We talk a lot about content.
We write about it in our blog.
We give content marketing tips to our clients.
Content is KING!
That’s great. But where does all this wonderful content come from? If you aren’t struggling with content, you probably aren’t doing content marketing right. This is hard work.
But never fear. You don’t have to be a hot shot writer/producer with nothing but time on your hands to be effective with content. You just need a plan and some resources. I’ve put together a quick list of 3 content marketing ideas that might come in handy when you’re struggling to feed the beast…
Google Alerts should be a staple in your content marketing arsenal. With this free tool, you can set up daily alerts for specific keywords. For example, I have an alert set up for the phrase “content marketing”. Every day Google sends me an email. Each day I receive fantastic resources right in my inbox. These articles can be used in my social media marketing efforts and they are. But they also fill the role of content inspiration.
If you are struggling for ideas of things to write about in your blog, for example, you can choose something from your Google Alerts and write about it. Just take the article, reference it in your post and write a response or synopsis of what the article is about.
You can take it a step further and break down the topics discussed in a way that relates better to your target audience. This establishes you as the go-to resource for valuable industry information and analysis.
It’s the analysis that makes the difference and makes what you have to say valuable to your target audience.
Podcasts are audio recordings that can be streamed or downloaded from a website. These are usually in a WAV or MP3 format. They can be short 5 minute interviews or entire 30 minutes radio programs. For this post I want to discuss the shorter podcasts.
Not everyone in your target audience has the time to read through your blog posts or white papers. However, some of them will take the time to listen to a podcast through their earbuds while working on other tasks.
Podcasts are much easier to develop than video. Here are a few ideas for possible podcasts…
- Podcast Interviews – These are very popular. Using a free service like Skype, you can do quick 5-15 minute phone interviews with industry experts of maybe with clients. Post these on your blog or in social media channels.
- Podcast Tips – Record yourself giving quick tips on certain products or services you offer. While not as engaging as an interview, these are still easily digestible pieces of content that will be useful to certain members of your target audience. All you need is a microphone and some software for recording sound.
- Team Podcasts – Similar to number a one-on-one interview, you can set up interviews in your office with team leaders to discuss certain initiatives or to discuss a new product coming online. This gives a human voice to your team and is much more engaging than a typical white paper. The listener can hear the passion in the voices of your team leaders. For these you can use a digital recorder or an iPhone or Android device.
Podcasts can be used in many different ways. This is great content that can be repurposed again and again, further feeding the content marketing beast. Here are a few suggestions for what to do with your podcasts…
- Create blog posts – these can be posted alone as a download or streaming audio piece on your blog. But, I would recommend taking the time to transcribe the podcast or have it transcribed for you. The text version, while it might not get read, will serve as a keyword rich source of content for your website – see SEO.
- Add to product and service pages – great way to drive more interest in your products or services pages: Have an interview with someone involved in the development talk about the product or service in a podcast.
- Online Distribution – use podcasts in your content distribution to mix it up. You can include links to these in your social channels or in your email newsletter. If the interviews or other content are good, you can add your podcast to iTunes as a download.
One of my favorite podcasts is from UIE. This is a great example of how to use a podcast in a blog. As you can see in this screen shot, the post has an audio player, a link to download the podcast, a link to the transcription and a link to subscribe. Plus there is the transcription and overview text below.
Fun Short Videos
This isn’t for everyone. If your audience isn’t a bunch of stuffed shirts, it can be quite effective. Basically, any sort of impromptu short video with a lighthearted tone.
This could be as simple as you sitting at your desk recording yourself with a web cam talking about what’s coming up in your organization. Or it could be you interviewing a co-worker about a specific project.
Remember, keep these short and interesting. Humor is good but avoid schtick. It will get old. Also, I am not talking about creating the so-called “viral video”. These videos you see on YouTube with millions of hits are an anomaly.
Have some fun but always keep in mind that the goal is to deliver interesting and useful information to your target audience.
If you record a lot, invest in some video editing software. There are lots of low cost solutions out there and some webcams come with their own. Once you’ve developed the video, you can distribute it in the following ways…
- An interview about a project or maybe a quick product demo video could go in your blog with a brief written summary for SEO purposes.
- You can start a YouTube channel. Afterall, YouTube is the #2 search engine so you should have a presence there.
- You can post these on Facebook, Twitter or your other social channels.
As you can see, content marketing is not limited to just a bunch of written blog posts. In fact, Google actually prefers and will rank a website higher if it uses a variety of media to deliver its content.
And more importantly, your target audience will appreciate the diversity of information that you have to offer. After all, your target audience consists of three types of learners:
- Audio – they say things like “I hear you.”
- Visual – they’ll say “I see” or “show me.”
- Feelers – they say things like “I understand.”
Use your content in unique ways to connect with all of these. Hint – the majority of the population are visual learners.
Have you had any success with video, podcasts or using Google Alerts for inspiration? What else has worked for you. Let me know in the comments section below.