Creating content is the foundation of online marketing. There's no way around that. Content ranks in search results, content spreads on social media, content attracts links and content conversions.
We are quickly moving away from promoting landing pages to promoting content pages because that strategy results in a more reliable and consistent traffic source. Useful content can promote itself.
"Create quality content" is the most frequent advice you'll hear from any search and social media consultant you'll turn to. That is frustrating to many business owners who are not lucky enough to be in the "fun" niches like gaming, entertainment or traveling.
Yes, there are easier industries and there are tougher ones but creating content that spreads is never impossible. Here is list of content ideas any business can leverage to create high quality, sharable assets.
1. Tell your story. Personal stories go hot online easily, and there's always something to tell. What brought you to where you are now? What did you learn on your way there? What did you learn by being a business owner, leader, solo entrepreneur? People will enjoy the genuine story of your business or startup.
There are tons of opportunities that can result in great content on your site as well as outside columns (or even interview features.)
Example: Noah Kagan is doing a great job telling his story: Where he worked before becoming AppSumo founder, what he learned being laid off from Facebook and what it felt like to lose huge money opportunities. He even has a separate book telling his Facebook career story. The interesting note to make here is how he always mentions how each missed or lost opportunity has cost him: Very catchy, shareable and memorable.
2. Tell someone else's story. Featuring people on your business blog is one of the most efficient ways to turn them into your brand ambassadors as well as make your blog look "real" and trustworthy. Here are just a few ideas for you to tell someone's story on your blog:
- Feature your clients or customers. Utilize your email list to get your customers on board: Ask them to share their stories, tips and life hacks.
- Invite active social media users to contribute on your blog. They will be happy to share your article to their following if they get featured
- Use MyBlogU to expand your search and get new voices on board.
- Feature a well-known quote or a story and build your content around that. Quotery is one of my most efficient content inspiration sources.
3. Answer your customer's question. Did your client just email your customer support with the question? Is there a content opportunity there?
Turning your customer questions into the knowledge base section is an awesome idea. You help your new and future customers while building unique content for your site, at the same time.
UserVoice is a great way to collect your clients' questions as well as engage your customers: People enjoy being part of the process. StarBucks is the perfect example of utilizing customers' ideas to create an efficient content strategy. They welcome customers to send them product ideas and let them vote for each others' submissions and leave comments.