Content marketing is a form of indirect marketing that makes use of the way people search for and share information on the internet. It involves the creation of online material, usually written, visual or video, that is related to your brand.
Content marketing is not the hard sell. You never say "Buy this!" when using content marketing. Instead, it creates interest in and knowledge about your brand by sharing information of value to your customers. It is also search-engine friendly, which helps customers find you online.
In the world of the internet, content marketing can stimulate interest in your brand, get the word out about your business and develop relationships with current or potential customers. To develop an effective content strategy, try these 10 types of content marketing.
An infographic, such as a flow chart or diagram, represents data or information. It is usually made up of a both a visual and written component.
Infographics are popular because they are easy to read and understand. Because they are a single, self-contained piece of information, they can also be linked or shared quickly. To ensure that your infographic markets your company, mark it with your business name, your social media handle and/or a link to your website where interested customers can learn about its content.
Where to use infographics: blog posts, social media, web pages, guest posts, email
When it comes to content marketing, video isn't for creating an advertisement or commercial. Instead, think of it as a way to show who the people behind the company are, or to respond directly and authentically to customer concerns and questions.
By creating videos that show a personal side of your business, you create a relationship with your customers while also providing them valuable advice, insight or humor. Video is also easy to share and provides a break from written content.
Where to use video: web pages, blog posts, social media, video platforms (such as YouTube), email
3. White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report that explains an issue or provides comprehensive information. When you create a white paper as a form of content marketing, you establish yourself as an expert, while responding in depth to customer concerns and questions.
White papers can be on any topic relating to your industry. They are especially useful for businesses that work in more technically demanding fields, providing an opportunity to dive deep into a topic that interests your audience.
Where to use white papers: free downloads, online brochures, web pages, industry websites
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4. Case study
A case study is a detailed report on a particular person or groups' experience, often incorporating research and documenting change over time. But case studies don't have to be dry and technical; many are often conversational and inspiring.
Using a case study for content marketing allows you to highlight the experience your customers have with your business, exploring in-depth how your products or services can solve problems.
Where to use case studies: guest posts, blog posts, free downloads, web pages, video, email, social media
5. Product review
When reviewing products for content marketing, don't focus on your own business. This can come across as self-promotional, which isn't the purpose of content marketing.
Instead, review products from related businesses that your ideal customers would be interested in. When you share product reviews, you provide helpful information to your audience, which creates trust between them and your brand. You also add relevant search terms to your website, which can help customers find your business through online search.
Where to use product reviews: social media, blog posts, web pages, video
Interviews can be with a number of people, including loyal customers, industry leaders or your own employees. Sharing an interview provides both interesting content and a sense of personal connection.
When you interview a client, you reward them for loyalty and show how you value their experience. Sharing interviews with your own employees puts a face and a personal story on your brand. Interviewing leaders in your industry also widens your audience, creates opportunities for networking and adds to your own reputation.
Where to use interviews: email, blog posts, video, social media, guest posts
A checklist is straightforward to put together and can be easily shared and used.
Checklists can be on any topic related to your business or your customers' interests. They are extra valuable if they give your customers concrete actions to take that improve their lives or solve a specific problem. If your checklist is in graphic form, it will be easy to share, so it is important to brand it with your company name, website and social media handles.
Where to use a checklist: infographic, blog post, web page, free download, email
A write-up of a study or survey, whether your own or someone else, provides valuable information that is of interest to your customers. Writing or talking about new research not only establishes you as an industry expert, it can also add valuable search terms to your website or social media platforms, allowing people interested in that research to find you online.
If you conduct the research yourself, you can also use your results to pitch a story to journalists or other media platforms, which increases your brand's exposure. If you are writing about someone else's research, you should always credit and link back to the original source.
Where to use research: blog posts, guest posts, video, email, social media, web pages, company bios, press releases
9. Industry news
Sharing industry news allows you to capitalize on trending topics while also showing off your expertise and relevance to your larger industry. When you share current news, you position yourself as a go-to source that customers and other industry players can turn to for information.
Industry news can include upcoming events, changes or development. You can also spotlight new players in the industry, call attention to emerging trends or discuss how government policies will affect your business and customers.
Where to use industry news: email, web pages, press release, video, social media, blog posts
A newsletter is an excellent place for content marketing because it goes directly to an interested group of current or potential customers.
A newsletter feels exclusive because it is not public, and you can motivate sign-ups and reward members by sharing content that they won't see anywhere else. It allows you to develop a loyal, trusting relationship with your subscribers while simultaneously keeping your brand at the top of their minds.
Where to use a newsletter: email