It’s no longer enough to follow a conventional path in content marketing. There are too many competitors striving for visibility in an already-crowded field, and too many consumers starting to demand more from their most valued brands.
If you want to stand out and start seeing better results, you need to tap your creativity, and start getting experimental. But what are the best ways to experiment in content marketing?
Why It Pays to Be Creative
Let’s establish context for why creativity and experimentation are important in content marketing:
- Differentiation. First, experimenting and taking risks is going to set you apart from the competition. Instantly, you’ll have a higher chance of achieving visibility, and you’ll capture a segment of the market your competitors can’t touch.
- Discovery. Experimentation is the best way to make new discoveries. Only by tinkering around with new mediums and new approaches will you discover new effective tactics, or improve your results over time.
- Stimulation. Creating new types of content is also mentally stimulating. Regularly introducing new material into your campaign can stave off burnout, and help you think more creatively in your mainstream areas.
Ideas to Get Started
These are just a handful of ideas on how to get started experimenting with new content:
- Launch your own streaming channel. First, you could launch a new streaming channel. Your go-to thought here is probably YouTube, since it boasts more than a billion active users, but there are plenty of alternatives worth your consideration. For example, Pluto.TV is a relatively new way for brands and individuals to stream content to the masses; you can use it to differentiate yourself from the competition and reach a massive, yet-untapped audience. Consider interviews, demos, or any content that provides value to your audience.
- Start a podcast. Next, consider starting a podcast. You don’t need to invest in much equipment to get started, and once you have a few episodes produced, you can distribute them on iTunes, Spotify, and countless other distribution channels. Podcasts don’t cost much to produce, and are currently seeing a surge in popularity, so it might be the perfect time to strike with an instructional, informative, or entertainment series.
- Doodle. You know how powerful visual content is, but you might not have the photography or graphic design skills necessary to produce your own work—or you might have already tapped that talent as part of your mainstream content efforts. But there’s a low-cost and more unique way to incorporate visuals into your work: doodles. Try your hand at illustrating your concepts, even if you don’t have much experience. You might be surprised at the charm of your finished products.
- Create quizzes. Interactive content is powerful because it demands the attention and engagement of the person viewing it. One of the easiest ways to harness that power is with custom quizzes; you can guide users through a buying decision, or create a fun quiz purely for amusement. And thanks to the number of quiz-generating apps and widgets available, like Typeform or Fyrebox, it’s easier than ever.
- Answer questions on Quora. Quora doesn’t make it to most marketers’ short lists of social media platforms worth noting, but it has tremendous potential. Every day, Quora users post hundreds of thousands of new questions in practically every imaginable category. Taking the time to answer questions within your niche could prove to be a powerful outlet for generating an audience.
- Create a Tumblr. When it comes to experimenting, few platforms offer you the flexibility of Tumblr. Once you create an account, you can use it for practically anything, including creating photos or video, publishing blogs, or experimenting with other forms of content. The sky’s the limit here, and there are millions of users to share your space with, so get started, and see where your creativity takes you.
- Collaborate. Finally, consider collaborating with other content creators—even your competitors. Other voices may be the perfect dose of perspective or inspiration you need to overcome a creative hurdle, or they may present you with an idea that takes you in a fundamentally new direction.
Challenge yourself to think of more ways you can defy the norm and experiment with content. Anything you haven’t tried before is worth considering, so long as it’s grounded in providing value to your customers, with an emphasis on quality. The more boundaries you push, the more you’ll learn.