17 Content Marketing Ideas: Detailed Examples
Nearly 9 in 10 consumers will buy products from a brand they follow on social media. So, while content marketing can be one of the most influential and cost-effective ways to increase traffic and grow your online business, you may find yourself at a dead end if you have an idea crisis. We're here to provide content marketing ideas to help you brainstorm.
Table of Contents
1. Competitor analysis: combine, don't copy
The first and most obvious way to find content marketing ideas for articles and new pages on the site is to analyze competitors' resources. The problem is that everyone is doing this and copying what has already been created by others. You definitely can’t claim originality.
But the difference, as always, is in the approaches. It is not so important to collect the information, interpret it correctly, and create something new based on the results obtained.
Think about how to shape the titles of article topics in such a way that they integrate keywords into them and make them attractive enough for the target audience to engage them on social media. This approach allows you to beat even quite banal and frequently described topics.
2. Explore thematic media
Searching for content marketing ideas, remember to look in the direction of thematic media. This is often a much more attractive source for new ideas. Editorial teams have a good understanding of what the market is interested in and have pretty extensive analytics regarding the audience's interests. If you are interested in a long game and not a one-time job, you should subscribe to the RSS feeds of the most interesting publications.
3. Pay attention to the forums
Forums are one of the best ways to find out the fundamental problems of potential customers, get a list of non-obvious questions, and have many content marketing ideas for new articles or landing pages.
There are large forums in any more or less popular niche. Sometimes sections with a forum, discussions, questions, and answers are also found on information sites with quite a lot of traffic. Pick a thread you're interested in and start looking at the content marketing topics.
4. Social networks are an inexhaustible source of ideas
Users' activity in social networks continues to increase. On Facebook, you can find communities and pages on almost any topic, it is convenient to filter them by the number of participants. Pinterest will also help you. This is a rich source of exciting publications with an excellent recommender system.
5. YouTube channels and videos
One of the features of YouTube is that in terms of content distribution, the mechanics work here are very similar to social networking algorithms. A large number of views is achieved not so much by optimizing for internal search but by hitting the interests of the target audience well. Well-optimized, uninteresting content for people to which they do not react cannot become popular.
This makes YouTube a good source of content marketing ideas for potentially high-engagement articles. All you need to search is to enter a key phrase on the topic that interests you and play around with filters (view, time added, and so on).
6. Subscribe to newsletters and digests
Newsletters work well in keeping the audience, and they are usually carried out by those players who have learned how to work with content well. To launch a newsletter regularly, you must first collect a subscriber base, and people will only leave their email if the content is attractive to them.
7. Subscribe to competitors' email newsletters, as well as thematic media and forums
Some resources simply send out a list of the most viewed and discussed articles as a mailing list, which is precisely what you need.
8. Tips and suggestions from Google
Those that can be seen in the process of entering keywords in the search bar. Even if you superficially go through the main marker queries of the desired niche, you can quickly collect a couple of dozen great ideas for content marketing.
9. Follow the principle “from largest to smallest”
The bottom line is to take a topic and highlight additional subtopics, each described as a separate article. Thus, even a couple of interesting articles from other people's resources can provide you with a supply of ideas for content marketing.
Take this article as an example. Here are how many individual posts can be made based on our sub-items, just by playing around with the titles a bit:
- How thematic forums and communities will help you understand the real needs of your customers;
- Social networks are an inexhaustible source of ideas for content;
- How Google Search Suggestions Can Help You Capture Your Customers' Attention;
- Gathering the Best: Why You Should Monitor Competitor Emails.
Thus, you can launch a series of materials united by a common theme.
1st Idea. MailChimp's “All in a Day's Work” Series
MailChimp creates your own exciting and relevant content. In January 2021, he launched a mini-series titled "All in One Day" that chronicles the wins and challenges of small businesses.
Engaging stop-motion videos show that MailChimp understands the challenges and wins that SMBs face.
Take the opportunity to show that you understand your audience in a way that others cannot. This will help the buyer feel closer to you and your brand.
2nd Idea. Canva's "Design Challenge" Campaign
In 2022, Canva launched an ongoing weekly contest for users, giving away nice prizes such as a paid annual subscription to Canva.
The #CanvaDesignChallenge asks for unique and original images, which are then judged by a panel of Canva employees. At the end of the week, they choose the top five.
