In 2013 more than ever, content will be king. According to Doug Kessler, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Velocity Partners, it’s “tipping this year because it works. Content is the engine of search, social, outbound and Web marketing.” So with that in mind, what are you doing to jump on the content train?
To help you decide which content marketing methods are right for you, here’s a list of 15 types that work. Which will you use this year to build your business?
1. Blog Posts
It should come as no surprise to see blog posts on this list—blogs are often the first thing that comes to mind when people think content marketing—but that’s only because blogs are such a natural way to promote your message. By setting up a blog, you create a resource for your customers and a place that reinforces your brand.
2. Guest Blog Posts
Just as important as writing posts on your own blog is contributing elsewhere online—in fact, according to author Jeff Goins, “Guest-posting is the single most important strategy for growing your blog readership and platform.” When you write articles on other websites, you get your content in front of new audiences and expand your presence.
3. How-To Guides
Whether in a video, a blog post, a series of photos, or a website page, how-to guides draw readers in and give you a chance to demonstrate your subject expertise. Use them to show your audience how to complete a project, learn a new skill, or put into practice some specific tips.
A whopping 93 percent of communication is nonverbal, says psychologist Albert Mehrabian, which means almost all of what you tell your audience happens outside the words you say. With powerful pictures, illustrations, and graphics, you have an opportunity to make a real impact on your fans—amplifying your message, explaining an idea, and gaining user attention.
A particularly powerful type of image is the infographic—the fastest growing form of content marketing for B2B brands. A well-designed infographic organizes and communicates technical or detailed information in a visually attractive, easy-to-process way. What’s more, infographics perform well on social sharing sites like Pinterest, where images are key.
What better way to differentiate yourself from the competition than with video? Videos are an ideal platform for interviews, demonstrations, how-to guides, and any content with which you want to communicate a clearer sense of your personality and style.
Just as infographics present information in a more readily understandable way, so too illustrations add an extra dimension to your content. Whether it’s an ironic comic strip, a pretty watercolor, or a hand-drawn recipe, illustrations are great for catching reader attention and adding visual punch.
Endorsements from satisfied customers act as major social proof for your company’s value. Whether you post testimonials on your website, across social media, or strictly on review sites, the power of these comments is undeniable.
9. Case Studies
Show the value of your product or service through tangible facts—case studies are the perfect way to demonstrate what you offer. Show your clients how you’ve helped others as an example of how you can help them.
When retailer Forever 21 runs a “21 Days of Style” campaign that instructs followers to “Show us what kind of turquoise is hiding in your stash!” the brand is demonstrating a great way to run a meme. Each day, the store gives followers a way to engage with the brand by posting related content and tagging it with the #21DaysofStyle hashtag. In so doing, the store not only promotes its brand but also strengthens connections with fans. Consider following in these footsteps by creating a similar campaign to engage your audience.
11. Email Newsletters
The opt-in email newsletter is a fantastic avenue for getting your message out to loyal followers—the key is providing highly relevant content that they actually want to read. This means it’s time to forget recycled blog content and opt instead for unique content that meets a need for your audience: inspiration, humor, information, etc. Ask yourself how you can make your newsletter a must-read.
For your customers who are hungry for more about your brand and your story, eBooks offer many advantages. Package your best writing into an ebook to sell or give away, and you can share more in-depth info on your company’s unique personality, story, etc.
Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, laptops, and MP3 players, people today listen to podcasts in the car, while riding the morning train, running errands, or doing the dishes. What this means for you is multiplied opportunities to expand your message. You might podcast to conduct interviews, tell stories, or provide or more personal look at your business operations.
14. Twitter Chat
In the world of social media, Twitter is becoming increasingly influential. As a content marketer, use the network to engage with influencers in your industry. Schedule Twitter chats to discuss topics, find out what interests your audience, ask questions, and generate dialogue about your subject matter.
Take advantage of public interest in a hot news story by finding a way to connect it with your brand—and write about it.