You often hear today about how content is so important for marketing, but you also may wonder to yourself — where do I actually find content ideas?
Finding content ideas can actually be easier than you think when you turn to your customers to guide you. After all, they are the ones who will be reading and engaging with the content, doesn’t it make sense to start with them?
Here’s a guide to 6 types of content that will keep your customers engaged and make them want to share your content with new potential customers!
1. Customer case study
If current or prospective customers are thinking about using your product or service, the best way for them to figure out if you meet their needs is to hear about a situation in which you helped another customer. Showcasing the story of a customer and how you helped to solve their problem can be ideal for painting the picture of how your business works.
This case study could take the form of an interview with the customer, visuals of the customer using your service, quotations about how they used your product, or even a slide presentation of the story of this customer’s experience.
2. Photos of your customers interacting with your product
Not only do photos count as content, they can actually be the most engaging content!
In fact, 87 percent of a Facebook page’s engagement happens on photo posts. That’s a pretty astounding number and you’ll find similar image stats for other social networks as well.
Here’s an example of how Massachusetts-based drop-in art center Plaster Fun Time shares customers’ photos of their time spent at its locations creating art masterpieces. These photos engage potential customers and let followers know exactly the type of artwork and activities they can participate in at Plaster Fun Time.
3. Answer a customer question
If your customers are asking you questions via your Facebook Page, via Twitter, or even by phone or in person, you have some idea of what people want to know. Instead of ignoring the question, put the answer right out there. Take the opportunity to answer a common question you receive. Then, when people are searching your site, they can easily access more information about a common question.
4. Product or service tips
Offering some quick tips on how to use your product or service will create content that’s useful, practical, and shareable. If you’re an exercise studio, you could share tips for staying cool in the summer heat. Or, if you’re a nonprofit, you could share the best ways to fundraise from friends and colleagues. The content should be relevant to your business, but it doesn’t necessarily have to include a specific call-to-action to return to your storefront. Sometimes, just staying at the top of someone’s mind is the key to keeping a sustainable relationship.
5. Customer stories and testimonials
This can be a great content starter because you can ask your customers to submit stories and photos of themselves using your product or experiencing your business, and you don’t have to do much of the content writing yourself. You might also end up with more stories or photos than you can fit into one piece, so you can save some of this content for the next time you want to post. This type of content is great because the customers who have submitted will often want to share the content around themselves because they feel special for having their story selected. This is an excellent way to get real, authentic stories around your business.
6. A piece on trends
People always love hearing interesting facts and statistics (and this bit of information is also easily shareable). If you’re an apparel retailer, tell customers what the most popular product for June was. If you’re a nursery school provider, share some information that’s already out there about popular summer activities for kids this year. A few simple and interesting statistics or facts can go a long way.
There’s no doubt about it, spreading relevant and interesting content can be a stellar marketing tactic, but its reach goes much further when you’re sharing the content that your customers actually want to hear. So take a cue from your customers and use your content marketing to share their stories and answer their questions.
Listen to your customers, showcase them, and you’ll find a highly repeatable model for developing content.
What type of content have you seen work best in your marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below.
About the author: Ali Hyatt leads marketing and product for Upward Labs, which creates software for businesses to build and manage brand ambassador programs to drive customer engagement and increase revenue and reach. Upward Labs participated in the first session of Constant Contact’s Small Business Innovation Program.