5 creative content marketing ideas for small businesses in 2024

Jan 15, 2024 | Featured, Marketing

Looking for some creative ways to freshen up your content marketing strategy in 2024? You’re in good company. Savvy small business owners know that in order to stay relevant and continue growing, it’s essential to keep up with new marketing trends and experiment with different strategies to see what sticks.

That said, it’s important to note that trying to keep up with all the trends can be a recipe for burnout for small businesses. Here at Steph Corrigan Design, we’re all about intentionality and sustainability when it comes to business. So although we’re going to cover five different marketing ideas in this post, I would recommend choosing just one to experiment with to start. After about three months of consistent effort, you can evaluate whether it’s worth continuing with, or if you’d prefer to try something else instead.

With that caveat out of the way, let’s dive into the five creative content marketing ideas that can help your brand grow and thrive in 2024.

Top 5 creative content marketing ideas

1. Create interactive content with a quiz

Quizzes are nothing new, but I predict that we’re going to see more and more of them in 2024. Why? Because they’re a fantastic way to engage your audience, gather valuable data, and generate high-quality leads. And more business owners are catching on. Virtually any type of business, whether product- or service-based, can harness the value of an interactive quiz.

For an example of a product-based business that utilizes quizzes, take a look at Sephora. Their quizzes help shoppers find the best-fit hair, makeup, and skincare products for their specific needs. For a service-based business example, I’m a big fan of Wandering Aimfully’s 3-minute Business Bottleneck quiz. The results are detailed, specific, and actionable, providing real value to those who opt in.

The only downsides to creating a quiz are that it can be time-consuming and has some technical aspects that some may find tedious. So, how can you make sure your quiz is worth the time and effort?

  • Focus on providing value. Although your goal for your quiz is likely to grow your audience and make sales, your quiz could backfire if it doesn’t provide enough value to be worth someone’s sacred time and email address.
  • Use a dedicated tool to simplify the process. I recommend using a tool called Interact to create your quiz. It’s not free, but it’s intuitive to set up and integrate with your tech stack. It’s also the tool that professional marketers, like my friend Haley, use to build quizzes for clients.
  • Work backwards. Before you start thinking about what questions to ask, you need to be clear on what the outcomes will be. And how those outcomes are relevant to your brand.

My final tip on creating a quiz is to allow yourself to have fun with it! If you’re genuinely excited to share it with your audience, they’ll likely catch on.

Related post: 7 content marketing tips to increase brand awareness and engagement

2. Host virtual events to foster real connections

Looking for a way to foster deeper connections with your existing audience? Preferably without live-streaming on Instagram? Hosting a virtual event could be the perfect way for you to get more creative with your content marketing in 2024.

A virtual event is any live event, hosted on a platform like Zoom, that lets you interact with your audience in real time. The event could be free or paid, depending on your goals. However, if you’ve never hosted a virtual event before, you may want to start with a free event to test the waters.

Here are a few different types of events to consider hosting:

  • Live Q&A. Ask your audience via your newsletter or IG stories to submit questions ahead of time in case live attendance is low.
  • Webinar. Show off your expertise by teaching your audience about a specific topic. For example, my free SEO masterclass teaches the fundamentals of SEO.
  • Workshop. If you’re up for a more interactive event, consider hosting a workshop that your audience can actively participate in, whether on- or off-camera.

Live events can require a lot of preparation and energy. However, the benefits don’t end when the event is over. If you record your events, you can share them indefinitely, turning them into an evergreen lead generator or sales tool for your services or products.

3. Create a 30-day challenge to engage your audience

My next creative content marketing idea for 2024 is one that I haven’t tried yet but intend to experiment with in the coming months. The 30-day challenge can be a very effective way to engage your audience over an extended period of time, thus building deeper trust and brand loyalty.

Challenges are often used by brands that are ramping up engagement in order to promote a service or product. For example, Erika Kullberg, a personal finance expert, implements a 30-day challenge with daily videos to generate interest in her paid course, 3D Money. The videos are educational and actionable; in other words, they provide free value and real wins for participants. But they also help to establish Erika’s expertise on the topic of personal finance so that by the time the challenge ends, some participants will want to continue the momentum by investing in her course.

Free challenges aren’t just for promoting paid offers, however. You can implement them at any time if your goal is to simply grow your audience, build more brand awareness, or incentivize your customers to share user-generated content (UGC).

