Exploring the Different Types of Content Marketing Strategies [Video]
Everywhere you turn, you see buzzwords like "content," "content marketing," "content marketing strategy," and "content marketing plan." These terms are the backbone of articles that teach you how to make a name for yourself, attract a loyal following, and launch a successful startup.
Let's look at some definitions:
Content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a specific target audience.
By providing informative and useful content, businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build trust with their audience.
Content marketing can be used to achieve various business objectives, such as generating leads, increasing conversions, and building brand awareness. It can take many forms, such as blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, and e-books.
The key is to create content that aligns with the interests and needs of the target audience and provides them with information that they will find helpful and relevant.
For a digital marketer, content creation involves strategies to optimize, distribute and measure the effectiveness of the content. This can include SEO, social media promotion, email marketing, and analytics.
In deciding what content you want to create, as a thought leader, you must consider the content, who it is for, and where you will put it.
You can create an infographic for an audience that likes information in small chunks. You can post it to Facebook, adding a poll to increase engagement. You can put it on your blog and link to it from Twitter. You can share it on Instagram or make a PDF version available as gated content and associate that with a post on the same topic. For people who want more information, you can create longer content (bigger than an average blog post), publish it on your blog, then have your CEO publish it on their LinkedIn page.
Every content element you create can be used on various platforms and reconfigured for specific audiences; it is a part of your content marketing strategy.
You can increase engagement and conversations and enhance your brand by providing valuable, relevant content to educate your audience on how your products/services can effectively address their pain points and challenges.
When you hear about how Social Media is something you must consider in developing your content marketing plan, you might get the impression that social media is a single thing you must conquer. In reality, it's a selection of vastly divergent platforms that appeal to different audiences. Each platform has its own set of content types that perform best. It's about engaging individuals and creating a trigger that sends them to your landing page, blog, or other target pages to get more information.
When you realize over 3.7 billion people use social media around the world, it's easy to see why there's so much invested in social media content marketing:
68% of adults use Facebook; its audience represents most of all age ranges except those over 65.
35% of adults use Instagram; this audience skews to the younger ages, appealing to teens and young adults with its straightforward, photo-centric design and ease of use.
24% of adults use Twitter; it has become a platform for brands to use for social customer service, and it also skews to the younger age ranges.
25% of adults use LinkedIn; this is the number one B2B social media marketing platform; it caters to professional networking, and most of its users are college graduates.
29% of adults use Pinterest; this visual search engine has created its revolution in online shopping; it has a base across all ages and is particularly popular with younger users.
27% of adults use Snapchat; however, it has recently been outshined by Instagram Stories.
Core benefits of content marketing
With Content Marketing, as opposed to pushy and salesy outreach, your marketing team is looking to create pull and attract the prospect to come to you on their terms. It is an approach of integrity and has several valuable benefits:
Increased brand awareness and credibility by producing and distributing valuable and relevant content.
Improved customer engagement and relationships by creating a solid connection with your target audience.
Greater inbound, organic traffic and lead generation result from being found by potential customers actively searching for information related to your products or services.
Specific Content Types
When creating specific types of content, you must know your audience (personas are helpful here) and what they are looking for. You also need to research how each persona prefers to consume content; content is more than just written content. You want to present relevant, helpful information to build your reputation as a knowledgeable voice in your industry niche. You are laying the foundation to make you where all these potential customers return when it's time to purchase.
So what are other content types to use in your next content marketing campaign?
Here is where you share information with customers and target audiences, whether educational, customer-related, or product-related. Depending on the goal of your blog, you can share links to your social media pages, link to partners' websites and products, link to other posts, or write about your product line.
Blogs are one of the best ways to improve SEO and drive traffic to your site. A Forbes report found that websites with a blog typically have 434% more indexed pages than those without. This means they have a greater chance of being on the top of SERPs when searches are done for particular keywords.
The more valuable content you provide, the more likely your target audience will consider your brand when buying. Research what's being typed into search engines to find brands like yours. Consider what topics or questions are relevant and create blog content around these subjects.
When you generate content and aim to attract organic traffic, topic clusters and long-form content play an essential role. Pillar pages are the "The Ultimate Guide" style pages that are the incarnation of helpfulness within your content strategy; it serves as a pillar for the content it supports. But it's not just a core page filled with bits and pieces of content. Instead, it's a critical support to your website, with a comprehensive outline of the breadth of your content.
This popular content is convenient because it can be enjoyed during a break or on the go. Use a podcast to give the audience helpful, thought-provoking information. You can also improve brand awareness, build relationships with audience members, and promote products, services, and partners. Remember, it's not a sales pitch; it offers valuable content to the audience.
Video marketing can boost conversions, improve ROI, and help build relationships with audience members; HubSpot research found over 50% of consumers say they want to see videos from brands they interact with. You can post video content on social media platforms, site pages, or partners' websites. Use it to expand your reach across different media platforms.
In designing video content, consider what content will most appeal to your audience based on what stage in the marketing process they are at.
For example, when consumers know their marketing, they may find short, attention-grabbing informational videos most engaging. How-to product videos and product demos can help consumers in the decision stage make their purchasing decisions.
If you're intimidated by using video in your marketing efforts, fear not! We wrote an entire post about it; you can find it here.
Here you are telling customer stories to illustrate how your brand helped a specific customer/client be successful. It's an excellent way to highlight special applications or uses for your services and products. This content helps your audience understand how your brand can add value to their business. Real-life examples help build trust with people learning about your products and services.
Try to include customers who will give permission to tell their stories and provide quotes and statistics to illustrate how helpful your business has been to them.
Remember, these are not 5-10 page ads. You want to provide helpful information and insight to your target audience that addresses their needs and challenges. It's not about selling; it's about building a relationship. You're earning their trust, so they come to you when it's time to purchase.
Ebooks are typically gated content, which means folks provide contact information in exchange for the download. These leads will prove valuable and provide an attractive ROI for your efforts. Remember, some of your other types of content (e.g., blog posts) can often be repackaged as eBooks.
White papers are additional long-form content that can be effective as a lead magnet. If you compare a white paper to an ebook, the white paper is more information-dense, data-driven, and detail-focused. This is one of the best types of content for marketing in the B2B sphere. It helps you build thought leadership and gain respect within your industry. To collect lead information and conversions, gate your white papers.
Here you create a list of things to do in a step-by-step process to enable a particular desired outcome. These are valuable content for small businesses since they are relatively easy to create and provide significant value for the target audience.
Pick a relevant topic, and after you've created a checklist, you can share it on social media or include it in a blog post. The more you share and repurpose the checklist content, the more valuable your business becomes.
Many people want their content in a picture with fewer words and attractive graphics. Infographics display information and data in an easy-to-understand format. You effectively communicate your content with simple wording, short statements, and clear images. This works particularly well if you're trying to distill an educational or complex topic so any audience member will understand it.
Infographics help you educate your audience while providing helpful information. This format helps viewers better visualize data like statistics to see why something is valuable or how something works more readily. It's an excellent way to convey a large amount of information quickly to appeal to all the visual learners in your audience.
Conclusion: Successful Content Marketing Takes Many Forms
Be sure to research to determine what kind of content your target audience is most likely to consume and where they are most likely to consume it. Then, you'll be well on your way to effectively infusing your content marketing efforts through your inbound marketing strategy!
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