By Joe Pulizzi published November 24, 2012

42 Content Marketing Ideas for 2013

Just about every marketer I’ve run into over the past month has been working on 2013 planning and budgeting. In many cases, they are searching for innovative content ideas. In that spirit, below is a pretty diverse list of content marketing ideas you may want to consider executing for next year.

  1. Develop and refine your content marketing mission statement.
  2. Find one or multiple partners and launch a content marketing project together (read Brandscaping for more insight).
  3. Consider that maybe less content will mean more impact.
  4. Find at least three thought leaders in your organization and build them into your content plan.
  5. Send each of those thought leaders to Toastmasters to work on their public speaking skills.
  6. Define your most valuable audience and consider a targeted print publication.
  7. Assign one employee to SlideShare and figure out how to leverage this tool as part of your content marketing.
  8. Develop a series of stories for your industry on an aspect that has never been covered before.
  9. Make sure that every content landing page for 2013 has only one call to action.
  10. Spend 30 minutes dissecting Coca-Cola Journey.
  11. Stop one content initiative in 2013.
  12. Write your book.
  13. Update your social media influencer list before the end of the year.
  14. Compile a substantial piece of influencer content (i.e., an eBook of influencer insights) in 2013.
  15. Get at least five employees who are not in marketing involved in your weekly content plan.
  16. Make it a priority to personalize your content by persona in 2013.
  17. Start a podcast series for executives.
  18. Sit down with every salesperson and ask them what their customers’ biggest pain points are.
  19. Develop a list of the top 100 questions coming from your customer base.
  20. Commission a piece of art from a local artist to use in your next content piece.
  21. Target one traditional marketing initiative that can be enhanced with content marketing.
  22. Set a goal for 2013 to double the number of email subscribers to your content.
  23. Attend Content Marketing World 2013 (sorry, blatant sales pitch).
  24. Read one non-marketing book each month during the year (it will open up new content marketing ideas).
  25. Develop a content marketing metrics plan for your CEO or supervisor that includes only those metrics that will make the case for company business objectives.
  26. Stop doing the same old press releases and create them as engaging stories.
  27. Find a way to work with the leading trade magazine in your niche on a joint content effort.
  28. Commission a piece of research that is important to your customers.
  29. Take research findings and use them to build a six-month campaign with at least 20 independent content pieces.
  30. Commit to smarter usage of images in your content in 2013.
  31. Do an audit of all your blog posts and determine which types of titles lead to the right reader behaviors.
  32. If you have the budget, start identifying media companies in your industry that may be ripe for acquisition.
  33. Make sure your content is easy to read on both smartphones and tablets.
  34. Set up an editorial leader in each of your silos and plan to meet at least once per week.
  35. Develop a customer event that doesn’t talk about your projects, but rather educates them on where the industry is going.
  36. Create a piece of content in 2013 that would be completely unexpected and see what happens.
  37. For every story idea you have for next year, plan on developing 10 pieces of content from it.
  38. Send a videographer and journalist to the next industry event and cover it.
  39. Give out quarterly awards to all internal content creators based on number of content shares. Make it public.
  40. Choose 10 of the top bloggers in your industry and sponsor a one-day brainstorming session on how you can all help each other.
  41. Ask whoever is in charge of customer service what their top 10 complaints were in 2012. Build a content program to help with answers.
  42. Whatever you do in 2013, make sure you are telling a different story than everyone else in your industry — not just the same story told incrementally better.

Good luck!

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • juliemyers

    This is a great list that I can use for myself as well as my clients. Ideas #9, 22, 24, 25 and 26 top my list.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Julie!

  • Don Nanneman

    Great reminders Joe. Thanks!

  • Greg Elwell

    Love where you’re coming from with this list. Many of the ideas resonate with the fundamental issue and importance of creating and sharing more substantial, meaningful and intentional content. Well done.

  • Martin Bredl

    Thanks, 2013 will be my first year a PR Agency in content marketing. This will defenitly help me.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Go for it Martin!

  • Nicola

    This is fabulous. So many great ideas to change the way people are currently operating. Thank you.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      My pleasure Nicola. Thanks!

  • Linda Chreno

    Associations should remember that the questions that customers (MEMBERS!) ask should/can help guide their marketing and website development

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Love that Linda! Thanks.

  • Jeri

    Great ideas. Thanks.

