Content marketing is arguably one of today’s top online marketing trends. But, it’s not just large businesses that are using storytelling as part of their online marketing strategy. Today, 74% of small businesses use content marketing to help share their messages and build their brand online.
With so many types of content you can share online, what content should you be using? In this three-part series, we’ll discuss the types of content you can use to fuel your content marketing, generate engagement, build your brand, and drive new leads online. In this post, we’ll cover the different types of long-form content that form the cornerstone of a solid content marketing program: blog posts, videos, and ebooks.
1) Blog Posts
A business blog not only gives you a platform to demonstrate expertise in your field, but it also enables you to optimize content around your business name, industry, and products and services so it’s found in search engine results. Plus, with the increasing amount of usability built into different blogging platforms, you can use a business blog as a hub to share all of your brand’s content from.
Types of Posts You Should Create:
Informational – You know that you are an expert in your field, but you can prove this to your customers and prospects through informational blog posts about your industry. Plus, by writing informational content with your target keywords in mind, you can increase your blog’s visibility on search engines, which can improve brand awareness, brand credibility, and your online reputation.
How-To and Educational – Posts that explain a business-related process are great for building interest in your business and educating consumers about your products and services. For example, if you operate a bakery, you could explain the best types of apples to use in different desserts. Or, if you run a window-installation company, you could provide tips on how to treat windows during different seasons. You could also use this as a forum to help existing customers get the most out of your products or services if they require additional maintenance.
Special Offers and Events – One way to build a following on your blog is to post deals and special offers for your products or services. While your blog shouldn’t be overly promotional, occasionally giving your subscribers incentives via your blog post can help generate awareness and engagement. In addition, if you are active in charitable organizations, sponsorships, or other community events, a business blog is a great place to announce and promote the events and to give readers a wrap up after the event is over.
Video is a major form of content distribution that receives billions of views monthly. In fact, in January alone there were nearly 36.2 billion video content views, with the majority coming from YouTube. Of course, many of those views are for the viral video du jour, but videos featuring products or services are a great way for brands to encourage consumers to purchase. Research shows consumers who watch product videos are 174% more likely to purchase than those who do not. Plus, watching product videos on a mobile device is becoming more popular, with half of smartphone owners watching a product video on their mobile device within a three-month period.
Types of Videos You Should Create
Customer Testimonials – Do you have happy customers who are willing to share their positive experiences about your business? Ask them to record a video discussing the benefits of using your products or services. You can then share these videos on your social pages, blog, and on your website to build trust and credibility with prospects.
Demonstration Videos – If you have product or demonstration that is best described in action, create a video to deliver an easy-to-understand message. One survey indicated that of consumers who watch product videos with demonstrations, 57% were likely to spend at least two minutes watching a video. So, in order to get the most out of your videos, make sure they are short but informative. Plus, you can also include these demonstration videos in a blog posts about the same topic.
Company Culture – Creating videos that show the human side of your business can help you reach consumers on a personal level and can be a nice addition to your company’s “About Us” section of your website. From a video showing your business participating in a local community event to the story of how your business began, these types of personal videos can help you connect with local consumers.
If you want to present a large amount of content or information, an ebook can be a useful way to do so. Because ebooks generally require a download, you can use them as a way to generate new leads and collect important information from your interested prospects so that you can effectively manage your new leads. To get the most out of your ebook from a lead generation perspective, make sure it is high quality, well designed, effectively branded, and includes conversion elements like a tracking phone number and lead capture download form.
Types of Ebooks You Should Create
Thought Leadership & Expertise – Are you an expert in a complex process, system, or topic related to your industry? These are excellent subjects for ebooks, because they typically include a large volume of information that you might not be able to cover in a single blog post or video. Just remember, choose topics that you have real expertise in so that consumers see you as a trusted source for solutions within your industry.
How To – If you have a collection of similar tutorial topics, creating an ebook can be a great way to bring them all together. For these ebooks, you can arrange detailed descriptions, step-by-step instructions, tips, and multiple images into a comprehensive guide for consumers who are interested in your business type.
Products Benefits – Do you have multiple variations of the same type of product or service? If so, you can create ebooks that describe the common uses and key benefits for different types of products and services. This is a great way to demonstrate the diversity of what you offer, and give consumers a comprehensive and detailed comparison of your products so that they are equipped with all the information to make a purchasing decision.
By creating blog posts, videos, and ebooks, you can give potential customers detailed information and data that proves your expertise in your field while generating new leads. Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll discuss how images and “snackable” content can help you in your content marketing efforts.
What kinds of blog posts, videos, and ebooks have you created as part of your content marketing strategy? Do you have questions on specific types of content you can create for your business? Let us know in a comment!