Move over English, I think we can all agree that content is the new language of inbound marketing around here. Today, the vast majority of consumers engage in your content before deciding to do business with you, and with such a huge emphasis placed on publishing content, it’s important that you’re leaving no stone unturned and leverage all the different types of content to effectively connect with your adoring audience.
This most-excellent guide is going to present the various content offerings on... well, 'offer', and how to best use them in your content marketing guide. Sit back and brace yourself because we're about to learn how each of them works, their benefits, and how use them to connect with your market. Let's goooo!
#1 Blog Posts
Blogging is the bread-and-butter strategy for increasing brand awareness, educating your market, and being viewed as a reliable source in the industry. By optimising your blog for SEO, you’ll drive traffic from search engines and position yourself for leads and sales. The focus is sharing valuable content that solves problems and is useful for your readers.
E-Books are time-tested content offerings that will boost your lead generation outta sight. They’re ideal for expanding on different facets of your business or topics in your industry that you believe people will benefit from understanding. Invest the time to produce a great eBook and use it as a lead magnet to grow your email subscribers and get people on-side.
Simply put, checklists are easy content tools that assist users in achieving a specific goal or outcome. Many find them simple to digest and follow, making them a wonderful asset to your content marketing strategy. If you want to teach your audience how to do something, offer them a checklist- it will improve their performance considerably.
#4 Case Studies
Case studies help you close the deal. They showcase your marketing-chops and help build trust with those who are in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey. They show that what you do works and creates results for others. Highlight case studies on your sales pages, presentations, and email content to move people to the purchasing decision.
Did you know infographics are liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any other content type? Folks dig on pretty images, that's just a fact. These visual, highly-detailed content pieces are going to hugely benefit your brand awareness on social and complement your blog content. Easily create your own on platforms like Canva.
Slideshows keep people on your website longer, improving bounce rates (dwell time) and user experience. They’re highly effective for reaching those who are less inclined to read a long-form post. Presenting content in small chunks helps you appeal to different preferences. Slideshows are best for how-to content with each slide building upon the last and discussing the next step in a process.
#7 Quote Images
Everyone enjoys inspiration. While they may be a lesser used content offering, sharing quotes highlights your brand in a positive way and quickly and effectively tells people what you value. Quote images perform well on social networks like Facebook and Instagram, getting followers engaged in your content and attracting new ones.
Webinars are excellent ways to position your brand as an expert in the industry. You can delve deeper into content topics, extending value to your audience. Webinars can also be used to build awareness for new prospects and leads that are still getting to know your company. They’re also perfect for product demonstrations in helping move your leads closer to the buying decision.
When it’s over, repurpose your content by uploading the slides to SlideShare to extend your reach. That's a 2-for-1!
#9 Video Series
Videos are powerful content tools that easily capture attention and build a connection with your audience. A big benefit to videos is that they move people to action. In fact, including a video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80% (Source: Hubspot).
With that said, videos are most effective in capturing leads and growing your sales funnel. Offering a video series as a lead magnet is a compelling way to gain new subscribers and deliver great content. But don’t just limit them to lead generation. How-to’s and product demonstrations are also winning content on video.
#10 Live Video
People are spending 3 times longer watching live video versus those that have already been recorded. Apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Periscope are generating massive engagement on social media…and brands are taking notice. Leverage these tools to genuinely connect with your followers and foster relationships. You can take viewers behind-the-scenes, report breaking news, or host live Q&A sessions to truly engage your networks.
The popularity of podcasting is undeniable, with monthly listeners increasing from 21% to 24% year over year. People want listen to content “on-the-go” or while engaging in other activities; I personally get amongst my favourites on the commute in every morning. Podcasts are great additions to blog articles or simply having a channel to reach new people. They build awareness, bolster thought-leadership, and drives traffic to your website.
Quizzes are fun and engaging and give people a chance to discover new things about themselves that adds value or gives inspiration. These interactive pieces make your content worthwhile and memorable. You can easily amplify your lead generation by offering quizzes and giving users an opportunity to get their results by giving their name and email.
#13 Surveys and Polls
A huge element of inbound marketing is delighting your customers in a way that converts them into loyal, raving fans of your brand. Knowing what they want is a sure way of publishing content that meets their needs. Simply asking your audience through surveys and polls work well in achieving this goal.
#14 Workshop or Trade Show Event
In-person events rank amongst the top five B2B content marketing tactics. Even in an ever-evolving digital era, they’re one of the most effective methods in building relationships with your target market. People remember face-to-face encounters more than social media posts, blog articles, and videos. In your marketing strategy, it’s important to have a strong presence both online and offline. You can leverage these events by getting your market to try your products (for sales or leads) or gain feedback to use for fresh customer initiatives.
Each content type serves a different purpose in your content marketing strategy. Armed with this content offering guide, you can now effectively use content to attract, capture, and engage your buyer personas. The key is testing your results to discover what resonates with your audience best so you can change up your marketing strategy and giving more of what the people want.