The most common question I get asked when recommending a content marketing strategy is, “But what do I post about?” And while keyword and competitor research can take you a step in the right direction, sometimes we’re still left staring at a blank screen having no idea what to create. So today I’m giving you TWELVE post topics, with FIVE examples EACH based on five different types of businesses (a graphic designer, a wedding photographer, an insurance company, a fashion retailer and a carpet store). Ready? Here are your 12 ideas:
1. A Case Study
For different industries, this will look very different, but it’s basically all about showing off your skill within your field. This is likely to be a visually-driven post if you’re dealing with a physical or digital product, but it’s also a great place to pull in testimonials and user-generated content. Keep it to an individual customer if you can, but for companies with more volume like the fashion retailer, it may make more sense to group by category.
I’m of the opinion that every service-based business should share EVERY client they work with who isn’t under NDA, but some people prefer to pick out just the highlights. The important thing with this type of post is to make sure people are actually sending you things you can use here, and that you’re actually chasing them up for photos and testimonials.
THE DESIGNER: New Branding for Regale Media Communicates Both Personality and Authority
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Sam and Alex’s Wintry Forest Wedding at Herrison Hall
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: Joe Saves 50% on Home Insurance by Combining Policies With His Wife
THE FASHION RETAILER: Our Favourite Customer-Created Festival Looks from Our Summer Lines
THE CARPET STORE: BEFORE AND AFTER: Kim and Jerry’s Home Renovation
2. Behind the Scenes
This one is pretty straightforward: you want to make sure you’re giving customers a glimpse into something they wouldn’t otherwise see while working with you. But the important thing is that you make it relevant. What’s something you do that they would love to know about and would make them more excited to choose you?
THE DESIGNER: Four Concepts I DIDN’T Choose for Regale Media’s Branding (and Why)
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Editing Before and Afters: Winter 2018/19
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: See Which Insurance Policies Our Employees Chose
THE FASHION RETAILER: Unboxing of Our New Winter Lines [video]
THE CARPET STORE: Watch Us Install Our Carpet in Under 60 Seconds [hyperlapse video with a breakdown of the process]
I love the roundup post, but not just because it’s easy to create. If you’re a service-based business, it’s also a great way to target ideal clients and show off your ideas. And if you’re product-based, it’s an engaging post type that can help solidify relationships with your suppliers. The key is to make sure you tag every brand you mention and send them the link so they know it’s there. You won’t hear back from all of them, but you’d be surprised how often you do hear back, and how many of them share your content on their channels as well!
THE DESIGNER: Six Small Businesses Whose Style I Love [if you talk about how well you understand their brand, it could open up conversations with them about how you could help with its visual identity]
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Nine Venues I Would Love to Shoot [all about those venue partnerships, right?]
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: The Five Ways Companies Are Using Our Packages that We Love
THE FASHION RETAILER: Our 23 Favourite Fashion Week Looks (and How to Replicate Them)
THE CARPET STORE: Our Eight Favourite Transformations This Year [make sure it’s styles you stock]
4. The How-To
This is an obvious post in theory, but the execution can be harder. What can you post that will be valuable to your ideal audience but NOT get in the way of selling your services? Here are some ideas to get you started.
THE DESIGNER: How to Create Visual Consistency on Social Media
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: How to Create a Photo List for Your Wedding (that Your Photographer Can Actually Use)
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: Six Money-Saving Policy Combos
THE FASHION RETAILER: One Dress Four Ways
THE CARPET STORE: How to Make Sure Your Carpets Don’t Damage the Floors Underneath
Every industry has misconceptions, and this is your chance to tackle them. Create a list of 4-7 common misunderstandings people have about what you do or how you do it, and then correct them! The important thing here is to make sure that you don’t come off whiny. This is a great way to overcome customer objections, so take advantage of it!
THE DESIGNER: No I Don’t Use Canva, and Five More Graphic Design Myths BUSTED
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Seven Things I Wish All Brides Knew
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: Four Myths About Life Insurance Policies You Probably Believe
THE FASHION RETAILER: Five Fashion Rules That Were Made to Be Broken
THE CARPET STORE: Five Lies About Carpet that You Probably Believe
6. Response to Industry News
Have you ever read something or seen something that had you bubbling over with thoughts and opinions, but no one you spoke to seemed to care all that much because it was so specific to your industry? This is your time to shine! Try not to make it too soapbox-y though; keep it informative and instructional. And of course stay away from super sensitive events; Grenfell isn’t an opportunity for you to sell home or life insurance (yes, I actually saw this online).