This is an excellent example of User Content Creation (UGC). Since its launch, Canva has amassed 36,000 posts under the #CanvaDesignChallenge hashtag. Now its team can share content on Instagram in a few clicks. What’s more, Canva is a leader in creativity and, in this way, allows users to express themselves.
Canva encourages content creators to think outside the box and develop new digital content ideas. It also creates a community of authors interested in using this tool and showcasing their skills.
3rd Idea. Lotteries from Burger King
In late 2020, the Burger King mascot teamed up with rapper Lil Yachty to create videos that featured sweepstakes for the exciting 2021 Video Music Awards experience. In a series of commercials, Lil Yachty and The King prepare for Lil Yachty's "Top Down" performance and encourage viewers to download their app.
The commercials provide a unique augmented reality (AR) Video Music Awards experience for Burger King's loyal customers, offering them many prizes and discounts if they interact with the app. Two of their most significant incentives have been winning a year's worth of hamburgers or tickets to the 2021 Video Music Awards.
The connection between Lil Yachty and The King was close to people during the pandemic. At the same time, they subtly mention their product - a QR code for downloading the Burger King app - disguised as a piece of art on a wall or a graphic on the back of a jacket. Viewers could also immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the Video Music Awards by scanning a QR code. From there, they could take the front seat in AR style to watch the Video Music Awards.
The immersive experience allowed viewers to escape the lockdown from the pandemic, at least for a moment. Burger King has taken advantage of its reliance on food delivery and ordering apps to improve download speeds without displaying ads to the customer's face.
4th Idea. Airbnb Design Quizzes
Airbnb put together this short quiz with the help of the design experts at Domino. This quiz helps users who want to decorate their space discover their design personality.
Quizzes can be short-term fun, especially for those doing it out of sheer curiosity, but they can also direct the user to other parts of the site.
Although simple, the quiz is well thought out, easy to understand, and provides an accurate answer for those who genuinely want to upgrade their space. The answer page contains recommendations for places the user might be interested in. It leads them to the Domino site, where they can view more examples of their preferred style.
For interactive digital marketing content ideas like quizzes, everything must be concise, clear, and engaging so that users can get the most accurate answer. But that's only part of what the user gets. They also receive recommendations from Airbnb on where to stay next and additional content from Domino on upgrading their accommodation. It is also an excellent showcase for the collaboration between the two brands to sell their services.
5th. Google Web Stories
Google Web Stories keeps up with video trends by helping creators get their content in front of a broad audience.
Users can add their stories to the site, making it easy to upload video content. Sites like TikTok, Instagram, or design platforms like Canva, video creators can create unique stories using various montage elements.
Google Web Stories uses video to help creators position themselves as subject matter experts by bringing them to their sites. A video is a thriving form of content, and 54% of consumers want to see more content from a brand or business they support.
As Google strives to provide more videos in search results, content creators can use this new feature to serve more videos to users. Google Web Stories help you find users through search but still fit in with the style of other video platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, or Instagram reels.
6th Idea. Word Game by The New York Times
Wordle, a popular online game bought by the New York Times, gives users six chances to guess a five-letter word - just once a day. The site also tracks your wins. Users can show off their daily victories by easily sharing them on social networks.
As of April 2022, this page has received over 10 million organic views and attracted over 170k backlinks.
Wordle is fun, simple, and accessible on any device. However, this is separate from the main point. It attracts attention only for a short time but does not absorb it like other games.
Sometimes simplicity is better when you're creating exciting content marketing ideas. The more complex a piece of content, the more likely the user will need clarification. Therefore, remember that everything should be simple when creating content.
7th Idea. Apple's "Shot on an iPhone" Campaign
Apple's "Shot on iPhone" campaign has become popular with iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Max users.
iPhone users took photos every day, turning ordinary objects into something extraordinary. Apple asked users to share their snaps on social media using the hashtags #shotonaniPhone or #iPhonemacrochallenge. Ten professional photographers and Apple employees judged all shots and picked ten winners.
The campaign was simple but powerful. It prompted users to experiment with their iPhones, resulting in around 60,000 posts on Instagram alone.
When releasing a new product launched by a custom campaign that represents the interests of consumers among customers with high viral potential.
