Content marketing is a must for connecting with more of your target consumers. For one, it increases your brand visibility across multiple social channels and platforms, which helps with name recognition and inherently builds customer trust. It's a form of marketing that doesn't come across sales oriented: just a well-to-do company sharing information their target consumer likely will benefit from. And second of all, it's a tried and true way to direct more traffic to your site thanks to the power of SEO.
As more companies flock to the practice of content marketing, it's important to understand which types of content have the highest ROI for a company. After all, content creation is a significant time and energy investment - many companies hire someone specifically to spearhead this side of it. With a concentrated effort on these five types of content, your company will master the art of content-marketing and reap the benefits of the strategy.
1. A website blog
Intra-website blogs have been revered for their SEO capabilities. Not only do blogs enable more mentions of keywords related to your company, but they're often what customers stumble across before they know they're in the market for something. For example: perhaps your client is looking to learn best tactics for hanging Christmas lights on their homes and is looking for some guidance. They Google "how to hang Christmas lights safely" and land on your holiday decorations page because you have a blog post devoted to that topic. They learn just enough to trust you, and then your company's name sparks greater name recognition the next time they're looking to purchase holiday decorations.
A recent statistic reports that 79% of marketers rank blogs as the most efficient marketing tactic - both for its SEO help and its ability to establish trust with your target consumer (or just a website visitor!). It's a good idea to hire a copywriter for your website blog, or, if one of your current team members is interested in writing, to make sure they learn with an online copywriting course how to research keywords related to your brand and include them for optimization.
This form of content is less on the marketing side, but still relevant: many companies share an infographic as a download or image on their site. Infographics are a powerful tool for communication, especially for complex business models - and many can be made for the same company, and then re-purposed for social media, such as in a tweet. It's recommended to include a call-to-action on the infographic in addition to the information it shares. Hire an illustrator or graphic designer to incorporate your brand feel and color into the graphic, so that it can be used for a variety of avenues but maintain brand consistency.
3. YouTube videos
YouTube continues to dominate the content space, with over 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. Many brands have found a YouTube video content strategy that works well for their messaging: such as Red Bull sharing videos of extreme sports and Lego sharing child-friendly lego building videos. Ideas for beginning videos that work well include demos of your product or service (such as a "how to"), or content loosely related to your target audience. For example, if your company sells cake pans, show all the different ways you can use it. Or, if your company specializes in teaching clients how to land speaking gigs, share videos on public speaking tips. Think: what would my target consumer be interested in watching?
Another subtly persuasive type of YouTube video is a client testimonial or a case study. Videos keep customers engaged if they seem like a "story," and sharing another customer journey can be very compelling to a potential customer.
4. Pins on Pinterest.
A truly powerful tool: Pinterest! Pinterest has become, for all intents and purposes, a "mini Google." With a user base of over 250 million per month and the ability to link websites or videos to resharable content, companies and influencers are flocking quicker than ever to the platform. Even better: you can invest in "sponsoring" your pin to a wider audience, similar to investing in other social media ads. And it's worth the investment: it's estimated that 87% of Pinterest users have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
Share product photos and videos with more information about what you offer, and make sure to use the "tags" for greater visibility. Or, repurpose and share content from your social media sites. Pinterest specializes in reaching larger audiences, because Pinterest users go on Pinterest to "discover." And, make sure to always link some form of a call to action (even if it's just your website) to each pin.
5. A monthly newsletter
Finally, consider building a well-designed newsletter to send out to your customers, clients, or whoever has expressed interest. While there are mixed feelings about newsletters, it's true that they keep your company top of mind for the consumer, and is a lower cost marketing option. Work with a newsletter template to add in colors and fonts in alignment with your brand persona, and only email when you have something to offer your clients or customers -- such as a Labor Day weekend special or extended hours. Less is more when it comes to newsletter frequency: it's recommended by Campaign Monitor to send one out no more than once weekly, but at least once a month.
Ultimately, sharing content on behalf of your business is a way of delivering value to potential customers in order to possibly convert them to leads. But, companies have to lead with value first, or "give to get." Make sure your content is appealing, humorous, or thought-provoking (depending on your brand feel), and test it on objective perspectives to make sure it has the intended approach. Content marketing takes a lot of effort, but companies swear by it - start with these five types of content to see why.