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5 Content Marketing Ideas Worth Stealing

Marketing in the past often consisted of one off campaigns that didn’t build a relationship with your customer or prospect.

5 Content Marketing Ideas Worth Stealing

It was about the “deal” …closing the sale. It was sometimes called “Hit and Run” marketing.

Content Marketing is about creating compelling, contagious content and sharing it freely on social networks and blogs.

It is about building a relationship with your prospects and customers that builds credibility and trust that turns propsects into buyers and customers into high value repeat buyers.

The initial goal is to obtain the buyers permission to receive that content whether it is a subscription via an opt-in email or a Facebook  social opt-in ” like” that delivers information into the Facebook news and “Timeline” stream.

Creating content is time consuming and a creative challenge.

8 Content Marketing Challenges

These are the challenges among many.

  1. Finding inspiration and ideas for the content
  2. Creating it
  3. Making it relevant
  4. Resourcing it
  5. Managing it
  6. Monitoring it
  7. Measuring it
  8. Making it “Liquid” and Contagious

Sometimes you need some inspiration and you need to try some new ideas and different media that may provide a nudge to try something different and creative outside your comfort zone.

As Steve Jobs says “Stay Foolish

The Power of Multi-Media

Many of us still don’t think about alternative media to text and articles because online video is still in its infancy. YouTube has only been with us for 7 years and in the world of business and brand marketing this is only a “blip”.

We need to “switch on” our multimedia mind and consider other media rather than just words to get our message out to the world that wants and demands multi-media.

Images and photos are much more likely to be shared than an article or a white paper. Videos or infographics will be shared at high velocity compared the the humble “written word” that have been with us for millenia.

Idea 1: Include Images and Photos

There has been a significant evolutionary shift on the social web in the last 12 months as marketers and social media network startups have realised the growing power of visual content.

By the end of 2011 the number of photos being uploaded to Facebook had reached 250 million a day.

This number hasn’t gone unnoticed and  has led to 3 key and noticeable events and changes.

  1. The “Success” of Pinterest
  2. Google+ being launched with the user interface designed to display photos, and images in high defintion and in a large format.
  3. Facebook responding with the Facebook “Timeline” designed to give images and photos greater prominence. In fact you can now “feature” an image in a bigger size. Expect this change to be migrated to Brand “pages” in the next 6 months.

Photos and images drive high engagement on Facebook and if I look at my top ranked content on my Facebook page  and measuring the virality index using the Facebook “Insights” tool, the top 10 are all images or photos.

Some are cartoons that are relevant and congruent with my other content (written or visual) and with questions are used to drive conversations, stimulate  and create stories.

5 Content Marketing Ideas Worth Stealing

There are photos that may reveal the human side.

The marketer needs to embrace this and work out ways they can use images and photos in their social media and content marketing that

  • Increase Facebook “likes”
  • Inspire comments
  • Drive sharing

Also don’t forget to just have some fun!

The power of Images and Photos on Facebook

Fashion Brands such as Threadless use images in clever ways to survey customers on their Facebook page that ensure that the garments they produce will be successful driven by the crowd sourced voting through “likes”. The garment with the most likes is the one that is manufactured!

The indirect benefit of increased engagement on Facebook with likes and comments is that it increases your Facebook EdgeRank with your fans and so improves the flow of your “Page” updates into their Timeline.

Idea 2: Create a Contagious Online Video

One good example of a contagious video content is Dynamite Surfing created in 2007. It contained all the 4 main elements that were needed for it to become contagious and viral

According to Brent Coker  a marketing professor the four key elements required for a video to go viral are:

  1. Congruency – The themes of a video must be congruent with people’s pre-existing knowledge of the brand it is advertising.
  2. Emotive strength – Creating strong emotions is essential if you want to ensure you are giving your video the best chance of becoming viral and the more extreme the emotions, the better.
  3. Network involvement – Videos must be relevant to a large network of people and the larger the better, some examples of large networks are college students or office workers.
  4. “Paired meme synergy” – These memes can be elements such as “Voyeur” or “Unexpectedness” that were contributing factors in the success of the “Dynamite Surfing” video

The Dynamite surfing video tapped into all 4 key elements.

So how can you harness these elements to assist in giving your video the best chance of becoming viral?

Idea 3: Design a “Shareable” Video Graphic

Eric Qualmann is well known for his social media revolution video graphics which like “infographics” take numbers, facts and figures and make it entertaining and easy viewing via a video format. These concepts can be applied to many industry sectors.

Idea 4: Use the Hottest Trend in Content – Infographics!

Infographics has emerged in the last 12 months as one of the most popular and shareable forms of social content.

What are infographics?

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge that present complex information quickly and clearly

The internet and social web are a firehose of information and Infographics is one of the appealing and efficient ways of sharing it.

What are the major types of Infographics and applications?

  1. Statistics
  2. Concepts
  3. Business models and processes
  4. Cartoons
  5. Information
  6. Timelines

What sort of Infographic could you create that would be shareable in your industry?

Idea 5: Create a Well Structured Blog Post or eBook

Creating a blog post, article, whitepaper or eBook is a vital part of your content marketing strategy and for B2B companies is the foundational element.

Giving it the best chance that it will be shared and talked about is the biggest challenge.

What are some of the basics that need to be considered when creating text content?

  1. Awesome headlines – This is needed to “Tempt and Tease” the person to click on the link and read your “Tweet” or find out more about your Facebook update!
  2. Great writing – Be a story teller, find your voice
  3. Good Structure – Sub Titles, bullet Points and reasonable readable fonts
  4. Educational – How To’s
  5. Informative – News, Facts and Figures
  6. Visual – Include images in your articles and posts as well as infographics, photos or even cartoons from time to time

Here are 4 great blogs that provide examples of good articles writing but have different styles and  strategies but are all effective

What About You?

