We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again (and probably 1,000 more times): Content is king.
Your business needs content like fish need water. Content in an essential component to business these days – any and all types of business.
But with all these forms of content, how do you know what’s going to work best for your business?
It’s a great question with no simple answer. But you can start answering this questioning by knowing your customers.
Who is your content for?
Start with the who. Who are your customers? Get to know them inside and out, not just the demographics and numbers, but the psychographics, the studies, the research, and, perhaps most important, the things you can only learn by speaking with an actual human being.
Then move on to the what. What are your customers searching for on Google? What are they interested in? What do they need to know more about? What are their pain points and what solutions can you offer?
Next, the where. Where are your customers going for information, to meet their needs or for entertainment? Are they on LinkedIn or Instagram? Are they looking local? Are they searching on Google or do they rely on referrals?
Now, the how. This may be the most important question to ask in order to determine what type of content will work for your audience. How are they accessing information – laptop, phone, tablet, word of mouth? How do they best consume information? How do they prefer to interact with brands?
Getting to know your customers is the majority of the work in determining the content that will best reach them. Without thorough and accurate knowledge of your clientele, your content marketing plan doesn’t have the bones to hold up your body of content (gross image, we know, but hopefully it sticks).
Types of content
Content is the art of communicating directly with your audience. Do it right and you get people to read and view your content, derive some kind of benefit from it, then eventually give you their business. That’s the big idea, but to do that you need great content and you need to make sure it’s the right type of content for your customers.
Here’s a breakdown of the top forms of content and how they might work for different types of customers and businesses.
Blogs can improve your SEO, drive traffic to your site and provide useful information that speaks directly to your customers’ needs. They’re a great way to build authority and trust and you can use the content from blogs in other types of content marketing. If you had to pick one type of content for your business, blogging would probably be it.
Video is quickly overtaking other forms of content as consumers’ preferred way to learn about and engage with brands. Videos can be used across platforms so they’re an incredibly versatile form of marketing. To sweeten the deal, videos are easier to create than ever. Our phones come equipped with high quality cameras and software to create videos, plus there are tons of cheap or free apps to help you create great video.
Interactive content is one of the best ways to improve engagement. Try out interactive content to get your customers to respond to your posts and even gain valuable information about them. Use polls, quizzes, lists, interactive maps and more to create excitement and interaction.
Who doesn’t love a good infographic? You get a whole boatload of information in a fun, engaging, visual representation. Infographics are great for trying to educate your audience, present a complicated subject or present statistics. Since the brain processes visual information faster than text and many people are visual learners, infographics are a great way to get your message across.
Webinars and online courses
If you have valuable information to offer your audience webinars and online courses are a great way to demonstrate your expertise and even create a new form to monetize your knowledge.
One of the best forms of B2B marketing, white papers are a great way to stand out as a thought leader in your industry, gain more respect and create a lead magnet. Since white papers tend to be more [information dense and data driven,] you need to know that this is something your customers are looking for before you invest.
Case studies are one of the best forms of content for conversion. If you have a great product or service and a strong history of success and satisfied clients, case studies could be right for your business. Another great thing about case studies is that they can convert into other forms of content marketing too.
Once you’re making the right content – then you can move on to how to distribute that content (social, email, etc). Content marketing is one of the best ways to foster organic growth for your business. But before you go gung-ho on your content, make sure you’ve got a killer content marketing plan and a trusty content calendar.
Go forth and create content!