What Is Content Marketing And Why Should You Do It? *
Simply put, it is a strategic approach to marketing focused on producing content that has value, is relevant to the needs of your audience and is consistent.
A content marketing strategy aims to gain trust and gently persuade visitors to become customers.
With content marketing, you will be providing value first so that you can connect with potential customers and assist them in solving problems that they have.
Content marketing has a number of benefits to offer and here are the main four:
- It is a cost-effective marketing method
- Potential and actual customers will be more loyal to you or your brand
- It increases sales and profits
- It gives you long term sustainability
High-Quality Content is Essential
You will only achieve these benefits if your content is of high quality. You can’t just put anything out there. If your content is poor, then this will reflect poorly on your brand, and you will lose customers rather than gain them.
Your overall marketing strategy must include content marketing. When you are planning your approach, it is essential that you consider both inbound and outbound marketing. For inbound marketing, your website needs to have some really high-quality content on it that your target market will find useful.
Google and the other major search engine algorithms now reward high-quality content with higher rankings. You need to make sure that every piece of content on your website or blog is the best quality and well optimized.
For outbound marketing use your content marketing strategy to drive your social media marketing. Don’t just jump on to social media – you need an effective content plan. You should be writing press releases that assist people and cover the issues that they are interested in. Don’t use a press release to “big up” your business.
If you want to use PPC advertising, then you have to make sure that the content “behind the click” is of the highest quality. The search engines insist on this nowadays, and it makes a lot of sense.
12 Different Types Of Content Marketing
It is a commonly held opinion that content marketing is all about blog posts and articles. But there is much more to it than that. You certainly need a blog and some quality posts on there to keep your readers interested. But you can go far beyond that and you should.
Here you will find other content marketing types that work well to build leads and sales. You do not have to do all of them – think about which ones support your business first. You need to drive traffic to your website and landing pages, and this is what these content types will do.
If you want to create a sharing frenzy (and why wouldn’t you?), then create some compelling infographics. They are extremely popular and shared more than other types of content. They have great viral potential, especially on social media platforms.
You will need to make great infographics. If they have humor in them, then their sharing stock increases. If you do not have the skills to produce infographics yourself then outsource this to a good freelancer. Or grab these free infographics I posted here a while back..
Memes are basically funny images that have the potential to go viral. They are easy to make (certainly a lot easier than infographics), and if they are funny, then people will share them. You don’t need to be an expert with Photoshop to create a good meme.
You can use memes no matter what niche you are in. It is better to come up with a few great memes that get shared than make tons of them as this can turn people away from your brand. Just don’t overdo it.
3. Product Reviews
Writing product reviews can bring you in leads and sales. What you are doing here is sharing your experience of using a particular product or service and letting your audience know if you recommend it or not.
You will need to go into details about what the product or service is, and then tell your audience what you like and don’t like about it. You will then give a recommendation which leads to a call to action.
4. Creating Lists
For some reason we all like lists. It seems to be in our DNA. You have seen these lists before such as “5 reasons why you need to XYZ” or “10 ways to improve your Google rankings”. These numbers really appeal to people, so you need to use them in your content marketing.
You can either think of a number and then create your list or create the list and add the number in the title when you know what it will be. There are no right or wrong numbers to use. Shortlists and long lists both work well.
4. EBooks as Lead Magnets
This will be a fairly long guide which will add value by explaining to the reader how to do something for example. You can create these using a word processor like Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer and then create a PDF document from this.
The best eBooks will provide information that is not easy to find elsewhere. Use them as lead magnets to get people subscribing to your email list. Have great graphics created so that your eBook looks high quality and high value.
5. Case Studies
Use case studies often in your content marketing strategy. They are very effective and will often be the “convincer” that turns potential clients into paying clients. Use case studies to demonstrate how your products and services helped other clients to get the results that they were looking for.
When you are writing your case study use a story based technique. Avoid the use of hype and too much marketing. Use figures and graphs to make your case study more convincing.
People like videos. They would much rather watch a video for a few minutes than read a 2000 word blog post. When you create your videos, you need to make them persuasive. You want the viewer to take action after they have watched.
Good videos almost always have good scripts behind them. It is possible to make great videos on a small budget, but the more money that you can spend on your videos will generally increase the quality and the response that you get.
A guide will be longer than a standard 1,000-word blog post. You need to use a different approach and really go about answering the questions that your audience has on the subject. Use images throughout the guide to make points as clear as possible. You will really need to think through the idea that you have and the design of the guide.
You do not have to give away your guide for nothing. You can use it as a lead magnet to extract the email address of your reader. Your guide really does need to look good to add to its appeal factor. Make sure that the layout is good and that you use the best quality graphics to enhance it.
8. Reviews of Books
Reviewing books can bring you in plenty of leads if you do it right. You can find related books to your niche and then provide in-depth reviews about them with your recommendations. By doing this, you will help to establish yourself as an expert in your niche which is a great thing to be.
It should go without saying that you need to read the books that you are reviewing first. Don’t just rewrite someone else’s book review. If the book is really good, then you can go a step further and request an interview with the author. You can do this over Skype, and you can record it and create a transcript of it.
9. Create a Rant
A lot of people enjoy a good rant and will share this with people that they know. A rant can be in written form, or it can be a video or audio. You will need to use a different tone when creating your rant to what you would typically use. It needs to be expressive and stronger than your usual content.
The more controversial you can be in your rant the more likely it will become a viral sensation. Think of something in your industry that you dislike. This could be a recent change for example. You do not want to rant too often. Be sure to emphasize that this is your opinion and be careful not to name names.
10. “How-To” Content
There are few types of content more popular than “how to” content. Whatever niche you are in, you should be able to find something that you can provide expert instruction about. You will need to identify a problem that people in your niche are facing and then show them how to solve that problem.
You can produce how-to content in text and video format. If you are in the software niche, then an over the shoulder video will always be popular. If you are using text, then be sure to include as many images (maybe screenshots) and diagrams so that your readers can really benefit from your content.
Podcasts are not quite as popular as they used to be but there is still a large number of people out there that prefer to listen to a podcast than read a lengthy blog post. A really good thing about podcasts is that they are very easy to create.
You will certainly need a good quality microphone to create a good podcast. The built on microphone on your laptop will not be good enough. Plan out your podcast as you would a good post. Add value by providing a transcript of your podcast.
12. Record Interviews
An interview with someone who is highly respected in your niche can really go down well with your audience. The respect that your audience has for you will really be elevated if you do this well.
Create a list of questions that you are going to ask the person in advance and then send them over to make sure that they are comfortable with everything. You do not want uncomfortable pauses in your interview recordings. Again add value by providing a full transcript.
13. Bonus Strategy: Private Label Rights
Want great content like this for your site or blog but don’t have time to create it?
This content was created using private label rights content from this source.
I downloaded the article, tweaked the text to personalize it to my style, then added some images using this plugin. It’s a simple way to share great content when you don’t have time to write it all yourself!
There you have it. Thirteen content marketing strategies you can use to grow any business in any niche! Put them to work in your business and watch it grow…