Creating 30 days of content is a lot of work. Here are a couple tips to help you along:

  • Create the content ahead of time. In other words, don’t wait until day one to create your first piece of content! I don’t know about you, but creating 30 days of content in real time sounds pretty stressful. Instead, give yourself time to create the content in advance, and schedule it to be shared automatically in daily increments.
  • Add an interactive component. Although you’ll create the content ahead of time, that doesn’t mean your work is done. During the 30-day period, you should take some time to interact with your participants. Answer their questions and offer encouragement to keep them engaged.
  • Choose a content format you’re comfortable with. If you’ve never recorded a video or podcast before, you may want to stick with written content. The same goes for the channel you share the content on. Do you love posting on Instagram? Great, share your 30 days of content there. If you want to keep it simple, just send a daily email to your list – just be sure to give your subscribers the choice to opt in or out.

Like I’ve said before, try to have fun with this one! Challenges may require a lot of effort, but they can be very rewarding for both you and your audience.

4. Incorporate storytelling in your content

If content creation is starting to feel a bit boring or uninspired, here’s an idea for you: try weaving in some storytelling. Storytelling in content marketing is a timeless strategy, and one that I think we’ll continue to see more brands doing in 2024. Storytelling is effective because it helps you create an emotional connection with your audience. It can also help your brand stand out.

Now, you might be thinking, “but Steph, I don’t have any good stories to share.” I promise you that’s not true. There are stories to be told in your brand origin story, client case studies, product development journey, and the day-to-day workings of your business. Stories are everywhere, and your audience wants to hear them.

There are many different ways to infuse more storytelling in your content. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a long-form piece of content about why you started your business. For example, a blog post, podcast, or video (or all of the above, if you’re up for it.) Not everyone is going to read your About page, so don’t be afraid to share your story multiple times in different ways.
  • Take your audience behind-the-scenes with pictures and/or videos. Whether you’re designing logos in Illustrator, packaging orders, or creating something with your hands, people love to see how the things you make are actually made.
  • Interview your customers. Customer testimonials and case studies, especially in video format, are a great way to build trust in your brand.
  • Send story-driven newsletters. Over time, you’ll develop a unique voice that your audience will come to know and love. Sharing personal stories, in addition to your regular educational content, will help deepen that connection.

Related post: How to write a compelling ‘About Us’ page (+ examples)

5. Deliver personalized content experiences

With all of the technology we have at our fingertips these days, there’s no reason not to personalize the content you deliver to your audience. The benefit of doing so is that you’ll provide a better user experience, in turn increasing conversion and customer satisfaction.

There are essentially two major ways to implement personalization in your content: with data and with the help of AI.

If you have a website, social media, and email list, you’re likely already collecting a fair amount of data on your audience. If not, now is a great time to start. Click here to read my guide on which website metrics to track.

Your email list is especially valuable here because of the power of segmentation. You can divide your subscribers into different segments based on common characteristics, and then send personalized content to each segment to ensure relevance. For example, I currently segment my audience into small business owners and designers, since these two groups are following me for (mainly) different reasons. (Shout-out to my newsletter software, Flodesk, for making this extremely easy to do.)

Email segmentation can get very complicated very quickly. With that in mind, I’d recommend keeping it as simple as possible to start, unless you have the resources to invest in support.

Another creative way to personalize your content marketing is by leveraging AI. AI seems like a new thing, but this technology has actually been around for a while, and there are examples of it everywhere. It’s how Netflix decides which shows to recommend for you and how e-commerce brands know which products you might be interested in. Adding an AI chatbot to your site could also be an easy way to deliver a more personalized experience to your audience. With so many tools available, it’s worth taking some time to research your options and seeing what could be worth trying; you know your audience best.

Related post: Should you brand your newsletter?

Ready to get creative with your content marketing?

In this post, we covered five incredible, creative ways to freshen up your content marketing strategy in 2024. Each of these ideas is powerful on its own; I recommend choosing the one that speaks to you to most to incorporate in your marketing. If it helps, remember my two golden rules of marketing: have fun with the process, and keep it simple.

Be sure to bookmark or pin this post for easy access whenever you’re looking for ideas and inspiration for your content marketing.

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This post contains affiliate links. I only affiliate with services and products that I’ve personally used and genuinely recommend.

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