Eight fun content marketing ideas every small business can try

August 30, 2018
5 minutes read

Content marketing is more than just sharing your blog posts on social media. Let’s start with the term content, which includes: blog posts, guides, videos, ebooks, images, audio, and branded graphics. When you broaden the scope of what content is, you can see that there are many ways to step outside the box.

Use these fun ideas to break up the monotony of your usual content marketing tactics. You’ll drive engagement, boost social proof, and create assets that can be used for content marketing over and over again.

Testimonial graphics for social

Testimonials are crucial for your business. They show potential customers that other consumers trust and value your product or service. Turning them into social media graphics ensures that even people who haven’t visited your website or review pages can see the benefits of working with your business.

If you aren’t sure whether you have testimonials or not, start by scouring your inbox. If you have regular emails with customers, you may be able to find a line or two of praise. If so, package it into a testimonial, get the customer’s permission to use it, and turn it into a social media graphic.

You can also take any public reviews you already have, including those from Google, Yelp, and your Facebook page. See a testimonial image below to get an idea of what it could look like.


Expert interviews

Expert interviews are a great way to bring new voices into your content marketing. They also help you reach new audiences because the person you spoke with will promote the finished piece of content. It’s just as valuable for their brand as it is yours.

You can interview participants via email or phone, and turn that into an educational blog post or a simple Q&A post. Conversely, you can interview them live during a webinar, or record it and publish the video to your YouTube channel.

Here are a few interview scenarios to help you get started:

  • A cleaning company could interview a company who makes all-natural cleaning products.
  • A computer repair company could interview someone on the team about the top 10 computer repair issues they see each week.
  • A branding consultant could interview a social media consultant about the power of social media for your brand.

DIY surveys

Survey data makes for great marketing fodder, especially if you’re doing guest posting to drive traffic and boost your SEO. Survey results are also a great way to promote the value of your product or service, and can be used for content marketing in many ways. With one survey you can create:

  • Dozens of blog posts using the various results
  • Multiple social media images
  • One main infographic with all the data collected
  • Small, mini graphics to go in various blog or social media posts
  • Ads for paid promotion

The greatest benefit of doing DIY surveys is that you don’t need a large budget. Use a product like Google Surveys to reach a large pool of people; pricing starts at just $.10 per completed response. The price goes up as you add targeting and qualifying questions, both of which allow you to get better, more accurate responses.

Screenshot of google survey

Product reviews with YouTube influencers

This is a great way to get your product in front of more people. If you’re already creating a lot of video content, this is another way to expand your efforts without doing a lot more work; the influencers will do the work of creating and promoting the video. When you have a few of these reviews done, you can create a playlist of all the videos you’re featured in to provide even more social proof

Note that some influencers will charge a fee while others will do it for no cost or to receive your product free of charge. Be sure that you’re only paying influencers who have a significant subscriber base; 5,000 or more subscribers is a good baseline to stick with. Be sure to check engagement (video likes, views, and comments), as well, which is an indication of how effective the video will be for your overall reach.

Casual Instagram story videos

Have a little fun with casual, short video clips using Instagram stories. This a chance to engage with your followers and promote content in a natural, more personalized format. Here are some fun content marketing video ideas:

  • Use the “ask me a question” feature to generate blog post ideas and provide immediate value.
  • Use the polling feature to get feedback on new ideas.
  • Show behind the scenes video of working with a client or hosting an event.
  • Tag people or brands in your story; when you do, they can re-share to their story too.
  • Create custom imagery to promote your content when a new post goes live.
  • Host a “story takeover” with a customer, employee or influencer.
  • Talk through a recent blog post or top three points of the post.

Note that the first two features are only available to verified accounts (those with a large following of 10,000 or more).

Don’t forget to add stories to your collections in a way that highlights your brand. Create collections for testimonials, product tips, new service offerings and more. This makes it easy for new followers to find this content, even if they didn’t see the original story.

In-email videos

The average consumer’s inbox is overflowing with promotional and sales emails—yours needs to stand out from the rest to make an impact. That’s where videos come in. Not only do videos make your emails more engaging, they can also boost conversion rates: marketers using video grow their revenue 49 percent faster than those who don’t.

Still, it’s important to use best practices to see those conversion rates increase. One key element is to embed the video in your email, rather than linking to it with anchor text or even linking to it using a related image. Wistia tested this and found that 40 percent more people clicked on the video thumbnail, rather than the plain image.

Finally, when you’ve added the video to your emails, be sure to repurpose by uploading it to YouTube or even posting it on Instagram or Facebook. With little time to create content, you want to repurpose as much as possible. If you’re new to repurposing, check out this 30-minute course on Skillshare.

Question of the week

Answering a new question each week is a great way to create more educational content that’s both engaging and valuable to your followers and customers. This can be used to share more information about your product or service itself, with answers to questions about features, services or functionality.

It can also be used to show your knowledge of the industry or to share insights with other business owners and entrepreneurs about running their business. When finished, you can post the question and answer in a number of places:

  • On your blog, as a new post
  • On your YouTube channel
  • On your Instagram story
  • On Facebook Live

If you answer the question on Facebook Live or Instagram stories, be sure to download it and upload to your YouTube channel. Then promote on other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn too.

User-generated social content

Instead of creating all the content yourself—which, again, is time-consuming—turn to your customers. If you sell products, start looking for images of the product being used on social media, whether it’s a piece of furniture or a water bottle. Not only does this save you time, but it shows that you’re not the only one who thinks your product or company is great.

This works best on Instagram, where you can repost pictures from users. You can also do the same on Twitter, it people are tweeting about your brand. If you’re not getting a lot of organic sharing like this, reach out to your customers. Offer a 10% discount to anyone who’s willing to send in some high-quality photos, along with a small snippet of explainer text, for you to use.

When the customer is tagged in your post, they’ll likely repost it to their network as well, allowing you to further expand your reach. Check out this post from Hydroflask, who regularly post user-generated content on their social channels:

Try these content marketing ideas

There are so many ways to use content marketing to boost your brand and reach new customers. Keep these ideas in mind as you look to expand your tactics and drive more value. If you’re short on resources, start with just one new idea each quarter. Test and track to see what’s helpful and what falls flat—and then do more of what’s working.

By Jessica Thiefels

The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.

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