It’s a unique time to be a marketer. You still need to promote your services or products, acquire leads, and get your message out to nurture and close prospects, yet you don’t want to create content and push it out full throttle in case you come across as completely tone-deaf or insensitive in the middle of a crisis.
It can also be slightly discouraging when you see all the other content out there. With people stuck at home and locked in on their screens, you think, how on earth will my content compete with Tiger King?
The answer is actually more simple than you likely think it is. Whether you're just starting out with content marketing or you've been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to revisit your content strategy plan -- to make sure it's up-to-date, innovative, and strong.
The first step to getting a leg up on the competition is to have a solid, smart content marketing plan in place. Let’s recap quickly on what is content strategy and why is it important to have:
If you're having trouble planning for the upcoming year or need some fresh ideas to include in your plan, schedule some time with our content experts for your complimentary assessment.
What is content strategy?
Content strategy refers to the management of pretty much any tangible media that you create and own: written, visual, downloadable ... you name it. It is the piece of your marketing plan that continuously demonstrates who your organization is and the expertise and value your organization brings to your industry.
You might've heard how important content creation is to the growth of your business, but as with most things in life, it needs to have a well-planned purpose. When you develop a content strategy, there are some key things to consider:
Who are you creating content for?
Who's the target audience for this content? For how many audiences are you creating content? Just as your business might have more than one type of customer, your content strategy can be personalized to more than one type of reader or viewer.
Using a variety of content types and channels will help you deliver different content to each type of audience you have in mind and engage everyone your company does business with.
What is the problem the content is going to solve for your audience?
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem you know your audience has. Additionally, your content coaches and educates your audience through this problem as they begin to identify and address it.
Pro Tip: A sound content strategy supports people on both sides of your product
A sound content strategy supports people on both sides of your product: those who are still figuring out what their main challenges are, and those who are already using your product to overcome these challenges. Your content reinforces the solution(s) you're offering and makes your customers more qualified users of your product.
What makes your product or service unique?
Your competitors likely have a similar product as yours, which means your potential customers need to know what makes yours better -- or, at least, different. This is where content comes in. In order to prove why you're worth buying from, you need to prove why you're worth listening to.
What types of content forms work best for your audience?
What forms will your content take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Having identified the topics you want to take a position on, you'll need to determine which formats to budget for so you can best express that position.
What are the best channels to publish your content on?
Just as you can create content in different formats, you'll also have different channels you can publish to. Channels can include owned properties, such as your website and blog; and social media properties, such as Facebook and Twitter.
How will you manage content creation and publication?
Figuring out how you'll create and publish all your content can be a herculean task. It's important for a content strategy to know who's creating what, where it's being published, and when it's going live.
Today's content strategies prevent clutter by managing content from a topic standpoint. When planning a content calendar around topics, you can easily visualize your company's message and assert yourself as an authority in your market over time.
What are some clever content marketing starter ideas that work for most brands?
Which brings us back to our original starting point. You have a plan (right? If not, seriously, let’s chat). Let’s take a look at 59 content starters that might be a fit for your organization to keep sharing its story.
- Share your why. Why did the organization start? Why does it exist?
- Talk about your struggles.
- Tell a funny story about your organization or business.
- Make videos about business events.
- Share behind the scenes photos or videos
- Explain why you decided to buy a product or service
- Talk about your products or services and why they help or are important
- Share someone else’s inspiring story
- Share testimonials from your customers or members
- Share an inspirational quote
- Share a funny quote about your industry
- Share a quote in graphics
- Share your CEO or another well known organizational leader’s favorite quote
- Then share your CEO or another well known organizational leader elementary or high school photo
- Ask your audience what their biggest struggle is right now
- Ask them what you should be posting about
- Ask what topics are they wanting to see videos or upcoming education offered
- Use hashtags (#motivationmonday, #tuesdaytravel, #womancrushwednesday, #throwbackthurday, #followfriday, #selfiesaturday, #sundayfunday, etc.) Here is a great hashtag list of several options by day.
- Give away a coupon code
- Talk about a product that has been discounted or is available through a contest
- Sell your products or services (seriously, people are still doing this. You should too)
- Promote a new product or service
- Talk about your favorite benefits of your best selling product or service
- Host a webinar featuring a current client or member
- Host a webinar showcasing thought leadership
- Stream a live video on social media and do an interview series talking about the purpose or mission of your organization
- Host a giveaway through video like an old-fashioned telethon
- Do a lifestyles of the WFH nation as your team is working from home
- Share a how-to specific to your common issue your audience encounters with your product or service
- Share a step by step tutorial on something related to your product or service
- Share a step by step tutorial on something fun and related to your industry
- Share a step by step tutorial on something related to cause marketing and your organization
- Share your favorite apps for creating photos and videos for your site
- Create a poll in your Instagram stories for a product or service
- Talk about your morning or afternoon routine
- Share your leaderships’ top three favorite professional development books
- Share your leaderships’ top three favorite professional development podcasts
- Share a quick time-saving tip
- Talk about leaders you look up to
- Explain how different members of your staff prepare for the week
- Share all the things you do daily, like a day in the life ala Vogue’s 73 questions
- Share the best resources that help your different departments help your customers or members
- Talk about your favorite travel destinations
- Create a video on the different ways you can use your products or services
- Start a weekly AMA ala reddit.
- Share your organization’s vision board
- Talk about what your organization’s mission stands for
- Create a letter to your organization’s younger self
- Have leadership or other staff members share why they work at the organization
- Share interesting news about your industry
- Create fill in the blank posts
- Create a “guest the answer right now” posts
- Talk about events that you’re hosting, virtual or face to face in the future.
- Challenge your audience to a thirty day goal program
- Shout out to your top influencers. Host a video interview with them on why they love your products or services so much
- Create a mini-course
- Share statistics about your industry and create resources that help your audience find out more on the stats that garner the most engagement
- Talk about mistakes your organization has made
- Share the best and worst pieces of advice that have been shared with you
Bringing it all together
It takes time, organization, and creativity to grow and nurture a successful content marketing strategy. From building the foundation of your content marketing plan to adding tools to better manage your content, keeping your content strong year after year will be a breeze by incorporating some of the content starter options here. Share on social and tag us #niftymethodcontentideas...what are some of your favorites that we missed?