You probably already know that content marketing can do amazing things for your business. But do you know what types of content you should be focusing on?
Whether you’re just getting started with a content marketing strategy or you’re trying to refine an existing one, focus on the types of content that meet your needs both in terms of tactic and identity — i.e., content that helps you rank and reaches your core audience while also furthering brand integrity and relevance.
With that in mind, here are the ten types of content you should definitely be incorporating into your strategy.
1. Long-Form Blog Posts
Give your readers some credit when it comes to their attention span.
There are plenty of people out there who are eager to engage with long-form content. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that the search engines like it, too.
Longer content (think 2,000 words and up):
Don’t try to make all blog posts clock in at 2,000+ words, but do try to incorporate long-form content like how-to guides and in-depth analyses to take advantage of those benefits.
2. Short-Form Blog Posts
Short-form content is concise and to the point, which makes it great for things like getting that coveted featured snippet or racking in traffic for a commonly queried search phrase.
Unlike their long-form counterparts, short blog posts might not rack up a ton of high-quality engagement. But they’re excellent for driving traffic to your site and building brand awareness. Keep your focus on keywords, and don’t forget to include some links to stretch the utility of the post.
3. Email Campaigns
Not only do emails help you stretch the possibilities of each piece of content you create by giving you a wider platform for distribution, but they also help target your content to the correct audience members.
Use an email marketing automation tool to segment your contacts and send out content based on what’s most likely to drive conversions. Be sure to monitor your analytics, too, so that you can see what content varieties are performing best at various stages of the funnel.
4. Gated Whitepapers, Checklists, and Guides
It’s important that you create high-quality content that contains unique and helpful tips. This can come in the form of whitepapers, checklists, guides, etc. and we recommend gating them.
When you gate your content, you’re basically asking people to fill out a form and provide their information in exchange for this great piece of content.
Authoritative, well-researched content like this takes time to create, but it can pay off in terms of further establishing your brand’s authority within your industry and in its ability to generate high-quality leads. Stick to topics that are highly relevant to what you do, and make these assets as comprehensive as possible to help develop some valuable thought leadership cred.
5. Proprietary Research
Proprietary research — think reports and studies — is content that your audience can’t get anywhere else. And like whitepapers, checklists, and guides, it helps build up your brand’s authority and credibility in some pretty major ways.
You can conduct surveys with your audience members or hire a research team to look into gathering some stats regarding trends and activity within your industry. Use your findings to compile a report that expands on these statistics and make sure you promote it through various channels to give it the most longevity.
Want to stretch the benefits further? Consider gating your proprietary research so that it helps your lead generation efforts in addition to your content efforts.
6. Video Tutorials and Walkthroughs
Videos are a highly effective form of digital marketing, and they’re expected to account for 82% of all IP traffic by 2022.
To hold attention and give your audience something worth watching, stick to videos that serve a real purpose, such as tutorials and walkthroughs. Show off your service in action, or give an explainer on how to use your product. Make sure to get to the point quickly and to include captions for more accessibility.
7. Social Media
There’s no denying the importance of social media content, which is crucial for expanding your reach and tapping into the widest possible audience.
You don’t need to be on every platform (though more power to you if you can pull it off). However, you should be on the platforms your audience uses, and you should put together a social media calendar to maintain consistent engagement and build organic reach.
We love webinars for lead generation and building your subscriber list. Try partnering up with a relevant but non-competing brand to access each other’s audience and pull in more contacts. While you’re at it, book an expert who can lend insight to whatever topic you’re covering — and who can bring in their own audience as well.
9. Case Studies
Case studies show off what an expert you are in your field. They can also double as effective sales enablement tools.
Start by identifying your loyal customers that have seen some great return from your partnership. You want to make sure you can show specific metrics and results, as that kind of information is great at showing others the possibilities that come from using your services. Interview them and ask them specific questions regarding what their needs were, why they decided to use your brand or company, what the relationship is like and why they’ve been such a loyal customer.
To spruce them up, use graphics and formatting to brighten up the page and make it easy for people to pull out the most important info. Make sure you use these in your sales emails and drip campaigns, too.
A great infographic is informative and highly shareable, both of which are prime for getting eyes and links back to your site. Stick to topics that aren’t already overdone, such as infographics built off of your own original data.
To get the most use out of an infographic you create, write up a blog post around it and share widely on your own channels, including social media and email. It also doesn’t hurt to reach out to outside publications and sites to see if they’d be interested in publishing it as well. Just make sure you offer to write up a blurb that introduces it our pulls out some of the most compelling information.
Mix it up with your content, and try to incorporate all of the varieties above. If you’re creating high-quality pieces, those high-performance outcomes will follow.
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