Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your audience. Buyers and customers today are inundated by more marketing messages than ever before—more than 2,900 per day, by current estimations. This creates an environment of attention scarcity, challenging marketers with the task of producing engaging content that won’t get lost in the static. A well-crafted content marketing strategy places your business in the position of a thought leader, building brand preference as you inform and educate buyers. Providing helpful and entertaining content can form a strong bond between your brand and customers that continues to grow and strengthen over time.
Components of content marketing
Content marketing can take various forms, and in order to do it right, you’ll need to determine what type of content your potential buyers prefer to consume.
- Blog posts. Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule or strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.
- Ebooks. Ebook content should follow some sort of narrative structure, and include a lot of good, visual design. The goal of an ebook is to educate, but it’s important to keep language consistent with your brand voice.
- Video. The trick to effectively using video as part of a content strategy is keeping it as timeless as possible so that you aren’t forced to continuously spend time and money creating more. High-quality video content can also be used to expose your brand to YouTube’s large and active audience.
- Infographics. Use as little text as possible and let the imagery tell the story. If you don’t have a killer in-house graphics artist, find a talented freelancer who can make something beautiful and informative.
- Cheat sheets. These are short—two or three pages at most. That means there won’t be a lot of room for big images, so you’ll want to use text formatting to make them easy for a reader to quickly scan through. Link or point to other resources for more in-depth learning.
- Workbooks and templates. These resources are great ways to keep your brand in front of buyers while continuing to inform. They should be designed for print and made as interactive and practical as possible.
- White papers and reports. These materials are similar to an ebook in that they are primarily educational, but white papers and reports are generally less graphically designed and use language that is a little more professional. They can also create opportunities to partner with other organizations.
- Slide decks. Slide decks are a great format for breaking down complex ideas into simple steps or bite-sized pieces. Keep the slides simple: Use minimal text in one font and big graphics throughout.
- Case studies. Build case studies with real numbers and complete stories. This will help keep the content focused on the value and results, not the brand.
- Demos. This is where a free assessment, evaluation, or trial works nicely to start the dialogue and to begin to fully qualify your most interested leads. If you have an e-commerce-based product, you can leverage a discount code to use at the time of the transaction to establish some urgency around making the purchase.
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