Content is still KING when it comes to the Internet and that in turn means that content marketing is not something that any business can ignore. This is something that is unlikely to change and that means that it’s your job to produce and share the kind of content that’ll bring customers to your business and help you improve your bottom line.
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All the numbers confirm content marketing’s importance in the race for more traffic. Research shows that 91% of all B2B companies use content marketing, this figure dropping to 86% of B2C businesses. However, not all these companies have a content strategy plan.
The figures show that content marketing is a must, but doing it the wrong way – without a clear focus and strategy – can end up being just a waste of time and money.
With this problem in mind, here are 7 content marketing types to help you build your strategy and grow your business.
#1: Blog Posts
Blog posts are nothing new in the world of content marketing, yet many local businesses still aren’t blogging regularly, many blogs being dormant. However, those that do, reap great rewards:
- Companies that write blogs get 97% more links to their websites than companies that don’t
- Businesses with blogs have a much higher chance of receiving a first page Google rank compared to those without blogs
- Also 10% of blog posts are sticky or compounding, in that that they attract more and more organic traffic over time
To achieve the best results, ensure your blog posts are tightly focused. Also optimize them for local and voice search (this means making sure that they answer a question in a concise manner and place this text at the top of the page) and make sure to use a clear, easy-to-follow structure in every post.
Many businesses don’t bother with infographics and that’s a pity. They’re getting more and more popular and are a great way to present a lot of data in a way that’s easily digestible.
There is also no need to hire a professional graphic designer to make your infographics. Today, there are some great online tools such as Canva and Venngage. Both make it simple to create beautiful, shareable infographics.
Infographics have the benefit of helping you to build authority, gravitas and links. They’re also ideal for sharing on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. So, if you’re in the habit of posting data-heavy blogs, consider transforming them by placing an infographic on the page.
#3: Customer Testimonials
Customer reviews and testimonials are essential forms of social proof (even though they are not always believed) and should form a part of your online marketing plan and your content marketing strategy.
One way is to use video testimonials, for best results they have to tell a compelling story and when done properly they can give people a real reason to buy your product or service. Besides being placed on your site, they can also be emailed to your contact list, or shared on social media.
#4: Case Studies
The term “case study” can be an intimidating one but think of them as in-depth customer testimonials. Where a testimonial normally focuses on how the customer feels about your business, the case study goes into just how you or your product helped them.
If you decide to use case studies in your content marketing, make sure to:
- Make the story a compelling one and write it in an engaging way. If you can inject some suspense and emotion into the story it will keep people interested and ensure they read all of the story.
- Provide firm facts. Don’t just say that you helped your client grow their business – provide metrics and numbers wherever it’s possible.
- Detail your customer’s journey from the start to the end. Make sure to explain where they started from, why they came searching for help, and what happened after they found you, i.e. exactly how you helped them.
Case studies should be featured on your website and be easily spotted. Remember to share them on social media too.
Memes (an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations) are very popular and can be useful as a form of content marketing – but you have to be careful as there are a few pitfalls you should be aware of.
First, it’s not a good idea to share random memes that have nothing to do with your business. Instead, what you have to do is to find a way to take a popular meme and make it relevant to your product or service.
If you want to look into this a bit more before taking the plunge, have a look a Hulu’s social media pages. They use memes all the time, and very effectively too. Checking on what your competitors are doing is also a good idea.
Video marketing is getting very popular and are a very good way of increasing conversions as they allow you to ‘connect’ with the large number of people who assimilate information better from videos than text. You can produce videos cheaply using your mobile phone and there is also a host of free online tools available
However, you don’t need to stop with just marketing videos. Here are some ideas:
- Create short videos (3 to 60 seconds) to share on Instagram
- Use the Boomerang app to string together a series of images into a short video
- Create GIFs using free tools such as Giphy or EZGif
- Try an animated or white board video
There are many video formats, so feel free to experiment and find out what resonates with your target audience.
#7: Checklists, Cheat Sheets and FAQ’s
Some of the best content marketing provide answers to commonly asked questions or are actionable solutions to common problems. Here you should remember people don’t follow sites or brands for fun. They do it because they’re expecting to get something in return.
One great way to give your followers what they want is by creating checklists, cheat sheets and answers to frequently asked questions. For example, if you own a cake shop, you could create a checklist to bake a perfect Victoria Sponge.
You can keep the checklists you create simple, make it easy for them to be downloaded in a PDF or even create a video. Whatever way you choose, you’ll be giving your followers something valuable in return for their loyalty.
Content marketing is not going to go the way of the Dodo – and the 7 types of content marketing listed above can help you build your following, and increase your traffic and profits at the same time.
About the author
Graham Baylis was born in 1957 and has therefore seen the birth of the Internet and experienced at first hand, just how it has changed the World we live in. He has been involved with computers since 1983 and helped set up the first electronic mail system used by the Civil Service in 1986. He has gained several qualifications in Computing and Marketing and has written hundreds of blogs which you can find around the web, many being on customer’s websites. He has over 19 years of experience with Pay Per Click and SEO and has an answer for most Search Marketing questions, and, for those that he hasn’t is quick to find one. Continually coming up with solutions, Graham is one person it is worth having a chat with.