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One of the biggest problems online businesses face is coming up with fresh, effective ideas for content. From blog posts to videos, the process of creating content isn’t all that difficult… that is, after you’ve come up with the ideas.

In this blog post, we’ll share five simple tactics that you can use to create content – from ‘talking head’ videos to in-depth blog posts – that engage your target audience and generate demand, interest and exposure for your brand.

Create authoritative guides and tutorials

Some of the most common search keywords are informational. Searches for How To phrases are immense, and many online tutorials on websites like HowStuffWorks or About.com receive hundreds of thousands of pageviews every month.

What are the most common questions asked in your industry? Do people frequently ask how to complete a certain process? Are people interested in learning a specific skill? Are there any five-minute solutions you can offer to annoying problems?

Every good business offers a solution to a problem. Think about the questions your customers ask that relate to the solutions you offer and turn them into How To blog posts and instructional videos.

Capitalize on trends, fads and viral events

From Korean pop music to ice bucket challenges, certain events and ideas become vital fads that achieve huge amounts of popularity. This popularity, however, tends to be short lived and can fade away as quickly as it appears.

One of the best ways to create content that attracts traffic and generates interest in your brand is by piggybacking on an existing trend. Think of a way you can relate a product or service you offer to a current event, then turn it into a blog post or video.

Timing is crucial with this strategy – if your blog post, guide or video comes out too late and the trend is on the decline, you’ll end up with very little traffic and the risk of looking as if you’re behind the curve.

Express a controversial, refreshing idea

When it comes to the Internet, controversy certainly attracts people. Controversial videos, blog posts and products can generate huge amounts of press coverage and attention for your business, albeit often at a cost.

If you’re interested in harnessing controversy to attract attention, it’s important to avoid being offensive. Find an angle that lets you stand out within your industry as an innovative, refreshing brand without offending your competitors.

Do you remember the controversy surrounding Matt Cutts’ post on guest blogging a while ago? With one post expressing an opinion on an SEO trend, Google generated an incredible amount of discussion within the online marketing community.

Report on industry or local events frequently

The three strategies outlined above are all ideal for driving a sudden spike of traffic to your website and generating instant demand. However, they’re difficult to pull off frequently and tend to be inconsistent as a general strategy.

One of the best ways to drive steady, reliable traffic to your website and keep your brand in the limelight is by consistently reporting on events within your industry – or, in the case of a local business, your community.

From new products to upcoming events, make it a point of updating your blog once a day with new information on industry developments. Over time, you’ll become an authoritative online resource that people check for industry-related news.

Hone in on a specific audience and target it

target audience

Image Courtesy of: Strejman | ShutterStock

One of the best ways to generate buzz and exposure within a specific community or online subculture is by writing specifically for it. Pick a small target that’s ignored by your competitors and hone in on it with an ultra-targeted blog post or video.

For example, pretend you operate a local bakery. Instead of writing about your new muffins and their great taste, you could write a super-targeted post about how good your muffins are as a treat for customers at local spas or nail and hair salons.

Publish the post and spread it locally via Facebook. This tactic requires a reasonable amount of work and an understanding of your target market, but it can be extremely effective if used properly.

What’s your favorite way to create great content?

From videos to blog posts, great content is the cornerstone of successful marketing for any online business. What strategy do you use to come up with ideas for content that generates demand, interest and exposure for your brand?