Content Marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing content across various mediums with an aim to create awareness about a brand, product, or service. It has become one of the most important part of digital marketing strategies for all businesses, small or large. There are a number of types of content marketing that one can choose from. However, when it comes to designing an effective marketing strategy, it can be difficult to decide which types of content marketing you should use to grow your business.
Before we discuss the various types of content marketing, let’s see what is content and what are its benefits.
Content, referred to as the King of the Digital World, is anything that is used to express your ideas or thoughts over the Internet. Any task right from setting up your business, launching or promoting your product, building up a brand name, or simply communicating or connecting with your audience has content as its backbone.
So what exactly are the benefits of Content?
- Content is a powerful tool for Digital Marketing. It helps build trust among the audience and creates a better understanding of your product or service. A well-written content that hits the customer rightly makes a long-lasting impression and shapes the value of your product or service.
- In the world of social media and internet reviews, people share and reshare content which is interesting and strongly written. This increases backlinks and visibility of your site thereby increasing the traffic.
- Content written as per the rules of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) takes your site to the top pages of Google or any search engine which can attract people to your business.
It is thus very important to explore the various types of content marketing so that you can effectively use them in your digital campaigns. You can choose from a short form of content like infographics, videos, images, or long-form like e-books, white papers, case studies, etc. Before deciding on the content type, one must consider the purpose of the content, its audiences, and the medium of sharing. For example, you can create attractive images and infographics for social media posts like on Facebook and Instagram.
Now let’s look at the 10 types of content marketing everyone should know to get better leads and brand awareness.
Types of Content Marketing
The blog is the most common word associated with content writing. Blog is a way of expressing oneself through articles. They are relatively easy to create and many companies make blogging a central part of their content marketing strategy. Detailed articles can provide a lot of information to the audiences about the product, service, or brand. They can also drive a lot of potential traffic to your site and project your company as a knowledgeable source in the industry or niche.
Reasons To Consider Blogging For Your Business
- A large number of internet users read blogs.
- Blogs are an excellent medium to incorporate keywords relevant to your content.
- Blogging is best for SEO. Long blogs tend to hold user attention for a long time. Users spend more time on your site which increases its credibility to search engines.
- You can add many inbound and outbound links which will potentially increase the SEO of your site.
- Readers are most likely to share blog content on social media or refer to a friend. They may even make a purchase after reading a blog article.
- People follow brands if they find the content they provide relevant and interesting. This will increase your brand value.
- Blogging creates trust. People get to know the company’s knowledge and expertise in the industry.
- Blogging is good for competition. Unique, relevant and creative content makes you stand out from your competitor.
To-Do Tasks Before Starting A Blog
To start using blogs as one of the content marketing strategies, one must follow the below steps:
- Think of the topics you can write about. Select topics that are relevant to your site. For example, if you provide content writing courses, then you should consider writing blogs relevant to content writing like the various types of content writing, its importance, the different institutes available etc. An article on music might sound all good but will be of no use to your business as it is nowhere related to your niche.
- Do some keyword research to get a sneak peek at what consumers are typing on search engines to reach brands like you.
- Some competition analysis might always help you understand the topics your competitors are writing about to get more leads.
- Keep adding new posts regularly. Also do not forget to update old top-performing posts frequently.
- Use plenty of internal links to make users bounce around your site.
E-books are long-form content that is used to provide valuable information to customers. Typically it is about 3000-5000 words of downloadable content. E-books should not contain advertisements for the company. The main aim of this form of content is to provide solutions to common problems and useful information to the reader. It is not about selling to your customer. But it is about building a strong trust and relationship with the customer so that they get back to you when they decide to purchase. Ebooks are powerful tools used in content marketing to capture prospective clients. That’s because a reader must provide some type of information like email-id or name in exchange for the book.
Reasons to use ebooks:
- Establishes your company as an expert. When you give an ebook to your readers, you show your expertise to them by literally offering a book. This will make you an industry leader and knowledgeable expert whom users can trust.
- Helps you build an email marketing list. E-books are of value as users are willing to share their valuable information in exchange for an ebook download. You can use this list for email marketing which is one of the types of content marketing.
