I think we've all heard the term content marketing throughout the digital advertising space but I've also found that not everyone knows exactly what content marketing is. The definition of content marketing according to the Content Marketing Institute is "a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action". In practice, as a small business owner you're probably using content marketing and maybe don't know it. The 9 types of content marketing strategies I'll be going over today are:
Time Consuming Easy To Learn
If you couldn't tell, blogs are one of my favorite content marketing for many different reasons. Blogs can be created quickly in response to different events happening in your business, they can be optimized for search engines, and they further tell the story of your business to the community.
If you decide to blog for your business, great. I would recommend watching a couple of Youtube videos on keyword optimization and content layout and you will be off on your way.
Engaging Direct to the Point
There's many articles out there saying that video is the future of advertising and they might not be wrong. According to the article, videos have a higher engagement, are shareable and have a higher click through rate.
On a related topic, if you choose to display your video ad on Youtube and the ad was closed before the 30 second mark, that impression doesn't come out of your ad spend. More information on Google's website here.
I've recently gotten into making simple music videos for Youtube and the best software I've found (that happens to have a free version) is VSDC Video Editor. It's great for cutting, looping & uploading content easily and a good start for any beginner or intermediate user.. Anything above a quick video is something I let the professionals handle.
3. Case Studies
Social Proof Shareable Authoritative
Case Studies are a great way to showcase your business and how it goes about solving problems your customer has. To summarize this article from Opt In Monster, some of the reasons your business should consider case studies in your content marketing strategy are:
A White Paper and a case study are easily confused. According to Contentualize, a white paper highlights the benefits and rationale for the implementation of a proposed solution whereas, a case study offers real-life examples of how that particular solution had solved the issue. While some may consider a white paper content marketing, it's written from the perspective of a salesman while a case study is written from the perspective of a customer.
4. Free Tools
Everyone loves free tools, in fact I wrote an article you may like on the 6 content marketing software tools I can't live without and 4 of them are absolutely free.
Tools are great in the sense that a person will continue coming back to your site to either use or reference your tool. Experte Background Remover is a great example of this and according to Ahrefs gets 314,000 organic traffic visits monthly just because their tool removes the background of any image.
I'm constantly looking for new tools to link to or embed in my site and I've found that the best tools ideas will either come from your vendors or business industry articles. Even something as simple as a weather widget on an air conditioning repair website can make a connection with the users on your site.
Infographics help cover "heavy topics" in a more enjoyable way according to Piktochart. Infographics not only make information more digestable, they are routinely linked to by other sites which will help build authority in Google's eyes when ranking a page. If you want to try infographics but not ready to hire a designer, give Canva's free online infographic maker a shot.
6. Paid Promotion / Influencers
Short-term Boost Celebrities
Like many people, I cringe when I hear the term influencers but I also know the power of getting someone well-liked to promote your product. According to Critical Mention, influencers build your brands credibility, but of equal importance an influencer will create fresh content for you. Sometimes a new take on how to promote your product will spark a valuable marketing strategy.
Finding the right promoter for your product is crucial and it's not always easy. According to Spiralytics it's important to choose the influencer that matches your brand goals.
7. User Generated Content
User Generated Content is by far the best content marketing strategy because the users do all the work and you just sit back an watch all the traffic come in. Ok, maybe it's not always that easy but that's the idea with user generated content and it can work great when it works.
A word of warning, user generated content can be a risky strategy when relying 100% on the public's input, I'll leave this article here on when user generated content goes wrong (Source: Medium.com).
I've listed three user generated content below although it's not limited to just these options
Authoritative Social Proof
Tutorials are one of the best ways to have your business seen as the authority of the industry you're in. Many of the content marketing examples in this list can be utilized with a tutorial, from a tutorial video to a tutorial case study or a tutorial blog.
Tutorials are a tough segment to get into because the market is flooded with great professional content from many interesting personalities.
What's a review but a positive or negative testimonial? Testimonials are effective because according to Strategic Factory 92% of people surveyed said they read a testimonial before purchasing a product.
We've all had a friend ask for a testimonial over social media and you can even pay for testimonials (not recommended). The best testimonials will come from customers that have a great interaction with your business and there are few shortcuts to achieving that.
There may not be one conclusive content marketing strategy for your business but there's no rule that says you can only use one. Do you have the type of customer that would interact with user generated content? Or maybe you have a customer demographic that prefers watching videos over reading? Once you match your customer with how they would like to interact with your business, you'll be successfully content marketing in no time.