What’s the best way to connect with your audience?
Content marketing lets you create and distribute valuable, relevant content on a consistent basis to a clearly defined audience, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
But with so many content marketing channels out there, it can be daunting to sort through all of your options to identify the right fit for your message and your prospects.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 9 different types of content marketing, along with examples of how other organizations have used them successfully.
#1: Blog Posts
Want to give existing customers a reason to come back to your website? Or make it easy for new customers to find you when searching for information?
Blog writing is a great way to deliver quality content on a regular basis.
- Whole Foods shows the importance of going beyond the “hard sell” with regular blog posts that resonate with its customers’ lifestyle and values.
- With her down-to-earth appeal, celebrity chef Ree Drummond has achieved blogging success with The Pioneer Woman — illustrating the importance of authenticity with online audiences.
- Virgin CEO Richard Branson uses his blog to share some of the wit, wisdom and passion that have made him one of the most respected business leaders in the world today.
These and other examples of well-crafted blogs appear on Business.com’s recent list of 7 award-winning blogs to emulate.
#2: Online Newsroom
Publishing online articles lets you share news with customers, journalists and other influential audiences who have an interest in your company, your industry or areas of expertise.
Some organizations simply include newsworthy items in an existing blog, while others set up a separate online newsroom, which may include upcoming events, new products, fact sheets or research results.
For example, Prudential posts timely news stories and research reports, and makes subject-matter experts available to journalists for interviews. This helps the company earn coverage in respected media outlets. In 2016 it was featured on Business2Community’s list of its top 5 online newsrooms.
#3: Website Content
When someone lands on your homepage, what’s the first thing they need to see? What questions need answering without having to scroll or click?
Your website — especially your homepage — is your online front door. It’s where you make that all-important first impression.
- Does your content make it clear what you do?
- Are you speaking in language your audience will understand, or do you overload them with jargon?
- Is there an interactive call to action that makes it easy to do business with you?
Organizations like Freshbooks, eWedding and charity: water make excellent use of these principles as noted in Hubspot’s recent list of its top 20 homepage designs.
#4: Social Media Posts
When the lights went out at the Super Bowl back in 2013, Oreo responded with a now-legendary tweet that read “Power out? No problem” along with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark.”
This illustrates the power of social media to put your brand in the heart of the conversation when the moment is right.
Social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other popular services give you the chance to learn from your fans and provide them with promotions and other content that builds valuable relationships.
Want to organize an interactive presentation without the hassle of plane tickets and hotel bookings?
A webinar lets you have a conversation with customers, prospects, colleagues and other individuals — even if everyone is in a different time zone. You can answer critical questions, demonstrate the benefits of a product or service, or teach new skills.
Kissmetrics discusses the insights gained in a review of the company’s five most successful webinars on topics ranging from analytics to starting a new business.
- Give your audience actionable information they can use right away.
- Balance your content so that it’s both understandable to the novice and interesting to those with prior knowledge.
Let’s say you’ve got lots of numbers to share. How do you present all of that data without putting everyone to sleep?
This is where an infographic can help. Infographics give you an eye-catching way to publish numerical information. When created and promoted effectively, they invite sharing, enhance SEO and drive web traffic.
When the Beatles’ songs became available on all of the online streaming services, Dueling Data decided to mark the occasion with a colorful infographic filled with interesting stats about the band. Earlier this year CreativeBloq named it as one of the 100 Best Infographics.
#7: Online Video
You can bring your message to life and create an emotional impact with current and potential customers by publishing an effective video online.
Android’s “Friends Furever” uses a playfully curated montage of friendships between different kinds of animals to communicate its heartwarming, positive message of “Be together. Not the same.”
It was the most-shared online video of 2015 according to data from ad tech company Unruly and reported by Hubspot.
An eBook presents helpful information in a readable, engaging format.
The Content Marketing Institute’s 100 Content Marketing Examples does just that by offering a plethora of online and offline ideas for delivering great content to your target audience — ranging from printed books to online blogs, virtual meetings and entertaining videos.
Your eBooks may include original content, a compilation of articles or other well-curated source material.
#9: White Papers
A white paper is an in-depth report that informs your audience about topics of interest. It’s an excellent way to communicate with B2B customers.
Your reports may include real-world examples, primary and secondary research, as well as your own subject matter expertise.
On its Marketeer blog, Kapost gives its Top 5 companies that have used white papers effectively.
One of these companies, DocuSign, boasts an extensive online library that includes white papers on how e-signatures benefit organizations across different industries. For example, in Realizing Value in Mortgages with e-Signature, DocuSign explains how mortgage lenders can close more loans and increase revenue by switching from a paper-based closing process to one that uses digital forms.
So how will you talk to your audience?
We hope the list and content marketing examples above will help you provide valuable content and build customer relationships.
What are your thoughts on content marketing? Get in touch with us or post a comment below. We’d love to hear your ideas!