How to find valuable and relevant content marketing ideas

Posted under Content

Content is every word and every image your business produces, from your blog to your product pages, from your YouTube channel, Twitter feed and monthly e-shot to your FAQ and About Us pages.

You are now your own publisher, creator and provider of your own “user-generated” content and a whole array of content marketing ideas. In my view, this is a privilege; an opportunity to engage and reach out to your audience and so it needs approaching with respect, consideration and planning.

Website content ideas come in all shapes and sizes. The number one rule is to ensure every piece of content created or curated is used in a simple, straightforward way, it’s grammatically correct, spelling is 100% and the copy is clean throughout. Delivering sub-standard content will lose you an audience, no matter how good your content ideas are.

You should be following a content plan, packed with ideas for website content, scheduled over the next weeks and months. Try to work at least a quarter in advance – this will give you breathing space to be creative and maximise content ideas across several platforms.

Maximise every opportunity

contentWhen you’ve got a great content idea you want to be using it to your advantage. For instance: survey results can easily make a credible news item; this in turn can be headlined in your social media messages with links to the article online; an infographic of the survey findings could be created and used within a blog on the subject; it could even be turned into bullet points with a link to the main article in your next e-news bulletin. If the survey warrants it, it could be included as part of a future White Paper, or even an e-book of useful info for your customers. The options for one decent piece of content are endless – the secret is working a good content idea to create different angles and different messages to enable you to use it across a range of applications.

The options are endless. It’s important to remember Google’s key criteria for good content marketing – it has to be:

  • original (not just regurgitated from someone else’s site)
  • fresh (current and new, not a seasonal rehash of last year’s copy)
  • relevant (have a useful purpose or be of genuine interest for your audience)

Examples of great content

Here are a few examples of great content ideas:

A potentially dull safety message by yet another airline company became creative genius when the digital team at Virgin Airlines turned it into a piece of video magic. The safety message is still as strong but this clever piece of entertainment has also brought Virgin over 8 million views on YouTube.

Creating an infographic is so simple and yet it allows you to bundle up and demonstrate expertise and give advice in a really visual way. Images are key ingredients for SEO so an infographic works on so many levels for you. This example from the founder of Copyblogger Brian Clark is packed, helpfully, with more content writing ideas, especially ideas for writing a blog.

Using imagery is a clever way to build empathy with your audience. A great picture can reflect your brand in an instant; opening up social channels such as Facebook allows you to ask your audience to share their images with you and vice versa. Introduce humour through Memes and competitions. Starbucks uses its Facebook photo app brilliantly to demonstrate how its coffee beans are grown and harvested around the world.

Although these examples will have required a range of budgets (Virgin’s five-min video doesn’t come cheap), the actual content ideas in themselves are simple. What I’m trying to say is that creating content marketing ideas really isn’t rocket science. Content ideas are wrapped up in your businesses’ everyday activities. There will be events and news happening that make viable online marketing content, it’s just about recognising the fact and then really making use of it to your advantage.

Just bear in mind three essentials:

  1. Ensure accuracy at all times – otherwise you will turn-off your audience immediately
  2. Don’t get carried away – content ideas must always meet your business objectives
  3. Ensure your content is always relevant and engaging to your target audience

Dawn Strange

Dawn has been with MM since the year dot – well, technically, six months after it was born! That was back in March 1995. She was the first recruit and can honestly say she’s loved the journey to where we are today – and where we’re heading!

Along with Karen, she runs MM, keeping it on track at the same time as exploring new business opportunities and pitching in on business development.

Her passion is content, in its multiple guises. Having jumped out of journalism into the agency world she’s got a real thing about matching right content with the right audience, whether it’s 10 words of ad copy or a 2,000-word thought leadership piece.