Different Types of Content Marketing
When you hear the term “content marketing” you probably think of articles, blogs, and social media posts. While these are important components of an online content strategy, there are many other content marketing types that can’t be overlooked.
To bolster your brand’s content strategy and improve your overall digital presence, you must think beyond the conventional wisdom.
We’re reviewing the most effective types of content marketing and how they can make an impact for your brand on day one.
Let’s take things outside of the box, shall we?
Mastering Visual Content
Visual content is exactly how it sounds, it’s content you can see. This includes marketing materials like infographics, instructional checklists, and even funny GIFs or memes.
Infographics have been around nearly as long as the internet, but their utility remains high even today.
Their purpose is to convey information in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, usually through bright fonts, colorful images, and large text.
Some of the best infographics share stats and other well-researched information that you can’t find elsewhere.
What’s the advantage of creating infographics for your business? The main plus is shareability. Infographics are image files, meaning that they can be easily downloaded and saved by users and shared on social media accounts.
Infographics can also rank in Google Image searches for your brand name and for the main keywords of the blog post where the infographic lives. It seems that blog posts which rank well typically have images that also rank well.
Checklists are another marketing item that is highly shareable. You can provide them on your website as a downloadable option, within an article, or as an infographic.
The most popular types of checklists come in the form of “tips” i.e. the “11 top content marketing tips to dominate your industry.”
GIFs & Memes
If you want to incorporate humor into your digital marketing campaign, then a light-hearted GIF or meme can be your best friend.
Memes came about well over a decade ago, but they have continued to be popularized by social media funny people for the last few years.
The idea is simple, you take a popular image (the vernacular is a “viral image”) and you overlay text onto it that tells a joke. Between the image and text you get oodles of hilarity.
GIFs are similarly effective for evoking humor. These are very short video clips (1-2 seconds) that replay in a loop without sound, usually showing the audience something funny that will catch their eye.
Now that we’ve tackled the most popular forms of visual content, let’s get into a type of content marketing that most of you are familiar with — blog content.
Blogging isn’t just a great way to share information, it’s a valuable way to build authority and improve your SEO rankings.
Google always rewards websites that exhibit knowledge and authority on their main topics. With each algorithmic update, this need becomes increasingly apparent.
Develop a Process for Effective Blogging
Instead of racing to post a bunch of average 500 word articles at random, spend time meticulously planning, outlining, and conceptualizing your blog content so that you can score tangible results on the SEO front.
Step one should be to wrangle a handful of targeted keywords for your post. Metrics to check include keyword volume, cost per click of those terms, and the current top ranking pages for each term.
Step two should be to outline your content and communicate your goals with the writer. Based on your upfront research, it should be easy to articulate desired word count, keywords, and additional features to include such as infographics.
74% of marketers claim that videos have a better ROI than sharing static images.
Why might this be the case? The answer could be mobile.
Because over 50% of internet users are accessing the net on mobile devices, they want content to be easily digestible. If you are waiting to catch a train, you want to watch something that’s not going to take up too much time. For these types of users, a long blog post won’t cut it.
Quality video content can grab an audience’s attention within a matter of seconds and help get them into your sales funnel faster than text.
The Viral Factor
There’s also the concept of virality. When most people think of the term “viral,” YouTube thoughts about Charlie biting my finger come to mind.
Viral videos don’t have to have 10s of millions of hits to qualify as “viral” content. Virality is relative to your industry.
If you are a copywriter, you could make a video offering “10 tips to write dynamite sales copy” that takes off among certain sales professionals. This could provide you a source of new leads and interest in your brand.
Tutorials, Demos, and How-To’s
Learning how to do something is a great feeling, but teaching someone how to do something is extremely rewarding.
Provide your users a content-filled tutorial or demonstration of your product line. Give them a step-by-step how-to for a specific product or service.
Schedule an interview with thought leaders in your space. This will give your audience a ton of informative content and help position you as an authority within your industry.
You can post them to your website and across your social media properties, encouraging others to share these interviews with their audiences.
Product reviews are a form of content marketing. In fact, they are usually your most effective form of content marketing.
Customers look to past reviews to make their buying decisions. It’s incumbent on you to keep your most positive reviews displayed front and center on your website, especially on product pages.
Question and answer sessions are a great way to break down the fourth wall and interact with your audience.
It’s like a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), but it’s your company.
Q&A’s can reach people at different stages of the sales funnel. Some may be more towards the top, the information stage, while others may be more definitive about wanting your services.
Podcasts are another great style of content to help you reach more mobile users. These users could be walking down the street, driving to work, or benching at the gym.
The beauty of podcasts is their audio nature. Listeners can be doing a number of things while hearing you speak about your products or services, or while you speak to others about their contributions to your field.
You can leverage established thought leaders by having them on your show and asking them to share your content to their audience.
It’s been around for a few years, but many marketers are still scratching the surface in terms of what social media can do for them.