THE DESIGNER: A Designer’s Opinion on the Crowdsourced Council Branding
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: What I Would Have Done Differently for Megan and Harry’s Wedding Photos
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: (insert event here) Shows Just Why It’s So Important to Have Up-to-Date (insert insurance policy here)
THE FASHION RETAILER: 12 Girl-Power Inspired Outfits Perfect for This Year’s ⅓ Female Coachella
THE CARPET STORE: Why the New Building Regulations Are a Great Thing for Your Floors
7. Hiring Guide
We wrote a post like this here, where we laid out the questions every marketing manager should be able to answer before they’re hired. Chances are you have the same thing. This will be a bit harder for product-based businesses, but you can adapt accordingly. The obvious tip here is to make sure you can actually stack up to the standards you set in the post.
THE DESIGNER: The Eight Deliverables Every Brand Designer Should Be Creating [and a Ninth That Doesn’t Actually Matter]
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: The Ten Questions to Ask Your Photographer BEFORE You Book
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: The Nine Things to Look Out for in the Small Print of Your Insurance Policy
THE FASHION RETAILER: How to Make Sure Your Clothes are Ethically Sourced: Four Questions to Ask Your Retailers
THE CARPET STORE: Six Important Things Most People Forget to Do BEFORE Purchasing New Carpets
8. Ways to Make the Most of Your Service
This is a variation on the how-to post, but it relates a bit more directly to your service. You can use it as a way to eliminate objections too, as you can show them how low-maintenance things will be once they have hired you.
THE DESIGNER: How to Easily Roll Out Your New Brand Across All Your Platforms and Collateral
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Our Favourite Ways to Use Your Wedding Photos
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: Insurance Check-Up: How to Quickly and Effectively Review Your Policies Each Year (and Change if Necessary)
THE FASHION RETAILER: Eight Ways to Take Care of Your Clothes So They Last Longer
THE CARPET STORE: How to Take Care of Your New Carpets So They Last Longer and Look Better
9. Trend Forecasting
Every industry changes over time, so whether yours does so slowly or rapidly, there are ways you can predict what will happen and how it will impact your customers. Here are some ideas:
THE DESIGNER: Five Companies Pushing the Design Boundaries You Should Be Watching
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Our Favourite New Trends for Couple’s Photos
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: How Brexit Will Impact Your Insurance Needs
THE FASHION RETAILER: Our Seven Favourite Spring Trends from Fashion Week
THE CARPET STORE: The Most Versatile Styles So Your Interiors Can Always Be On-Trend
10. The Toolkit
This one goes hand in hand with the “ways to make the most of your service” post, so if you’re doing both, make sure there’s not too much overlap
THE DESIGNER: The Brand Toolkit: Eight Things You Need
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: The Essentials to Have in Your Wedding Day Touch-Up Kit
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: The Four Documents to Keep at All Times (and Two You Can Ditch)
THE FASHION RETAILER: Our Favourite Wardrobe Organisation Tools to KonMari Your Life (and Where to Buy Them)
THE CARPET STORE: Five Cleaning Products You Should Use on Your Carpets (and Three You Should Avoid)
11. Dissect a Piece of Pop Culture
I’ll start with my example for this: the pop culture show You. While it’s not about social media for business, it does use social media incredibly well and makes a point about what we portray online. I could write seven blog posts about it. What is your equivalent?
THE DESIGNER: The Best Made-for-TV Brands (and No, Let’s Chips Is Not One)
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Why Are All Fake Wedding Photos In Films the Same?
THE INSURANCE PROVIDER: “I Did It For the Insurance Money,” and Other Misconceptions TV Has Given Us About Insurance Fraud
THE FASHION RETAILER: Six TV Shows Where They Actually Re-Wear Their Clothes
THE CARPET STORE: Our Favourite Interiors From 2018 Films and TV
12. The Update Post
Ah, the humble update post. Blogs started as online diaries, and the tradition continues today. I recommend sharing an update post at least once per quarter. It gives you an outlet to talk about any changes in your business, and people will be more interested than you think, especially your friends and family. I won’t give you examples for this because it’s so different from business to business, but it should be fairly apparent what to post. You can save up all your news for a monthly or quarterly update, or you can post every time you have one. Either way, it’s a good habit to get into!
So there you go! There are 12 post ideas to get you going, and maybe more if you were able to brainstorm multiple ideas for each category. As always, if you want help putting your content calendar together, we’re here to help! Get in touch, or check out our services page for more info.