Last week, we began a four-part series on content marketing ideas for 2012. Here is the final Part 4, which wraps up the listing of ideas for filling your website or blog with great content throughout the upcoming year. To see the first three groups of ideas, visit Part 1 of this series, Part 2, and Part 3.
Here are ideas #86 through #131 for content marketing for your website or blog in 2012.
86. Maintenance – If any of your products or services require regular maintenance or servicing, create a step by step article complete with images showing the correct way to keep the equipment in best working order.
87. Best Practices – Share your industry’s best practice guidelines.
88. Create a YouTube Channel – If you don’t already have one, create a YouTube channel for your brand.
89. On This Day – Did something notable happen on this day last year? 5 years ago? 100 years ago? If it relates to your industry or company, recap it with an informative blog post.
90. Quotation – Find an inspirational quotation relevant to your niche and share it. Add your own personal take or what the quote has inspired you to achieve that day to inject some personality into the piece.
91. Ask Your Customers – Write a blog post asking your customers what they want to see more of. Get them to suggest ideas for articles they want to read.
92. Crowd Source – Take a blog or newspaper article and invite your readers to comment or vote.
93. If I Could Change One Thing – If you could change one thing, what would it be? This could be something that is impossible or something you wished you’d done differently. For example if you work in the automotive sector, it could be that you’d change wheels for wings and build a flying car.
94. Set of Rules – Share the things you’ve learned as rules to live by. Relate them to your industry. For example, to get the best deal on exhibition space for your business, book as early / late as possible.
95. New Versus Used – If you offer both new and pre-owned products, debate the pros and cons of buying new versus used, relating each to specific client experiences and needs.
96. Collaborate – Enlist the help of other bloggers in your field and create a collaborative blog post, sharing contrasting opinions on a hot industry topic.
97. Testimonials – Compile the best of the feedback you’ve received and post in your blog. This can be general or organized by product area.
98. Be a Guest Blogger – Have you been asked to be a guest blogger? Write a post for your own blog to announce this, showcasing your expert status.
99. Who To Follow – Are there industry experts, local businesses or staff members your readers should follow on Twitter? Write a post outlining all of the Twitter users you recommend they follow. If you have different Twitter accounts for customer services, product categories, create a directory of accounts so users can engage with the appropriate person.
100. Getting Started In Your Field – Do you struggle to find good candidates to fill positions? Write an article or blog post on the ideal credentials for getting started in the field. Include suggestions for training courses or offers of internships.
101. Mentoring Program – Do you have a mentor scheme in place at your workplace? Write about it. Ask those taking part to write about it.
102. Tools of the Trade – Which tools are essential to your everyday working life? Write a blog post on them.
103. Introducing New Staff – Profiles of new members of staff and their office responsibilities.
104. Employee of the Month – What they did that made a difference.
105. Blogs You Like And Visit – Why not share the names and URLs of the blogs you like and visit?
106. Returns – Do you have a returns policy? Set it out clearly on your site.
107. Employee Benefits – Have you had any new employee benefits introduced recentlyÉ Write a blog post on them, including feedback from members of staff. Not only is this a new page of content but it can also help with recruitment.
108. Products in Development – Take a tip from Google Labs. If you have any products in development, why not outline them and their functions? Request feedback from customers. Which would they like to see developed?
109. Unusual Situations – What’s the most unusual place your product or service has been used? Get photographic evidence if possible.
110. The Recession – How have you taken cost-cutting measures or what price reductions are implemented? Highlight how savings are being passed on to the customer.
111. New Distribution Networks – Are your products being stocked in a new location? Announce it via a news release.
112. Overnight Shipping Available – Post a feature on how customers in a rush can get their goods the next day using your overnight shipping facility.
113. Shop Profile – If you have multiple locations, offices or departments, do a profile on each.
114. Bring Your Child / Pet To Work Day – A post on how many took part, what the comments were, pictures from the event.
115. Company Traditions – Does your company have any traditions such as a Treat Friday or casual Friday or celebrations after big client wins? Write a blog post on them.
116. The Beginner Guide To… – Whatever you sell or supply, write a beginners guide to the product. If you sell kitchen cupboards for example, write a simple guide on how to measure your existing units correctly to determine the size of new unit needed.
117. Product Line Extensions - Announce a greater range of choice when you add new products to existing lines. Even options such as a new size or three new colors can be turned into a blog post or article.
118. How to Choose Your Next (insert product name) – A guide to choosing the best company, product or service in your niche. Include things to look out for and questions to ask of the supplier.
119. Most Popular Posts – Recap your most popular blog posts from the last 12 months.
120. Most Popular Products – Feature your best sellers.
121. Create a Checklist - This can be anything from an industry-related to-do list to a list of important steps in a process.
122. Upgrades – How and when should your clients upgrade their product?
123. Resolutions – What are your business New Year’s resolutions? Or mid-year resolutions? Set them out in an article, explaining why they’re there and what your organization will be doing to achieve them by year end.
124. Create an Online Course – Create a simple online course related to your expertise. For example, if you’re a catering company, create a five step course on planning a dinner party. The course can simply be a series of how to articles uploaded one per week on a set day each week. Around this, you can also write press releases and blog posts to promote your new course, therefore creating even more content.
125. Bucket List – Create a bucket list for your business or ask key personnel to compile theirs.
126. Experiments – Do you have any experiments you could film and share as new products are being developed?
127. What Are Your Inspirations? — Write a blog post sharing your inspirations, whether that’s what inspired you to set up your business or the spark of insight behind a recent accomplishment such as a new product or new division.
128. Describe This Product In X Words Or Less – Launch a competition inviting customers to describe a certain product of yours in 3 words or less. Pick the best ones and post them on the blog. You could use these ideas in future marketing or give a prize to the most original.
129. Offering Encouragement – If you sell something like treadmills or weight loss shakes or self help books, write a blog post giving advice on how to keep motivated to lose weight or get started with quitting smoking. The idea is to offer motivation and encouragement as well as helping your customers get the most out of what you sell.
130. Turning a Negative Into a Positive – It’s a fact of life that you can’t please everyone all of the time and no business gets by without criticism or complaint. It’s how you deal with these complaints that make the difference. If you’ve turned a negative into a positive, blog about the problem, what was done to repair the situation and what was learned from the experience. Maybe it lead to a new procedure that will make life easier for clients?
131. Going the Extra Mile – Have any of your staff or suppliers gone the extra mile for your business recently? If so, why not reward their efforts with a blog post about what they did and how it made a difference?
Well, there you have it! More than 130 ideas for content to fill your website and blog in the coming year. Obviously not every item on this list will work for every business, but many can be adapted slightly to fit your individual circumstances. Whether you sell a product or service directly to consumers or you consult on search engine marketing for those who do, these ideas can help make any website or blog more varied in its content. Use them for your own site or advise your clients to use them on their own sites — either way, you will have pumped up the volume, quality, and variety of content to entice visitors to stay for awhile and come back for more all year round.