Content Marketing is More Than BlogsBy Colin Cieloha on July 26, 2017
Reading Time: 11 minutes
Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective as more people turn to the internet for information, answers to questions, and news. Therefore, companies are turning to content marketing to help boost their business. Instead of pitching their products and services, they provide their customers with truly relevant and useful content to help them solve their issues. Essentially, it means transforming prospects into customers by creating and providing free and valuable content that the targeted audience will want to read. This will create sustainable brand loyalty. Even though those that read the content may not make a purchase there and then, when they do decide to make a purchase, they will know exactly what company they want to go with.
There are three keys reasons why businesses have started to use content marketing, all of which are beneficial for business. If the content marketing is done right, then the end result should be increased sales, cost saving and an increase in customer loyalty. This style of marketing is already used by some of the leading brands in the world, as well as small businesses and one-person shops. The reason for this is simply that it works. It is also relatively easy and quick to produce while also being a lot cheaper than other marketing methods.
The key thing that businesses need to remember is that the content has to be of the highest quality, while also being produced regularly. Once created, content can be distributed around the globe using social media, email, blogs, websites, and more.
Many people make the mistake of thinking content marketing only really applies to blogging and a few other methods, but this is not the case at all. There are many ways that companies can use content marketing to their advantage, with different methods working best for different companies. So what types of content marketing are there, and how effective are they when a business uses them?
An infographic is one of the newest forms of content marketing, but is now one of the most popular. An infographic is a graphic visual representation of information. They are used to present a lot of information quickly in an engaging way. Humans like to take in information visually and an infographic can help with this. Studies show that users are 30 times more likely to read an infographic than an article, therefore increasing potential customers 30 times.
Not only do more people read them, but they are also liked and shared on social media three times more than any other form of content marketing. It is for this reason that 71% of online marketers use infographics in their social media strategies. The problem with using an infographic is that they can be quite costly and time-consuming to produce, as companies usually don’t have the resources to create them.
Blogs are another very successful facet of a content marketing strategy. They are very easy to produce and are a great way for a company to share information in an engaging manner. A company can create a blog themselves and post content as regularly as they can. Another key factor to writing a blog is that the blogging needs to be consistent. 82% of marketers that blog daily has reported acquiring at least one customer via their blog compared to those that blog monthly. Monthly bloggers reported only 57%, a notable difference.
Also, research suggests that one of the most popular types of blog post is a list, as this what people find easiest to read. 45% of marketers say that blogging is their primary content strategy, and can get quite a following if shared correctly. B2B marketers that use a blog in their content marketing strategy get 67% more leads than those who don’t, and this fact alone shows that the time that is needed to create a blog is completely worth it.
Including images in a blog post is key, as posts with these these get 94% more views. This is why infographics are often combined with a blog post for maximum effect.
Videos can be costly and time-consuming to produce, but usually, a business will not have to create as many videos as they do for other types of content marketing, so often the investment is worth it. The great thing about visual content like videos is that it is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Plus, video makes a page 50 times easier to get ranked on the first page of Google. Both of these are huge pluses for business because it will increase their marketing reach and potential customers.
Users who view videos are 1.81 times more likely to make a purchase than non-viewers, as a lot of information can be shared in a short space of time in a way that makes people want to watch it. Not only that, but using videos as content drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. The three most successful type of videos are customer testimonials, explainer or tutorial videos, and demonstration videos.
How-to guides are surprisingly a very popular form of content marketing. Whether in the shape of a video, a blog post, a website page, or a series of photos, they will hopefully draw a reader in and will give the company a chance to demonstrate their expertise in a certain subject.
With one glance at the right image, people will instantly know the message that the company is trying to get across. The fact that images are so commonly shared on social media or reposted on other blogs is one of the reasons they are so successful as a type of content marketing. The saying goes that a picture speaks 1000 words, and in many cases that applies to images that are used in content marketing. They can spark an immediate reaction and if done right, can have a wow factor associated with them. Images can vary quite drastically depending on where they are being used and the company that is producing them. They can be as simple as an inspiring photo accompanied by a quote, or a more complicated graph that contains some key statistics about the company.
Many people would not consider a testimonial as a form of content marketing, but if used correctly can be a very powerful way to convince people that a company’s service or product is worth investing in. When a testimonial is backed up by a real-life name and photo, it will become even more powerful as it will build a real trust in the company and what they are trying to sell. It gives the potential customer evidence and fact that the company is worth considering, and the more testimonials that a company has, the better.
Emails have been around for ages, so they are easy to forget when it comes to content marketing. The fact still stands, however, that they can be an invaluable content marketing tool that can draw in potential customers while also retaining current customers. The email itself can contain a range of other types of content marketing including newsletters, images, videos, how-to guides, infographics and more.
An email doesn’t have to be a hard sales pitch. When used to provide useful information they can be a lot more successful and help to keep a brand alive. 93% of marketers say that email is the most important channel for distributing content, with 204 million messages sent every single minute. Although an old tool in the marketing world it is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. This could be because 72% of consumers prefer to receive content through email.
If a company wants to have a successful email campaign, here are a few tips for them to consider. Using the word ‘video’ in the subject line of an email will boost open rates by 19%, it will also boost click-through rates by 65% and will reduce unsubscribes by 26%.
Social Media Posts
Over the past few years, social media has become hugely successful with millions of people using multiple forms of social media every single day. In today’s society, it is surprising to find a company that doesn’t have at least one form of social media that is used to represent their brand and spread the word about their company. Some of the most common forms of social media include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and Linkedin, all of which can be used in very different ways. They can be used to produce content marketing in themselves or share existing content to more people.
Very few companies would consider games to be a viable source of content marketing. However, if used correctly, they can have some dramatic results. Gamification is a pretty popular topic in marketing circles. Out of all forms of content marketing, it is likely to be the most expensive and time-consuming method, but through using this form, companies can create a branded but unique consumer experience that will certainly make a potential customer remember them.
When choosing the right type of content marketing, companies need to consider what will be most effective for them, taking into consideration factors such as schedule and budget. Ideally, companies should aim to use as broad a range as possible as long as the content is high quality and reaches the relevant people. Other things that a business would need to consider include:
Target audience – The first question that a company should ask themselves is who it is they want their marketing to reach. Factors such as age, location and education level should be considered, and then research conducted into which forms of content they would be most interested in and how it would be best to reach them. For example, a quick, branded game is likely to be more popular with a younger audience than an older one.
The brand – the type of content marketing that a company used has to fit in with the brand itself. For example, a construction company should consider using videos and how to guides to spread information about their company and the subject around their brand; a complicated infographic may not be so successful. If the content is in keeping with the brand, then potential customers may begin to recognize the content that is continually produced by the company. The result of this may be them looking out for content in the future and gaining customer trust and loyalty.
Purpose – Every stage of the customer journey is different, and this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing what type of content marketing to use. At the first stage of the journey when a company is trying to build brand awareness, then low-volume techniques such as videos should be favored over long written content. This is especially effective if the content is unique. Alternatively, if a particular product is being launched and a company wants to reach a large audience, then emails containing images, facts and infographics may be the best route to go down.
There are so many different types of content marketing that companies have at their disposal. Additional methods other than what is listed above include quizzes, competitions, forums, reviews, events, case studies, webinars, interactive demos, lists, reports, eBooks, articles, press releases and much more. As one of the most successful forms of marketing that a company can harness, brands are constantly coming up with innovative and unique ways to make use of content marketing, and only the future will tell what else they will come up with.