  • Doug Kessler

    Yep. Yep. Yep (repeat another 39 times).

  • Keith Horwood

    Isn’t 42 the meaning of life? Great list of ideas, thanks!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Yes…yes it is!

  • PaigeHolden

    Love this. Sending it to my team. Thank you!

  • Brooke

    What about highlighting a charity or non-profit organization you support?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Love this Brooke…great idea.

  • Michael Rizzo

    Joe, first off this is why you’re the best, an absolutely great post, that should be booked marked by all marketers. Second great job on the new site redesign, looks great.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Michael…appreciate your comments on both!

  • Katie

    Great ideas here that are within reach of businesses small and large! #17 & #38 top my list. One major one that I see missing… figure out how to effectively leverage YouTube to build brand awareness! According to the B2B content marketing report video is on the rise!

  • Jonnalyn Pascual

    I love your article Joe. Full of great ideas for content marketing for the next year. New tactics/ideas may result to new success of the business.

  • Sneha

    Its a Beautiful article Drew thanks a lot

  • Nicolas Roys

    telling a different story this is what make profit

  • Tuan Hung

    Love your post, Joe

  • Cendrine Marrouat

    This is a very good list, Joe! I especially like #10 (Spend 30 minutes dissecting Coca-Cola Journey). Coca Cola is a great example of success in marketing and branding, and I often talk about the company in my workshops.

  • Tom George

    Great list Joe I really like number #8 Develop a series of stories for your industry on an aspect that has never been covered before. I am curious, Joe how do you think things like trans-media storytelling and curation will play into content marketing strategy for 2013?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Tom…both are critically important and, frankly, need to be considered at each point in the content strategy.

  • disputblog

    Ha, number 26 was my presentation at the Slovene PR conference a month ago. 🙂

    • Joe Pulizzi


    • Mariah

      I was going to ask, did you or anyone else (maybe Joe) have an example for this one? Thanks!

      • disputblog

        Hi, Mariah. Unfortunately I use Slovene examples you couldn’t understand. Or maybe? 😉 I think David Meerman Scott may have tons of examples for you:

  • Heather Griffiths

    My fave is no. 22 – “Set a goal for 2013 to double the number of email subscribers to your content.” I think it’s very important to define your specific goals…

  • One Busy Pixel

    #42 – actually you need not have a new story, the same old story treated differently will do.


    Great list! Can’t wait to try a lot of these out. I like the idea of sitting down with every salesperson to figure out what the customer pain points are.

    Here’s to making the most of our content marketing strategies in 2013!

  • Charles Nyangiti

    great tips, i like particularly “Make sure your content is easy to read on both smartphones and tablets.”

  • Jason Diller

    you should charge for this info. #srsly

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Great compliment Jason! It’s all part of the master plan 😉

  • Michelle Dettlaff

    I absolutely love this list. My favorite is when you encourage people to join Toastmasters. I completely agree with you. I’ve been a TM for 10 years and am currently working on my DTM. Very excited to finally achieve this milestone. Thank you for including TM in your list for 2013.

  • Jessie Wood

    Could you please expand on #26? “Stop doing the same old press releases and create them as engaging stories.” What kind of story do you have in mind?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Sure Jessie…instead of sending out product announcements and award postings on press releases, issue releases on great and useful content like research projects, ebooks, books and other helpful content. Much more effective. I’ve also seen some folks send out extremely valuable blog posts as releases and made some impact.

  • あおば

    Great post ! Could you please what do you mean by #11? Regarding CMI blog, you will pick up themes which is not about contnet marketing , am I right ?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi there…#11 means exactly what it says…make a decision to stop producing content in some area. We have found that the solution to our content marketing objectives is usually not more content, but better, more targeted content.

      Regarding the blog, we almost exclusively cover content marketing, but do relate it to other forms of marketing when it makes sense.


  • Sasha Kovaliov aka nlupus

    Joe, thanks for the inspiration. #36 really gives something to think about and kick ass! Have a great year 😉

  • Shimaa Marzouk

    very interesting article . thanks

  • Reinhold Winkler

    In my opinion the number 1 is very important, without developing an idea o some strategy about your content marketing you never will know what you up too.

  • Susan Wowe

    Full of great ideas! I especially think #40 is a very doable great tip for a blogger like me. Many thanks.