American adults spend more than 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or otherwise interacting with media content. We’re talking videos, podcasts, news articles and blogs, social media, email – you name it. Clearly, we can’t get enough of it.
And that’s precisely why content marketing has become such a focus for B2B and B2C marketers. More than half of businesses will increase their content marketing spend in the next year. Brands are using content marketing more and more because it works. Not only is content marketing a great way to meet potential customers where they already spend time, but it can also result in positive awareness and long-term relationships for your brand. According to Demand Metric, 82 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content. And 78 percent of consumers perceive a relationship between themselves and a company by engaging with custom content.
That’s probably because content marketing considers the consumer’s wants, needs and interests first. It gives to its prospects first instead of asking for something. It gives them content that is entertaining or educational before thoughtfully guiding them to your products or services. Now, content marketing requires consistency above all. It isn’t about quick sales, but building long-term relationships with customers that are based on shared ideas and identity.
So, what does that look like for your brand? We’ll go over the four most critical types of content you should be creating and sharing with the world as part of your strategy. Note that all of these forms of content overlap frequently, complement each other and are often used concurrently.
Blogging is one of the main pillars of inbound marketing, as it attracts people to you through engaging, educational or entertaining content. Blogs can be found by prospective customers through search engines, social media shares, or through your marketing emails. A blog can educate people, simply delight and entertain, or help establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
Blogs work best when they’re tailored to the interests of your ideal audience. Once you’ve identified your target audience, consider what they would want to read about, what kind of advice they might be seeking, or what questions they’d be most likely to type into Google. Respond to those interests with your blogs, and find creative ways to incorporate your brand and products without selling to them outright.
Say your company is a bank, for example. You’d want to start crafting and publishing blogs with financial advice, money-saving tools and strategies, and trends in the industry. Ideally, the content will be useful and valuable to the person who reads it, and they’ll create an association between the helpful content and your brand that leads them to consider you for their banking services.
There are ways to do email marketing without being spammy, and it has many benefits as a part of your overall content marketing strategy. It’s ideal for nurturing leads – those who might be interested in your product or service, but aren’t quite ready to buy yet. By communicating directly with your target audiences and sharing valuable or entertaining content with them, potential customers will begin to recognize you, appreciate you, and even trust you, moving them closer to a sale.
Email marketing can have many uses and accomplish more than one goal as well. Emails can be used to advertise specific products or services, create brand awareness or build relationships with current and prospective customers. It can also serve more logistical purposes – emailing receipts, updates about shipping or scheduling, and ways to get in touch if there’s a problem with a product.
In marketing emails, you can showcase the best of the other content you’ve created in your strategy, such as educational blogs and intriguing videos.
Social media content is best used as a way to broaden your audience and reach people who may not yet be familiar with your brand. When done well, it also makes your brand more personable, showing your personality and making you more human. Think about the brands you follow on social media. You follow them because they post interesting photos, videos and ideas, and you likely view those brands more favorably because of it!
Social media allows you direct access to potential customers – often when they aren’t even looking for you. When people engage with social media content, it’s usually a quick encounter, so your social media content needs to be eye-catching right off the bat. That’s why videos with motion and colorful, attractive photos play so well.
When developing a social media content strategy, frequency and consistency are key. You’ll need a regular flow of short soundbites of content, and it should all align with your brand when it comes to voice, graphic style and content. You can also use social media to showcase other content you’ve created, by linking to your blogs or featuring videos.
We’ve already mentioned video a lot throughout this blog, and that’s because it makes for great content. Videos can be used on almost any kind of digital platform, and they’re by far the most engaging and memorable kind of content on the internet. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10 percent when reading it in text. Across both Facebook and Instagram, posts with videos receive more engagement than those with any other type of content.
Examples of videos could be tutorials (how-to videos), advertisements, interviews, or quick animated videos that make you smile. Successful videos will be formatted to view on a mobile device. They should be enjoyable and understandable without sound, as most people watch videos on their mobile devices with the sound off. They should also be short – generally under two minutes in length – but this can vary depending on the time requirement of the platform you’re publishing to.
At PRIME, content marketing is a huge part of what we do, for ourselves and our clients. We understand that successful content marketing execution can require additional time, resources and staff. If you’re looking for some additional help, we’re here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
If you enjoyed this edition of PRIME Pulse, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- 4 Steps Toward a Better Content Marketing Strategy
- 5 Reasons Your Website is Never Really Done
- 10 Ways to Communicate Empathy and Authority Amidst Crisis
- 4 Reasons Your Messaging is Falling Flat
- The How-To on Facebook Marketing Campaigns