Updated January 19, 2020
Need a little inspiration for blogs, email marketing, and social media?
Sometimes you just get stuck. Trying to come up with engaging ideas to wow your blog readers, social media followers, and email recipients can be a challenge - especially for small business marketers!
But with statistics and pundits pointing to the the growing use of social media, you've got to stay on top of your game. Take this quote from Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey, "According to Sprout Social, about 74% of consumers make a purchasing decision based on their social media accounts." 74 percent! So if you're not taking advantage of these social platforms to engage your customers and drive traffic both to your website and to your place of business, well, you may be losing out on sales.
So how do you get unstuck and come up with ideas for great new posts and blog articles? Keep this content idea cheat sheet handy and refer to it for inspiration whenever you need it.
Some additional tips for choosing and posting content:
Images and Visual Content
Images, interesting photos, and other types of visual content typically outperform all other types of content. Be sure to incorporate a visual content marketing strategy into your content marketing plans.
Quotes and customer thank-yous can be easily turned into social cards and visual posts by using free online design tools like Canva or Visme.
Regarding the "Money Beets" suggestion (hope some of you are fans of The Office) and posting product shots, aim to include your customers using your products whenever you can and strive to make the images fun and engaging.
Questions & Answers
Q&A posts and related blog content are great for engagement! Use Facebook polls, or Twitter polling, or your email service provider (ESP) to put out a survey to gain both valuable customer insights and great input for a blog post where you can cover the survey results in greater detail.
This is really where the meat of the wanton is. Content types like podcasts, videos, and infographics will take more time and resources to create, but they will typically generate better results in the way of engagement and traffic. If done well, they'll prove to be worth the added effort. These types of posts tend to have a longer shelf-life as well.
For breaking news, update your preferences in a news or social media aggregator and/or set up RSS feeds to be notified when relevant news is published on your favorite sites.
Your day-to-day emails may be a great resource for blog topics and social media posts as well. Chances are that if you've ever had to explain something about your business to a customer or prospective client, your blog readers may benefit from the same information. SEMbyotic provides some additional tips on turning your email into website content.
Another place to look to discover new content ideas is your older blog posts. These can be repurposed or revived to boost engagement while minimizing the extra effort involved in creating net-new content.
You'll notice we listed this category last. That's intentional. Stick to the 80/20 rule when it comes to sharing self promotional content. Meaning, share non-promotional content at least 80% of the time. Your followers, readers, email recipients, and customers might be turned off by too much promotion too often, so put the needs and interests of your customers first and choose your content ideas accordingly. If you do go the promotional route on a regular basis, make sure you're clearly communicating what's in it for your audience and lean toward special promotions, sales, giveaways, and contests.
Focus on the interests of your audience.
Regardless of which types of posts you choose to create, always put the interests of your customers and audience first. Have a "regular" or favorite customer? Keep them top-of-mind and imagine their response to the topics you select and the content you create.
Check your website's traffic and other social stats to identify your top performing content and those that are duds. Those insights will help you determine what to focus on moving forward to create more high performing content and what you can improve upon.
Consistency is key.
Getting in the habit of consistently creating and posting content to your blog and on your social media platforms will be critical to the success of your content marketing efforts.
Pick ideas from each of the content categories listed above and rotate your types of posts. Also, consider using a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to create and schedule social media posts in advance. This will be a huge time-saver!
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