There are so many types of content marketing, it’s easy to get confused as to which one you should use in your marketing strategy.
There’s a reason why so many businesses have turned to content marketing. It works.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing can cost 62% less than traditional marketing and generate three times as many leads.
Content marketing is important to your business and your bottom line. Read on for the different types of content marketing and how to choose the right one.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content for a specific audience. It’s used for a variety of reasons. The primary ones are:
- Generate leads
- Engage your target audience
- Promote a brand
- Increase revenue
Content marketing is not putting up a blog and a few tweets and Facebook posts and hope that suddenly you have customers from all over the world.
Good content marketing requires strategy, patience, and knowing what actions you want your audience to take.
For example, you can write a Facebook post about your product or service. You can specify that the action you want your audience to take is to click through to your website.
It’s important to have a few basic points in place before you write a single post.
You want to know exactly who you’re writing content for. That means knowing what keeps them up at night, who they are, where they shop, what are their likes and dislikes.
The more you know about them, the easier it is to speak directly to them and get a response.
What Action Do You Want Them to Take?
When they read your content, what do you want them to do?
Do you want them to comment on a blog post, share a Facebook post, like it, retweet, sign up for a newsletter?
This is where you start to define your marketing funnel and how you can engage your readers to go from passive participants to brand evangelists.
How Will You Track What’s Working?
You will need to have tracking analytics set up.
A good tracking system will help you pinpoint what works and what doesn’t in your content marketing.
Types of Content Marketing
Once you have those pieces in place, it’s time to select the content marketing to help your customers along the buyer’s journey.
Here are the most common types.
Most people find social media overwhelming because they think they need to post on every single social channel. That’s not the case.
You have to figure out which social medium your audiences use, then you can direct content to them. Instead of focusing on 5-8 channels, focus on the top 1-3 your audience uses.
That will help you be more consistent in your marketing and more effective.
Email marketing still works — that is, as long as you know what your subscribers like. Plus, with automation tools, you can target your subscribers according to where they are in the buying process.
You can send emails to subscribers when they first subscribe to your list when they abandon the shopping cart on your website, or what emails a subscriber previously opened.
The challenge for most content marketers is building a list. The focus should be on the list quality, not quantity.
A case study is an in-depth look at a customer’s experience working with your company. It usually involves describing a situation that your ideal clients go through, what you did to solve the situation, and what the results were.
Great case studies tell stories to draw people in and show specific results, such as “we were able to increase leads for Customer xyz by 150%.”
Case studies are perfect to use later in the sales cycle to offer proof that your products or services work.
People often mistake case studies for whitepapers and vice-versa. White papers also focus on a specific problem, but they don’t tell the story about how your company solved it for a client.
A whitepaper is typically longer and involves more research. It’s used earlier in the sales cycle to show your expertise on a subject.
Blogging is a great way for you to show your expertise and position you as a thought leader. You can blog on your own website and expand your audience via guest posts on sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. You can also post your content on LinkedIn and Medium.
Ultimate Guides: These are 5,000-7000 word articles that are usually How to Guides. These articles
You might immediately think “I don’t know what to write.” Put that thought aside.
Writing ideas are all around you.
Did you know that blogs with images get 94% more views than blogs without images? More people are likely to engage with social media posts that contain images than just plain text.
Images can help you tell the story of your products, services, and your company. For example, if you’re a coffee roaster, you can take pictures of the stages of coffee roasting. Photos can show the green beans in the burlap sack, through the roasting process.
Content marketers use infographics as a way to share data and statistics. When done well, infographics can be shared often. They do need to be high-quality and share information that’s relevant to readers.
Infographics should present the information vertically and have a balance between visuals and copy. Also, be sure your logo appears in the infographic with an embedded link back to your website.
Video is the most widely consumed type of content and it’s growing 100% every year. Video is a way to capture attention and quickly get your message across.
The great thing about video is the wide distribution. One short video can be posted on a number of marketing channels, which means that you can get a lot of mileage out of one piece of content.
Content Marketing That Works
Finding the best combination of the types of content marketing is an art and a science. The art is knowing the needs of your audience and speaking directly to them.
The science is using data to improve your marketing strategy. Regardless of what types of content marketing you use, there is plenty of data available for you to make sound decisions.
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