When it comes to creating content, the possibilities are limitless.
But how do you come up with ideas for a wide variety of content?
Posting the same type of content over and over again isn’t going to keep your audience engaged. Repetitive behaviour online is boring, and people will gradually lose interest in what your business has to say. It’s essential that you should try lots of different types of content to see what works best for your business and to make sure your audience is getting value out of your posts.
Here are our top 15 content types that you should try using as a small business:
1. Blog Posts
Frequently producing blog posts can be a highly effective tool for boosting your business.
When optimised correctly, blog posts can significantly improve your SEO (search engine optimisation). If you’re interested in learning how to optimise your blog posts for search, we’ve written a post here on the Matchstick Creative Journal explaining how to do so.
Blog posts can also be used to establish your brand’s personality through writing style or having an ongoing series. For example, we represent our brand’s values and personality through the Matchstick Creative Journal by having the Female Founder’s Series (showing our passion for women in business) and writing in a friendly but informative tone of voice.
2. Guest Posts
Guest posts are when someone from outside your organisation produces a post for your blog. They are very beneficial for improving SEO by building backlinks and developing valuable online relationships where you can reciprocate content for one another.
Guest posts are like a form of networking. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
We recently had a guest post on the Matchstick Creative Journal from Tony McDonough, a journalist at Liverpool Business News. We asked Tony to guest blog as his areas of expertise are very relevant to our audience. His post explores building an online audience, which is a concern that our customers have.
Giveaways can really boost your engagement on social media. By giving away a prize, you give your audience an incentive to interact with your content. Not only is a giveaway a great way to boost engagement, but it also lets your audience know that you are a business that cares about them. The prizes you give away could be extremely simple and inexpensive, such as a branded mug or a hat.
Check out this example of a recent giveaway on Twitter from ProFlush:
Instead of posting a bland image along with a fact or statistic, why not post an infographic? An infographic is much more engaging to your audience than a fact in text format. By presenting information in a visually interesting way, your audience will be more likely to retain what they have read. Infographics can provide both educational and entertaining value.
5. Streaming events
When attending events or networking meetups, you can either live stream snippets from the event on Instagram stories or tweet live updates. Both of these content forms can be beneficial for establishing your brand. This form of content gives your audience a sense of urgency and they may be intrigued to view it, as live streams are only available at a particular moment in time. Instagram live streams are also a way to generate engagement due to the ease of leaving a comment or a heart; you may attract potential clients and encourage them to interact with the stream if the event/topic is of interest to them.
6. Media Coverage
Media coverage can build brand awareness across a wide audience. Although digital is dominant nowadays, traditional forms of media can still contribute greatly to a business’ success. From quotes in a newspaper to being mentioned on TV, any amount of media coverage can be extremely useful when getting your business’ name out there. If you’d like to get your business mentioned in the press but don’t know how to go about it, we have a post on the Matchstick Creative Journal on how to get news coverage for your small business.
Producing a free, downloadable eBook adds value to your audience by providing them with an in-depth guide to a universal problem. eBooks can be made to look visually engaging (similarly to infographics) and be jam-packed with informative content. They also let your audience know that you are willing to put in the effort to create valuable content for them.
Matchstick Creative has recently released an eBook with Feature Media about how to use video marketing on social media.
A Q&A can be hosted in the comments of a social post or on Instagram Stories. Not only are Q&As fun and engaging for anyone who interacts, but they are also a useful tool to conduct audience research with. You can find out a lot from your audience depending on what sort of questions they ask, particularly if there are any common trends.
Hosting a webinar is another great tactic for providing valuable, educational content to your audience. Webinars can also be a useful tool for generating leads, particularly if you are a B2B business. By teaching on a topic that you’re an expert in, you are able to sell yourself and grow people’s trust and interest in your business.
10. Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials can act as a highlight reel for the work you are most proud of. By having customer testimonials on your website and posting them on social, you show your audience that they can trust your business. If someone recognises one of your clients as a brand they are familiar with, they are more likely to be willing to work with you.
12. Demo Videos
Video is the most engaging form of content posted on social media. With this in mind, including a video that demos your product or services is sure to attract the attention of your audience. Videos that show your office or employees allow you to represent the personality of your business, which your audience will find relatable and personable.
13. Community Forums
Community forums can be great places to subtly advertise your business. This is a useful way to gain insight on how people view your business and what its reputation is outside of any comments you get on social media. If you see a question or problem on a forum that your products/services could be a solution to, why not recommend it? The best forums to look at depend on the type of your business, but generally, Reddit and Quora are the most popular.
Newsletters can be used to perform audience research. By including different forms of content on each newsletter, you can view what does well depending on what content is clicked on and if the email has a particularly high bounce rate. It is also a great way to cross-promote content, particularly your various social media channels.
15. User-generated Content
In terms of engagement, user-generated content is extremely beneficial. You can encourage user-generated content through competitions and social posts with specific, user-targeted CTAs (call to action). User-generated content allows people to see that your audience enjoys interacting with you, showing your business to be approachable, friendly and engaging.
Thanks for reading!
We hope you’ve gotten some ideas for creating new content! If you feel more confident at content creation but are feeling swamped with your workload, we recommend reading our post on how to come up with a content plan. Or, if you’d like to get back to basics, check out our Digital Marketing Basics series.