Easy ways to generate content ideas for your blog and social media channels

Easy Ways to Generate Content Ideas

Christy Walker Blogging, Social Media Leave a Comment

If you want to build a social media following, you need to post consistently. But after you’ve exhausted your first batch of ideas, coming up with new topics can become a bit of a slog. If you’re fresh out of inspiration, here are some tactics to help you generate new blog and social media posts.

Showcase Customers

Social media is all about interaction, but too often businesses treat it like a one-way street. We put info out, and that’s supposed to be enough to bring customers in. How often do we really look at our followers’ feeds? For most of us the answer is “not much,” and that’s a wasted opportunity. In addition to the insights we could garner about potential customers, our followers’ social media posts are a treasure trove of easy shares. First of all, who’s using what you sell? Maybe they’re posting about it. Even if they aren’t, you might be able to see evidence of your product in their feed.  Share these posts when you find them (with permission, of course). If you’re not having any luck tracking them down on your own, you can solicit content. Put out a call for photos showcasing how people have used your product, or video testimonials of how they’ve benefited from your services.

Create Interactive Posts

There are many ways to interact with followers in addition to reposting their content. One way to engage people is by putting up a poll. Depending on your brand, this could be something light and silly. Or you could demonstrate your ties to the local community by polling to find out people’s favorite local weekend activity. You could even do some mild market research by asking questions specific to your field.

Giveaways are another great interactive idea. Put up a blog post showcasing the swag you’re offering. Then crosspost to all your social media accounts. Include visuals wherever possible. This can increase both engagement and your readership. Raffle services such as Rafflecopter can be set to offer extra entries to entrants who follow your social media accounts or repost the giveaway.

Team Up

Have you considered teaming up with other businesses? One way to go about this is to cross-promote each other. For example, if you provide a service that’s part of a larger project or event, like a home renovation or a wedding, then you know exactly what sort of headaches occur when someone else isn’t doing their job. Who are you always happy to see involved with a project? Why not reach out? It would be easy for each of you to write a post explaining what an important link your two specialties share, and the ways in which the success of one can hinge on the performance of the other.  You can also try what’s called “social swapping.” This strategy involves partnering with a company whose content is relevant to your customers. Each of you gives the other permission to share some of your content via social media. This way you drive content to each other’s sites, and you get an easy social media post in the bargain.

Video

Featuring video and photos on your site boosts it in the search rankings, and it has the added benefit of increasing engagement on your page. Users who get immersed in a video stay longer than someone who’s skimming text. If you’re intimidated by the idea of creating a video, here are two things to keep in mind: First, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You can easily convert an existing blog post to a video using tools like Lumen5 or Animoto. Start with your post that has gotten the most hits. Second, don’t rule out how-to videos. You’ve got the expertise, so what seems self-evident to you has probably been flummoxing someone else. Don’t let “great” be the enemy of “good,” either. Shoot a video on your smartphone. Don’t let yourself opt out just because you don’t know how to add a bunch of bells and whistles. Instagram Stories may be a less intimidating way to tip your toe into the video world, so to speak. Audiences expect these video posts to be raw and less curated. Plus, you can keep the length short. 

When we’re struggling for ideas, it’s usually because we’re thinking inside the box. That’s understandable. We’re busy addressing the day-to-day considerations of our business, and social media feels like “extra.” But it’s not. It’s a vital way to build a customer base. These ideas will help you accomplish what all the best content does: help people make a personal connection to your business without ever leaving their homes.  So pick a few of your favorites, and try them out!

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