In Design and Inspiration, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Content, content, content!

inbound marketing content ideasLike poor Jan Brady, complaining about her sister getting all the attention, we often hear people say, “Ugh, content again!?” Yes. The sobering fact is that as the internet world is swallowed by more and more junk (to put it lightly), the more important it is to provide something different. The difference is targeted, high-quality, actually helpful tools, information, and guides.

From infographics to Facebook posts, there are almost endless ideas for content. But, sometimes it’s hard to think beyond just blogs, infographics, or website pages. We’re here to help. We’ve brainstormed a list of 100 ideas to help you create timely, accurate, relevant, thoughtful, unpredictable, informational…or even funny content for your company.

Videos, Visuals, and Interactive Ideas

1. Sketch a cartoon. Were you the superhero of the day? Maybe you were the secret spy that did the best research?

2. Lip-sync a music video.

3. Record a screen cast that is a step-by-step guide of how to use one of your tools. Or, show the same steps in a series of photos. (Try using Screenr to record)

4. Grab a quick video testimonial from a client on your phone.

5. Ask a colleague for their perspective on a topic and record their answer on a flipcam or phone.

6. Create a flow-chart of how you work or a way you’d recommend solving a problem.

7. Illustrate a particular part of your product or tool that makes you different.

8. Design a timeline that helps prospects better understand how to get ROI from your services.

9. Create a quiz. Like the “Which lipstick are you?” or “Which car should belong to you?” quizzes you love in the back of magazines, you can use fun identities to collect information and engage prospects.

10. Create a game. Maybe it’s a true or false checklist or a “would you rather” questionnaire?

How-tos and Tips

11. Give instructions using screenshots or photos to help someone understand how to do something.

12. Make a list of common mistakes people make in your industry and write a blog resolving each one.

13. Make a compilation of all of the answers to #12.

14. Write a “Why you should do this” list. Share all the benefits of using a product or method.

15. What are the common missteps people make before coming to your company? What mistakes do they often make? Write them all out and explain why you’d do it differently.

16. Relate your advice to a current media topic, household name, or moment. For example, “What MLK Jr. Can Teach us about Communications and Culture.”

17. Create a concise features and benefits fact sheet for each of your services or products.

18. Create a guidebook or map that illustrates a larger process where you might use one of your products or services (Ex: How to use Ziplock Bags to Clean your Closet, or How to Reuse your Price Chopper Shopping Bags).

19. Write a how-to guide that walks your prospects through a purchase decision (How to Choose the Right Rug Cleaner; How to Get the Most out of your Dental Visit).

20. Create a checklist prospects can use to help them navigate an issue, reach a goal, or make a decision.

21. Create a fact sheet of surprising or little-known statistics in your industry.

22. Create a tip sheet of helpful usage advice (how to remove wax from your rug; what trees thrive in shade).

23. Offer a tip sheet that helps someone convince their boss you’re the right option.

24. Write or design a cheat sheet of terms or techniques.

25. Host a webinar where you talk about any of the topics listed above.

26. Record that webinar into a video.

27. Then transcribe the audio from that video and turn it into blogs, and ebook, or anything else!

Re-using Existing Content

28. What’s the common perspective in your industry? Do you agree or disagree with it? Find someone else who wrote about it and offer commentary on why people should or shouldn’t follow it based on your experience.

29. Curate a daily or weekly list of other people’s content that your audience would benefit from.

30. Did you make an ebook? Take a page or excerpt from it, write a blog with it, and then share a link to download the rest of the ebook.

31. Put your slides from a recent presentation on SlideShare, upload them as a PDF and create an ebook, or save JPGs and walk through the steps in a blog.

32. Did you just attend a conference or seminar? What were the key takeaways? Write them up.

33. Write a summary blog post that links to your top five most popular blogs.

34. Did you write a really popular how-to article? Try presenting the tips on video or demonstrate the task through a recorded screen.

35. Are there any TED Talks, commencement speeches, commercials or other YouTube videos that might inspire your audience? Collect all of the links into one valuable piece of content.

36. Do your proposals have a system or method you commonly follow? Turn it into an infographic.

37. Then, write a blog about #36.

38. Then, animate #36.

39. Ask a question on Twitter and then curate all the responses you receive.

40. Follow a tweet chat and then collect popular answers using Storify.

41. Offer a downloadable pdf of your product catalog.

42. Create an infographic of facts about your company.

43. Tell your company’s story through a timeline.

44. Create a list of awards, conferences, of events that your audience might benefit from entering or attending.

45. Do you have old tip sheets or guides? Write up how your perspectives have changed and why you may have been wrong 5 years ago.

