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The Content Types You Need To Stand Out

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New communication channels pop up every day and brands are scrambling to find the right content type to support their marketing efforts. This post is going to outline many of the popular content marketing forms, and some of their relative strengths and weaknesses. We’ll give you an overview of the possibilities and help you figure out which ones to use and which ones to avoid.

1) Blogs

Your company’s blog can serve all kinds of purposes, introduce new products, answer questions or even humanize your brand. Depending on the platform, it can include images, links and video. A blog offers great flexibility, but if you want to keep readers engaged and coming back, avoid becoming overly repetitive. For a good laugh, read Forrest Wickman’s Blog Post about the difference between writing a blog post and blogging a blog.

2) Guest Blog Posts

Bringing a guest blogger onto your company site, or guest posting on another blog, not only introduces you to new audiences, it helps build links from other related sites. It can also lend a fresh voice and some new perspective to your blog.

3) eBooks

When you’re covering a topic in depth or want to establish your expertise in a given field, an eBook is a great option. It can also become an option in a growing library of content that you reference on a regular basis. Check out Entwine’s latest eBbook “20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Blog“.

4) Info-graphics (Visual Images)

Ok, I’m personally not really big on creating visuals (we’ll just call it temporary laziness) but many people really dig them. Let’s face it, an image is worth 1,000 words because they are retained for a longer amount of time. So if you have a long list of bullet points, think about converting the that into an image. Here’s a great informative image within this post by Erin Robbins O’Brien.

5) eNewsletters

Keep in touch with regular customers with an email newsletter. Including special offers isn’t a bad idea, as long as you’re giving them something of value.  One of my favorite newsletters comes from Sean D’Souza, author of The Brain Audit.

6) PowerPoint Presentations

A PowerPoint presentation shared online via SlideShare becomes a completely different thing than the one you presented. Remember, you won’t be there to explain the salient points and key ideas. You’ll need to simplify and notate accordingly. Still, these can be a nice way to share internal ideas.

7) Podcasts

You can share interviews, information and ideas via this audio-only format, but here’s one you’ve got to put some effort into to do well. Andrew Davis wrote a nice piece on 8 great podcasts you should emulate. John Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire is a leader in this field and has interviewed top global entrepreneurs.

8) Videos

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers are using videos. It’s a great way to demonstrate an idea, engage an audience, and showcase your brand. The advent of increasingly affordable video production tools is making this format easier and cheaper than ever. Just make sure the cheap video you produce doesn’t look cheap. A great example here is from Lewis Howes who helps entrepreneurs grow their business.

9) Micro-videos (ie, Vine)

The 6-second snippets of video Twitter’s Vine channel displays are the newest playground for content marketing brands. Dunkin Donuts aired the first TV ad made from Vine videos last year. Called the “Instagram of Video,” your ideas had better be short and sweet if you want to use this channel.

10) Social Media Posts

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ all offer the ability to engage directly with your audience and it’s easy to push information to them via Hootlet. This tool lets you share on the fly with just a click of a button. Sharing video, images and even links to other formats can work here. To make things even easier for you, Hootsuite allows you to schedule your content in advance and spreads your messages over time. The pro verison gives you even more power by enabling other users and suggesting content that you might like.

11) Webinars

When you want the chance to make an impression on your audience with your presentation style and knowledge, a webinar lets you be there without actually having to go there. Recorded and re-aired at a viewer’s convenience, a well-done webinar can also become part of your content library.

12) White Papers

Building authority and expertise means sharing ideas, and when a 500-word blog post isn’t enough for your idea, a white paper gives you the platform and space to say more. Put the time and energy into making something excellent and a white paper can pay dividends for months.

Become A Content Machine 

Your audience is everywhere, so you have to meet them on the channels they prefer. You can do this re-purposing your existing content. You’ll find that some content marketing efforts work better than others for your particular market and that’s ok because its not a one size fits all world.  You just need to go and test for yourself what works and what doesn’t. Either way, you must always look to improve your content and mix things up so it looks fresh.

Stop creating dull content. Your audience wants unique content that stands out. 

Quality Content Always Wins

If you want to stand out from the crowd, spend your time delivering the best content possible. Remember your readers won’t stick around to read a lot of fluff; they have a purpose and are seeking answers.

You need to quickly demonstrate that you can solve their problems through your offerings without pushing a hard sell.  Start by giving something of value, build trust, and over time, they will come to you for additional help.

What Type of Content Marketing Do You Practice? Content marketing is all about being consistent so once you found something that works, you need to stick with it.  What type of content works best for your organization? I’d love to hear from you.   

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