If the marketing industry was giving out trophies, content marketing would be this year’s most valuable player (MVP). The digital strategy has quickly become one of the most popular marketing tactics. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of surveyed marketers say they are creating more content than they did a year ago. As more businesses implement content into their marketing strategies, the competition to engage consumers is growing fierce.
With more content being published than any previous year, it is no shock that in 2015, 54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers cited “producing engaging content” as a top challenge.
Utilizing different types of content is a great way to keep consumers engaged. With that said, one of the top obstacles businesses face is knowing what kind of content to create for specific topics.
Blog articles are the core of any content marketing strategy as they are critical for search engine optimization. Today, search makes up 75% of blog traffic. As a result, blogs have begun to act as a gateway — enticing consumers to visit a website with relevant information. HubSpot has found that companies who blog get 55% more website visitors than those who do not.
With that said, it is vital to ensure that blog topics are within the target audience’s area of interest. As most readers find blog articles as a result of online searches, the audience is generally reading an article in hopes of answering a question or gaining insight into a topic. Therefore, analyzing what the audience is most likely to search for online and discussing that topic in articles can be very beneficial.
Blog articles allow companies to present an opinion or discussion that is targeted at the audience’s interests.
While blog articles are a great way to present a discussion to the audience, ebooks are very effective for delivering facts, statistics, examples or any wide range of information, since they can range from 20 to 200 pages.
Ebooks are presented to the consumer as a gated piece of content. This means the consumer has to provide contact information generally by filling out a contact form in order to receive the ebook. In order to give readers the necessary incentive to provide their contact information, ebooks must provide readers with a more in-depth look at the subject matter.
Businesses can utilize ebooks to offer the consumer key insights and recommendations. By providing the consumer with more saturated content, ebooks effectively educate leads, display thought leadership and move customers into the sales funnel.
Before customers make a purchase, they most likely engage in some sort of product research. Case studies are a valuable piece of content as they enable businesses to provide leads with proof of the benefits of a product or service.
Generally, case studies range from 1 to 20 pages and look at a specific example or problem and offer a logical explanation or solution.
By basing case studies on research, they provide consumers with empirical evidence that speaks to the strengths of a product or service. For this reason, case studies are a beneficial piece of content for any decision maker.
With that in mind, the key to creating a successful email newsletter is to ensure that the intended audience is defined. Therefore, it is important to segment contact lists based on the target audience as well as the audience’s stage in the buyer cycle.
Communication differs greatly based on the stage consumers are in within the buying cycle. For example, content sent to new leads is going to be specific to nurturing that lead and establishing a new customer. Such content could suggest new products or services. However, content sent to a current customer is generally intended to reconnect or send the consumer updates. In this instance, newsletters are a great way to provide customers with company updates or product and service changes.
Tip sheets are brief lists that present a current or potential customer with ideas, statistics or suggestions. Tips sheets are a great way to utilize simplified formatting options within content and offer quick, scannable takeaways.
According to HubSpot, 40% of consumers abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Simplified formats decrease loading time and increase the likelihood of a consumer fully engaging with content.
Utilizing elements such as bullet points or number formats within a tip sheet presents information in a simplified way that is easy for the reader to consume.
YouTube has reported that over 60 hours of video is uploaded each minute onto its site alone. Looking at the popularity of sites like YouTube, it is evident that videos are extremely sought after by consumers. This is because videos, unlike any other form of content, allow the user to engage more senses when interacting with information. This helps to make it easy to digest.
Utilizing videos when displaying how-to content or demonstrations can significantly increase consumer engagement as posts with videos attract three times more inbound links than plain text posts, according to SEOmoz.
In addition, viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them as opposed to those without, according to the MarketingSherpa. Therefore, incorporating videos into the marketing mix can significantly increase the time a consumer spends on a given web page or piece of content.
As stated above, visual content has been proven to gain more consumer engagement than plain text. Infographics are beneficial for two reasons. First, they provide the reader with visual content that is significantly more enticing. Second, infographics make it possible to present complex information quickly and in a format that is easy to digest.
Infographics’ simplified visual layout make them the most effective piece of content for explaining processes as well as presenting statistics and information that is heavily based in numbers. It has been found that traffic for sites that use infographics grows an average of 12% more than those that do not, according to AnsonAlex.
Topics: Inbound Marketing