as well as what makes them tick and drives them to the kinds of success they have.

This kind of content is typically done in one of three ways. It can be done through text, as a blog post, in which the questions and responses are posted. It can also be done as a video (using Skype or Google+ Hangouts, for example), or as a podcast.

The bonus to posting an interview is not only that it broadens your horizons and offers your readers fresh and varied content, but you also stand to gain new readers from it. For example, when you post your interview with Sally, she might tell all of her Twitter and Facebook followers to check out the interview and link back to it. This brings new people to your blog – ones who might not have ended up there otherwise, and so they hold potential.

#5: Images

Generally if you’re using images as content, you should provide a couple hundred words to give the image some context. This framing post can also be important when it comes to helping the search engines decide what your post is about.

Image types to consider:

  • Infographics (very popular right now, but make sure you’re offering something of value!)
  • Concept visualizations (helps to break down complicated concepts and present them in a more easily digestible way)
  • Cartoons (make sure they’re relevant to your blog’s themes!)
  • Charts
  • Memes (also very popular right now, but make sure the theme and tone suit your business.)

Remember: images have to be done well in order to be effective.

#6: Guest blogs and/or user generated content

Invite readers to create content for your site through contests or other initiatives. This not only helps to build a sense of community, but it also helps you to keep your content calendar full without burning yourself out.

Also, welcome guest posts as you feel is appropriate. Whether this kind of content is chosen through an application process or you solicit for these posts is entirely up to you.

Finally, don’t forget to write your own posts to publish as guest posts on other sites, too. All in all, you will find that these techniques, too, have the potential to bring a new audience to you.

#7: Slideshare and Prezi presentations

If you’re working the circuit of speaking engagements (another kind of content worthy of an honorable mention), you’ve undoubtedly got some pretty great presentations to share. Make your presentations available by embedding them into your blog posts and writing some framing text to help intro the slides. It’s a great way to repurpose content, and readers appreciate that more visual aspect.

So there you have it: 7 kinds of content that you should try out in 2013.

What are your new years resolutions when it comes to your business? What kinds of content do you plan to try? What other content ideas would you add to this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!