It’s been said many times before that content is king, and it turns out this statement applies to the full spectrum of the digital enterprise. From news media to Hollywood, marketing to sales, content can make or break an entire business strategy.
Today, we’re focusing on content marketing as a key modern business practice, more specifically, what types of content you need to incorporate into your game plan.
Chances are that your content calendar is missing at least one of the following content types, so tune in and identify where your own marketing strategy can improve.
1. Guides and How-To’s
Some of the best-performing content on the web is evergreen material that tells audiences exactly how to accomplish a task or complete a project.
Giving audiences tangible information they can use in real life is a winning strategy.
According to Convince and Convert, you want to take advantage of process-driven information to build trust in your brand name and keep them coming back to your site time and time again.
Structured guides and DIY content also has big benefits for organic search. Just look into the featured snippet phenomenon to see that Google is prioritizing this material in position zero.
If you’ve been stuck in the same routine of making cookie-cutter blog posts day in and day out, a long-form guide (at least 2000 words) can break up the monotony and provide audiences with something they can really sink their teeth into.
2. Infotainment Videos
Who doesn’t want to sit back and enjoy a fun video to take a break from clicking, calculating, typing, and talking?
According to research from HubSpot, 54% of audiences want their favorite brands to release more video content, which outstrips their desire for all other content types.
Videos don’t need professional editing or studio-quality production to make an impact. Just be original, authentic, and consistent, and users will appreciate the value if it’s there.
If you need subject material, just browse your back catalog of blog posts and reformat them into a script. Grab a camera, set up a mini studio, and you’re underway.
Remember that consistency is key with video, just like any other format. If you plan to start making video content, be sure to produce at least once a week to build an audience.
3. Quizzes, Polls, and Surveys
It’s hard to resist the temptation to participate in on-page polls and surveys, especially when you are passionate about the subject matter.
Interactive content is the way of the future, and many brands are already embracing the huge engagement they get from these digital assets.
There are countless ways to incorporate these types of content into your site and social media, and you can easily push the sales funnel forward by having audiences invest their time.
Furthermore, the information you get from surveys and quizzes can be used immediately to direct future content strategy and help you devise new products and services, so don’t miss out!
4. Case Studies and White Papers
As customers get deeper into the sales cycle, they’ll want more detailed information about how your product or service works, especially if you’re dealing in high-ticket markets.
Case studies are one of the oldest, time-tested content formats in the game, yet too many marketers overlook the power of an in-depth testimonial packed with data.
Your company probably has several glowing reviews from past or present customers, so tap into that database and see if you can work with real people to map out a strong case study.
White papers are another underrated content type that requires a bit of upfront investment but can pay big dividends over time if done correctly.
The idea here is to identify a specific market segment or pain point and deliver an authoritative guide through the decision-making process from the perspective of a solution provider.
It sounds heavier than it is, and you can make a very compelling argument for your brand as you help potential customers address real problems they face.
5. User-Generated Content
Brand ambassadors have been around for a while, but with social media dominating the digital landscape, you don’t have to shell out big bucks to get real people to advocate your brand.
By leveraging user-generated content through promotions and contests, you incentivize users to put out the good word about your product and have a ton of fun doing it.
All you need to do is set up a simple giveaway or competition to get people to participate, then watch the cool photos, videos, and testimonials roll in (along with the sales).
Look at some big-brand examples over the years (think Starbucks, Red Bull, Apple) and see how you can pull off a controlled campaign that inspires people to make awesome promotional posts in your favor.
6. Engaging Infographics
The best infographics aren’t just pretty set pieces, they are authoritative resources that real people link and share across the web while promoting your brand in stride.
According to data from OptinMonster, 84% of content marketers who use infographics say that it’s an effective content format, proving that it’s not a passing trend.
Whether you rely on in-house designers or outsource your infographics to a pro firm, the point is that you shouldn’t stop producing these key content elements any time soon.
7. Mini Downloadable Ebooks
If you are struggling to build up your email database, there’s no better way to accelerate growth than by offering up a short original ebook.
It may take some extra time to put together, but once you have it, you can give it away in exchange for email information or even a short survey.
It’s a win-win situation, and both parties get something they want.
This is a classic digital marketing tactic that seems to have flown under the radar in the current generation, so don’t overlook this proven method.
If you feel like your content marketing strategy has gone stale, or you just need something fresh to add to the mix, every one of these options has something to offer.
Keep testing out new content formats and always push the envelope on creativity!