Today, there are so many options for creating content for your content marketing program. From articles to white papers to video, there are so many types of content to consider, so how do you choose the best ones?
According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, B2B and B2C marketers ranked 27 different types of content that they use to find and build relationships with customers.
The top 5 types of content were used over three times more on average than the bottom 5 types. If you are going to plan a marketing program, it’s important to understand how to focus on the best.
1. Social media – other than blogs
Social media should be a powerful part of every campaign and almost 90% of marketers are using it in one form or another. By posting messages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other properties, you can easily promote your content and drive traffic to your website.
Even though social media is used by most organizations, there is a vast difference in the effectiveness of social media marketing programs across organizations. An effective program starts with a content strategy that is aligned with your social media promotions and includes well-designed social media properties, an engaged and growing base of followers and a significant number of fresh postings per day across a number of social media properties. When done right, social media content can result in traffic, engagement and brand credibility as people find and use your social media content. Look to measure the number of followers, amount of engagement and number of shares to gauge success.
2. Articles on your website
The second most used type of content is articles on your own website. These may include articles your company writes and owns or content you purchase that may be reused on your website. Articles are used by over three quarters of marketers and are a very common feature of the resource section of many websites. These articles can bring fresh perspective to any topic. Third party articles that are “reprinted” online from a newspaper or magazine can add credibility to your company, product or service and allow you to build trust with your audience.
Articles written by your company can be used to explain complex topics and educate users in a voice that ordinary web pages do not. Articles can also be fresh content which can build SEO credibility and grow organic search engine traffic. Articles are often short, between 500 and 1000 words, and are easy for people to read and understand. These articles can also be promoted though the social media program mentioned above, which means that they can work twice as hard in your content marketing program.
You can measure the effectiveness of your articles by looking at how many views they get each month, and how high they show up in organic search engine rankings.
E-newsletter are also used by about 75% of marketers. Contrary to popular opinion, email is not dead, and is often rated as the number one marketing tool. By combining good content with email delivery, you can leverage your content through your house email list and drive traffic, engagement, leads and sales.
An e-newsletter can be as simple as a single article sent through your company’s email account, to a professionally produced email template with multiple articles sent through a professional service. Since many people’s attention span is short, the most effective newsletters have well designed templates that draw the users eye to the best content and have three or fewer articles. You can measure the effectiveness of your email program by looking at the open rate, click through rate and conversion rate of the email. A well designed e-newsletter with string articles will produce good results and be an effective campaign.
Blogs are used by slightly less than three quarters of marketing professionals. Blogs are easy to create, but demand a constant stream of articles to make them credible and effective. While you don’t need to blog every day, try to blog at least 3-4x a month for your blog to gain a following.
An effective blog will have a strong design that leads a user to a relevant call to action. Each blog article should also be tagged with relevant keywords to make the content easy for users and the search engines to find. Blog articles can be short, often less than 750 words, and they can also be less formal than other articles you post on your core website. You can get traffic to your blog by promoting your articles in your e-newsletter, your social media channels and by getting better organic search visibility.
Video is the 5th most used type of content with about the same level of usage as blogs. People love videos online if they are short, well produced and clear. You can use videos to talk about your product, explain a complex issue, or even promote your content. Once you have your video, you can link to it from articles, your blog and other social media and leverage this type of cross promotion to build traffic and client engagement.
Once you’ve determined the best content to use, you can create a content calendar that fits your budget. If you build your core content marketing strategy on the top 5 most used types of content, you’ll be well positioned to grow your website traffic, leads and sales.