Using the right types of content marketing is a key element of your success as a content creator. Sometimes figuring out what content works for your brand takes a few tries. With our handy guide, doing content marketing should be a more enjoyable and less stressful process.
What's on this page?
- What is content marketing?
- How do I get my content marketing right?
- What types of content marketing can I choose from?
- Content marketing – Best practices
What is content marketing?
Before we talk about the different types of content marketing you can use, let’s talk about what content marketing is.
Content marketing is the strategic use of creative and informative material to promote your company’s core product or service. For example, you can produce podcasts or blog posts to increase awareness of your brand. In time, brand awareness creates leads. It also results in a higher conversion rate from potential client to actual client.
How do I get my content marketing right?
In order to nail your content marketing, there are a few things you should always keep in mind:
Figure out who your target audience is
Drawing up a profile of your target audience is a crucial first step of content marketing. If you don’t know who your audience is, how will you know where to find them?
Understanding who your target audience will help you determine what they care about and therefore what kind of content they are looking for. Additionally, a profile of your target audience will help guide you on where to find them.
Produce content which your audience values in a format they enjoy
If you want to win your audience’s trust in the long term, then it is important to find out what kind of content they value, and how they prefer to consume this content. Do they prefer blog posts or infographics? Should you look into developing a white paper or a DIY video tutorial?
To understand the kind of content your target audience values, there are a few tools at your disposal. You can use surveys or social media analytics tools on your own platforms to find out which of your previous content has or hasn’t performed well. Alternatively, you can look at Reddit threads or other social media threads to perform some social listening. Evaluating the conversations on social media will help you figure out what kind of content your target audience is talking about.
Alternatively, you can use tools like Buzzsumo and Google AdWords to figure out the kind of content people are searching for and the most popular search results that pop up.
Finally, you can try the trial and error route, where you test specific types of content and see how your audience responds.
Focus less on attaining attention and more on retaining it
When you’re working as a content marketer, it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming that achieving a certain number of views or clicks on your content is the ultimate goal.
As nice as getting views and clicks is, it’s more important to attract an audience which will stay with you long-term. How do you do this? By not only promising a worthwhile experience but also delivering it.
Stop trying to promote yourself and start trying to help your audience
People are very wary of blatant advertising, so don’t use your content as a tool for advertising. Focusing more on the value you can offer your audience is a more effective way of earning their trust in the long term. Remember, trust is a valuable currency in any industry. Over time, people who trust you are more likely to purchase your core product or service.
What types of content marketing can I choose from?
Given the buffet of options out there, it’s not too complicated to develop a content marketing strategy that works for your brand. Let’s look at the options at your disposal:
Blogging is a good way to share informative content and a great way to build a reputation for your brand as a thought leader. Provided that you can offer valuable information, your blog can help you establish positive relationships with your readers who will soon start to rely on your nuggets of wisdom.
In order to run a successful blog, it’s important to optimize your content by writing for SEO, using the cluster model and writing consistently. Writing for SEO and using the cluster model will help your blog rank higher on Google’s results for keywords and topics which you’ve written about. Similarly, writing consistently will help you to not only rank higher on Google but also to build a reputation as a reliable source of information.
Your blog will be more effective if the articles you publish are focused on topics related to your industry instead of your core products or services. At the same time, it’s a good idea to drop a few calls to action in each post by mentioning your core product or service.
Infographics are a fun, simple way to break statistics and other complex data down into a more understandable form. Since infographics are visually appealing, your audience is bound to enjoy them.
You could go one step further to give your infographic more weight by quoting data from other thought leaders.
Similar to infographics, videos are an enjoyable and engaging way to provide your target audience with guidance on how to do something complex. If the content you’re sharing is a tutorial, DIY guide or a guide for using your product, then video is a great format to use.
4) Case Studies
No matter how many impressive figures you quote, real life stories about how your product has changed people’s lives will always have a greater impact. With time, your case studies might just be the social proof you need to build trust with potential clients who are considering using your products or services.
Real stories about clients you’ve worked with before are more relatable than impersonal facts and figures. This is because potential clients can put themselves in your clients’ shoes and picture how using your product will add value to them.
You can make your case studies even more effective by talking to clients who will allow you to use their “before” and after “metrics” of success. While it’s true that numbers aren’t everything, they will still help you build a solid case for your ability to help clients achieve their goals.
eBooks are a more informative, long-form version of blogs which educate your target audience or help them solve a problem. They can be an independent piece of content or – alternatively – a combination of blog posts which you’ve already written and published.
If your eBook is very long, then it’s best to have a table of contents to guide your readers. You can display this table of contents on a landing page in order to entice curious website visitors to check the rest of your book out.
You can offer someone an eBook in a gated format, in return for their email address or other contact information. This helps you build a target audience which you can market your core products or services to in the future.
6) White papers
Similar to eBooks, white papers help your audience solve a complex problem. However, they are more focused on data. They’re the ideal type of content to use if you operate in a B2B environment.
As with eBooks, you can also use white papers to build an audience of contacts to pitch your core business to in the future.
Both eBooks and white papers help you build a reputation as a trusted authority in the industry. Use them the right way, and people will start to rely on you for information and guidance.
7) User-generated content
User-generated content can be just the thing you need to generate long-term engagement with your brand. For example, retweeting a client’s tweet can generate a conversation about issues surrounding your industry. Engaging in this kind of conversation further solidifies your status as a thought leader in the industry.
Podcasts are a great way to reach people on the move with educational or entertaining content. With the right equipment and the right strategy, podcasts are a great way to humanize your brand and make your founding team more relatable to your target audience.
9) Webinars, trainings or demos
Webinars, trainings or demos are a creative way to teach your audience something complex related to your industry. Alternatively, you can use these types of content marketing to familiarize people with your product or service.
If a potential client knows that they can rely on you to help them understand how to use your products or services, then they are more likely to try what you’re selling. Overall, people who know that you offer industry support in form of webinars and trainings are more likely to trust you.
10) Interviews or Q&As
When done right, interviews and Q&As are a good way to share your expertise and engage your audience.
You can encourage engagement by allowing them to ask questions beforehand and answering them in a video or audio interview. Alternatively, you can invite your audience to ask questions in real time and answer them on a live stream.
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of content marketing available to you, let’s talk about how to really make your content marketing stand out.
Content marketing – Best practices
To give your content the boost it needs, consider using some of these strategies:
Repurpose your content
Did you know you can boost traffic to an old blog post by summarizing it in form of an infographic or video and sharing this on social media? Repurposing this content will allow people to get curious about the original piece of content. Over time, this boosts traffic to your website.
Find gaps in the market
Doing things differently from your competitors will help you really stand out as a content marketer. For example, we know the crypto industry is saturated with long-form textual content such as blog posts or white papers. If the client you’re producing content for operates in this industry, then videos and infographics would really help them stand out.
Adapt to your platforms
While you’re trying to decide which types of content marketing work well for your brand, it’s important to consider the platforms you’ll be using to distribute this content. For example, visual content like photos, infographics and videos would work really well on Instagram. However, if you’re using LinkedIn to reach your target audience, then textual content would work better for you.
Ask for feedback
A good way to boost engagement among your audience is to ask for feedback. Take time to find out how they feel about your content. Find out what isn’t working as well as you thought it would and what they would like to see more of. By asking for feedback, you’re helping your target audience feel involved in your content creation process. Clients who feel heard start to trust you over time.
Ultimately, when done right, content marketing should give your brand or your client’s brand the boost it needs and build trust among your target audience. Once you’ve developed a content marketing strategy, you can use a creative brief to work on your project as a team.