October 24, 2016

2248 words 11 mins read

The 50 Best Content Marketing Ideas of 2016

People brainstorming content marketing ideas around a green table.

Have you run out of content marketing steam? When you feel like you are publishing the same blog post over and over again, it’s time to take a step back and refuel your creative spark. Content should be exciting! After all, every time you create, publish, and distribute content you are putting a piece of your business into the hands of your existing and potential new customers.

And they deserve more than just another boring blog post.

To keep you inspired in your content marketing efforts, here are 50 (that’s right, 50!) ideas you can implement today to help you create the best content possible.

2016’s Best Content Marketing Ideas to Freshen Up Your Game

1. Alternative Publishing Platforms

LinkedIn Pulse and Facebook Articles deliver articles direct to their readers, allowing you an opportunity to vastly increase your brand’s reach: LinkedIn has an estimated 433 million users, and more than 1 billion people are active on Facebook.

2. Animated GIFs

Spice up your content with animated GIFs, a methodology that works smashingly well for Buzzfeed. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth 10,000.” - Joe Puglisi, Senior Creative Strategist, Buzzfeed

3. Ask Customers What they Want

This may sound like a no-brainer, but the most effective content addresses what your customers want, not what you think they want. Ask your customers what they enjoy and what they’d like to see more of using polls, surveys, and your customer service team to collect their answers.

4. Annual Reports

Speaking of surveying customers, use data gleaned from customer surveys and polls to create an annual report highlighting customer attitudes, intentions, and other industry insights.

5. Be Different

Content is everywhere. If you want your content to truly be noticed in a sea of infographics, blog posts, and videos, you’re going to have to stand apart from the crowd. If you can’t figure out what makes your content different from the competitors, you may need to scrap it and start over.

6. Calculators

Create a calculator tool that will help visitors to your site see the value of your product or service. Calculators can determine everything from mortgage payments, ROI, to how much insurance protection they need.

7. Case Studies

Case studies can be a highly effective marketing tool. 62% of US marketing agency executives say they are effective for lead generation. Tip: Case studies shouldn’t be boring, bland collections of statistics. They should tell personal stories of triumph that your customers can connect to.

8. Celebrate a Holiday

Did you know that January 3rd is Fruitcake Toss Day, May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day, and October 29th is National Frankenstein Day? Determine what interests your customers, and create content around a holiday that will delight them – no matter how wacky or silly it may be.

9. Charts and Graphs

Visual content is not just a content trend, it’s the future. Use graphs, charts, and other visual diagrams in your content and your readers will retain more of what they read, and remember it longer, too.

10. Checklists

There is something very satisfying about a checklist. Provide a resource for your customers and offer them content in checklist form, such as downloadable shopping lists or vacation packing lists, to name a few.

11. Collaborate on Content

If you’ve run out of content ideas (which should be next-to-impossible with this list), it may be time to team up and collaborate. Reach out to shoulder niches or brands in complementary spaces to create something new that highlights both of your products or services.

12. Comic Strips

Appeal to the kid in your audience with a comic strip to guide them through a process or tell your brand story. A comic offers a fun way to leverage the power of visual content.

13. Contests and Giveaways

Contests can be great lead generation tools to help you grow your social following, email list, brand awareness, and website visitors. Keep it simple, too many rules or hoops to enter and you may end up frustrating your users.

14. Consider Your CTAs

You know not to neglect a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your content, no matter what form it takes. Consider crafting your content around your CTA, rather than choosing the right CTA to fit the content.

15. Customer Spotlights

Interview a customer and spotlight them in a blog post, email newsletter, or video. Share their success story and demonstrate the way your product helped them overcome a pain point.

16. Daily Tips

Want to be a thought leader in your industry? Try sharing a daily tip on Twitter. You can even engage employees in this practice, start a Daily Tip calendar and have everyone take a turn.

17. Decision Tree

A decision tree can be a useful tool for your customers, or a fun and zany piece of content that delights and entertains. These charts start a customer off with one question and then sends them across the diagram with a series of “Yes/No” questions that leads them to their ultimate answer. Decision trees are great visual content to share on Pinterest and Instagram.

18. Digital Tools

Can you create a digital tool that will help your customers improve their efficiency or increase their market share? At GROW, we specialize in native application development to create one-of-a-kind business solutions for our clients that address their specific industry pain points. In other words, we build digital tools to help you grow your business.


There is a reason that a downloadable book or guide is the gold standard of content offers. You can exchange information that your customers want for emails and other data. Downloads are a solid lead generation tool that won’t be going out of style anytime soon.

20. Emails

You’ve worked hard to grow your email list. Don’t sabotage the effort and chase customers away by sending out boring emails. Your emails should be entertaining, educational, and should offer something of value to your customers to keep them hooked and waiting for your next offer.

21. Emojis

Emojis are quickly becoming a part of our language, so get in front of a hot new trend by creating your own set of unique ones. Now, there’s no promise that the branded emoji fad is here for the long run, but for now it could be a fun content offering. (Smiley face, winky smiley face, thumbs up!)

22. Event Summary

Recap a summit, festival, or popular event with a series of blog posts or Instagram images. Event summaries can recapture a moment of excitement for those who attended and allow those who missed it to feel like they were there.

