Want to get attention online? Your best bet is to institute a content marketing program. Content marketing is the process of using educational materials to demonstrate your company’s knowledge, expertise, and responsiveness. Note that we didn’t say, “Content marketing is telling the world how great you and your products and services are.” That old school approach doesn’t work with today’s savvy consumers. Instead, you need to be more subtle about getting your message across.
So, how does content get potential customers to buy from you? By giving them something they want and getting them to trust you. “What they want” could be any number of things from valuable information to entertainment. You provide it through online assets such as blogs, videos, or social media posts. The possibilities are nearly limitless, but the 8 types of content listed here tend to be particularly effective.
Articles are usually lengthier and a little more formal than blog posts. They can be great for conveying things like industry news or how-to information. You can also use them to present a problem-solution scenario in which your product or service is the solution. One of the benefits of articles is that their length allows you to use more keywords, making it likely they (and you) will be found in searches.
- Blog posts
Blog posts are great for building an intimate rapport with customers and prospects. You can use them to announce new products or services, talk about what goes on behind the scenes at your business, or just share new ideas. The best blogs are those people want to read every time you post something new. As a bonus, websites with a blog are more likely to get found in searches.
- Case studies
A case study describes how your company helped one particular customer or client, giving details about their situation before coming to you, what products or services you used to help them, and the great results they experienced. Like customer testimonials, case studies give your customers an opportunity to speak for themselves, giving prospects an understanding of what to expect if they do business with you.
If blog posts and articles can help you be seen as an expert in your field, ebooks can push you to the level of a thought leader. These longer pieces are typically handbook-style documents that are nicely formatted and packed with useful information. They’re great for collecting email addresses to drive your newsletter campaign, or to give as a gift to website visitors who schedule a demo or perform other actions you want them to take.
One thing you always want to do with your online communications is to answer prospect questions upfront. That way, they’re armed with the information they need to decide which company to do business with. That’s why frequently asked question (FAQ) pages are so valuable. Based on your experience, you can determine what things prospects want to know most often and reveal them all in one place.
Infographics are great for conveying complex information in a way that’s easy for viewers to understand. They’re fun to look at but also educational, and they enable prospects and customers to view you as an expert in your field – someone with important data to be shared.
- Social media
Social media is essential for reaching prospects and customers because that’s where they spend a lot of their time. The key is to find the platforms where people interested in your products or services are most likely to hang out. For example, if your customers are mostly middle-aged, there’s a good chance you’ll find them on Facebook. If they’re younger, Snapchat or TikTok are better bets. LinkedIn is better for reaching professional prospects. You can use these platforms to direct people to your other content, such as informative articles or videos.
Videos are extremely flexible in terms of what you can share. You can develop how-tos, behind-the-scenes pieces, funny skits, employee profiles, product uses, and much more. Plus, when you create a YouTube channel and post your videos there, you’re putting yourself in a position to be found by people searching YouTube, which is second only to Google in terms of popularity as a search engine. Besides, everyone loves videos, so there’s a huge chance that your audience will find yours.
Content marketing is an exciting way to share your offerings with customers and prospects in a creative, fun, and informative way. The key to success with using content pieces is understanding your audience and how and where they like to receive information. Meet people where they are with the content they want, and you have a winning strategy for helping them get to know you well enough to do business with you.