You can certainly create killer blog posts or amazing articles as part of your content strategy.
It’s more efficient and effective in the long term (and often required for large organizations) to create various types of content for different platforms to address multiple audiences.
Consider the following content types. If you’re not creating them, you should be:
Let’s start with one of the most effective content types.
How many times have you seen a BuzzFeed article in your Facebook or Twitter feed? Sites like Buzzfeed have changed the game for list posts.
Attention-grabbing headlines make lists work. Any headline that boasts a number of details, secrets, categories or tips will work, because it clearly states what the reader can expect from the article. Consider the headline on this article, for example.
List posts are perfect for demonstrating authority. They can help you reach your content marketing goals for a variety of reasons:
- Lists are easy to skim. Readers can easily skim the piece and still obtain the information they’re looking for.
- Lists are easy to digest. Sorting content into a list does the heavy lifting for the reader. People like to organize information and visualize concepts.
- Lists lead to engagement. One of your content’s goals should be to spark interaction and comments; lists are great for that.
By now we should all know about infographics and their marketing benefits. They’re a great way to capture and communicate information in an interesting and condensed format.
Infographics often use charts and graphs, but the right designer can transform an infographic into an informative work of art with beautiful design and typography. Infographics also tend to bring in traffic and leads long after they’re published.
When someone finds an infographic they like, they will link to it, embed it on their site or post it on their blog. When someone grabs the content to post on their website, they usually credit the creator with a link to the original source. Consequently, infographics are a great way to drive traffic and links to your website.
3. Free guides
Free guides and white papers are a bigger investment than other content types but worth the venture. Free guides and white papers work well if your goal is to drive leads to your website or build your email list.
Create guides or white papers that aid customers without giving away your proprietary processes. Make the content free, but require a name and email address in exchange for download. Don’t ask for too much information, as that may deter people from proceeding with the download. Use the collected email addresses to expand your marketing list, and nurture those leads.
Be sure your free guide or white paper offers value, as useless content can discourage downloads, as well. The best part about this type of content is that once you produce it, it can keep working for you for years to come.
4. Comparisons and reviews
With today’s online shopping platforms, consumers spend significant time comparing products. If you’re an ecommerce company, your job is to educate visitors about your products by comparing them against competitors’ offerings. For great examples of product comparisons, check out Amazon.com, Nashbar.com or Zappos.com.
The goal of a product review is not simply to learn whether someone liked something, but to educate others about the product and help them decide whether to buy it. If you provide such information, visitors will be much more likely to make their buying decision through your website. A product comparison or service review can quickly convert browsers into buyers.
5. Interviews and roundups
Interviews are a simple way to provide great content while positioning you as an industry expert. Interviews can be on video or in text; people easily consume both. Podcasts are also effective—and highly portable.
Network with influencers and experts
Roundups generally gather several industry experts around a subject and present their insights in an easily digestible format (such as a list). The topic must be original and interesting enough to get experts excited to contribute and share the roundup with their audiences.
As Clair Jones points out, “If you’re asking [experts] their opinion for the sole purpose of making them feel invested enough in your content that they will feel obligated to share it, they will smell you out faster than you can say ego bait.”
Be genuine and concise, and always aim to create value for your audience and interviewees.
Create remarkable content
Roundups allow you to collaborate with other leaders and provide the best possible content for users. Roundups establish you as an expert and curator of excellent content and information..
The strategy is simple: Present the knowledge of other industry experts, and tap into their networks.
Start by reaching out to experts in your field to discuss the possibility of an interview. For video interviews, schedule a time that works for you both, and record via a Google+ Hangout or Skype. For text-based interviews, send the interviewee 10 to 12 questions and ask him to answer as many as he can.
By interviewing experts in your field, you become an expert, too. Moreover, you’re populating your website with a wealth of original, expert information.
There are many places to post videos. Everyone knows YouTube, but there’s also Vimeo, Viddler and others.
It still amazes me how many brands avoid video content. Creating a video isn’t as hard as you’d think, and it’s getting easier. Between Google+ Hangouts, Skype’s recording feature, webinars and almost everyone having access to some sort of video recording device, creating video content is a snap.
The key to video is to just jump in and start shooting. You might leave a lot on the proverbial cutting-room floor, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t start the process. By establishing a standard for your content’s quality—and by having fun in the process—you’ll improve your chances of creating video that will increase traffic, produce leads and maybe even go viral.
A solid content marketing strategy includes many of these content types, all of which can set you apart from your competition. Determine what information your audience wants that isn’t already available, and rise to the occasion. If you provide that content with unparalleled quality, you win.