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Canon EOS 6D. Colby Brown. Beginners Guide to Real Estate Photography. The general purpose is to help users make an educated decision when buying a certain product; in the example below from MacRumors , the buying guide compares and contrasts different categories of Apple products to help unfamiliar users decide precisely what they need.
Image Source: MacRumors. Opinion pieces are some of the most open-ended pieces of content you can produce. All you have to do is find a topic that matters to your audience, formulate an opinion on it, and write about that opinion. There are a few keys to being successful here—your opinion should be strong, well-researched, and at least somewhat debatable.
These tend to capture user interest because they appeal to the imagination and are future-focused. Once your prediction piece is written, you can actually capitalize on it for another powerful piece of content; the prediction follow-up. As the name suggests, this is a way to reflect on the predictions you initially made and determine whether they proved true or false—as well as why. Image Source: Moz. Be sure to include photos and illustrations, or change forms to a video tutorial instead.
In fact, it might be a good idea to include both a video and written version of your tutorial to help audiences with preferences for either one. Punished Props has built a successful Youtube brand around video tutorials on how to make realistic-looking costumes, weapons, and armor. For example, in the realm of link building , you might focus on black hat tactics like sneaking links into forum comments or participating in link exchanges and other schemes. Depending on the severity of the consequences in your particular field, you could turn this into a cautionary tale, or make it humorous.
Either one can be made more powerful with the inclusion of specific examples. There are myths, misconceptions, and false assumptions surrounding practically every industry. Gather them up and work on dispelling them in a single post; just make sure you back up your claims with specific examples or hard evidence. Quizzes are a fun, interactive way to engage your users, and they offer more user participation than most of the other entries on this list. If you need more users participating on your site, this is a good bet to see higher rates. Calculators are like simplified, numerically-based versions of quizzes.
You can even embed a calculator in one of your other blog posts to make it more functional or more immediately practical for your readers; there are many WordPress plugins that allow you to do this. Image Source: Bankrate. Through the process of gamification , you can turn almost anything into a game, or create a game for your users.
You could also make it more instructional, such as presenting a complex strategy in a game format to help users understand it on a more instinctual, conceptual level. As you consistently execute your work, your readers will become more and more invested, leaving you with higher rates of engagement and, eventually, returns.
Include detailed schematics outlining what your product of choice is made out of, and offer written explanations for why it is the way it is. Flow charts are interactive visual creations that help guide users through some kind of process, usually related to a decision. Each node on the chart provides a user with a branched set of options, followed by more nodes which lead the user further down the chart. You can use a chart like this to help guide them through a buying decision, such as deciding which model to go with, or have more fun with it.
For example, you can use a flow chart to lead a user into a punchline or poke fun at the complexities of your industry. Image Source: Mental Floss. With templates, your job is to provide a basic outline or representative set of content that users can then leverage for their own purposes. Depending on the nature of your template and what your customers actually need, you can provide these in a few different ways.
Most notably, you can offer them as downloadable PDFs, which users can then print, savable documents and spreadsheets, which are editable on local devices, or embed the template directly into your post. Worksheets are similar to templates, but they serve a more specific purpose, and allow the user to work through some kind of problem. For example, a template for a social media strategy might give the user starting points for outlining their goals and objectives, but a worksheet would allow a user to work through the brainstorming and planning process that leads them to those conclusions.
Again, you can make this printable with a PDF or editable with a digital file. They were once powerhouses for generating links and shares, but because they became so popular so fast, users began to grow tired of seeing the same infographic tropes over and over again. Check out this infographic-based infographic for a quick rundown on how you can do it:. Image Source: Dash Burst.privuncalnege.ml
If you want to get involved, paneled, illustrated storytelling can be a deep and immersive way to present a complex idea or present a sophisticated idea of humor. The goal is to present something in both a written and visual format, and preferably in a way that users can either engage with directly or share. You can see one of my favorites in this post. Memes are even easier to generate. Now, the actual definition of a meme is an idea that evolves and distributes itself, much like a gene in the evolutionary sense. But since its coinage by Internet dwellers, it has since evolved ironically to refer to any image macros, colloquial phrases, or in-jokes that circulate virally, usually due to some kind of humorous element.
