The previous articles from the series “What is content marketing?” dealt with the reasons for choosing content marketing as part of external communication and explained how to develop a thorough content marketing strategy.
PART 1: REASONS FOR CONTENT MARKETING
What exactly is content marketing and what are the goals that companies can achieve by shifting the focus of their marketing activities on content marketing?
Part 2: The content marketing strategy
After you have set your individual content marketing goals, the next big step is to actually develop a content strategy as the basis for your success.
The third part dives into the question of how to choose the right content form for your content.
There are many ways to create compelling content pieces. In order to find the right form for you, you should try to put yourself in the position of the target group by asking yourself how you can make the content the most comprehensible and most helpful to them.
Blog posts are one of the most commonly used form to publish content. This is due to its fast-paced nature. You can easily and quickly publish a blog posts. This is also the reason why a lot of companies use blog posts as the basis of their content marketing strategy.
However, that doesn’t mean that blog posts can’t be long. If the topic itself contains a lot of talking points and interesting facts, readers will be willing to commit to a longer blog post. That is of course if you are able to make it exciting the whole way.
It’s all in the delivery
The presentation and layout of your content is very important when it comes to blog posts. Reading on a screen can become exhausting quickly and if you are presented with a long wasteland of text without spacing and visual breaks, your readers will lose interest.
That’s where lists, paragraphs, headlines as well as charts can come in handy. They help loosen up long and complex texts while making them easier to understand at the same time. By structuring your text this way, it will become easier to read. Additionally, this will have a positive effect on your ranking in search engines.
Top lists are a very popular method to create appealing content, because the user knows beforehand how long it will be, for example, only 10 main points. This reduces information length anxiety. So-called how-to-content is also a possibility to depict complex facts by explaining step-by-step.
eBooks are longer pieces of content that can be downloaded. They are mostly used to generate new leads. Leads in this context refer to interested customers, that will hopefully be turned into paying customers a little further down the road.
That is why you will mostly be able to download your eBooks for free and will just have to put your name and email address down. After you have completed filling in your contact details, you will be able to download your eBook without having to pay for it.
This way, companies collect valuable contacts for their newsletters or other sales-driven mailings. The recipient will be contacted by the company again and again. Companies try to stay relevant and actively aware within their interested customer group. Additionally, if you have once gotten something for free, like an eBook, this positive association can influence a buying decision later.
Selling of eBooks
One of the biggest publishers of such eBooks in Germany is the online marketing platform Online Marketing Rockstars, OMR in short. They constantly publish new eBooks containing market analysis and case studies that are extremely relevant for other marketing professionals.
However, they do not just give away their content. Rather, they provide you with a free sample of their eBooks. If you are intrigued and you want to read the whole report, you will have to pay for it. This way, the OMR use their eBooks as an additional channel to increase their sales.
In order to establish this successfully, you will have to have the right arguments to explain why readers should pay for the eBooks. If you do not have new or exclusive insights, you will have a hard time trying to sell your content. The Online Marketing Rockstars have a lot of experience and a high standing in the industry. This image turns them into a thought-leader with very important and relevant insights for people in their industry.
Some marketing professionals may consider white papers to be an old-fashioned format, but it does go very well with certain topics and content pieces. They are very similar to eBooks and only differ from them in the amount of details they contain. Also, white papers are commonly seen as higher quality.
White papers are completely focused on the content. You can almost refer to them as a type of thesis, since it usually includes new findings, numbers and information. They dive deep into one topic and provide you with all the insight. That is why they are perfect for presenting case studies or results from market research.
Infographics are especially helpful if you want to make complex topics and facts easier to understand. A good infographic is able to take the most important numbers and statements from a text and break them down visually, so you can understand the most important talking points with one glance.
They fit social media needs very well, too, since they add a visual component to an otherwise plain text. This allows you to not only share words with an image but use a medium that has been especially created for these types of platforms.
Video is a more expensive way to create content. They are also very useful when it comes to sharing over different platforms, but they do claim more time and financial investments.
They are very well suited for tutorials and other content that aims to explain something. Recipes or personal stories and experiences are also depicted very well in videos. You should keep in mind though, that videos must be dynamic. If you want to present your findings from a recent case study, you should add at least a charismatic protagonist to explain them. You can also try to loosen it up by adding images, sounds or graphic elements.
Rising in popularity amongst content marketers are free webinars. They are also useful to generate new leads and create valuable email lists. Additionally, the participant will be confronted with the brand for a longer period. This has the potential to create a positive brand association, which, again, will be very helpful for making a buyer’s decision later.
And finally, webinars start a conversation. The participants are usually able to ask questions. This allows the organizer of the digital seminar to directly communicate with potential customers while at the same time gaining interesting insights and getting relevant feedback.
WHAT COMES NEXT
The last part of this series gets down to business: Has the content marketing strategy worked and how do you measure the success of the individual efforts?
MORE TO READ
Why should companies invest in content marketing? Part one of the series: What is content marketing?
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