First, let’s start with the assumption that creating high-quality content is a must for marketing your business. Consumers are inundated with sales pitches and promos. That means many of those messages get lost in the noise.
While you shouldn’t abandon promotional copy, content offers you another way to market your business. Content, when done well, builds your credibility with customers and respect within the industry. It shows you know what you’re talking about. It also shows that you are willing to offer valuable advice—for free—because you care about making consumers’ lives a little better.
Good content keeps people coming back. The more they come back, the more they trust you. Once you build that trust, you earn their business.
People share quality content. It will reach people who never heard of you, so it’s a great way to bring in new visitors to your website. Once you have them there, you can win them over with the design and functionality of your website, your marketing copy and other content.
It’s our belief that content is an invaluable component of an effective marketing strategy. To us, it’s not a question of should you create content, it’s a question of what type of content should you create.
To help you answer that question, here is a quick look at some of the most popular types of content:
Blogs are popular predominantly because you can set one up for free, and they are easy to manage. If they are well-written and provide valuable information people can use, they are ideal for connecting with an audience. People will engage with the content, share it on social media and recommend it to their peers.
Great writers can naturally insert keywords into blogs, so they are SEO-friendly—and Google tends to love blogs, so they rank higher. Plus, you can link to other blog posts and keep people bouncing around your website. Blogs tend to be low risk, high reward.
However, for blogging to work for your business, the writing must be high quality and high value. That’s first and foremost. Then you must share new posts frequently and consistently, if you want to keep your readers. We suggest posting at least weekly, and more if you can, so if you can’t commit to that, a blog probably isn’t for you.
Subscriptions require consumers to sign up—or at least not opt out if you send it to everyone initially—to continue receiving the newsletters. Since those people are already interested in your product or service, they are prime leads.
Like blogs, you must continue to provide high-quality, high-value content on a regular basis, typically weekly, biweekly or monthly. Services like MailChimp, make it simple to design and transmit your newsletter each week. Or you can really stand out in this digital world, by going with a well-designed print version.
People love video, and in general, social media and blog posts that integrate video tend to outperform text-only content, especially when they’re short and to the point.
While video used to be cost prohibitive for many businesses, consumers don’t always expect or even want big production value. We’re seeing videos go viral that business owners recorded with their smartphones. Plus, YouTube offers a valuable platform—receiving more than a billion searches a day—to get your videos out there.
The challenge with video, especially the home-grown versions, is finding an engaging speaker who can keep the audience interested. Writing scripts can also be a challenge. They must be short, punchy and benefit-driven, so it’s advisable to work with a professional writer.
When we talk about larger assets, we’re talking about eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, product guides and other similar content. These are all in-depth, research driven pieces that provide a great deal of substance, and very little promotion.
That’s why many business owners shy away from them. They take time and money to create. They typically require a professional writer and a designer, and high-quality ones aren’t cheap. They can take weeks or even months to put together, too.
However, when they are done well, they are ideal for building your thought leadership and credibility. Plus, they’re typically gated, meaning people provide you with their contact information to download them. You generate a list of warm leads to contact later. Plus, you can create blog posts and social media posts to promote them—and they’re highly shareable. They’re worth the investment if you can swing it.
Templates, Worksheets and Checklists
People are always trying to find ways to work smarter and save time. If you can provide them with a well-designed document that does one or both—and offers immediate benefits—such freebies can be powerful lead generators, if you gate them.
Plus, they are pretty easy and inexpensive to put together, but it’s best to use a designer who can incorporate your branding and make them look polished and professional.
If you have data to share, infographics are ideal. They allow you to present numbers and details in one easy-to-follow, simple, visually pleasing document. Plus, you can pick from a number of free infographic makers, so they are good for your budget.
Again, writing is critical because you need to distill and organize a ton of context and data into a few talking points, so working with a professional is ideal.