Sometimes ideas are elusive creatures. They hide. The harder you look for them, the more they blend into the background of your brain. Generating ideas for online content is no different.

Ever wonder, What should I blog (or podcast or webinar or tweet or email) about today?

In those moments, the trick is to think about thinking differently! And that’s where the Content Jumpstarter comes in. In Round 1 of the Jumpstarter, we look at content categories as a way of brainstorming new content ideas.

Here are six content categories to get you started.

Categories are broader groupings of ideas, and they can be seen in every industry. If you use a variety of content categories, like those shown below, your editorial calendar will be full of engaging content covering a range of topics. In fact, even if you think of just four content pieces in each of these categories, you essentially have an editorial calendar for one year.

Thought of other content categories? Let us know.

Chronicles Digital Content Jumpstart Industry Problems

What are the most pressing problems facing customers in your industry? If you don’t know, go ask them.

List out four of the top problems your customers encounter. Do a little research on the best, objective solutions to those problems. Blend in your products/services, of course, but really focus on giving the best advice. This is how you build trust as a partner to your customers.

Check out these examples:

Chronicles Digital Content Jump Starter idea - industry rock stars

Who are the big names in your industry? Thought leaders, gurus, top performers, good guys, bad guys. These might not be people in your company, and that’s okay.

A simple profile piece works, such as “What Guru So-and-So Thinks About Industry X Trends (And Why We Think He’s Right)”. OR Consider reaching out to these rock stars. Have them on your podcast. Have them guest post on your blog. Think about the existing promotional power of their audience and try to tap into it.

Check out these examples:

Chronicles Digital Customer Success Stories

Talk about flattering! Your customers talking about themselves? They may even mention some nice things about your company.

You may also use this opportunity to elicit feedback for your product development or account management team. Value-added effort!

When you interview customers, try to find the ways they are unique as individuals (i.e. “interesting”), but don’t forget to find out how they are similar to your other customers. This will help make a connection across your audience: Hey! This person is a lot like me. If he found this company helpful, maybe I would, too!

Check out these examples:

Chronicles Digital Content Jumpstarter Lessons Learned

Being authentic means not pretending to know everything. Instead of building a facade of false confidence, your content can reveal your commitment to constant improvement. When you made a misstep but recovered: that’s a story! When you found a faster/better/cheaper process: share it!

Your audience wants to know how they can avoid similar problems, so help them out. When you express confident vulnerability, you open yourself to even stronger relationships with your customers.

And, frankly, everyone producing content now-a-days purports to be a know-it-all expert. You’ve got marketing interns writing blogs like “10 Awesome Ways to Perform Open Heart Surgery.” I mean, let’s bring back the humility! It’s okay not know everything.

Check out these examples:

Chronicles Digital Content Jumpstarter news you can use

News and trends: these are what your customers want to stay on top of, but they don’t always have time. They would love a certain someone (hint, hint) to keep abreast of what’s going on and interpreting how it affects them.

I’m not talking about company news here. If your office got a new vacuum cleaner, for example: that story is going to be a lot less compelling to a broader audience than say the Federal Trade Commission is clamping down on the interstate sale of vacuum cleaners.

With a news approach, you can use Google alerts or other trusted info providers to tickle your inbox with content prompts. And then your mission is to wrangle those news stories into context for your industry. Is there a connection to one of your products or services? Great! Work it in!

Check out these examples:

Chronicles Digital Content Jumpstarter Behind the Scenes

This category has yuuuge potential for video and audio. Showcase employees and how they deliver awesome to your customers. Give sneak peeks to show off the cool gizmos on the production line that help make your world-class widgets. Show the sausage-making. And events: people love going behind the scenes at events.

How about “the making of” videos? What if you’re filming your CEO delivering the Q3 report, and he needs to be serious for that video…but he doesn’t need to be as serious in the Making of the Q3 Video. It’s a great chance to reveal personality and make intimate connections with your audience

Check out these examples:

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Need Help With Your Content?

That’s what we’re here for! Contact Chronicles Digital today to learn how we can help you generate editorial calendars filled with compelling content. Blogs, white papers, case studies, videos, podcasts. If you need to build website traffic and convert leads into customers, you’re in the right place!

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