Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left” – Seth Godin.
Content marketing might be a buzzword today, but not everyone is nailing it. Content without relevance has no impact. Any piece of content that goes up on the web should be tailor-made to fulfill your audience’s demands or address their pain points. Creating content without a purpose is as good as not creating any.
Before we address what types of content marketing are likely to drive traffic to your brand, let’s address why content marketing is important for your business today.
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing, when done correctly, brings a wide array of advantages to your brand. Here are some of the benefits of creating different types of content:
- Improves the searchability of your website
- Builds a significant following on social media
- Generates leads from multiple avenues
- Builds trust and credibility about your business online
As many as 72% marketers feel content marketing has increased their brand’s engagement and also the number of leads. In fact, as much as 39% of marketing budget is spent on content marketing by the most effective B2B marketers. However, let’s talk about the types of content that prove most effective for most brands.
Types of Content
1. Blogs: Blogs are a great way to create awareness about your products and the problems they solve. Blogs can be long-form or short-form and there is always an ongoing debate as to which one works better.
According to this survey, 66% of marketers used blogs in their social media content as part of their content marketing strategy. As many as 75% of B2B marketers use blogs for marketing, compared to 61% of B2C marketers.
The advantages of blogging are many. For starters, the content on a blog is a rich resource for your target users. The blogs also help you link information to other pages. These articles help fuel the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of the website while being relevant to the user. This means more discoverability for your brand.
Lastly, blogs can help build a loyal following of return-users who might later opt for your services and become the end-users. No matter how old a content type they are; blogs are never going to run out of fashion.
Every brand hosts a blog relevant to its domain. For example, a brand in the healthcare space usually writes keyword-rich informational content related to its sector and services.
2. Infographics: This type of content uses less text and more visuals to show data like charts, posters, etc. Infographics are easier for the end-user to understand since they provide a lot of information at a glance.
Infographics can also be used to share information about the brand or help new users with relevant data about the service or product. Apparently, 67% of B2B marketers are using infographics to communicate their brand’s message and 32% of marketers believe that the most important form of content for their business is visual images.
Infographics also hold incredible reshare potential and earn backlinks or social media impressions.
For example, with the outbreak of COVID 19 in 2020, most brands shared infographics about hygiene and social distancing. This made it easier for users to understand the steps and safety measures. A long blog might not have done the job so well.
3. E-books: These are some of the most detailed types of content marketing. E-books work as a resource or a lead magnet which refers to a piece of content that a marketer gives in return for the user’s information like an email id.
E-books could be in-depth guides or well-researched documents that provide knowledge to the audiences. While they take longer to create, they are one of the most-used tools to collect user data. Unlike blogs or videos, e-books also help create credibility about your brand as a subject-matter expert. It also gives the followers a downloadable piece of content entity that they can own forever, thus, enhancing its value.
4. Short-form video content: Research shows that video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year. Short-form videos are a hit amongst millennials known for their low attention span. Instagram stories, reels, GIFs, etc. are playing an incredible role in attracting and retaining users. Landing pages with videos are 53 times more likely to rank on Google’s first page.
The need for short-format videos became more prominent when YouTube launched ‘YouTube Shorts’, their version of ‘stories’ in 2020. The feature allows creators to post videos of less than a minute in vertical format.
The best examples for short-form content are mobile brands like iPhone and OnePlus that use video teasers to build anticipation for an upcoming product launch.
5. Podcast: Content creators have embraced the idea of podcasts in the last five years. With companies like Spotify, Amazon, and Google making significant investments into the podcasting ecosystem, this space is expected to grow exponentially by 2025.
Today there are over 5 lakh shows on the internet and over 18 million episodes. The low cost of creation and access to distribution channels makes this medium a goldmine for marketers.
Here are the top 4 podcasts content marketers must listen to in 2021:
- Advertising Is Dead by @varunduggi (@ivmpodcasts)
- How I Built This by @guy.raz (@npr)
- Pepper Spotlight by @pepper_content (@hubhopperofficial)
- The Passion People Podcast by @eplogmedia
6. Webinars: Webinars have fast become a common practice for most consumer-facing brands. A webinar is an online event hosted to enhance the brand’s credibility or awareness. According to this survey, certain platforms saw a hike of 167% in webinar hosting activities during the pandemic.
Moreover, statistics suggest 73% of B2B marketers said that webinars are the best way to generate high-quality leads. Apart from being a lead magnet, they can also bring something of value to your existing consumers.
The success of a webinar comes from being able to integrate your product or service into the mind without seeming like a sales pitch. For example, Trello, the project management tool, hosts webinars about productivity, roadmaps, and plannings — all of these keep the integration of the product at its core.
7. Live chats: The use of a live chat interface on your website is a definite way to enhance the user experience. A survey about the feature found that over 41% of all users expect a website to have a chat bot or a similar application. This is also a wonderful way to generate leads and retain users on the website. Additionally, it is a great way of aligning your content marketing efforts with customer service. Since users usually want instant answers to their queries; chatting is the best way forward. You can also use an application like Facebook Messenger.
The best use case for such type of content marketing is eCommerce websites. A pop-up chat window usually encourages you to ask doubts when a user spends too long on a page without an action.
8. Polls, surveys, and quizzes: These are website integrations that keep users on your site with engaging content. It helps lower your site’s bounce rate and improves retention. Interactive content such as polls, surveys, quizzes, interactive infographics, videos, etc. is a popular type of content used by brands. Some companies also offer free assessment tools and calculators as well.
The best example of this type is the use of a ‘free quote generator’ or ‘rate of interest calculators’ found on most insurance or fin-tech websites. While they do provide wholesome information they also work as a comprehensive lead magnet.
9. Research and case studies: Both these types of content marketing are different but fulfill the same purpose. They provide robust data and research that adds value to your user and helps enhance the trust in your brand.
A study by Content Marketing Institute claims that over 75% of all data-backed marketing content helps users trust the brand easily. The research and studies published by your brand must remain relevant to your domain and be original.
These content marketing efforts help in driving traffic to your site from online searches, and also creates an image for your brand as a resource of information. For instance, a platform like Hubspot and Sprout Social provides an extensive repository of data and research for marketers; while skillfully promoting their platform.
10. Newsletters: We like to believe that social media killed newsletters and email-marketing; however, most companies still use these mediums as their primary source of communication. In B2B marketing, this number is as high as 93%.
The benefits of email marketing and newsletters include that they allow for hyper personalization and targeting. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp, SendinBlue and others allow list segmentation based on the behaviour of your users. For instance, you can create trigger emails for website visitors who spend a certain amount of time on your website but do not convert. Email drip marketing is a great way to use your existing content assets like case studies and reports to keep your users engaged.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more types of content that you can experiment with as a marketer so it is important to keep your eyes on current trends. It is also important to be aware of the effectiveness of each of these content types based on the buyer persona and where he or she lies in the buyer journey.