At its most basic lev­el, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tries to keep your busi­ness top of mind when some­one is look­ing to buy. It may take months for them to reach that point so just push­ing a mes­sage of ‘BUY NOW’ won’t have the desired effect. Instead, con­tent that helps solve a prob­lem, enter­tains or makes them laugh will keep them engaged and you top of mind when they are ready.

Com­ing up with cre­ative con­tent ideas for a busi­ness can often be the most time con­sum­ing and dif­fi­cult part of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing but it doesn’t have to be that way.

A great con­tent mar­ket­ing plan is built on the idea that by pro­vid­ing val­ue in the form of con­tent will build trust and posi­tion you as an expert. The audi­ence that con­sumes it will like­ly be more inter­est­ed in pur­chas­ing their prod­uct down the line.

Issues arise when busi­ness­es want quick results and default back into a sell­ers men­tal­i­ty. The real­i­ty is that most peo­ple on social plat­forms don’t go there to buy some­thing. They want to con­nect, learn, be inspired or be enter­tained.

In an ide­al world, orga­ni­za­tions will look at their prod­ucts and ser­vices and try and think of ideas they can talk about that will pro­vide val­ue to their poten­tial cus­tomers and solve prob­lems.

Too often we get suck­ered back into ‘sell­ing’ rather than pro­vid­ing val­ue because that part is easy. It’s sim­ple to talk about your busi­ness and why some­one should buy from you. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, those pieces of con­tent aren’t what peo­ple want to see. It can be tough to con­sis­tent­ly come up with new con­cepts beyond this though.

A strat­e­gy that has worked for many busi­ness­es is to devel­op key areas that they have ‘per­mis­sion’ to talk about.

Think of it like this — if you’re a trav­el agent, some­one would right­ly expect to hear you talk about vaca­tions, trav­el des­ti­na­tions and hotel reviews. But if the same trav­el agent sud­den­ly posts about res­i­den­tial inter­est rate ris­es their audi­ence would right­ly be a lit­tle per­plexed.

In essence, every busi­ness has cer­tain top­ics that they could rea­son­ably talk about. What becomes dif­fi­cult is when you feel like those top­ics have been cov­ered at length and you’re look­ing for vari­a­tion and diver­si­ty.

This is where you can begin to expand your con­tent top­ics and get a lit­tle more cre­ative in your think­ing.

Con­sid­er a mort­gage bro­ker for exam­ple. They help cus­tomers find a low inter­est rate for their mort­gage. Their usu­al con­tent would prob­a­bly be around the cur­rent hous­ing mar­ket, tips for first home buy­ers, or how to save for a deposit. Not ter­ri­bly excit­ing per­haps, but rel­e­vant and use­ful for their cus­tomers.

To push their mar­ket­ing fur­ther, they could pro­duce con­tent out­side of their core busi­ness area but still in the same indus­try. For exam­ple, they might write a blog post about the 5 best lounge suits for cou­ples.

First of all, they’re speak­ing to their core audi­ence. Cou­ples are more like­ly to buy a house than sin­gle peo­ple so cre­at­ing the head­line to appeal to cou­ples is a good move.

With some research (and some qual­i­ty time watch­ing Net­flix on the reclin­er) they could come up with a great arti­cle that would engage a new audi­ence.

While it may not result in some­one walk­ing through their door right away, it’s like­ly to build trust in their brand and give val­ue to their tar­get audi­ence. It will get peo­ple excit­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ties once they own their own home and pic­ture what that will be like.

Remem­ber that con­tent mar­ket­ing is a long-term strat­e­gy so it only works when you com­mit to pro­duc­ing qual­i­ty con­tent over a peri­od of time. It may take some­one years to com­mit to buy­ing their first home but in that time, you’ve giv­en them fan­tas­tic ideas and inspi­ra­tion for when they do.

Who do you think they’ll want advice from when they final­ly decide they’re ready? Cer­tain­ly not the busi­ness that just screams “use our ser­vices!’ five times a day. Chances are they’ve already ignored them any­way.

To put this into prac­tice, write down your core busi­ness exper­tise and indus­try. Then begin to brain­storm all the oth­er seg­ments with­in that indus­try.

For our mort­gage bro­ker exam­ple, their core busi­ness is home loans and their indus­try is con­sumer finance and hous­ing.

With­in those two indus­tries, there are count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties:

  • Ren­o­va­tion inspi­ra­tion
  • How to turn your new house into an Airbnb income gen­er­a­tor
  • Inte­ri­or dec­o­rat­ing ideas
  • Space sav­ing tips
  • Ways to make your house pet-friend­ly
  • Ideas to make your house ener­gy effi­cient
  • How to con­vert your old home into a smart home

The list is almost end­less! Once you start down this track you’ll begin to see just how much great con­tent you’ll be able to pro­duce that peo­ple will actu­al­ly want to read. Your audi­ence will love it because it’s prac­ti­cal, fun and they can imple­ment it them­selves.

Now you’ve got a nev­er-end­ing list of con­tent pos­si­bil­i­ties, you’ll be able to keep top of mind and be the busi­ness of choice when your audi­ence wants to buy.