Businesses and consumers have a give-and-take relationship. You provide valuable content and entertainment, and they visit your site and possibly buy your products. Most people are well aware you use content as part of your overall marketing strategy. There is no need to hide the fact or try to fool savvy customers.
According to The State of Content Marketing Report 2019 by SEMrush, 91% of businesses utilize content marketing as part of their promotional strategies. The key is finding the types of information your customers actually want to see and delivering it in a highly effective way. Study the successes of other businesses. Then, keep the elements working well for them and put your own spin on things.
Basic types of content exist in the online world. Some are more effective than others with particular audiences. Here are six types of information you can create to engage your customers.
1. Blog Posts
One of the most common types of content is the traditional blog post. So many sites now offer blogs that if the content isn’t spot-on, people aren’t likely to pay much attention to it. To really grab consumers’ attention, your content must answer a question they have.
Start by thinking about the pain points your audience faces. What problem drives them to do that initial search engine query? How can you answer the issue and provide a solution? Once you understand the emotions driving your site visitors, it’s much easier to create content speaking to their needs.
Simply Beautiful Smiles includes information aimed at its target audience. Many clients are children, so it speaks to the parents with topics adults worry over, such as snacks for healthy teeth and sports injuries.
2. Long-form Content
Mixed within the other types of content offered on your site should be a few longer pieces, such as guides, eBooks and white papers. You can also use these lengthier offers to exchange material for emails. Once you have the site visitor’s address, you can follow up and turn a browser into a lead.
3. Before-and-After Photos
Showing what you can accomplish with side-by-side before-and-after photographs makes a powerful statement. You’ve likely heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. You can show site visitors the benefits of your product or service by showing them what you’ve accomplished.
Before-and-after photos work particularly well for home improvement businesses, beauty, fashion and dental services.
Consolidated Garage Doors shows off the beauty of its products with competing photos of homes before and after an upgrade. Pull up examples in the gallery of different building styles and types of garage doors to get an idea of what you might want for your own residence.
In a survey by Statista, researchers found about 27% of people watch online videos more than 10 hours a week. The remaining participants watched anywhere from one hour to 10 hours. Nearly all studies show an increase in the number of people streaming videos online. If you aren’t already using them in your marketing efforts, you should add them to your lineup.
There are several ways of utilizing videos in your marketing strategy. You can add explainers to your website, use them in your ads or enlist customers to share testimonials. Upload recordings to YouTube, embed them on your website, livestream them on Facebook or post them to Instagram.
5. Special Tools
Content doesn’t have to be an article or video. You can also add features such as calculators and wizards. Look for tools that are most helpful to your customer base. What is a question you get asked often or a formula you have to perform for your customers? Once you have the answer to that, you simply need to create a program that does the heavy lifting for them.
Shipware provides site visitors with a calculator to figure out the dimensional weight of a shipment. The formula can be complex, but with this online tool, the user simply punches in the length, width and height in inches, and the system figures the dimensional weight in pounds.
What better way to present complex data than through images? Infographics employ graphs, charts and typography to create a document easy to scan and understand. Great infographics have elements you can pull out and use in advertising or highlight sections of particular articles.
If your infographic is informative enough, others may share it, driving additional traffic to your site. Make sure you include your company name and logo on the file. Let others know how they can share it on their own pages and social media walls.
Diversify Your Content
Your content marketing strategy may be mostly made up of blog posts or videos. However, try to create different elements to share with your readers. Some people are visual learners, so include images and infographics. Others learn best by hearing, and a video might appeal to them.
Think about what types of content have gotten an excellent response in the past. Repeat what works for your target audience and get rid of things they don’t respond to. Over time, your strategy will refine into something highly useful for your core customers.