Weve all hit it that wall that seems to sap away all your magical creative marketing juices. Suddenly you feel like Peter Pan without his pixie dust.
All you need is a bit of help to kick your marketing strategy back on track. And guess what? Were dishin out 64 creative marketing andadvertising ideasplus inspirational tips to help you bust through that brick wall, generate more leads andincrease online sales. Lets get started with
Push your handles If youre really looking to bump up those Twitter followers, you cant be afraid to be a bit shameless. Speaking at a conference? Put your Twitter handle on the slideshow (heck, keep it in the corner the entire presentation). Ordering new business cards? Better include that adorable handle!
Very cool Twitter-themed business card fromLuis Felipe Silva
Join in on weekly hashtag themes like ThrowbackThursday If you want to build your social media following, you need to be an active participant in the community. This means posting regularly, and also joining in on fun weekly social media traditions that already have a loyal audience. Show the kids how hip you can be!
Vines Vines, quick 6-second video clips, are largely under-utilized. With a little work and some fun content, you could become a big fish in a small pond on Vine.
Pin your own images (and others) -Dont underestimate the value of this image-sharing site. Post your strongest visual assets (templates, infographics, etc) on Pinterest and link them to your webpages for some serious traffic.
Keep social tabs on competitors-Facebookbusiness pages allow you to follow other accounts via thePages to Watchfeature. Follow your competitors and see what they post, and which of their posts get the most shares and likes. See what works and follow their lead.
Living in a concrete jungle allows for some pretty creative concepts.
Step out on the streets In an online age, theres something to be said for goingau natureland exercising a little IRL marketing. Go old school with flyers and poster in local cafes, do some sidewalk chalk writing. This strategy is most effective for locally oriented businesses, but it can work for anyone.
Street chalk Twitter handle byMarquette ITS
Commission a mural Try getting permission to decorate the side of a prominent building with a large mural.
Great Di Bruno Bros mural found onYelp
Use your surroundings Get a little imaginative and think about how you can use your urban surroundings for potential marketing magic.
Very creative urban marketing efforts by Vijar Barbecues, found onOwni
Unusual sponsorships Urban living results in some unique marketing opportunities you wont find elsewhere. They secret is, you need to think creatively to capitalize on these opportunities.
Citi Bank sponsoring Citi Bike (image fromBicycling)
Photo Contests -Photo contests are great for a number for reasons theyre relatively easy to enter (anyone with Instagram and a few spare seconds can submit), and they also provide sponsors with a great form ofuser-generated contentthat can be reused and implemented elsewhere.
Check outHarpoon Brewery theyve mastered the art of photo contests. (And click here for moreInstagram marketing ideas.)
Video contests -Not as many people will enter video contests, but youre more likely to get a higher caliber of content since creating a video requires more effort on the users part. This kind of content can be extremely valuable for businesses down the line, especially when you have talented filmers creatingvideo contentjust for you!
Submit your vote contests -Voting contests get a ton of entries because theyre so easy to participate in (just click a button, in most cases). Whats cool about voting contests is that you can use the data obtained from the votes to create a mini data study. Share what you learned in a blog post!
Caption Contests -Post a photo and ask users to submit their bestcaption- this kind of contest can get some pretty great laughs.
Sweepstakes- The most traditional of contests, sweepstakes/giveaways are a tried and true classic. They are quick and simple to enter plus its easy to ask for email subscriptions as part of the submission form.
Post to deal sites -People love free stuff, some more than others. The people whoreallylove a good deal tend to frequent deal sites and forums. Theres almost always a sweepstake/contest forum section where you can add your contest into the mix.
Ive seen contests in which 90% of traffic is driven from these types of sites alright, they arent always the most qualified leads, but if you want quantity over quality, this is a sound strategy. Start of submitting toSlickdealsand go from there. This can be a great form ofrestaurant marketing.
Hashtag-ify your contest- Adding a relevant (and unique) hashtag to your contest helps you keep track of entries and makes them easy to scan through and organize. Besides, theyre just plain fun.
Make contests super sharable -This means adding share this contest buttons if you have an entry form on a website, or simply encouraging social sharing in general. The more people who know about your contest, the merrier (for you anyway)! Need more ideas for Facebook? Download our free guidehere!
