How smart marketers leverage different types of content marketing tools to develop a winning content strategy.
With all of the various types of content formats at your disposal, it may feel daunting to land on the right mix to achieve your company’s unique goals. Ultimately, it boils down to the tools that help you reach and engage your target audience most effectively.
Consider a few best practices that will help guide the development of your content calendar, and ultimately keep you rolling out valuable content with the consistency required to grow your brand.
As with any successful content marketing strategy, the aim is first to help, educate, or entertain, asking for nothing in return. This develops trust and loyalty, giving you the opportunity to convert casual customers into brand advocates.
A good place to start is by gaining an understanding of the most popular types of content that your ideal buyer is already consuming. Solidify your ideal client profile (ICP) and your target buyer persona and nail down where they’re going for thought leadership and value-adding insights within your market.
For example, if you’re a financial services firm that’s targeting busy CFOs at large banks, a concise white paper or case study may be in order, as opposed to a podcast that may otherwise require too much of a time committment.
It’s a commonsense consideration, but an important point to settle on before deploying all of the content marketing tools at your disposal.
Once you know what kinds of content your target audience most readily consumes, you’re ready to decide upon your go-to format. Now, a big note is in order here. This does not mean you have to stick to the same format all of the time. In fact, you want to take advantage of different types of content to widen your audience over time.
The point is to identify a format you can focus on, especially if you’re just getting your content marketing strategy off of the ground. This is typically informed by identifying where the thought leaders already exist, as well as leveraging the skills and expertise of your internal team.
Identifying the focal format for your content marketing strategy will also help bring greater clarity around where to allocate budget and resources for your efforts.
This isn’t an area to overthink. The idea is to contribute content to your target audience in a way that feels natural and authentic to you, and will be of true value to your readers by helping them answer common questions or concerns.
Have fun with it. It is, after all, your chosen area of focus. Be authentic and lead with purpose by providing real value with the knowledge and expertise you have earned.
Establishing trust with your target customers is a big deal, and it directly impacts business results. In fact, 96% of the most successful B2B content marketers say audiences view their company as a trusted resource.
While many other types of content have become popular in recent years, the blog remains the ultimate format for providing engaging and relevant content in a simple format that people can relate to.
Blogs provide an opportunity to optimize content for SEO without being overly promotional. They’re brief, concise, and get to the point, allowing you to get niche focused in very specific areas of your business.
Case studies are one of the most effective types of content for prospects that are persuaded by learning about your business from existing customers. The testimonial is used in one form or another by just about every company on the planet for good reason. There is a certain personalization and human touch inherent in a testimonial, and a deep-dive case study provides the perfect format.
With a case study, you have the benefit of interviewing current customers to discover relevant pain points that you have already alleviated. Put yourself in the position of the buyer and ask what questions and considerations you would have when making a purchase decision.
From there you can format and design a case study in any number of innovative ways that are tailored to your targets’ preferences. Consider including eye-catching pull-quotes or even embedding a clickable video interview featuring a satisfied buyer within the case study.
The evidence for video as a driver of business growth and brand awareness is more than a little compelling. Consider that 83% of marketers say video has helped them generate leads while 95% of marketers feel that video has helped increase prospects’ understanding of their product or service.
The best thing about video is its versatility. Want to shine a light on your company’s commitment to service? A customer testimonial or brand culture spot is perfect to achieve this goal. Need to boil down the unique aspects of your value proposition in an easy-to-understand, visual format that just about anyone can wrap their minds around? How about an animated explainer video?
Rolling out a new product line for the upcoming season? How about a series of short, social spots that grab attention on popular networks like Instagram or TikTok. Video does the trick.
At a time when customers are more interested than ever in the social responsibility of the brands they support, video can be an ideal way to shine a spotlight on your values and mission. In fact, in 2020, social engagement videos are among the four most common types of video that marketers are investing in today.
Video provides a versatile tool that can be leveraged in just about any fashion to reach your target audience and engage them with memorable content.
The white paper is an ideal format for communicating granular data and information. A longer-form type of content, white papers shouldn’t be confused with eBooks. The main difference is that white papers specifically key in on stats and data and are therefore perfect for demonstrating performance metrics and current/past successes to prospective customers.
White papers also give you the opportunity to leverage infographics, another popular form of content marketing on its own, to grab attention and communicate key data points in a visually engaging manner.
Don’t think just because white papers do the heavy lifting of communicating technical points that they can’t also be designed in a visually appealing format. Challenge your team to incorporate compelling stats and information into a design that will encourage your target buyers to engage fully with the material.
User-generated content is a dynamic tool in the content marketer’s toolbox because it encourages customers to get involved in the process. Rather than hoping they engage with the material you roll out, you ask them to generate the content for you.
There are a variety of effective ways to solicit your audience’s participation. For example, to promote a new product rollout for a skincare brand, you might ask new users to send in photos or short videos of them using your product to demonstrate before and after results. You might consider using contests and giveaways to encourage even more activity.
The key is that prospective customers get to see and hear about your product or service from real people. This has a similar effect to a solid customer testimonial. UGC is especially powerful at a time when people want to feel as though they are seen, heard and understood by the brands they support.
These five types of content are highly effective marketing tools, but certainly don’t represent an exhaustive list. It’s often most effective to mix and match various formats to increase the appeal of various types of content.
Once you start consistently rolling out content per your organized content calendar, you can begin to measure the effectiveness of each format and refine your approach accordingly.
Get in touch to learn more about how KPI Target is helping businesses large and small leverage content marketing to create marketing strategies that provide real value and drive tangible results.