If you need help, you can seek out a meme generator online. Image source: Memegenerator. Photography is another visual medium you can use to gain visibility for your content marketing campaign, and there are a few different ways to harness its potential. If you have a professional photographer, or a standout image that says something significant about your brand or your audience, you can use it as a standalone piece —perhaps with a thoughtful caption. The best part is, they can come from any of the image-based categories I briefly recapped over the past few entries.
In the same way you aggregate images, you can also aggregate videos—even some of your own. For example, you can create a kind of YouTube playlist of some of the most influential videos in your industry, or you can embed your most popular videos in one collective post. However, you can take it to the next level of aesthetic appeal and interactivity by including some illustrated elements. Video graphics are essentially the animated versions of infographics.
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This format is far more original and engaging, and there will be less competition clamoring for attention here. However, the flip side is that it takes more time and expertise to develop. Releasing a new video on a regular interval will help you earn more YouTube subscribers, and generate more ongoing attention for your brand. You can even create a specific channel or sub-channel dedicated exclusively to that series. Consider exploring the pros and cons of a given tactic or topic every week, or visually showcasing something about your business.
If your business hosts regular events, or if you plan on attending events in the future, hosting an updating calendar on your site is a great way to generate more content and keep your users informed. Try to include a brief description of each entry on your calendar, both to inform your users and to optimize for search engines; you can even use a Schema markup to increase the chances of getting featured in a Knowledge Graph entry.
Image Source: Grog Shop. You can also use timelines as an interactive, visual way to project the history of your company or of your industry. Show off the major events that helped shape your industry and your business into what it is today. However, you can also have timelines projecting into the future, charting out your company or industry goals, vision, and predictions. Charts and graphs are ideal ways to help your users visualize otherwise hard-to-approach data points; you may have already included some in your infographics and video graphics.
This post at WaitButWhy. If you want to become known as an industry authority, you need to post your thoughts and opinions about the latest news in the industry. Start by subscribing to influential blogs and forums, and networking with other influencers in the industry. When you see a story that piques your interest, news-jack it by presenting the facts of the story in your own words, of course , followed up with your own reactions and opinions.
Doing so will build your reputation, and provide you with easy material for ongoing content work. You may even learn of new opportunities for promotion, such as finding local events that need new speakers or discussion leaders. Taking things one level further, you can also capitalize on national and international news stories for your news-jacking efforts. This is especially powerful if you select topics that are at least marginally relevant to your industry or your customers; for example, with the launch of a new technology, you could post about the possibilities it holds for your industry.
One of the best ways to collaborate is in an interview format; you can ask your chosen influencer a series of questions about your industry and their opinions on it, and the two of you can mutually benefit from the exposure. Beyond that, you can even reuse some of your initial questions in future interviews, saving you work on similar content in the future. You can also look inside your organization to find people to interview, such as your CEO, or heads of various departments in your business. Ask them about their positions, including what they do for the organization, as well as their thoughts on the industry and where they see the business going from here.
Your focus should be on providing valuable insights for your audience, but this is also a good chance to show off the personalities and talent that make up your business. You can use your blog as a platform for debate in a number of different ways.
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For starters, you can use it as a way to list the pros and cons of each side of an argument, much in the same way that ProCon. In yet another application, you can pit two industry influencers against each other by giving them the opportunity to hash it out on your blog. Image Source: ProCon.
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Roundtable discussions are a bit like a debate, and a bit like an interview. There are a few different ways to host this, but one of the best is to collect them all in the same room and ask them group and individual questions, making sure everyone gets equal time to make points and share their sides. This is especially useful for exploring a topic thoroughly, and usually does a good job of generating discussion afterward.
You can also collect a series of common customer or user questions and answer them, one by one. This is especially powerful if you answer questions that were posed by actual users, either in the comments sections of previous posts or from social media followers. Whenever you hear an interesting question, flag it and write it down—that way, you can draw up a collective post with all of them at a later date.
As a side note, this is an excellent strategy for optimizing for long-tail keywords. As you saw in the last content idea, this is an excellent way to mine for user questions that you can subsequently answer, but you can also use other comments as jumping-off points for new posts. Comments, social media, and user surveys are excellent ways to figure out what your followers and fans want to read next. Some will probably come to you with topics without even being prompted.
These are golden opportunities for development, handed to you on a silver platter. You can also create PowerPoint or slide presentations to share with your audience; this is especially cost-efficient if you created these decks for a real-life presentation opportunity and get to reuse them as collateral for your content marketing campaign. Podcasts are seeing a resurgence in popularity , though they never really fell out of style.
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