Content Marketing

Content Marketing

Have you heard the expression, “Content is king?” If not, you have now. Great content is the fuel that drives your digital marketing activities:

  • It is a key pillar of modern SEO
  • It helps you get noticed on social media
  • It gives you something of value to offer customers in emails and paid search ads

Creating clever content that is not promotional in nature, but instead educates and inspires, is tough but well worth the effort. Offering content that is relevant to your audience helps them see you as a valuable source of information. On top of that, resourceful content makes it less likely that they will tune you out.

How to Design Engaging Content

Design means much more than color schemes and stock photos. The process will look different for every marketing team, and even for every team’s various content pieces.

In general, design starts at the very beginning, as you map out a content marketing strategy. Understanding the brand’s personas and marketing goals will shape the basic style of each design—each should be useful to your personas, and true to your brand voice.

Blog Posts

Distill your content marketing strategy into your blog schedule/strategy. The company blog can and should be used to cross-promote other content, which will help keep posts on a consistent schedule. If you don’t have a marketing team member who is familiar with SEO, this is one area where you might want to consult a professional.

Ebooks

Ebook content should follow some sort of narrative structure, and include a lot of good, visual design. The goal of an ebook is to educate (rather than entertain), but make sure to keep the language conversational if that is consistent with your brand and personas.

Cheat Sheets

These are short (two or three pages at most). That means there won’t be a lot of room for big images, so you’ll want to use text formatting to make them easy for a reader to quickly scan through. Link or point to other resources for more in-depth learning.

Workbooks and Templates

A great way to keep your brand in front of buyers, while also being really helpful. These resources should be designed for print and made as interactive and practical as possible.

Whitepapers and Reports

These are similar to an ebook in that they are primarily educational materials, but whitepapers and reports are generally less graphically designed and use language that is a little more professional. They can also create opportunities to partner with other organizations.

Infographics

The name says it all: just give readers info and graphics. Use as little text as possible for the former, and let the latter tell the story. If you don’t have a killer graphics artist in-house, this is one for which you might want to work with a professional.

Slide Decks

Slide decks are a great format for breaking down complex ideas into simple steps or bite-sized pieces. Keep the slides simple: minimal text in one font throughout, and use big images & graphics.

Video

The trick to effectively using video as part of a content strategy is keeping it as timeless as possible. Otherwise, you risk wasting resources (time and money) updating videos every year. High-quality video content can also be used to expose your brand to YouTube’s large and active audience.

Case Studies

Build case studies with real numbers and complete stories. This will help keep the content focused on the value and results, not the brand.

Content Marketing and Social Media

Social media is one of the primary vehicles for a content marketing campaign—especially the more entry-level, entertaining pieces. There are three tiers of social media promotion for your content:

  • Owned: Sharing your content on the brand’s own social media channels is a quick, customizable, and free opportunity to connect with your target audience.
  • Paid: Most social networks allow for some kind of paid advertising. Matching a network’s demographics with your brand’s personas will help you determine where to invest.
  • Earned: The most valuable, but hardest to create, social media promotion happens when your audience shares your content with their networks.

Each social network tends to gather a different type of user. Match your personas to network demographics to find out where you target audience is social online, and start sharing your content. Let’s cover the differences between social networks:

Facebook

Facebook is still the biggest social network, and while it is the fastest-growing, that growth is slowing and shifting.

Twitter

Emerging markets account for 78% of the traffic on Twitter, with India as one of the fastest-growing. Statistically speaking, Twitter users tend to be recent college graduates living in urban areas.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is commonly known as the professional social network, and it’s obvious that its users are serious. Sixty-four percent of social referrals to corporate websites come from LinkedIn, compared to 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. A glance at the demographics demonstrates that LinkedIn has the greatest percentage of college-educated, higher-income users of all the major social channels.

Pinterest

Consumers love Pinterest. Forty-seven percent of online shoppers have made a purchase because of a Pinterest recommendation, and Pinterest generates 4x more revenue (per click) than Twitter. Pinterest users tend to be more affluent women living in rural areas.