23. Expose Industry Inner-workings

Someone somewhere wants to know exactly how your business works. So help them out. Pull back the curtain and let them in, give them a guide or tips on what makes your business tick. Reveal industry practices or shocking secrets and your audience will be rapt.

24. FAQs

Don’t relegate FAQs to a distant corner of your website. Frequently asked questions are real concerns that your clients have, so address them in a series of blog posts or videos.

25. Flickr Photostreams

There are over 51 million registered Flickr users uploading around 2 million photos a day to the image hosting site. Get in on the game and use a Flickr photostream to highlight your brand story and products.

26. Generators

Blog title generators. Business name generators. Hipster logo generators. Meme generators. The internet loves a fun generator, and you can get in on this trend by creating your own. (Or let us create one for you.)

27. Get Guest Bloggers

Guest blogging for inbound links is far from dead, but the game has changed. A guest blogger can add a valuable twist to your content, offering a different point of view for your audience.

28. Glimpse Behind the Scenes

What’s happening in your warehouse right now? Are your employees product testing? Do you have an office dog? Photos, videos, and blogs that lift the veil of your business can show off your human side and reinforce your brand image.

29. Guides

A downloadable guide can offer a lot of value to the right person, which is why a guide is still the go-to premium content choice for many content marketers.

30. Hacks

It may sound like an overplayed buzzword, but hacks are still a hot content trend. Can your products be repurposed to appeal to the DIY crowd? Show your audience in a video or blog.

31. Highlight Your Top Performers

Turn to your analytics and sales team to uncover your top performing products/ services. Highlight what makes them so popular in a post or video.

32. Interview Experts

Want to be thought of as an industry expert or thought leader? Interview others who have paved the way and leverage their built-in trust factor to reinforce your position.

33. Influencers to Follow

Compile a list of industry influencers to follow on Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social platforms are relevant to your audience.

34. Infographics & Gifographics

Infographics may have reached a saturation point, but there is still value in providing visual content to your audience. To stand apart in a sea of infographics, try an interactive or animated version, such as a gifographic, instead.

35. Installment Story

Storytelling is at the heart of marketing and brand building. Our brains crave stories, which is why storytelling has been an effective marketing technique since, well, the stone age. Create a storyline and present it in installments and you’ll have your audience looking forward to your next blog post like it’s the next Harry Potter book.

36. List Posts

There’s a reason that the list post is so darn popular. List posts get results. List posts make a promise to readers, and then they deliver. And the brain loves that. So keep listing - your readers will appreciate it.

37. Multi-Part Series

Have a post that’s an all-star performer? Make it part 1 of a series and dive even deeper into the subject for your readers.

38. Myth-Breakers

What are some of the common objectives your sales team hears when it comes to your service or product? Address them in a “myth buster” post and counter any inaccurate information about your industry, company, or products.

39. Newsjacking

The term may sound a bit like unsavory, kind of like “ambulance chasing.” But the fact is you can get a lot of traction by joining in on a trending topic that’s relevant to your customer. Set up Google alerts and when you find something relevant in the news, cover it.

40. Optimize for Intent

User intent is becoming more and more relevant to SEO. And content marketing and SEO are two sides of the same coin. What are visitors to your website trying to accomplish? Identify intent and then create content that supports it.

41. Online Courses

Can you teach your audience something new? Create an online course with videos and downloadable materials and offer it as a way to capture new leads.

42. Podcasts & Audio Posts

Podcasting is one of the fastest growing forms of content. If it aligns with your customer base, try integrating audio into your content offerings.

43. Profile Your Team

Shannon in sales. Liz the warehouse manager. Dominic the all-star copywriter. Your business can’t run without your amazing team, so let your audience know who is taking their calls or fulfilling their orders. Your team is your brand, so spotlight them!

44. Product Comparison Guides

Sometimes all it takes to convert a lead to a sale is a clear picture of how your product or service compares to the competition.

45. #Quotes

People love quotes. Quotes get pinned on Pinterest, retweeted on Twitter, liked on Instagram and shared on Facebook. All you need to get your audience engaged is an image and a relevant quote to overlay on top.

46. Quizzes

Interactive content reigns supreme in 2016, so offer your audience a quiz to keep them entertained, or to collect information to improve your content or product offerings

Every day you have new visitors who may never delve deep into your blog archives. So recap your most popular posts and update them on what they’ve been missing.

48. Start with a Strategy

If you’re one of the ⅔ of content marketers producing content without developing a strategy first, you may not be thrilled with the results of your efforts. If you want to actually achieve your content marketing goals, start with a strategy first.

49. User Generated Content

User generated content (UGC) is a marketing dream come true - who wouldn’t want an engaged audience providing relevant content? Try a contest or giveaway to encourage your audience join you in content creation.

50. Update Older Content

Google loves it when you refresh and update existing content. Start with the most popular blogs in your archive and comb through them for broken links or outdated information. When your post has been updated and refreshed, share it with an entirely new audience to experience for the first time.

Did you make it all the way to the end of this list? Then you’ve armed yourself with a multitude of content ideas that can shake up your game, get you refocused, and help you achieve your business objectives. Let us know if you have any ideas that we’ve missed, and we’ll be sure to update our post with your amazing idea!

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