Best Types of Content Marketing – Ensuring You’re Delivering What Your Audience Expects
Content remains king. Despite the rise of social, the explosion of marketing tools, and the many ways to measure your success, content is still the most important consideration in your marketing efforts. You can use PPC ads, harness the power of social media ads, and promote your company through tweets all you want, but if you don’t have content that will appeal to your audience, you’re going to fall flat on your face.
This is where many business owners struggle, though. What content should you use? What’s the best option for your needs? What do your customers expect you to have available for them, and what sort of content gets the most traction? Let’s discuss some of the most critical types of content for your marketing needs, and why each is so important.
One of the most important types of content to have is that which educates your audience. This might be content that educates them about your product or service, but you’ll find more traction if you can educate them about the problem they’re experiencing, the causes of that problem, and the various solutions to it, with your product or service listed as just one of the possible options.
This comes across as much more genuine, and far less marketing-oriented. You position your company as one that cares about your customers’ challenges, rather than just about building your bottom line. Educational content can take any number of forms, as well, from blog posts to entire ebooks and reports. However, it’s better suited to longer form options, rather than short-form marketing like social media posts.
Your audience wants to be entertained. You’ll find that entertaining content can also be quite memorable. There are any number of prime examples out there of businesses creating compelling marketing content that entertains. Volkswagen is one of these, but you’ll also find Guinness, Nike and many other companies capable of delivering content that makes audiences chuckle, while reinforcing their brand’s qualities and ethos.
Entertaining content can be long or short, and it can be text or video if you prefer. As a note, video-based content is an ideal medium for entertainment, as it’s one of the most sought-after forms of content on the Internet. Remember that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and it serves up nothing but video content.
Content that inspires your audience is an excellent option to include in your marketing campaign. It should not be the only type of content you use, but it does provide a vital alternative to other options, and allows you to change the way your audience sees your company. What sort of content might be inspirational? Well, take your pick, really. One option is to adopt a social cause – access to clean water, environmental consciousness, physical health and well-being, access to mental health care services – these are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Combine that support with inspirational messages and actions. Sponsor a running team in a local 5K or 10K race where the proceeds go toward your supported cause, or donate a portion of your proceeds for a specific period to a charity or worthy cause. These are all inspirational actions, but they also tie into your company’s social responsibility and show that you’re more than just a faceless business interested in profit. You’re an integral member of the wider community.
Not all of your content should be focused on building your brand. Some of it needs to be focused on converting potential customers into actual buyers. You’ll need less of this type of content, but it’s still vital to create it and know where and how to use it. Conversion-oriented content can be just about anything that encourages a potential customer to take that last step and convert. Even a product page of your company’s website is technically conversion-oriented content.
Other examples include demonstrations, blog posts that highlight how your product or service works, case studies involving your services of products, ratings for your wares and more. You can use this content in many ways, as well. Obviously, it can and should play a significant role on your website, but you should also consider using it in blog posts, in email marketing, in giveaway content (reports and case studies), and the like.
Content Formats – Using Content Types to Your Advantage
While we’ve discussed content formats to an extent, we need to dig into them a bit more. What content formats are the most beneficial for businesses? While there’s no one size fits all solution out there, you’ll find that the following content formats are generally better received than others:
· Infographics: Infographics can be used in just about any way, from email marketing to social media and have a significant potential to go viral.
· Video: Like infographics, video content can be used in an incredibly wide range of platforms, and can be highly effective at building your success.
· Lists: Lists have always been popular, and they remain so, but you’ll need to avoid being seen as click-bait-y to use them effectively.
· Case Studies: Case studies are particularly effective in the world of B2B marketing, but they can also be used to great effect in B2C marketing, as well.
· Blog Posts: Yes, blogging is still alive and well, and if your company doesn’t have an active blog, you’re failing to reach your audience in a big way.
These are just a few of the various content formats that you need to harness and put to work on your behalf. Content marketing is vital, no matter your industry, size or niche, and it’s equally crucial that you use the right type and format to reach your audience and guide them through the sales funnel.