- Ebooks are easier to write and maintain. Once you are clear on the contents of the books, it doesn’t take much longer to write it. Moreover, you can also convert other forms of content like articles, blogs, etc into e-books.
Best Practices for writing an ebook
- Each chapter you write should have a unique takeaway and can include a clear call to action.
- Ebooks should be easy to find, share, and download from your site. This allows maximum sharing of content from your site to other mediums.
- Use simple and easy to understand language. If you have to use technical jargon, make sure to include a glossary for the readers.
- Include links to other blogs, posts, and pages of your site and also other sites. This will increase the internal and external links which is one of the major factors influencing SEO.
- Quote examples and statistics wherever possible. Real data gives the reader a greater picture of the topic and makes you seem more knowledgeable
- Use a short, proactive, and compelling title with a good cover that attracts the reader to download the ebook.
- Make sure to include keywords related to your products and services.
As per Wikipedia – Infographics (a clipped compound of “information” and “graphics”) are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.
Infographics are a visual content marketing format that helps readers better understand and visualize complex data and statistics. This type of content is easily shareable and interesting to read when compared to long lists, bulleted points, and texts. Below is an example of infographics explaining how to fight the flu.
Why use infographics?
- Humans are visual learners. We need our optic nerve to be activated to grasp information faster. Infographics make the content easily scannable and readable.
- It summarises a long post short and gives a quick overview of a topic.
- Explains complex information, facts, statistics and data in a very simple, easy to grasp format.
- Presents your expertise on the domain. Infographics require great research. Hence they can create the brand image by making you an expert in your industry.
- Infographics make even the dullest and boring theoretical posts interesting with attractive colors and pictures.
- They are easily shareable and liked. This boosts SEO as it builds a strong network and backlinks.
- They are good for SEO. Well made infographics and appear in the top pages of the image section of google.
Below are some online tools that can be used to create creative infographics.
YouTube is the second largest search engine. If you are working on the content marketing strategy for your company and are not including videos then you are missing out on a lot. Video marketing is not new. It has been coming from ages right from television advertising to present-day YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook Live and Vimeo all use videos as a marketing strategy.
Videos are one of the most engaging, entertaining, and highly shareable forms of content. They give us a real-life experience of the products and are easily accessible over the internet. People today are watching more and more content in the form of videos than before. Videos make people spend more time on your site. The more time people spend on your site, the more will be the chances of a sale. Search engines might consider your site useful and relevant as people are spending more time.
While designing videos one must consider the below points.
- What types of content can be converted into a video?
- Which audience will be your target audience.
- What are the various types of videos and when to use them appropriately?
- All videos created should offer value to the customer
- Include a CTA at the end of the video for the users
Video is fun to create and is one of the best ways to connect and make a relationship with your audiences. It is a very good medium to showcase your business, work samples, client feedback, and other details. You can use videos to show your morals, values, positive and progressive thinking rather than just focusing on the product and profits. Creating a positive image of your brand is very important to make people stick around or come back later to make a purchase.
When people buy a product online or ask for a service, most of them check the reviews, testimonials, and case studies to better understand the product or service. Case studies are real-life examples of your product or work that has helped your customers become successful. Using case studies, you depict a customer’s journey from start to finish and showcase the value your product has added to their business. It is considered one of the best ways to highlight the specialties and uses of your product or services.
Real-life examples build trust among the audience and establish better relationships with the users. While creating a case-study, it is very important to seek permission from the clients to include their data and statistics as these provide a better understanding. Case Studies are effective when they follow a pattern – summary of the study, problem statement, Solution offered, Outcome, and their benefits or impact.
Never include just results in your case studies. It’s necessary to create a case study like a storytelling blog. Explain clearly and in an easy to understand language. You can also include a video case study wherein one of your clients speaks about the experience they had with your company.
Case studies can be included on your company website. They can also be used on social media pages, blogs, ebooks, and other forms of content. You may also present them to prospective clients to help them decide better.
Checklists provide a step-by-step guide to do something. It can be considered as a worksheet with a list of things to do to achieve a certain outcome. They are especially useful for Small businesses as they are very easy to create while providing a great value to the audiences. They are actionable resources that users may use more repeatedly.
