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Creative Marketing Ideas to Fuel Content Strategies in 2016

Customers want to see something new and fresh from the brands they follow, and your organization wants to reimagine proven strategies and campaigns to increase marketing buzz and ROI.

Idea generation and documentation don’t get much attention, but they’re important parts of the content marketing process. Creative marketing ideas don’t have room to grow and gain traction if there’s no clear path to development.

According to a Kapost survey of B2B marketers in 2015, two out of three marketers don’t have a solid internal idea-sourcing process.

So while teams may have great input to contribute, if there’s no clear process for gathering or documenting the 251 ideas that marketers need to fuel marketing efforts, all that creativity will go to waste.

Get the year off to a fruitful start by crafting an idea-exchange process, plus a way to document ideas in a shared online content repository. This encourages crowdsourcing among internal teams, which is another key element for keeping ideas fresh.

Here are some ways to improve, polish, or reinvent marketing efforts in 2016:

1. Develop a Podcast to Showcase Expertise and Build Brand Recognition

Experimenting with new content forms is a powerful way to capture people who consume content differently. It also expands the reach, depth, and diversity of your content marketing.

Marketing Idea: Feature a client success story as a regular segment

Feature a client success story as a regular segment, or repurpose written content as a live discussion between team members. Be sure to create transcripts of episodes to share on your company blog in order to get further traction through content repurposing.

Salesforce is a great example of a company leveraging podcasting in interesting ways. Their Marketing Cloudcast is a weekly podcast that interviews marketing leaders about real-world marketing challenges and their unique, successful solutions.

2. Craft Interactive Content Pieces That Increase Value and Engagement

Customers want choice above all else. Think of ways to break down a marketing campaign into different, consumable bites of content styles and human-focused tools. Then, spread the love through social media channels by sharing the repurposed content to connect with different buyer personas.

SnapApp did a great job with this creative marketing idea by making simple tools accessible, interesting, and interactive while also engaging their target audience.

They created a year-long campaign around a range of interactive assets: a guide, workbook, webinars, interactive content, and more. Then they used their platform to demonstrate how easy it is for brands to tell humanizing stories while marketing creatively.

3. Use Real Employees to Humanize Your Campaigns

There are several personal touchpoints in the buyer’s journey that span a team of decision makers, so use your teams to tap into shared interests and goals.

IBM did something similar with the “Are You an IBMer” campaign, creating several iterations on the same theme over the years and throughout many countries.

4. Make a Brand Video or Web Series to Show What Your Brand Can Offer

Using mobile and video—two big marketing trends in 2016—is a no-brainer at this point. The trick is in selecting topics that will resonate with potential customers.

Start by using video to answer common client questions: develop a web series that introduces key members of the business, for example. The trick is to create video content that will help people along the buyer’s journey while sharing more about the brand.

It also helps to tap into resources like VidYard. They offer businesses a way to build videos with built-in capture forms and calls to action, while also tracking ROI in real time.

When you can seamlessly integrate these key tools into your video content, you get much more bang for your buck.

5. Provide Online Learning, and Make a Game of It

Offering an eLearning portal, mobile app, or live-streaming sales session or tutorial goes a long way toward shortening the purchase ramp for clients.

The more comfortable customers feel with something before they have to buy it, the easier it is for them to make a decision. Blackboard upped the stakes by doing some full-blown gamification with their #100DayOfLearning campaign, creating an experience for the buyer through daily engagement and the potential to win prizes ranging from gift cards to a $5,000 scholarship.

What types of content are your potential clients drawn to? Knowing the answer to this question will help you craft creative marketing ideas that inspire long-term connection.

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.

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