The key lies in figuring out where you should spend the bulk of your time. Should you focus on Facebook over Instagram, Instagram over Twitter, and so forth? This is where market research comes into play.
Determine on which platform your target customer resides and develop a posting schedule that works best for you.
Whether your audience is large or small, email blasts are a tried and true way to reach them. Nearly everyone has an email account regardless of their type of phone, computer or their occupation.
There are also many software programs that can expedite your email blast creation process, like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.
Consolidating your most important pieces of literature into one place greatly improves the user experience.
A resource center is a section of your website devoted to answers: information about your company, responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs), or guides that demonstrate how to use your products.
There are additional forms of resource content that can live on your website or be available to download.
These are informational documents that break down complex topics in a manner that helps readers better understand them.
This is usually presented as a problem meeting a solution.
Take your expertise to the next level by offering a paid course to users. You can make the lessons downloadable or offer them through a teaching portal like Teachable.
If you don’t have the time and resources to create a course, try developing an eBook. You can write the content yourself or hire a copywriter to flesh out the material properly.
eBooks can range in length anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 words. Significantly shorter than writing a full length book, that’s for sure!
Quizzes & Learning Aids
Engage your audience in fun and creative ways using interactive quizzes and games that may tease their brain a tad.
You can hire a graphic designer to make fun, enticing visuals to go with your questions. Since the ultimate goal is to get them into your sales funnel.
Statistics are a powerful tool of persuasion. When users absorb information backed by numbers, they will be far likelier to trust your authority and become a customer.
Case studies show your commitment to the subject at hand. They normally take an extensive amount of time to compile and require a lot of testing.
Users tend to trust information presented as a case study, and it tends to boost your reputability.
The Goal of Content Marketing
It’s simple, content marketing affects your bottom line. What’s a little more complicated is the route you choose to take to get there.
To understand the best options for your brand, let’s review the top goals achieved from content marketing. You’ll find that these goals correlate closely to a normal sales funnel.
Drive Traffic to Landing Pages
Getting traffic to your landing pages is a required step towards getting potential customers to purchase from you. Landing pages are very similar to sales pages, the main difference being that one is usually intended to get people subscribed to a list while the latter is meant to sell a product or service.
Content types that are most effective for driving traffic to landing pages include YouTube videos, think a video like “5 ways to make money now” that sends users to a page where they can download a FREE eBook.
Promote Brand Awareness
Brand awareness campaigns usually start very early in the sales process. Users are not yet acquainted with your brand but are coming to your website to learn some useful information being offered.
These content types are usually presented as a problem meeting a solution. This could be a how-to blog post or video, or an infographic that gets widely shared. Users don’t know that your brand helps with their problem until they see the graphic, and this gets them into your funnel.
Your ultimate goal is to keep customers coming back for more. To do this, you should develop a content marketing strategy that’s interactive and engaging. Sprinkle in plenty of Q & A’s where people can freely ask you questions that matter most to them.
Have a review generation strategy in place and promote those reviews across pertinent product pages to help convince people to make a purchase.
Making money is the end goal, but there are subtle steps you can take to explode your earnings to the next level.
Lead magnets like eBooks, whitepapers, and courses will do just this. If you use these materials to upsell your existing products or services you can generate a substantial secondary income.
Generate Shares and Backlinks
Creating stellar content is one thing, but getting that content shared en masse is another challenge facing digital marketers.
You could play a beautiful piano solo, but if it’s inside of an empty theater no one will hear its beauty.
Once you create amazing content you need to perform outreach. This applies to the SEO (i.e. link building), social media, and paid ads fronts. Have a strategy in place as far as audience targeting and when to target said audience following the publication of your content.
Digital Content Strategy Best Practices
Content strategies may vary based on your particular business goals, but here are a few general rules to keep in mind when developing a digital content scheme.
Choose a Primary Content Type
Decide on the right content for your business based on your niche. In other words, perform competitive research and note the types of content your competitors post.
Niche Appropriate Types of Content
Are they primarily posting videos? Blog posts? And is this content concentrated in a specific area?
Niche appropriate content implies that these marketing materials are proven and effective ways of reaching your audience.
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience isn’t just about the type of content they consume, it’s knowing where to find them.
Competitive research should show you which platforms and channels they occupy. You wouldn’t want to waste time on Instagram if your audience spent most of its time on YouTube.
Find Gaps in Existing Content
Perform a content audit and determine whether you need to expand existing pieces or modernize them. This happens often with older blog posts, it’s important to update these to reflect new information.
It’s also vital to unearth gaps in your competitors’ content. Are they writing short blog posts that leave out a ton of information? Write a longer post using the “Skyscraper Method.”
Consistency is key in Google’s eyes. Regardless of the type of content you create, they could be videos, podcasts, or blog posts, create them on a routine basis to see the best results.
When you’re starting out with a new content marketing campaign, it can be hard to see the fruits of your labor. By creating a content schedule and sticking to it, you’re ensuring that a high quantity of information will be shared over time.
The more often you create, the more potential eyeballs will see your stuff.