Offer bonus points for sharing -If you offer users bonus points for sharing news of your contest via social media, theyll be much more likely to concede. Tools likeRafflecoptermake it easy to offer users extra entries for different actions (e.g. Joining the mailing list = +5 entries. Sharing contest on Twitter = +2 entries).
Notify email subscribers of contest -Remember, you already know that your email subscribers like you and are interested in what you have to offer. If youre running a contest for a free year of your software, you know your subscribers are going to want in!
Promote your contest on (all) social media -If youre running a photo contest via Instagram, make sureyou still promote the contest on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. You want all your followers, acrossallsocial media networks to know about your great giveaway!
Write for your audience The best pieces of content are the ones directed at your key audiences. Understand your customer: know their pain points, what gets them psyched, and what keeps them up at night.Killer contentaddress your audiences needs and concerns!
Add a visual element to ALL your content pieces People get bored with text really fast! To keep visitors reading, its essential to have images breaking up your text paragraphs. Dont overlook the importance of a visual element, even in blog posts that are predominantly text-based. You can see some examples ofhighly visual business blogs here.
Infographics We know readers love visual content, andinfographicsare a prime example of beloved, linkable visual assets.
While the idea of creating a top-notch infographic may sound daunting, it doesnt have to be hard. You dont need fancy software in fact, you can make a decentinfographic just using Powerpoint. There are plenty of infographic guides templates out there to get you started. Speaking of
Useful templates- Templates are another powerful form of visual assets that visitors find extremely helpful. Templates serve as a visual framework that can help users create custom piece without completely starting from scratch. Take thislanding page templateas an example it explains the basic layout and fundamentals, letting users get a grasp ongreat landing page essentialsbefore making their own.
Graphs and Charts- The infographics less cool cousins, one-piece graphs and charts still have their place as formidable pieces of visual content. They may not be as impressive as infographics, but they require considerably less time and effort to create and are still shareable, so dont be afraid to use them generously. For visual learners, a graph will be much easier to interpret than a chunk of text and numbers. Make sure you appeal to all kinds of learners!
Thats why you find so many dragons at the animal shelter (image fromReddit)
Videos Video is incredible when it comes to drawing in and retaining the attention of users retention rate for visual information can reach 65%vs. 10% for text-based info. Plus, customers who view product videos are much more likely to convert than those that dont. Video content is a powerful tool, whether youre trying to demonstrate how your product works IRL or educating visitors.
Statistic lists Are you hitting a content idea wall? For an easy content marketing fix, collect interesting statistics on a subject matter related to your biz and create a blog post about what youve learned. Massive stat lists are easy to make and extremely sharable. Plus, some of the wilder stats may get your gears turning about other content ideas, such as
Future predictions Play the soothsayer by predicting future trends in your industry just make sure you have at leastsomedata to back up your hypothesis.
ControversyControversial contentalways earns attention, but its not for the faint of heart playing with fire can get you burned! Rather thanstirring up controversy yourself, the safer road may be to answer or respond to larger industry controversy with your own interpretation.
Aggregate awesomeness from other sources -Another easy way to create killer content is to curate quality content from elsewhere. No, its notstealing… at least, not if done properly.
Its completely kosher to borrow content from other sources if youre doing something new with it. For example, take our guide to the bestSEO Reddit AMAs. The content we quoted from was originally posted on various Reddit forum threads. We took what we deemed the best portions of the Q&As from different threads and put it all together to make a super SEO advice guide. This new post is much easier for users interested in SEO to read, rather than scouring through various Reddit threads. NOTE: Play it safe by always giving credit where its due.
Ask the experts Another great content marketing idea is to interview industry thought leaders with set questions and share their responses in a blog post; for example, our interview with industry experts onthe future of PageRank. This kind of content tends to do well, and its always interesting to see where industry gurus agree and where they dont. One great thing about sharing expert opinions chances are, the folks you write about will share your write-up with their own followers! (Pro tip ask the opinions of groups with large Twitter followers!)
Top 10s People go nuts over top 10 lists top 10 tools, top 10 blogs, you name it.
Lists Piggy-backing on top 10s are lists in general. Starting your title with a number can make it stand out more in search listings (e.g. 3 Ways to Slice a Pineapple). Why do people love lists? Because they are super scannable and quick to read. This is probably whyover a third of Buzzfeeds posts have a number in the title. Great content strategies involve a mix of quick, snackable content pieces and more in-depth,long-form articles. Variety is the spice of life, yo.