The above is an example of a checklist issued by AdventAir Air Conditioning Inc highlighting the steps to be taken to maintain your HVAC AC in a good condition. A checklist should provide value to its customers like the one mentioned above.
Tips to remember while creating a checklist:
- Choose a relevant topic and create a step-by-step checklist.
- Once created, you can share it across social media platforms or include them in your blogs.
- Offer them in exchange for certain actions like email subscriptions etc.
You can also create an internal checklist within your team to keep a check on the activities performed and activities pending for the day or duration.
Podcasts offer many types of benefits to a business. The voice-enabled conversation has a larger impact on the listener than reading an article. Podcasting is a digital evolution of radio broadcasting. It is a one to many conversations shared through a digital platform.
Most businesses do not understand the contribution podcasts can make to their business and do not include them in the content marketing strategy. Podcasts can be considered as one of the perfect content marketing strategies. It helps you connect better with your audience and establish an emotional relationship with them. Sound and modulation of tone can effectively project your emotions to the listener and make them trust you and your services.
Some reasons why you should include podcasts are:
- There is very low competition in podcasts. It is a blooming strategy and people are just getting used to it. So you can have an upper edge over your competitors by using podcasts.
- It is very convenient to convey your information to users through podcasts as they can listen to it any time while traveling or working or playing.
- Since it is still a new strategy in the market, you can capture the audience early on by including podcasts. When your competitors start using this strategy, they have a tough time getting your audience.
- It helps in SEO. Podcasts can be embedded in your blogs, emails, social media, RSS feeds, etc. This helps to build a network of backlinks which has a positive impact on SEO.
- Builds a brand image. Offering long forms of content like podcasts regularly attracts audiences which impacts your image in the market.
Always remember that any content type should aim at providing value to the readers rather than just look like a sales pitch.
White papers are similar to ebooks. Both are long-form content but white papers are denser and deeply packed with information and solutions to a business problem. White papers are more data-driven and detailed focused than an ebook.
If you are planning on collaborating with other businesses and earn respect and value in your industry then you have to consider publishing white papers. They can attract a large number of audiences in your industry. Whitepapers generally take a longer time to write than other forms of content. They are a bit expensive and should include a good title followed by various sections. It should also include a table of contents page and the glossary page.
White paper marketing can change your business. It makes you more visible in online searches and increases your audience reach. But it is important to properly plan and implement your marketing approach.
Newsletters are useful to regularly keep in touch with your audiences and update them about the latest products, features, and information. Emails connect directly to the person and make it easy to update them. Email newsletters are a powerful content marketing tool.
Points to remember while using newsletters:
- It is a one-to-many form of content. Create once and circulate it to many people.
- They are easily digestible i.e., it provides a gist of all the latest information, and if interested users can click on links for more details.
- Unlike blogs and other types of content wherein a user visits your site only if they want to, a newsletter is pushed to the customer’s email id. The reader has no additional efforts to do other than opening a mail.
- Personalize the emails. Email open rates increase by 50% by personalization.
- Send regularly and be consistent.
- Let your content be fresh and unique. Keep your subscribers guessing the details of the next newsletter.
With so many new technologies and products emerging daily in our lives, how-to-guides are very useful to understand their functionalities and features. Simple things like boiling an egg or sending an email or tying a shoelace, all become easy with a comprehensive how-to-guide.
Decide on a topic for how-to-guides. Think of all the problems people might face in your area of expertise and create a detailed how-to-guides giving solutions. They can be in any format like videos, infographics, checklist, etc.
You can find an entire site, WikiHow, whose site is entirely made up of how-to-guides.
Good Content creates a strong foundation for any marketing strategy. It will help in SEO and get more organic traffic to the site and helps in converting leads to sales. Content is also essential in creating a good brand image for your company. Marketers previously worked with only limited content types but now there are many types of content marketing that one can explore. It’s always best to use a combination of different content types in your marketing strategy.
What do you think about the different types of content marketing? Which one are you going to explore next? Which content do you as a customer use more? Do share your thoughts, feedback, and comments in the section below.