46. Convert any of your printed materials into downloadable pdfs.

47. Take your more lengthy printed materials and break each section down into blogs.

48. Re-tell an old story, like Humpty Dumpty or Peter and the Wolf, and update it with industry characters to create a metaphor.

49. Did you already do a case study? Why not convert it into a “before and after” piece with a slideshow or story board?

Thought Leadership and Research

50. Write a Q&A piece that interviews one of your principals or colleagues on a topic they specialize in. You can record the audio or the video as well.

51. Ask clients or other experts to all offer one tip on a topic and round-up their recommendations.

52. Ask other experts in the industry to be a guest author on your website.

53. Write an FAQ about your industry and answer each one with how your company solves them differently.

54. Write, design, or list a compare and contrast of you vs. a competitor, a different product, a different approach, different locations etc.

55. Write a review of another product or service your audience would use.

56. Explain how a current event might affect your industry or customers. “What ____ means for _____”

57. What are the common myths or assumptions about your industry? De-bunk them.

58. Write brief bios of customer-facing employees and highlight their strengths and interactions they have with clients.

59. Blog about emerging trends in your customers’ industries and how your services or products will help them adjust.

60. Host a podcast where you interview industry experts.

61. Did a recent study just come out regarding your industry? Respond to it with your own perspective.

62. Send out a quick Survey Monkey survey and create an infographic of your results.

63. Dig into a case study of someone else’s work or your own and offer some insight into what was done successfully.

64. Tell a story about how you did the research, learned something new, and helped a client solve a problem.

65. Write a “get to know us” blog. Or, have fun with it and use photos, video clips, sketches, or even costumes! Talk about how you named your company, what your first sale was like, and more.

66. Provide a glossary of terms in your industry that might not be familiar to a first-time user.

67. Collect a list of inspirational quotes on the topic your audience would benefit from.

68. Share your mistakes or failures…and what you learned from them.

69. What piece of advice can you give that no one has asked you for yet?

70. What must someone know to be an expert in your field?

71. Walk us through the essential tools you use every day to be successful.

72. Tell us what’s on your recommended reading list and offer mini-reviews of each item.

73. Tell us who you admire in your industry.

74. Tell your customers about the causes or community events you participate in.

75. Create an award system where you honor great examples you see in your industry.

76. Create a workshop series and invite people to your office to learn from you.

77. Develop a lunch & learn you can bring to other offices.

Engaging Customers

78. Interview a loyal customer about why they continue to work with you.

79. Post a slideshow from a recent event that shows people in action at your location, using your products, etc.

80. Run a contest, raffle, or giveaway that you can manage through email, social media, or online forms.

81. Ask your customers to write the #1 best thing about your company and summarize all of the answers.

82. Change the way you share news – write about how changes at your company will help customers and demonstrate it.

83. Pay attention to the seasons and holidays and recognize them through timely content.

84. Use Twitter analytics to identify where your followers are from and celebrate international holidays with them.

85. Ask customers to share photos or videos of them using your product or service, then collect them all into a presentation

Social Media Ideas

86. Tell a riddle or share a piece of trivia.

87. Reply to users’ comments by sharing other pieces of content or helpful tips.

88. Have a guest host take over your Twitter or Facebook account for a period of time to interact with your followers.

89. Ask for opinions and reuse the answers in other content.

90. Photos! Conferences, seminars, workshops, or even just a regular day at the office. People like to see behind the scenes.

91. Ask a hypothetical question (“Would you rather_____”) and save their answers to use in other content.

92. Post a mystery photo or a teaser and prompt people to guess what’s happening.

93. Are you shooting a video or interview? Post a photo of your team in action and tease the content that’s coming later.

94. Design inspirational posters using quotes from your industry and share them on Pinterest or other social sites.

95. Use a sequence of photos to create a gif.

96. Create a meme out of a silly photo from your office and update as funny moments happen.

97. Recommend your favorite social accounts that you follow.

98. Share old photos, or “throwback” images from your company back in the day.

99. Host a contest or a “Caption this” competition.

100. Acknowledge your brand ambassadors with “Fan of the month” highlights.

Phew! We certainly hope you found a couple great ideas to kick start your next inbound project. As always, remember that each piece should be focused around solving problems and educating prospects. We don’t create it just because it’s fun, we do it to drive business! So get to work and start watching the leads come in.

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