8th Idea. MassMutual's “Uncomfortable Truths” Campaign
In 2021, Life Insurance Company MassMutual launched a campaign against the "Uncomfortable Truths" behind some of our most important financial decisions—college savings, contingency preparedness, and general financial planning.
MassMutual shared three 30-second videos on Facebook and other media urging its customers to face this uncomfortable truth.
The company helps educate clients on responsible financial management through short stories. These content marketing topics put the client first and help eliminate the uncomfortable feelings associated with finances. In addition, according to industry experts, a short video is one of the key content marketing trends in 2023.
Sometimes a sincere approach to addressing audience vulnerabilities can help them feel closer to the brand. They may become regular customers if they can trust the experts with unpleasant discussions.
8th Idea. "Story of Help" from NRMA
NRMA Insurance has responded to the disappointment Australians have experienced due to the Royal Commission's investigation into insurance companies. To help restore faith in the industry, the brand has launched a Help Stories campaign on Instagram. The company shared stories of selfless acts of help. But the brand didn't stop there: they protected local heroes who impacted the community.
The 150 videos were inspired by the popular Humans of New York Facebook page, bringing the human touch to their marketing efforts. Their campaign paid off, with data showing they doubled their social engagement levels.
While data is essential, the best thing about this campaign is that it has helped Australians feel deeply connected to their community, especially in times of crisis. This is another excellent example of ideas for content marketing using brand storytelling to reach an audience.
9th Idea. “CreativityForAll” from Adobe
The computer software company is taking its B2B services to new creative heights on its Twitter page, opening up new worlds for business. They publish colorful and inspiring visual content, tips for making the best illustrations and videos, and educational blog posts.
Adobe also shares illustrations from users with expert skills to acknowledge their creativity.
Adobe's Twitter posts are short, sweet, and creative and do an excellent job of capturing their #CreativityForAll celebration. They credit graphic designers, advise creators, make posts pleasing to the eye, and talk smart about their brand. Their regular use of stunning images and videos in every post and short text makes engaging with Twitter followers easy.
Twitter isn't just for intelligent text messages loaded with hashtags. Keep the text short, add eye-catching images and videos to increase engagement, and share people's creativity to inspire others. And it works for all sectors, including B2B.
10th Idea. Video Series about COVID-19 from Mayo Clinic
In an age where misinformation is rampant, experts should do their best to educate the public. The Mayo Clinic has created a series of scientific data YouTube videos to help combat misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
In a period that has evolved unprecedentedly, the Mayo Clinic is turning to experts to educate people. They talk about the effects of COVID-19, how to prevent the virus, its impact statistics, and regular COVID-19 updates.
Copying your content with popular resources and backing it up with expert commentary can make it credible. Moreover, it can make your content marketing ideas authoritative and trustworthy.
11th Idea. Apple Watch Help Stories from Apple
In this campaign, Apple highlights the potential of its Series 7 smartwatches to save lives. In a series of videos, Apple shows real stories of people stranded at sea, in car accidents, etc. They also showcase how the Apple Watch Series 7 provided emergency assistance to those in danger.
Apple plays on customer fears with events we all hope never to experience. At the same time, they offer a solution. If customers believe that a small device can help them when needed, that gives them peace of mind.
Assuaging the natural, usual fears we all face as part of your content marketing strategy strengthens your content marketing ideas. It also brings in the human element by touching our heartstrings.
12th Idea. “Out North” from Fiverr
In 2021, Fiverr, a global online marketplace for freelance services, released a touching 17-minute video titled "In the North" featuring a community in Nashville, Tennessee. The video was filmed through the eyes of the non-profit organization Gideon's Army.
The 2021 Vimeo Award-winning video features a specific area in Nashville known for its high incarceration rate. A touching video shows that one in three men living here faces jail time. Gideon's Army aims to change the road from school to prison. With the help of Fiverr, this story has come to life.
The video introduces important issues facing black communities and demonstrates how to advocate for change. It also shows the kindness that still exists in the world and the lengths people are willing to go to help our brothers and sisters.
There is great power in telling a story and telling it with passion. The Fiverr video achieves this by telling the truth about the problem and the steps she takes to solve it.
13th Idea. “Low Views, High impact“ Video Series by Wistia
Most companies are looking to create viral content marketing ideas. But even if the content doesn't go viral, can it make an impact? Wistia, a video hosting platform, thinks so and works to prove it with its Low Views, High Impact video series.
