Now that you’ve done your research and devised a content strategy, it’s time to move on to the heart of the matter. It’s time to produce your actual content!
Your content can come in a variety of ways. An article on Hubspot lists these different types of content for your marketing campaign:
- Blog posts
- Case Studies
- Social Media
As always, your content strategy depends heavily on its primary message, which in turn relies on your understanding of your company and product. Namely, you have to already know what your brand’s “uncommon value” is before you start selling it. This knowledge will be invaluable once you begin your campaign.
Not every content type is applicable to your campaign. Not every market responds the same way to, say, a blog post, as another market responds to a video, a podcast episode, or a post on social media. A corporate executive may not respond positively to a social media post than to an eBook or a case study, while a college student might be more receptive to a social media post than a case study. While it would be very helpful for companies all over the world, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy.
Other elements to keep in mind about these content types is that they also require different publishing schedules. Infographics and social media posts, for example, need to be updated every day—even every hour, if you need. Millions of people post stuff on social media every minute, so your company has to keep up. There are also others you just have to put out regularly, like blog posts. You can afford to let your blog posts live on your website for a week, but you will have to replace them to keep your customers engaged.
There are also other types you can publish only once. Ebooks are portable carriers of information you can put in your device and read at your convenience. People who download your company’s eBooks may turn to them as reference whenever they want to look at your products or services.
Videos may also be published once or semi-regularly. Different types of videos also follow different production requirements, so you just have to take note of them before deciding the kind of video you want to produce at a certain time. Do you want to produce an infomercial? Or do you just want to produce a teaser for your product?
With that in mind, let’s move on to greater detail about these different types of content. Hubspot also provides us additional information about each of them.
Blog posts live on websites. They contain valuable information about your product or service, which can be readily accessed by your target market. What’s unique about blog posts is that they come equipped with the ability to be shared across other media, like social media and other websites. You don’t have to copy-paste content across your channels—just click a button and it’s done.
Hubspot recommends that blog posts be “between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length,” but this is not a rule set in stone. You just have to weigh your campaign’s needs. If your product needs a lengthy description, then by all means, go for the thousand. You also have to gauge whether or not your target audience will respond positively to short or long articles.
Case studies are basically stories about your product that you tell your target prospects about the time you solved another customer’s problem by using your product or service. Hubspot also tells us that case studies can take on different forms: they can come in the form of podcasts, a blog post, an eBook, or a podcast. But it’s your content strategy that decides the appropriate form of your case study. Do you want to create your own template? Or do you wish to tell your story through another way? You also need to rely on your prior market research.
What’s important is that you are able to tell a good story to your prospects. Many of them will have already been considering your product, and they just need a little more push to take the next step.
These are a “handy content format” that “generates leads…while providing tremendous value to your audience.” Templates can be used by your customers to create their own content for sharing among their personal networks. If you give your customers appealing template tools, you can save yourself valuable time and help your customers stay engaged with your company all at once. You also ensure that they continue engaging with you in the future.
Infographics organize and summarize important data in a compelling and visually appealing format. They usually appear as digital posters online, which aim to educate people about a certain subject. Infographics are also a very handy tool to introduce your potential customers to your product—they will see everything they need to know about your product just by looking at your poster.
Another factor that makes infographics great is that it is clear and easy to understand. You don’t need to add further explanations to them. Just upload them and let them do the talking.
It’s undeniable that videos are incredibly engaging content. Most popular advertisements are videos, because people can relate immediately to the message of the video. They can put themselves in the shoes of the characters in the video. Its biggest drawback is that it requires a huge investment in time and resources to produce, but once you’ve invested in production, your marketing campaign becomes more likely to succeed.
Hubspot says that videos are “40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.” If your videos can reach millions of people in a single moment, then that’s millions of potential customers going to your website, or calling your representatives.
Podcasts are a recent thing, but they have become a useful marketing tool in today’s market. Everybody is busy wading through an ocean of content every day, so they won’t have enough time to sit down and study your product. With podcasts, your customers can just listen to your reps explain the benefits of your product whenever they want, wherever they want, whether during workouts or during commutes.
“In 2018, nearly one-third of the US population has listened to a podcast,” Hubspot says. To be successful, you need to find interesting people either to interview or host your podcast to keep your customers interested and engaged.
You can also re-purpose all the other content you have already produced and post them on social media. Social media has become a crucial, or pivotal, force for any successful marketing campaign. Not many people read a blog, for example, compared to people who scroll their Facebook timeline. With a smart content strategy, you can also wield the awesome power of social media for your company.
You simply need to study what type of content is more appropriate for a platform. For example, if you post on Instagram, you should post more photos, videos, or graphics to grab your customers’ attention, because visual content is what the platform is made for. Your content strategy here could “reflect current events, show off user-generated content, or even go behind the scenes of your organization.”
Different social media platforms also have different purposes. If you use Instagram or Snapchat, it’s because you want to strengthen your connections with your prospects. For Facebook or Twitter, though, you want to use them to expand your company’s reach to new markets and attract new customers. Your strategy with these two platforms should be designed to increase traffic to your website, and to begin conversations within your industry.
Your market research will help you identify the social platforms your customers use, and create appropriate content for them.
Once you’ve decided the type of content you want to make, and where you want to place them, now you have to come up with a content management plan to keep your content engagement going. But that’s a post for another time. Meanwhile, you can brush up on your desired content type and platform and let your imagination run free. Happy posting!