From creating a video series or publishing a book to celebrating the Chinese New Year, January 2017 is full of content marketing opportunities for your business.
Content marketing is the act of creating content, publishing that content, and promoting it with the goal of attracting, engaging, and keeping customers for your business. Content marketing depends on the concept of reciprocity or a mutual exchange of dependence, action, or influence.
When your company provides someone with useful, informative, or entertaining content, that someone may feel a sense of obligation to your business and may purchase from you when the opportunity arises.
Here are five content marketing ideas for your business.
1. Start a Video Series
Your customers and prospects almost certainly watch videos online.
In October 2016, trend tracking firm comScore reported in its Multi-Platform Media Metrix that YouTube reaches about 95 percent of regular Internet users in the United States age 35 or older in a given month.
From 2015 to 2016, the amount of time American adults spent on YouTube doubled, according to an April 2016 Google and Nielsen report.
Again, your customers and prospects are online watching videos. So, for your content in 2017, commit to producing a monthly video series. You just have to publish once a month. You can do that.
Your aim is to create a series that helps your potential customers complete a task, provides those customers with good information, or entertains your customers.
The video embedded above from multichannel retailer Michael’s can be your inspiration.
2. Celebrate Chinese New Year
Worldwide, just about one in every six people is Chinese or of Chinese descent. So when your business celebrates the Chinese New Year, there are a lot of potential customers celebrating with you.
The Chinese New Year, which is also called the Spring Festival, is a 15-day event that begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice — January 28 for 2017.
The holiday is one of the most important economic and social events of the year in Chinese culture. And the United States — San Francisco, Calif. specifically — is home to the largest Chinese New Year celebration outside of China.
For your Chinese New Year content you might:
- Describe the event’s history,
- Provide dumpling or long noodle recipes,
- Show off fashion featuring the color red,
- Describe how-to articles for making decorations.
3. Offer Classes
How-to content could be content marketing’s highest form. When you create something useful, something that genuinely helps, folks will appreciate it and will be more likely to purchase from your business. This is the principle of reciprocity.
For January 2017, consider offering classes that really help your potential customers learn a new skill. These classes can be in the form of online videos or, better still, real world events.
Michael’s, the brick-and-click craft retailer mentioned above, is a master of using classes (content) to build customer relationships.
Specifically, a shopper could attend a multi-week cake-decorating class at Michael’s and learn all of the fundamental techniques needed to be an outstanding cake decorator. And given that Michael’s took the time to teach you, where would you look first for cake decorating supplies?
You don’t need a physical store to offer classes. For example, imagine that you sell fly tying tools and materials online for fly fishermen. You could teach a series of fly tying classes at libraries all around your region.
4. Create a Checklist
The checklist may be an under-appreciated literary form. Or, at the very least, it is a good way to present helpful and easy-to-share content.
From the content marketer’s perspective, a good checklist should include an actual list of items readers can check off and an accompanying article or description of the checklist.
For example, Martha Stewart’s website includes a number of holiday checklists, including one that describes how to manage a holiday cookie swap.
This January, produce a few helpful and fun checklists that make sense in the context of your business.
5. Self-publish a Book
The Michelin Guide series is an excellent example of content marketing well before the practice became popular.
A little over 100 years ago, André and Édouard Michelin of the Michelin tire company began to publish a guidebook for French motorists. The book included maps, lists of hotels, the locations of gas stations, and some simple tire maintenance and repair information.
The guide was intended to encourage travel by car, which in turn would encourage the use of tires, which is what Michelin was trying to sell.
Over time, the Michelin Guide grew to be a well-known restaurant and hotel guide. For example, the 2015 Chicago edition reviews 400 restaurants.
In January 2017, consider publishing a book that might help your business.
For example, if your company sells men’s suits, you might publish a book about how to be a modern gentleman or how to dress for success.
If your company sells high-quality paper or journals, you could publish a book about handwriting or about famous letters or journals.
You don’t even have to do all of the work yourself. You can hire researchers and writers to help put words to your ideas.
This is the most challenging content marketing suggestion on this list, but it is a new year. Who isn’t up for a challenge?