How do you use images or photos in your content and social media marketing? What do you find works for you in your content marketing.

What could you do better?

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  • Thanks Morgan for the comment. It is all so new that finding what works is part of the fun of the social media marketing adventure!

  • Thanks Neil for the insights. Yes, Infographics are hard work and require some good core creative and tech skills. Maybe a compilation of great infographics with a unique text intro can offer value to your readers!

  • Thanks for the comment John. Yes, it is sometimes hard to shake the old paradigms and multimedia was hard to do 10 years ago.Posting and publishing multi-media is now quick and easy!

  • Creative, interesting … I think they have a meaning. Thanks for the post

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, Content is also about making it fun and creative!

  • Thanks for your comment. It reminds me of a quote from Geffrey Rush the famous actor. He said “I focus on 2 key elements, Credibility and Visibility”

  • Thanks Jon for your input into the conversation. Two keys also in the use of images and content is to work on making the content Liquid (contagious) and Linked (congruent with your other messages)!

  • Hi everyone,
    Infographics are part of the new suite of digital weapons I am finalising for my purposes. 🙂
    I have outsourced it to my favourite design agency. We spent 2 hours on the initial briefing but now my designer is up to speed and delivers just perfect stuff. 
    Little tips if you follow that route, I request him to deliver each element of the bigger graphic separately, and I play with these puzzle pieces as appropriate – not only to produce standalone PDFs, but also for our PPT/Keynote presentations, and also because it makes our Prezis look just amazing.
    … And it makes my life easier when a limited update is required. As long as I have no graphic dept in-house, this kind of flexible outsourcing is the hassle-free solution that works for me.

    • Thanks Marie for your contribution to the blog post! The power of Infographics is quite amazing in making ideas spread!

  • Infographics are the biggest challenge. But, the thing is, they do drive an enormous amount of traffic (I haven’t seen an infographic that doesn’t get 10,000 visits or so). I think an infographic takes about 2-3 days to prepare!

  • Those Content Marketing Challenge are not always easy to overcome and sometimes staying foolish might be a risky move 🙂 But everything you mentioned in this post is great tip and it is definitely worth trying. At the moment I’m working on a Blog for my company, as I believe it will empower the expertise we promote with Tips&Tricks articles, Industry trends and statistics etc…

  • Anonymous


    Some good stuff here….here’s what stood out for me:  YouTube has only been with us for 7 years and in the world of business and brand marketing this is only a “blip”.

    Add on top of that that in most market areas very, very few businesses are doing video – that is a massive opportunity that is literally going begging for most people.  According to Cisco Systems by the end of 2012 – a mere 24 months away – 90% of web traffic will be driven by video.

    So it’s absolutely crucial that people start tackling the video area right now so that they can build a competitive advantage over their rivals who are ‘still thinking about it.’

    The one point in your post that I’d respectfully disagree with is shooting for a viral video.  Creating a viral video takes a lot of time and resources…from the point of view of content marketing (i.e. building relationships, turning site visitors into subscribers, turning subscribers into clients/customers)  it’s a far safer bet to use those resources to create multiple videos that deliver relevant, educational content to your target market. 

    Of course the best of both worlds is to create multiple videos with a more traditional content marketing slant – and then if you have the resources shoot for a viral video on top of that. 

    That make sense?


  • The right photos can definitely make your blog posts and Facebook updates really pop. The trick is finding something that will be interesting to your audience without being too much of a cliche. 

    Once you have some ideas in mind, experiment with different options. See what people react to and adjust your image selection accordingly. Eventually, you’ll define your own unique style. 

  • It was a pretty amazing blog,You really organize all ideas base on your experience and it was a pleasure to read a wonderful blog like this.

  • It was a pretty amazing blog,You really organize all ideas base on your experience and it was a pleasure to read a wonderful blog like this.

  • Glenton Malvyn

    Very good demonstration. It really opened up my eyes on how
    little things we do can create opportunities.

  • Anonymous

    for such these ideas …its useful article….

  • Thank you very much Jeff!!!
    This information is GREAT! I am excited about implementing the ideas

  • Gayle Haugen

    Great points, Jeff, about how we are visual readers! Infographics are becoming the new visual tool of choice. To make sure I’m creating meaningful infographics, I’ve made a point of looking at many different ones and asking what makes them good or what would make them better. That helps me be better at creating better visuals. Thanks for the article.

  • Superior LLC

    Nice ideas jeff!!! i love this blog

  • Sean Vandenberg

    Jeff, you’re really doing a great job here (like you need me to tell you that!).
    It’s becoming apparent to me that my graphic design illiteracy is a hinderance… Do you have any suggestions or advice for the layman looking to create good infographics/cartoons for his website?

    • Sean that sounds like a good topic for a blog post!

  • Thanks for the post, and from my friends experience in working with digital marketing agencies he said that one of the best ways to advertise is to make a viral video.. that’s good of course, and then put it on youtube.

  • great idea dear

  • :: three thumbs up ::

  • Thanks to share such nice information.

  • YapperGirl

    Great insights, Jeff! I’ve found a great tool for free infographics: Infogr.am . Just used it to share a client’s success story in images. Took about an hour to get used to their flow, but will be much quicker now. An advantage to paying for their service is that you can download the image to house it on your FB or Pinterest page (capture traffic). http://infogr.am/Crowdfunding-Success-for-Schools/

  • Bronwyn Johnson

    Love this! Thank you 🙂

  • Wow That’s Simply the great five ideas and yup they are truly worth stealing. Thank you Jeff. BTW any advice on how to get best content for infographics.