There are two approaches when it comes to content marketing. You can throw a bunch of crap against the wall and hope that some of it sticks, or you can create well thought-out content that connects with your audience and results in organic sharing as well as new customers.
It is important that you know what type of content your target audience will respond to. For example, if you are targeting business decision-makers, a creative video may draw in younger executives, while a detailed case study may work better for the older crowd.
There isn’t one particular content format that will outperform the others in every situation. It requires testing to find the sweet spot. Here are five extremely effective content formats to consider.
1. Case studies. If you want your audience to know why your product or service is the answer to their problems, then a case study is a great way to deliver that message. Not only can case studies help draw your target audience in, but they are also a great way to attract press, links and additional traffic from other credible websites.
2. E-books. An e-book is a digital publication that is downloadable as a PDF (portable document format). If you create an e-book, make sure there is some meat to it. For example, the eBook my company gives away on our site is more than 80 pages.
Make sure that there is some substance to it, and don’t just throw it together quickly for the sake of offering an e-book. This is a good way to build early-stage business relationships. An e-book isn’t shared the same way a blog post or infographic is, but you can be certain readers will recommend it to others if they deem it informative.
3. Podcasts. This a very unique way to connect with your target audience. You can create an informational resource similar to an e-book, but record it and offer it as a digital audio download. You can also take it a step further and create a weekly or monthly podcast series.
The biggest benefit of podcasts is the convenience factor they offer your listeners. I personally have a few that I listen to each month. I download them onto my iPod and listen to them while doing cardio at the gym or while driving.
4. Videos. It is no secret that consumers love videos, and this gives you a great opportunity to present your message in a way that consumers will identify as fun and unique, instead of the same thing every other company is putting in front of them. Companies such as The Dollar Shave Club and Poo-Pourri used clever viral shock-video marketing to create a huge social buzz for their brands.
Videos are quite easy to share. Take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and you will most likely see a video within the first few posts. Creating a clever, yet informative video is a great way to deliver a message.
5. Infographics. An infographic is a great way to combine interesting facts and statistics along with a visually-appealing design to capture the attention of your audience. It is no secret that infographics generally receive a lot of social media love, and a successful infographic will introduce a wide range of consumers to your brand.
You can also use infographics as link bait. Reach out to major online publications within your industry when you publish a successful infographic and simply ask them if they would like to take a look at it. If they respond, send them a link and offer to write an introductory paragraph if they would like to publish it on their website. This is another great way to earn links and drive more traffic back to your site.
Have you had favorable experience with additional content formats? If so, let us know about them in the comments below.
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