Your business or medical practice has many facets and audiences. So how do you communicate your mission, offer value to customers and/or patients, and talk to each nuanced demographic equally? By creating content buckets and publishing content in each category at regular intervals.
The Definition of Content Buckets
Content buckets or content categories are topics that speak to different aspects of your business/practice and demographics. For the sake of word count, we’re just focusing on content buckets for social media marketing, video, and SEO blog content—not for email and other supporting collateral.
You can look at content buckets like spokes of a wheel—all connecting to the inner hub. Your business’s mission is the hub at the center of your wheel. Each spoke represents a relevant yet unique topic that originates from your mission or business model.
Take a vitamin supplement company for instance. One spoke or content bucket may be for health and wellness education topics, another for products and services, and a third for company news and events. See how each content bucket focuses on a certain interest group yet all together, these content buckets paint a picture of your brand? That’s the purpose of content buckets, in a nutshell.
8 Ideas for Content Buckets for a Stronger Content Strategy in 2021
It’s important to note that content buckets don’t have to remain siloed. You can mix and match and pull from different categories to create your content. For example, you can create educational content that’s also tied into a holiday, like healthy recipes for Christmas or diet ideas for New Years. You can also do the same with giveaways and user-generated content by spotlighting followers during a contest.
Look at content buckets as your checklist and framework to ensure you speak to your entire audience and rotate topics of interest. Content buckets don’t have to be super strict and regimented, just a guideline for your content strategy.
Without further ado, here are the content buckets you should create to ensure you increase awareness, visibility, sales, and brand affinity on social media and your website. These category ideas work for every industry and can be tailored to your mission, brand voice, and business goals.
1. Trending Topics and Holidays
By all means, ride on the coattails of trending events and holidays to funnel traffic from highly popular topics to your social media channels and website. This will also elevate you as a thought-leader and help you establish better relationships with your customers and patients—by connecting with them in places they trust and while communicating about topics they consider important.
When choosing holidays and trending topics for your editorial calendar, ask yourself if they’re relevant to your brand. For instance, World Health Day works wonderfully for health and wellness brands and medical and dental businesses. Even sillier trending days like #OOTD (outfit of the day) could work if you show off your staff in scrubs getting ready for surgery or suited up to install solar panels. As long as you can tie in the holiday or event with your business goals, service offerings, or overall mission, do it!
2. Giveaways and Promotions
People love giveaways and promotions. Create a content bucket around this category and come up with ideas to offer discounts or attract clients, customers, and patients through these promotions.
One idea may be to drum up new followers by offering a giveaway for a month’s supply of vitamins by tagging three friends in a post. Another idea may offer teeth whitening for free to a select few people who like your post. You could also drive traffic from your social media channels to your website’s blog by dangling a discount on social and telling them to get it on your website. Whatever you do, get creative with how you can turn your promotions into viral, shareable content people will love.
3. Product or Service Spotlights
You should always use the 80/20 rule in marketing: offer educational and entertaining content to your audience 80 percent of the time and get promotional 20 percent of the time. Otherwise, your account or blog will seem spammy and disingenuous.
Remember, it’s always better to give, give, then get. Customers and patients will be more likely to do business with you too if you offer something of value—entertainment, education, and an experience they can’t find anything else.
In your product or service content bucket, rotate content about individual things you sell or offer. This will keep your content fresh, raise awareness among your following, and hopefully, increase sales.
4. User-Generated Content and Testimonials
People love when brands acknowledge and praise them. Plus, brands love when customers and clients make their content for them! Enter, user-generated content and testimonials. Use a branded hashtag to easily find followers who talk about your brand. Then, spotlight their post on your website.
Also, use testimonials in posts and tag users who have sung your high praises. This is easy content that also helps build trust with prospective clients and patients. If they see you have a great relationship with other people and those people have referrals to back it up, they’ll be vastly more likely to follow your business and do business with you.
5. FAQs and Blog and Social Media Comments
Do you get the same question over and over again? Turn that into a content bucket! Not only will this save you from having to spend time explaining the same thing over and over again, but it will give your followers and website visitors something they’re looking for. Create blog posts and social media posts around comments and FAQs for easy and appealing content fodder.
6. Business Insights and Educational Content
You’re an expert at whatever industry you specialize in. Share that knowledge with your website and social media audience! This content bucket can focus on trending news about your industry, in-depth analysis and input from your staff, or a mix of the two.
Experiment with how-to videos from your staff. Create posts and stories to educate your audience about something that will benefit their lives. People will follow you and subscribe to your blog if you’re a thought leader and source of information they trust.
