Helpful content marketing ideas you can use

11 Easy Content Marketing Ideas You Can Put Into Action Today

If you’re running your own online store, then you know that having a blog is critically important for generating traffic to your store. A blog significantly improves search rankings and gives you a chance to connect with more customers.

But what if you’re not an amazing writer? And what if you don’t know what to blog about?

Don’t worry. The first blog post is always the hardest. That’s why we collected examples of different kinds of posts for your inspiration.

Take a look, and consider writing to tell your story, announce a sale, or give a guide to your products today.

Make a List of Influencers to Follow

Here’s an easy way to create good content – and offers the potential to be widely-shared:

Make a list of the top 25 blogs, Twitter accounts, or even Tumblrs, for someone interested in your industry to follow. Compile that list, write a few sentences about why you included each blog or Twitter account, publish it, and send it to the people you feature. If you do it tastefully, there’s a good chance that they’ll share the post with their audiences. That will get you lots of traffic – in addition to improving your SEO.

Here’s an example of a post that compiles a list of blogs to follow, from Coffee Cup News. And here’s an excerpt:

Dear Coffee I Love You – Simple and clean coffee blog in which writer Brian Jones shares cool coffee stuff.

Pure Coffee Blog – Bill reviews coffee and tea shops as well as coffee and tea at home.

I Need Coffee – A wealth of coffee information started by Michael Allen Smith in 1999.

Answer Questions About Your Industry

Some of the most successful pieces of content marketing ever comes via Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spas.

River Pools and Spas installs fiberglass pools, the cost of which is not always transparent. Sheridan decided to write blog posts about every aspect of fiberglass pools.

Sheridan’s posts were so good that the New York Times profiled him with a headline: “A Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions.”

His blog posts often rank on the first page of Google for their search terms. And that’s driven both traffic and sales.

Here’s an example of a very informative post in that ranks well and answers customer questions, from River Pools and Spas. Take a look at this excerpt:

As you can see, there are many options available, and when someone receives a quote from our company, we thoroughly examine each option as to educate the homeowner on the option's benefits as to identify its overall importance to the success of the project.

When an inquiry is made as to how much our pools cost, extent of installation is also a key factor. What I mean by this is that as a company, we have four different packages we offer our customers. Unlike most pool companies, we will do as much or as little as our customers would have us do. This flexibility leads to less stress and more savings for the customer. The packages are as follows, with their corresponding price ranges:

1. Self Install…

Profile Your Team

Your team is made up of interesting people. Why not feature their stories?

There’s a variety of things that you can do. You can write up a short bio of them that includes their interests and where they’ve been. This can also take the format of a Q&A, when you spend 15 minutes chatting with someone on your team and then write up the questions and their responses.

This is an especially easy way to generate some good content. Most importantly, it gives your customers a sense of who they’re dealing with. When they purchase a product from your store, they know that they’re buying from real people with real passions.

Here’s an example of a wonderful profile of a bookbinder at DODOcase. DODOcase is proud of being based in San Francisco, and notice that one of its questions is about why the employee loves the city.

WHAT MOST DO YOU LOVE ABOUT SF?

I moved here almost 20 years ago. I’ve seen a couple of tech booms, a couple of busts, and I raised my son here. What do I most love about San Francisco? I most love that I met my wife here.

WHAT’S SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

If you know me, you know I brew my own line of craft beers. If you haven’t tried them then you don’t know what you’re missing. My wife is an amazing chef. When we have people over, it’s never necessary for our guests to bring their own beer. Actually, it’s not really allowed.

Give a Sneak Peek of New Products (and Ask for Feedback)

There’s two ways that this tactic can be valuable:

First, it generates excitement from your customers for a new product. If they like what you do and are loyal towards your brand, they’ll feel especially good that they get to see a new thing first.

Second, it has the potential to increase engagement. If you manufacture your products, consider floating a prototype for people to see; they may offer valuable input on what can be improved. And if you don’t manufacture your own products, ask your readers which of the options you can stock most appeals to them. Let them anticipate something that they’ll buy from you.

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