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Modern businesses face myriad challenges, including attracting the right attention, retaining a loyal customer base, differentiating from competitors – and, perhaps toughest of all, a wary public. Companies jockey for ever-shrinking amounts of coverage and media pros are increasingly jaded. It can make getting your company’s message out there feel like an everyday battle.
One of the most promising ways to address these roadblocks stubbornly standing in the way of success? Content marketing. A strategic approach focuses on creating and distributing timely, informative content to a targeted audience; when done well, it results in long-lasting customer loyalty as well as profitable returns.
Content strategy is as unique as each business’s goals, opportunities and needs – so a one-size-fits-all approach will not suffice. But with the right strategy, content marketing can address many hurdles modern businesses face – including attracting the right prospects educating customers and building lasting loyalty.
Consider these content opportunities to give your business a boost:
It’s possible your industry is little understood or misunderstood by the general public. Educational blogs can quickly clear up confusion about your product, service or offerings. Posts should answer potential customers’ pressing questions and clearly describe how your business provides value.
Educational blog posts could include:
- Guides on how to do something better, faster, more effectively, etc.
- Lists of relevant tips or statistics applying to your industry.
- Blog series based on your customers’ FAQs.
While educational content doesn’t always end with a blatant sales pitch, it establishes trust between your company and its audience – especially in markets where customers are searching for reliable, digestible information. Earning this trust is often more rewarding in the long run, resulting in loyalists who return and recommend your brand to others. An educational blog might encourage thoughtful discussion or invite readers to sign up for your company’s newsletter. You can also pursue thought leadership on your blog, helping you to stand out in the crowd.
Further, 2019 data compiled by the Content Marketing Institute shows educational content is top-of-mind in today’s marketing landscape: 88% of top performing content marketers make their audience’s informational needs a priority.
Case Studies and Whitepapers
Case studies and whitepapers are among the most tried-and-true content marketing tools. . Also included under the educational content umbrella, case studies provide real-life examples of clients or customers who have found measurable success with your company’s product or service. Whitepapers are in-depth reports providing a solution to an issue that resonates with your target customers. (We provide more detail about these types of content on our blog.)
Case studies and whitepapers not only offer a solution to a specific problem that your target audience faces, but also display deep industry expertise and explicitly explore the benefits of your product. Moreover, case studies and whitepapers are valuable content pieces for your sales team to demonstrate the efficacy of your business offerings with hard data.
People remember information in different ways – and infographics are designed for all you visual learners out there. Infographics provide your audience with actionable, insightful and relevant information through graphics. It might include a good ol’ pie or line chart, but there are myriad possibilities to get creative.
Why are infographics so effective at getting the message across? Turns out, it has a lot to do with how humans absorb information. Hubspot found visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text in the brain. Plus, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a plain-text article.
Whether an infographic is created to support an already-existing piece of content, such as an educational blog, or published independently, they offer several benefits. They’re visually compelling and attractive, scanned and absorbed quickly, seamlessly shared across social platforms and, if backlinked correctly, support your site’s SEO.
Contributing to other industry blogs and inviting others to contribute to your own site is an effective (and mutually beneficial) way to improve brand visibility and gain trust, ultimately feeding into a greater PR strategy. Some of the top reasons to pursue guest blogging opportunities include:
- Reach a bigger audience. If you’re guest blogging for an already established site in your industry, your content will get in front of more readers, increasing the potential for more traffic to your site.
- Build invaluable relationships. Not only can your guest blog attract potential customers or clients who are outside your existing network, but it can also pique the interest of other industry players – possibly leading to more marketing or PR opportunities.
- Establish online authority. Guest blogging also supports thought leadership. As you publish more, both on your own site and others’, you’ll gain recognition as an expert in your field.
- Strengthen backlinks. Content that links back to your site from elsewhere enhances your site’s SEO, thereby helping it rank higher on Google.
In the age of social media, video established itself as the must-have form of content. Businesses can harness video to tell their brand story, explore value propositions, add personality and connect with prospects. According to Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from marketers.
Hubspot also found the most common types of videos include “explainers,” how-to’s, product demos and testimonials. Depending on your business goals, you could create a snappy video highlighting some of your product’s stand-out features. You might choose to do a short interview with one of your most loyal customers. This type of content can explicitly demonstrate your company’s primary differentiators.
Videos can be informative, engaging or tug at the heartstrings – just make sure they’re targeted and formatted for various devices (phone, mobile and tablet). Check out this blog for more information on how to create engaging social media videos.
Successful content marketing is multi-faceted, combining numerous strategies to help companies overcome today’s marketing obstacles and achieve goals with confidence. To reach its full potential, content marketing requires time, thought and strategy. Partnering with a skilled marketing team ensures your content aligns with your brand message, the appropriate tactics are used and quality remains top-of-mind.