With the explosion of sites like WordPress, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook, content can go viral very quickly. By creating high quality, engaging content your brand can be shared around the world within minutes – something that would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing costs ten years ago. The social media revolution has changed the way we market content. Here’s some numbers that support the revolution:
- 2 billion videos are watched daily on YouTube
- 200,000,000 blog posts can be read on WordPress
- 50 million tweets per day on Twitter
- More than 1 billion active users on Facebook
But the shift towards content marketing can also be credited to Google. In February 2011, Google launched the now infamous Panda update that penalized websites for low quality and thin content. The chart below from Google Trends clearly shows a major increase in ‘content marketing’ searches since February 2011.
An if that wasn’t enough Google launched Penguin in April 2011, an update to the algorithm that penalized websites with low quality links and over-optimization.
Both of these updates lead to a change in the SEO industry. Pre-2011, SEO techniques may have involved automating content and links in order to get websites to rank higher in search. Post-April 2012, these techniques no longer work. Now links need to be acquired naturally through websites and social sharing, and the only way content will be shared on the web is if it is of high quality.
Content marketing is a must-have if you are an online marketer, and it is fast becoming the most valuable way to increase brand awareness and nurture leads. At the end of 2012, Content Marketing Institute released a report titled “B2B content Marketing: 2013 benchmarks, budgets and trends”. The report found that:
- 91% of B2B Marketers use content marketing in their marketing strategy
- 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content
- 74% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead generation
- 54% of B2B Marketers plan to increase content marketing spend in 2013
- 33% of B2B Marketers marketing budgets are spent on content marketing
If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, you are losing business to your competition.
The report also covered the biggest challenges that B2B Marketers face with content marketing, with 64% citing the biggest challenge was producing enough content. This post aims to reduce that percentage.
20 Ideas For Content Marketing
These 20 ideas for content marketing cover a range of media for you to promote your brand with. They include video, audio, white papers, blog topics, surveys and more. Let’s get started!
1. Interview industry leaders
Interviewing industry connections provides a great source of content that is engaging to your audience; insightful content from industry leaders. By displaying this content in the form of blog posts or webinars, you are generating high quality, link-worthy content and increasing industry leader’s exposure.
Tip: Use LinkedIn to network and ask connections to appear on your blog or in a webinar. Using my own personal network on LinkedIn, I was able to feature Neil Patel, Linda Bustos and Rank Fishkin on my blog.
2. Conduct a Survey
Make the most of your online community and conduct a survey. Use Survey Monkey or other online survey platforms and gather important data for free. Survey questions can include:
- What is your biggest [industry] challenge?
- What stopped you from subscribing today?
- How often do you buy [insert product]?
- In 2014, what marketing channel will you increase the budget for?
Using the data in the example below from Marketingcharts.com, you are able to share insight such as ‘42% of marketers will increase mobile marketing spend in 2013’. Once you have collected enough data, create a summary in the form of a blog post and share this with your readers.
Tip: Get started immediately and use Facebook, Google+ or Twitter to survey fans and followers.
3. Report news in your industry
For each whitepaper you read or webinar you attend, create a blog post to summarize key-takeaway points. And if possible, follow-up with the author of the whitepaper/ host of the webinar with questions and include in the post. Stay ahead of the competition and start subscribing to:
Tip: Alternate takeaway posts between webinars, whitepapers, industry events or books to keep content fresh.
4. Share presentations
Each time you give a speech, presentation or hold a webinar you will most likely use a presentation for support. Use this presentation (remove sensitive information) and share it with your community. SlideShare makes it quick and easy to share presentation slides and this is a great opportunity for displaying your expertise and increasing awareness for the next time you hold an event.
Tip: Get your subscribers engaged with your content from day one by including a link to your most viewed slideshare presentation within the newsletter sign up welcome email.
5. Build a knowledge base
FAQ’s are found on most websites, yet are not particularly useful. Create a more content driven FAQ section by identifying the top 10 complaints or questions customers wrote about in 2012 and build a content program (or knowledge base) to help answer those questions.
Tip: Find the most asked question of the week and turn it into a weekly Q&A blog series.
6. Host a webinar
The easiest way to find a topic for a webinar is to create a webinar about your company and what you do. Webinars can be created using services like WebEx or GoToMeeting. Set a date for the webinar, create a landing page for participants to register and then send out a newsletter to your customer database and inform them. Make sure you support the webinar with a PowerPoint presentation and record the webinar.
One of the benefits of holding a webinar is that you can use the webinar content to promote in several channels. For example, instead of archiving the landing page for registration, update the content to include the webinar video and copy and paste the transcript below it.
Tip: Make sure you post the webinar presentation on SlideShare and send a newsletter all participants of the webinar and link to the updated landing page and SlideShare presentation.