Wikipedia defines content marketing as…
… Content marketing is also defined as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing is not writing a couple of blog posts a week, hitting publish, and hoping for the best.
If you are doing that then you are merely scratching the surface.
A decent content marketing strategy takes into account audience desires, buyer personas, scheduling, repurposing, re-marketing, and a whole lot more. It is a process. But what really makes certain content strategies pop out and outshine all others, is their ability to include different types of content.
Content marketing means not limiting yourself to just one type of written content.
Content Marketing Strategies You Need To Implement
Think of it this way, it you ate the same food every day you would soon be bored. Simply writing blog post after blog post but neglecting other means of communication is not a good strategy.
The most common forms of communication are: Visual, Verbal & Written – your blogging strategy needs to incorporate all of these – eg Video, Podcast, How-To Articles
In this Social World we need to offer Easily-Shareable Visual Content…
Examples of Shareable Visual Content
A Meme is:
“an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.”
Used sparingly, and given that your brand style and industry allow it, they can serve as great social media fodder. They are fun, likeable, simple, and what is most important, they are extremely shareable! Don’t overuse them as they can devalue your brand, but if you are struggling with what to treat your Facebook audience with try coming up with a funny industry or business-related meme and check out how many shares and likes that gets you.
=> Recommended Tool: Meme generator
Creating meme’s is a piece of cake! If you have a good sense of humor – why now use a photo of yourself – as Income Diary Interviewee Sean Stephenson did recently… (the point is it creates shares – as is proved here)
=> Video Content Marketing
Video content is a great tool for engaging younger audiences. They react way better to visuals than they do to written blocks of texts. Keep your videos short, to the point, and fun and you will most certainly notice an improvement in your SEO, audience reach, and engagement.
Some interesting facts about video…
=> Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers.
=> Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
Recommended Tool: Videoshop
This is an online video editor that allows you complete control over your content without limiting you to a set of templates. You can use existing footage or videos, or add your own. After that effects and voice-over, and edit everything until it’s just the way you like it!
=> Content Marketing Infographics
Infographics are a great way of presenting your content in a visual way. They are more appealing, make it easier to succinctly present your findings, and have a great sharing potential. Some studies show that infographics get shared three times as much as other types of content, so there is a real possibility of going viral here! If you are a bit of a design wiz you can try creating your own infographics with tools available on the Internet.
Infographics like this
=> Recommended: Piktochart
If you need a great infographic then your tool of choice should always be Piktochart. Intuitive and easy to use, this tool has a free version that allows you to choose between 10 different templates and is completely functional. Your graphic will carry a Piktochart logo in this case, but if you upgrade to a pro version ($ 29 a month) the logo can be removed and you will have access to more than a 100 different templates!
If infographics are too costly are take too much of your time, try slide-share software. It allows you to turn your old, boring content into a presentation and recycling it. You can even create new content to be presented in that form. It is easily shareable and great for Facebook and Pinterest.
=> Recommended: Kizoa
When you want to turn your articles and posts into a slideshow presentation, Kizoa should be your go to resource. It is easy to use and you can add video, photos and music to your slide deck, making the whole thing visually appealing in a matter of minutes.
Examples of Shareable Written Content
The Best Written Content – goes Deep and the Wide.
Lists work like a charm because we like them. They are hard-wired to our brain ever since organized religion. Think about it; all religious texts have lists in them, and when something is listed you know it is important (think 10 commandments).
One reason lists work is because they are hierarchical and scannable. Simply introduce your topic, add a numbered list and finish off with a conclusion. There is no magic number you need to aim at when creating list articles, so don’t limit yourself to 9s, 12s, odd numbers, or long lists. Anything will work as long as your topics are relevant and provide value.
How-to articles and their viability will depend on your niche, but if you can find some room to wiggle them in then you’re in luck! They are a great way to peak audience interest because they are extremely valuable. This is how to go about them.
• Present the problem
• Present the final solution
• In detail, give a step-by-step solution to the problem
• Provide a conclusion
Try to give as much detail as possible. The easier to understand your solution is, the better the audience will accept it.
Example How-to article: How to Write Epic Blog Posts that Rank Well
Opinion posts (Also Known as Rants)
Not everything you publish has to be strict, business-like, and curbed. If you are a small entrepreneur you can allow yourself an occasional opinion post, aka a rant, on a particular topic in your industry that you feel really strongly about. Remember, even if you are writing an opinion post this does not entitle you to go on a rampage. Express your views strongly and respectfully, and don’t overdo it with opinion posts. For a fine example on how to Rant – Click Here
The e-book is an example of an in-depth type of content that will appeal to those people in your audience that are further down the funnel. Usually, an e-book is a free, but gated piece of content, meaning that you will require a registration in exchange for the book. This is a good bargain; you will spend a lot of time creating a valuable asset for your customers and asking for them to register for your newsletter is not unreasonable.
For a type of content that is evergreen, try looking into creating a set of tools and templates that you can then offer to your audience free of charge. For some businesses, this type of content proves to be a gift that keeps on giving because templates are utilitarian in need and solve an immediate problem you, customers might be facing. You’re not walking away with nothing; this content will prove to be a long-term lead generator.
Do Expert Interviews
Reach out to other thought leaders in your industry and see who would be willing to set aside some time for an interviews session. You can do these interviews live, setting up a broadcast and sending the link out to your email list, or you can shoot a video that you’ll publish on YouTube. And of course you can offer a transcript.
You can include your audience in the interview process as well. Reach out to social media platforms and publish the interview date and the interviewee. Ask your followers to submit questions that you might get to ask in a short audience Q&A after the interview itself. This will promote the event, create a buzz, and get your audience invested.
Podcasts – Still a Viable Type of Content
A lot of people have their favorite podcast. Even though they are no longer at the height of their popularity, podcasts are quite easy to create and will add value to your content mix. Also, you can start creating a podcast with bare essentials; a microphone a short how-to guide to creating a podcast is all you need!
Podcasts are great for reaching out to people who might be interested in what you have to say but simply can’t find the time to sit and read long-form blog posts or whitepapers. This way they can tune in while driving in their car, so you’ve created an opportunity for them to participate! A good idea is to add a transcript of the podcast in the notes; some people prefer to read, and written content will help you further your SEO efforts.
=> Recommended: Audacity
Creating podcasts is pretty simple and straightforward; all you need is some basic equipment and some software. Unfortunately, you’ll have to get the equipment yourself but we can hook you up with an excellent recording and editing software! Audacity is an easy-to-use, free audio editor that will make your podcasting a walk in the park!
Also, ever recorded a great video or audio – but then discovered you got the volume or some other aspect wrong – https://auphonic.com can help.
You should never approach content creation as if one size fits all; when it comes to content it’s not even one type fits all. You have to mix your content so it appeals to a broader audience; otherwise, you are missing out on valuable opportunities. If there are types of content on this list you are not doing, try working them in your mix in the future. Adding one new type of content to your mix every month is not difficult at all. Measure the results afterwards to see what worked for you, refine it, and keep at it!
Author Bio: Amy Cowen works as a content marketing strategist and manages a talented team of content writers, always trying to find new ways to maximize the commercial impact of content. Feel free to contact her on Facebook or G+.