Over nine episodes of Wistia shed light on content with few views but still make a strong impression. Wistia interviews companies that make videos for smaller audiences. And judging by the videos companies create to reach small audiences, it turns out that big things can come in small packages.
Wistia mimics an interview scenario with a TV host that explores the fantastic benefits that companies get from their non-viral content. This series of stories deliver value while keeping the content interesting and engaging. It's also very close to Wistia's value proposition and product, helping the company spread the message that a video can be helpful even if it doesn't go viral.
Try adding comedy and fun to your ideas for content marketing. Focus on unusual ways to create value by covering topics that educate marketers. Feel free to try something different. Also, ensure the chosen themes align with your brand's overall story.
13th Idea. Atlassian Job Blog
The inspirational Atlassian Work Life blog contains stories and tips to help your team succeed. In addition, the blog is well-optimized and offers valuable information about team building, opens up discussions about leadership style, and draws on the experiences of inspiring leaders from around the world.
According to a visibility analysis, one of his top blog posts, How to Write Smart Goals, attracts around 60,000 search visitors per month.
The blog discusses all aspects of working life and teaches managers and employees to feel on the same wavelength. They also cover some of the most critical areas required for solid teamwork in a company. Inside each post is a real-life scenario and content that is easy to read, point to point, and valuable to the reader.
Atlassian gets right down to business to satisfy the searcher's intent. The company makes content marketing ideas useful, valuable, and easy for the user to understand. And use real-life scenarios to refer to them.
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14th Idea. Post "Find Your Fungicide Window" by Climate Fieldview
The only Climate Fieldview blog post, "Find Your Fungicide Window" was a finalist for the Content Marketing Awards, and we can see why. Informative in helping farmers plan their crops, he also teaches them how to use the fungicide window to their advantage.
This blog is visually appealing and easy to digest. It has well-designed graphics that you can interact with, well-used white space, and well-placed information that stands out. In addition, Climate Fieldview subtly mentions its data-driven technology to provide a visual perspective of the knowledge impact of your fungicide window.
Being clear and concise on a complex topic like this is crucial. Providing visuals or interactive design can keep the user engaged.
15th Idea. Conversion Report from Unbounce
Unbounce is a landing page builder. Their conversion rate report is a single page that helps marketers increase conversions. To access the report and view this data, you need to fill out the form located right on this page.
The report also helps educate marketers on landing page optimization to better reach their target audience.
Unbounce decided to create an online report as a separate page rather than just another PDF file. They lead by example, showing the effectiveness of well-optimized landing pages by turning their report into a landing page. They also improve the user experience for their readers while still being able to post their content and generate leads to follow up with.
Instead of creating just another PDF, highlight your lead generation content marketing ideas in an unusual format. Being different and creative is extremely important these days.
16th Idea. Leadership Through Change from Salesforce
The Salesforce Leading Through Change campaign empowers, inspires, and helps businesses find work-life balance online. As more people work from home, workers and companies must remain active and alert throughout the workday.
To support this new lifestyle, Salesforce has created a library of videos about leadership, engagement, equity, and sustainability.
Salesforce has been facing the changes of the past few years as it strives to become a leader. And, as we know, great leaders are also great supporters. Salesforce shows us they're here to help grow the business when they're working remotely.
Stay in touch with your users by offering help when they need it most. While leaving things as they are may be easier, it's not always the best solution. Change can be difficult, but it can also be reasonable and necessary.
17th Idea. Cases from Slack
Case studies can be very useful for content marketing ideas, but that doesn't mean they have to be simple, boring, and promotional. For example, Slack took their case studies into inspirational stories.
Slack uses storytelling to share its case studies to show how its product has impacted customers. Storytelling is a compelling form of content marketing, as our lives revolve around stories. When creating your content marketing ideas, include more intimate stories to better connect with your customers.
Refrain from assuming clients are too busy to devote a few hours to your content. If it is valuable and educational, they will find the time.
Ideas for content marketing are an actual direction that should be used in a promotion strategy. Finding cool content marketing ideas can be challenging, especially if you have to plan for months. But you have many more resources than it might seem at first glance. You should slightly change approaches and start looking in places other than what most specialists are used to using.