Product comparison guide Decisions, decisions oh, the pitfalls of capitalism. Its tough being a consumer with so many products to choose from. Help out users with a marketing comparison guide, especially if you have a series of product offerings for different needs. If youre comparing your product with competitors, be objective and fair; maybe youre a better fit for small businesses, while a competitor is better for larger corporations.
Alternatively, write up a comparison guide for a product you dont offer, but which relates to your audiences business. For example, a video game reseller could write a product comparison guide for different video game controllers. This is helpful content that gets relevant users familiar with your brand.
Content is an open door Dont just create awesome content and abandon it feature your best stuff in other related blog posts as well. You can link to or call out other pieces of content mid-post, or list some related articles at the end of your post. Something along the lines of Want to learn more about ________? Check out our _________ guide and our __________ infographic.
Content, love = apples, oranges. (Image from Disneys Frozen)
Slideshare The slideshow is back and better than ever! Repurpose PowerPoint presentations for audience-friendly slideshares. Check out these tips from Jonathan Colman ongetting more views on Slideshare.
Webinars Host your own free webinar or partner with another business for twice the expertise (and twice the promotion power). Webinar are a great source of business leads.
Google related search Checking out the Google related searches (found at the top and bottom of the SERP when you perform a search) for a keyword query is a great tool for generating content ideas. Just Google a term and see what related searches turn up. You may be surprised!
Pop-up opt-in Theres a lot of debate around newsletter opt-in pop-ups. Theyre annoying, theyre intrusive, but quite often, they alsowork! A/B test one and see how it affects your newsletter subscriptions. If newsletter subscribers have proved to be valuable leads for your business, do what you must to obtain them.
Continue your lucky streak Not sure what to write about? Go into youranalytics accountand take a peek at your most popular posts to see what subjects users get excited about, then write a variation or extension of one of your most popular posts.
eBooks Another great marketing idea is to write a comprehensive ebook on a known pain point or popular industry topic, thencreate a quality landing pagearound the offer. Better yet, dont start from scratch; repurpose past blog posts and articles into a mega e-book collection.
101 guides Theres always someone just starting out in the biz; beginners guides and Industry Knowledge 101 content pieces will always get linked to and shared around by newbs.
Even great content needs promotionDont just publish your content and expect it to promote itself;share itwith your email subscribers and social media followers.
Post about industry hot topics Whats the buzz in your field? Post about topical news and trending topics related to your industry to get in on the burst of action and show that youre in the know.
Guest PostsWhile the SEO value of guest posts has been called into question, theresnothing wrong with guest posting if done right. Just focus on the value of getting your brand in front of a new audience, rather than the links.
White papers Guides, e-ooks, white papers theyre kind of all the same thing, but labeling your assets differently can help your message resonate with different audiences. Test your labels to see which works best with your prospects.
Quality content This should go without saying, but only produce quality content that you can be proud of!Google hates thin content, and users dont like it either.
Show some skin I mean metaphorical skin of course show that you are not a robot. Dont be afraid to have some fun and show off your companys personality. Express yourself; and if that meansliterallyshowing some skin, well then, more power to you. Youre human after all.
Online magazine Producing your own virtual magazine is another epic form of content marketing. For a great example, check outDark Rye, a stylish online magazine produced by Whole Foods. For a quick and easy fix, make your own online newspaper withPaper.li.
Podcasts Podcasts are great because users can download them and then listen on the go! Possible podcast concepts include discussing hot industry news or interviewing experts, in your space.
Cover events If you attend a conference (or even an online event), consider writing a post about what info you gathered from the event, what you found valuable, etc. Chances are others will find it valuable too! Use the hashtag from the event in your promotional efforts.
Collaboration Collaboration can extend your reach and build your reputation. Consider all the different partnerships you could build partner with a charity? A related business? You can co-author a blog post or guide, co-host a webinar, etc.
Memes Memes are fun and familiar for internet-goers. Get a little cheeky with some fun memes its easy to make your own with sites likememe generator.
