Perhaps the biggest challenge online marketers face is finding the most effective types of content to write. You know what you put out on your website, other people’s websites, and social media has to resonate, but how can you find topics to make a splash?
Even the best writers and marketers hit roadblocks when trying to stir up new creativity for a blog post. If you’re stuck in a rut and tired of not seeing people comment, click, like, and share your content, here are a few new content ideas that are proven to spark conversation online.
1. Review something.
You know what your audience struggles with. You also know the tools and services that could make their lives easier. Review those tools and services and let them know what’s available.
Why this works: Reviews are great for two reasons. First, they get the attention of the company you’re reviewing. When they get publicity, you can bet they’ll talk about it. Second, it saves the person reading your article time and helps her overcome something she’s been stuck on for awhile. When you help her, she’s more inclined to share with the world how valuable you are.
2. Interview someone.
Thought leaders in your industry are like celebrities. People love to hear what they have to say about certain topics. Interviewing these thought leaders gets people excited and gives a fresh new voice to your business blog.
Why this works: Similar to the reviews, the person you interview will undoubtedly share their interview with their audience. You get greater exposure. Also, people will start to view you in the same light as the thought leader so you build clout among your audience and get people more engaged with your brand.
3. Offer social proof.
People are jealous by nature. Your audience is no different. Tap into your reader’s jealousy and give him something to aspire to. Show him how one person took your product or service and made cold hard cash with it.
Why this works: Case studies are perfect ways to get others to brag about what you offer. When you show another company or person in a positive light, you get them interested and talking about your line of work, which can stir up more excitement about your brand.
4. Use facts to make a point.
There’s nothing like cold hard numbers to back up why you’re so important. With facts, you give undeniable proof of your value. People love that.
Why this works: In addition to giving people proof of your worth, you also give unique insight to share. Because facts are so reputable and easy to pass around, your reader is more likely to trust your content and feel good about showing it to others.
5. Offer a unique take on the news.
When a big news story hits that impacts your industry, your reader wants to hear what you think. She also wants to know how that news story directly impacts her life. Talk about it and dig in deeper with timely, relevant information.
Why this works: Your audience looks to you to learn the latest and greatest in your field. If news breaks, your reader wants a way to share that news with her audience. Give her the story to share and she will spread your name around like wildfire.
6. Talk about new research revelations.
Research studies are a combination of news stories and case studies. A research study uses facts to show the direction your product or service is headed and why your readers need to jump on board to succeed.
Why this works: Research is generally very boring, but buried in the details, it offers incredible insights. Pull the most important parts out and give your reader what he wants to know. He’ll share these details with others getting your content talked about.
7. Get visual.
Today’s online reader has a very short attention span. If words aren’t your thing or they’re not working for you as well as you’d like, try adding a few images. Infographics are great ways to show a variety of information and statistics without the dry textual content that’s hard to read.
Why this works: Infographics and visuals are hot right now. Words tell a story but visuals make it come to life. Bring your content to life with pictures and visual aids.
8. Stir up controversy.
For a long time, it was thought that sparking controversy meant losing fans and friends. Not true. When presented in the right way, offering an alternative point of view on a certain topic can encourage people to agree or disagree with you.
Why this works: When you offer your opinion, your reader is more inclined to offer hers in return, sparking conversation.
9. List it out.
Lists are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to put into action. They work. Don’t believe it? Look at how successful Buzzfeed is by creating nothing but list posts.
Why it works: People like to get information in a quick and dirty format. Lists let your reader know up front what to expect and what she’ll get by spending some time with your content. When she finds something that hits home with her, she’s more likely to share it with others who might have the same experience.
10. Answer ‘how to’ do something.
“How to” posts show a person how to take a big picture idea and put it into action. These types of posts are detailed and rich with helpful information.
Why it works: “How to” posts work because they give your reader direction. She walks away with new information feeling empowered to make her life, business or family a little bit better.
As you come up with new ideas for your content marketing calendar, consider these 10 types of posts. Each of them offers a uniquely valuable way to connect with your audience.