So far in this series of blog posts we have looked at the general qualities and characteristics of what makes good quality, laser focused content.
To conclude, in this article we are going to be more specific and look at the different types of content marketing formats you should be using to attract the widest possible audience to your website.
High Quality Content Content
Before we do lets recap on the importance of a content marketing strategy to any online business.
High quality content must form the foundation of any online business.
It should also do the following:
- Demonstrates your expertise and authority to potential customers.
- Enables you to tailor messages to the audience you are trying to attract.
- Improve the retention time on a website.
- Improves your position within the Google SERPS pages and, ultimately, makes it easier for people to find you.
No one size fits all
But there is no one size fits all approach to content marketing when it comes to the delivery formats. For example, your audience may prefer you communicate your messages through video over text formats. Or, they may prefer to listen to audio content over viewing numerical data.
A variety of content formats
It is this variation which means any small business owner must now employ a variety of approaches when using content to promote their website
So, with this in mind, lets take a look at the most common types of Content Marketing formats and how best you can use them to promote your business.
Blog posts are what could be called one of the more traditional formats. They are relatively easy to construct, they can build you into an authority in your niche, and they can also be repurposed for other types of content usage. For example, I have seen many Internet Marketers use them as scripts for podcast shows.
They are also an excellent way of achieving external links for your website. This is done through what is called guest blogging. The objective here for a business owner is to write a blog article on another website, that links back to the original website. However it must not be a randomly picked website but one that has a high authority within the relevant industry. Once the post has been created and the link established, Google will increase the quality score of your website and in the process allow it to be found more easily by potential customers.
Stick to a blogging schedule
The other point to bear in mind with blogging is have a schedule and stick to it! If Google sees a regular flow of content coming from your site, then they are more likely to go back and index it on a regular basis. This way your visibility will improve with the search engines.
The statistics would certainly seem to support the above observations:
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month.
Long Form Content
Long form content can be any article that exceeds 3000 words. This type of content probably takes the greatest amount of time to produce as there is significant research involved.
An alternative is to look at what types of long form content already exist in your industry and try and improve on these with original content.
There are many excellent examples of long form content, none more so than this 17,000 word article on SEO (search engine optimisation) migration from MOZ.
As you can see long form content uses an mix of content formats and although it can eat into resources, it has been shown to be very popular when it comes to sharing content across sites.
So, where would this type of content be of use to a small business owner. Well let us say you are a plumber, you could write the Ultimate Guide to fixing showers and sinks.
This would give readers of your site a resource they could keep coming back to. If they find it useful they'd also probably want to share it with others.
Sites that produce long form content also tend to be given a higher authority ranking by Google.
Video has become one of the most trusted content formats as it gives a ‘face’ to your online business
This visual content can take one of a number of formats:
- It can introduce a member of staff.
- A product’s features can be displayed.
- A tutorial can be provided on how to operate a piece of machinery or use a piece of software.
The Internet is a crowded space and many companies have not yet explored this medium, but video can give you a competitive advantage by allowing you to visualise your offering and in the process build trust between you and your customers.
If you are in any doubt about using video for your business then check the following stats:
- 85% of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. This shows that video content can improve engagement with your online business.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine. It receives more than 1.5 billion users per month and plays over 1 billion hours of video each day to users.
As a business owner, videos can be inserted into any section of your website.
Alternatively, you may wish to create external links to your site by building a YouTube channel for your business and linking back to your site from this source.
Infographics are a great way to present numerical data in a visual format. Sometimes numbers can be hard for the naked eye to dissect.
The solution to this problem is to use an Infographic.
An infographic is a preperpared and formatted template ready to be populated with numbers and text.
Below is a good example of an engaging infographic from the digital marketer Neil Patel.
As we can see he is displaying the importance of site speed to online business owners.
The information would have undoubtedly been harder to describe just using text.
High SEO value
What are the advantages to using this type of content
- Once they have been viewed users normally remember and share them.
- Once shared they are easy to embed on websites and social media platforms..
- As a piece of content they are easy track and measure.
- Search engines like them which means their SEO value is high.
- They show you are the expert in your market.
Content isn’t all about stimulating the visual senses. In the last 5 years there has been an explosion in auditory content. This has been led by the invention of podcasting.
Podcasting is essentially downloadable audio slots covering a variety of niches and interests.
Like video, podcasts increase the amount of time a user spends on a website, listening to content. However, unlike video, its much easier to consume the content as you can carry it around with you. This gives it an extra shelf life for advertising messages and branding.
Currently, across the globe, there are more than 700,000 active podcasts covering a 100 languages
Business is one of the top 5 categories within the podcasting market, so it shows the importance of including podcasting content in your marketing mix.
Source: Nielsen, Edison
Case Studies provide companies the opportunity to demonstrate authority and expertise in a particularly work based scenario. Lets say you are a marketing company and you want to show how you improved a company's position on Google by using a combination of paid and organic SEO.
Case Studies build trust
What this this type of content allows you to do is build trust between you and potential customers by showing how you can solve their problems also
Case Studies are normally presented on website as downloadable reports amounting to no more than 5 pages.
White Papers on the other hand tend to look at the bigger picture and are approximately 10 to 15 pages in length. For example, if you are a digital marketing company you may want to present information about your industry in general, and how digital marketing can provide solutions to potential marketing problems. This would appeal to users who may be considering implementing a digital marketing strategy.
Again, White Papers are offered as downloadable reports on websites.
Although there are subtle differences between Case Studies and White Papers, the common objective they both share is they are designed to create leads and sales.
Checklists are really just paired down outlines of blog posts, but people find them particularly addictive. They mostly appeal to time poor people who want quick answers to a subject or topic.
For example, '25 Signs You Drink Too Much Wine' or the only 'digital marketing checklist you will ever need.'
I hope this analysis of types of content marketing has proved interesting and useful.
Content is definitely a great way to develop engagement with potential customers of your products, but creating quality content takes time.
At thehostingpool, we are experts in creating quality content marketing strategies for companies
To see how we can help you build yours, please call us on 01 230 3645
Digital Marketing /IT Specialist
Connect with me on: