5 Content Marketing Ideas You Haven’t Thought of Yet

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Content marketing is old news by now, so chances are good you’ve read about its benefits and set up a blog to share your or your company’s wisdom. That’s great. But after awhile, let’s be honest, it can also get kind of repetitive.

Coming up with new ideas for posts week in and week out is challenging (trust me on this one). Plus, if you’re bored of your blog posts, your audience is probably less-than-inspired too.

You might think you just need a little inspiration to get over your writer’s block (or the money to hire someone to write posts for you), but according to a super useful new post from 500 Startups’ Susan Su, the solution might not be a new writing muse. Instead of racking your brain for fresh blog post ideas, why not broaden your conception of what content marketing includes, she suggests.

Su goes on to offer a monster list of 19 content marketing ideas that aren’t blog posts that any content-challenged entrepreneur will appreciate. Some of the ideas are probably not for everyone (you might not have time for a book or to organize a conference, for instance, and if you were going to do a podcast, you probably already would have), but others are an inspiring reminder of just how creative you can get with your content marketing. Here are a few to whet your appetite.

1. Speak at a conference.

Yes, this does count as contenting marketing, Su insists. “You get to swoop in, create some stuff that someone ELSE is going to record and distribute for you, and let them stack all the chairs long after you’ve dropped the mic,” she notes. Also, one speaking engagement tends to lead to more (assuming, of course, you’re good, so it pays to invest in honing your speaking skills).

2. Host a meetup.

You might not have time to organize a whole conference (though Su insists this is a total ninja-level content marketing move), but surely you could swing a meetup. It can be quite effective, a fact Su knows from personal experience.

“When I was at Inside Network, a startup that sold data and content to Facebook Platform developers back when that was still a thing, we organized a party in conjunction with f8 (Facebook Developers’ Conference) that generated lines around the block and a LOT of inbound for the core business,” she recounts. “The main ‘content’ created was in the curation of the invite list, and it self-distributed because it piggy-backed off of the brand marketing, audience, and location of f8.”

3. Become a columnist.

Jump on in, the water’s fine! I can personally attest to the pleasures of being a columnist, but Su is pretty eloquent on the benefits for content marketers specifically. “When you write your own column, you are presenting your own thoughts in your own words, and if done right, positioning yourself as a thought leader and sending interested attention back to your own property,” she writes.

“Guest posting is a good start, but it shouldn’t be the end. Instead, plan out what your series of thematically related content is going to be, and make it an ongoing column instead,” she suggests. Just make sure your content is offering real value to readers and isn’t thinly disguised self-promotion, please.

4. Teach a class.

Aside from being good karma as you pass along your wisdom, teaching a class is also a solid content marketing tactic. Su offers the hugely popular classes offered by VCs such as Steve Blank and founders like Dharmesh Shah as one example of this approach done right — students learn cool stuff and teachers raise their profile and introduce themselves to possible future entrepreneurs or customers.

5. Offer a downloadable spreadsheet.

“Spreadsheets are attractive because they are pure utility. Who doesn’t want something that promises them a shortcut?” asks Su. “A classic example of a spreadsheet-as-content-marketing is Noah Kagan’s Quant Based Marketing spreadsheet that he used to model out the Mint launch tactics.” Kagan gathered tons of high-quality email signups off the back of this spreadsheet, she notes.

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