7. Company News and Events
Company news makes a fantastic content bucket. Whenever you have an exciting announcement or issue that will impact business, share it. People will be much happier to read about a late store opening on social media than figuring it out when they arrive at your brick and mortar. The same goes for drumming up excitement and interest about a sale, promotion, or new location opening. Use social media for its ability to quickly communicate news and get buzz.
Your audiences can make up their own content bucket. For instance, if you’re a CBD distributor, you may speak to clinics and physicians, and individuals who want to better their health. Likewise, a vitamin and supplement company may focus on pregnant women and athletes. Your different audiences can be great content buckets for your content.
10 Tips to Create Post Ideas for Your Content Buckets
Now you know which content buckets to use for your social media marketing and website, but how do you come up with individual ideas for each category? Use the following tips.
1. Audit What You Have
Start by taking a look at what you have on your digital channels. An SEO audit can help with this. See what posts have done the best, which formats users like most (video, designed image, photo), and repeat what’s the most successful. Ditch what’s not.
2. Create a Content Calendar (Also Called an Editorial Calendar)
Editorial calendars are SO important. They keep you organized, ensure you represent content buckets equally, and ensure content stays fresh for your audience. Create a content calendar for every month of the year so your team knows what’s going live where.
We recommend you open a Google Sheet to create an editorial calendar for your blog and social media content. That way, people can access it and contribute from anywhere. Add in all of your content buckets, trending holidays and events, and foreseeable content ideas. Then…
Once you have your editorial calendar framework set up, sit down with your team, and come up with post ideas for each content bucket. Go one-by-one for better organization and brainpower. Brainstorming is one of the most efficient ways to complete an annual content calendar and do so well.
4. Think Proactive and Reactive
Think proactive and reactive content. Proactive being things you can plan for, and reactive, trending events and breaking news that pops up suddenly. Leave room in your editorial calendar to add reactive content, but make sure you plan out all the proactive posts and blogs you can.
5. Break Down Your Products and Services
Create a list of every product and service you offer. This will help you spread out features in your product and service content bucket—ensuring you don’t accidentally forget anything. Then, rank each product and service by priority so you know how often to post about each. If a certain area of your business needs to grow, put emphasis on that. If you want to market your best-selling product or service, schedule more of those posts in this content bucket. Stay nimble and experiment to see what works best.
6. Emulate and Build Upon Competing Businesses’ Strategies
Every business has competition. The best way to improve your brand or business is to study what they do and do it better. Take a look at your competitors’ social media accounts. Pay attention to the engagement, hashtags, and types of content they post. You may find Stories and IGTV to be a fantastic tool to get more followers. Or, you may discover a channel your competitors’ aren’t on that you should startup.
For your website, also take a look at SEO keywords your competition ranks best for and create content around that to gain more of those organic leads. Tools like SEM Rush can help you do this for free by entering a domain name. Every company is guilty of digital espionage, so don’t feel like this is a shady practice.
7. Bring in SEO Keywords
Whenever you can, work in SEO keywords to your content bucket post ideas. Use them in hashtags, as the titles of your blog, and as the main ideas of each content piece. SEO keywords or keyword phrases are terms people actively search for, so when you create content around them you’ll ensure your content gets found.
8. Identify Your Digital Marketing Channels
Do you use email marketing, social media marketing, paid ads, and blog content writing on your website? Maybe you only focus on Instagram or Facebook or put out a high-quality video once in a while. Your content buckets can overlap on each marketing channel, but the tone of that content or its format may differ slightly.
For instance, your Instagram audience is most likely different than that of your blog. When you’re filling out your individual posts per content bucket, make sure your tone shifts slightly to cater to each digital marketing channel’s ideal demographic.
9. Create Different Versions of Existing Content
At some point, you’ll run out of content ideas. So how do you avoid that? By reimagining content in multiple forms. This could include creating listicles, how-to articles, webinars, and ebooks, or subtle nuanced focuses on your content.
For instance, Instagram marketing is a topic for us under our product and service content bucket. We have dozens of variations on topics about Instagram, including hashtags, optimizing your business profile, Stories and IGTV, and more. Exhaust every single topic you can per content bucket idea to make the most of your content. And when that runs out, rewrite or add to old content and publish it again.
It takes a lot of time and money to produce high-quality content. Make the most of it by cross-promoting your content on social media, email, your blog, and everywhere you market your business. Marketing is a sales funnel, so bouncing people from channel to channel will help you close more business.
Editor’s Note: This post was previously published in 2018, revamped in January 2020, and has recently been revamped by our team to offer the latest and greatest images, stats, and educational info. Enjoy!