Social proof Sometimes great content marketing ideas also serve as fantastic forms of social proof. Take this inventive content project by a haunted house called Nightmares Fear Factory. They take photos of victimser, I mean guests, andpost them to their Flickr feed. The photos are absolutely hysterical and prove that Nightmares Fear Factory is as scary as they claim to be! (Thanks for the heads up fromShopify).
Divvy up your content Dont go content-overboard or youll end up overwhelming users. We live in acompetitive attention economy, and if youre creating new stuff every single day, people may tire of you, even if everything you share is excellent. Thems the breaks, kid. Figure out what pace works for your audience.
Conduct a content audit Is your existing content up to snuff? What is driving conversions? What isnt and why? Asking these questions might make you sweat, but youll be better off knowing the truth. Finding the answers to these questions will ensure that your marketing strategy moves forward in the right direction.
Branded tools Create awesome, valuable tools that your audience will find useful. You can use parts of the tool to push towards your product offering, but make sure the tool itself is high-caliber dont just make it a glorified sales pitch. Providing free tools will make users think fondly of you and extend your brand as more people share your awesome free tool!
Mobile! With79% of internet usersconducting online shopping via mobile devices, you should be embarrassed if youre not mobile-friendly. This is not optional, although many still treat it like it is.
Gameification Gamification is a great marketing idea to get users excited about engaging with you. As onWhose Line is it Anyway, the points are meaningless, but youd be surprised how much people really enjoy getting points. We all love instant affirmation its like virtual crack!
Apps like Belly and Foursquare combine gamification with customer loyalty programs. Starbucks also has its own tame version of gamified loyalty programs in which you earn stars for Starbucks purchases. Consider if gamification could work for your biz.
Get by with some content help from your friends There are a ton of great tools out there to help you find quality content (StorifyBufferto name a few). Remember, you dont want to just share your own content sharing great pieces by others in your industry shows that youre a team player and valuable source of unbiased knowledge.
ComicsWhile newspaper funnies are a dying breed, online comics are alive and thriving! Consider making your own internet comics that relate to the absurd and surreal aspects of your industry. Try free tools likePixtonorStrip Generatorto get started.
Copy the masters Watch to see who is creating great content, and follow their lead. Take a close look atclickbaitsites like Upworthy and Buzzfeed that get a ton of shares; while their audience and content subjects will be different from yours, they serve as an excellent study in how to improve your marketing strategy. What are they doing right? Can you implement something similar?
Take your time with titles While were on the subject, Upworthy is famous for their killer, clickable headlines. Even a superb blog post wont get the attention it deserves without a good title. Should it be clever? Eye-catching? SEO-friendly? Think about what will appeal to your audience. Its recommended you write as many as 5-10 titles for every article, then choose the best!
4-1-1 The 4-1-1 concept comes from Andrew Davis, author ofBrandscaping. Davis social media sharing strategy dictates that for every six pieces of content shared on social media:
4 should be content from other industry influencers that is relevant to your audience
1 should be your own original, educational content
1 should have a sales aspect (coupon, product news, press release), aka, a piece of content most people will simply ignore.
The philosophy behind the 4-1-1 concept is that when you share industry thought leadership, youre building relationships within the industry and demonstrating a certain level of selflessness which earns serious reputation points that come in handy in the long haul.
Ready to grow your business? Try out these 64 creative marketing ideas:
Promote your social media handles, even in person
Pin your site images and graphics on Pinterest
Keep tabs on competitors social profiles
Try urban marketing like flyers, posters, and sidewalk chalk
Use your surroundings to your advantage
Host a good old-fashioned sweepstakes
Make contests super sharable on social media
Offer bonus points for sharing contests
Notify email subscribers of contests
Promote your contest on (all) social media
Write content catered to your audience
Add a visual element to ALL your content pieces
Use templates to make content creation easier
Include graphs and charts in your content
Aggregate awesome content from other sources
Create an ask the experts roundup
Link to your existing content with CTAs
Get ideas from Google related search
Use pop-up opt-ins on landing pages
Use analytics to take advantage of popular content
Create 101 guides to teach the basics
Give your company some personality and dont be afraid to use it
Cover local and news related events
Make and promote mobile-specific content
Use gamification to promote interaction
Stick to Andrew Davis 4-1-1 content strategy
What are your best creative marketing ideas?
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