Content creation can feel overwhelming. Where should I invest my marketing dollars to maximize my return? What kind of message or visual is meaningful for my audience? What channels are best for my brand? Let’s take a step back and look at why content marketing is key to your brand’s success, how to get started, and what types of content you should be creating right now.
It doesn’t matter if you are developing your very first content marketing plan or you are a seasoned marketer starting to see the signs that you need a visual content upgrade. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to think about organizing your existing content and building a strategic plan for creating new content.
Why does content matter so much?
Content marketing is marketing with a purpose. When done right, it thoughtfully serves up information that educates, entertains, and guides the decision-making of your most important audiences. It should closely align with your company’s current goals and deliberately support your sales efforts. There is no better way to maximize your marketing dollars than by crafting meaningful content that is directly addressing your audience’s most critical pain points.
On the top of our list of marketing stats you can’t ignore this year, Marci Allen pointed out that “businesses that use content marketing get 6x more conversions than businesses that don’t.” (Content Marketing Institute). When you create useful content, you have the chance to attract new customers and provide added value for your existing customers.
According to our friends at Hubspot, you are also creating some serious ROI for your business! They have found:
- Content marketing brings in as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
- Small and midsize businesses that use content marketing get more leads than those that don’t.
- are the direct result of a customer reading a blog.
- Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month.
How should I get started?
It doesn’t matter if you are a new brand with very little content created or if you are an established brand looking to speak to a new audience, the steps to creating meaningful content are similar.
What type of content should I consider?
Keep your target audience top-of-mind when deciding what content to create. Depending on where your audience is in the buying process, you will need different types of content. For example:
- If they know very little about your brand, help them get to know you faster with social media content, infographics, recipes, blog posts or gamified content.
- If they already know you enough to consider your products but are not sure yet, help them decide with videos, webinars, downloadable content or ebooks.
- When they are ready to make a decision, help them choose you at this moment with a demo, free trial or newsletter subscription or loyalty programs.
Here are few different types of content to consider:
Infographics are an excellent way to visually support your messages, boost credibility, and provide continuity in your branding. They can be applied to sales presentations and other digital collateral. They can also be applied beautifully across social media images to elevate your brand.
Creating downloadable content for your audience can quickly enhance your marketing and sales efforts. Consider your audience and what would be most meaningful. A buyer may appreciate a product fact sheet, seasonality information, or an ebook of your product offerings. A shopper may appreciate recipes or storage and handling information. If the information is robust and of high value (like an ebook or detailed guide), consider gating it behind a form by asking for a name and email to obtain it. By doing this with your most valuable content, you will get a sense of what is connecting with your core audience and you can better determine which types of content drive the most action.
If you are still reading this then you may already understand the value a blog can have. As noted in the stats above, brands that commit to regularly providing content to their audiences are seeing more inbound traffic to their sites. This is also a great way to showcase your empathy and authority on your chosen topic and build trust with your customers.
Both short-form and long-form videos are one of the best forms of content to have (and build-up) in your library. There are innumerable ways to showcase this content and you can provide value quickly and easily to your audiences. Video is also great because it can be repurposed in different ways and be used in everything from your website, to your social channels, to your trade show booth.
Audio content is an excellent tool to provide entertainment, education, and connect with your audience even when they running errands or walking the family dog. Creating a podcast involves quite a bit of heavy lifting, however and isn't right for most brands. Instead, consider ways to participate on industry podcasts or advertise with popular podcasts that appeal to the interests of your audience.
Good luck on your content creation journey! If you still have questions about content creation, need support in organizing your content library, or in building a marketing plan that meets your business needs, be sure to contact us today.