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Content marketing is more than a blog article

Posted by Michelle Keefe on June 4, 2015

When content marketing and search analytics come together, beautiful things happen. Marketers who use content marketing as part of a multichannel strategy often boast of increased conversion rates and website traffic, as well as a better understanding of their customers’ search behavior. Types of content marketing

Content marketing meets a lot of the criteria recommended by search analytics tools like HubSpot and Google Trends, which is why it’s so impactful. Even better, content marketing can be versatile in its presentation of information.

Information doesn’t have to be limited to a white paper or blog article. Marketers can shape the content to suit specific segments and educate customers in a way that’s most convenient for them. Let’s take a look at a few different types of content marketing and the benefits each type offers.

Infographics
Infographics are visual representations of information. Infographics are especially useful for detailing a product’s many components or comparing two products because they allow viewers to fully explore something without feeling overwhelmed by facts and figures.

Not all of us have the time or attention span to read a wall of text in search of information we need. Some products require extensive research before a purchase is even considered. For example, business owners looking to repair or replace an old HVAC system would be wise to explore their options to avoid any unnecessary future expenses or equipment setbacks. An infographic can show how the new system works while highlighting all its features in a blueprint-like picture. Some pictures are worth a thousand words, but a thousand words don’t always paint the full picture.

Examples of Effective Content for Utility Marketing Case Studies
Marketers know their products are great, but how can they prove it? Case studies are a great type of content marketing because they help substantiate claims of superiority over the competition. For marketers, case studies can demonstrate how a project or program succeeded by breaking down the factors of success.

Let’s say your financial institution implemented a new program that helped customers manage their resources better. Marketers can isolate one or two real-life examples of success to help other institutions visualize how the program might also succeed for them. If your campaign promoted a program with exclusive offers through an integrated channel, provide a review of the steps taken to accomplish this. If the campaign generated a 900% increase in website traffic, ditto. Your audience will appreciate the hard evidence.

Ebooks
There are just as many people out there who seek in-depth analysis as there are people who seek the Twitter version. Ebooks cover a lot of ground, which is why they’re an effective type of content marketing. Customers are more likely to find the answers they’re looking for in an ebook, and ebooks can be saved and printed out as source material they can refer back to. Additionally, landing pages that host ebooks can drive SEO, which is an added bonus.

Ebooks also help with data collection. Marketers can offer free downloads of an ebook in exchange for the customer’s contact information. Ebooks and other downloadable content can do a lot to broaden a marketer’s outreach. If a customer downloads an ebook about the best lighting options for a business, marketers can anticipate any further needs by sending out marketing materials related to this topic. When marketers tailor communications with personalized information including previous purchases, customers respond with action.

How-to Guides
How-to guides target specific objectives. They offer step-by-step guidance to customers looking for answers to a specific problem. More and more customers are demanding access to DIY troubleshooting tips in an effort to avoid support lines, and how-to guides satisfy their need for information and clarification.

Consider energy and utility companies that service businesses. Business owners and managers are pros at dealing with problems that arrive at their desk, but they likely don’t know about the best energy-efficient HVAC or lighting options for their building. How-to guides can serve as a springboard to get them started. Marketers can also create how-to guides to see a customer through an entire process. For example, they might offer an introductory guide on “How to find the best HVAC contractor for your business” and then another one titled “How to decide whether you need an HVAC repair or replacement” once a contractor has been selected. For marketers who want to establish themselves as an industry authority, how-to guides are the way to go.

To see more types of content marketing and how you can improve your overall marketing strategy, download J&C’s “22 Great Types of Content Marketing” guide. This guide will help you form your own content marketing strategy and target the best content options.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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