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Keep surprising them to keep them coming back for more.
Did you know that content marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a brand, business or cause? It consistently delivers more sales leads than mass advertising and is usually only outperformed by email marketing. The results can be extraordinary.
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), content generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing and typically costs about 62% less. Businesses are responding by re-calibrating their budgets to enable an increased output of content to feed an increasingly ravenous audience base.
This makes it an extremely hard-working tactic within the marketing mix and can help companies and brands achieve numerous objectives, including building credibility, fostering engagement and growing an audience. Content is also now playing a larger role in improving SEO efforts, boosting website traffic and driving conversions. When everything is integrated seamlessly, it can also be a huge driver of brand advocacy among customers.
New formats of content emerge every year. The tried-and-true range from blogs to infographics to white papers. The most popular formats among young creators veer toward video, audio and gaming. All of them have a time and place within a well-integrated marketing plan and can generate surprisingly efficient returns when layered in strategic and creative ways.
According to Social Media Today, the average company that consistently blogs receives 55% more website visitors than a company who doesn’t. Blogging is an economical way for businesses to drive website traffic while bringing their personality and tone to life. They’re also a fantastic way to boost SEO efforts giving search engines new content to index. Partnered with keyword optimization, blogs can also be a cost-effective way to capture organic search traffic from perspective customers.
According to Digital Information World, infographics are 30 times more likely to be read in their entirety than blog posts or news articles. Infographics are a fantastic way to simplify complicated information into a visual and easy-to-understand format and provide readers with compelling information that can help reinforce the story. When executed correctly, infographics can strengthen expertise, drive traffic to a website, and help support SEO efforts.
71% of businesses have used white papers in the last year to research before making a purchase. Whitepapers are an in-depth piece of writing on a topic that identifies a problem and then offers a solution. They’re designed to educate an audience on a current issue and look to promote a particular approach, service or product that can provide a solution. Whitepapers are a great tool to help customers decide whether or not to purchase your product or service.
Social Media Posts, Stories, Live Chats & Video
According to Sprout Social, Internet users spend an average of 2.5 hours per day on social media, making it an excellent option for showcasing content to a large audience. When creating social content, it’s important to always think story first, but it’s also important to consider the channel it will land on. The same story may work cross-platform, but the format will likely vary. Format options for social media include photos, live videos, pre-recorded videos, branded filters, etc. Strong social content can help generate awareness, keep your brand or company top of mind, help manage reputation, create a relationship with your customers, drive advocacy and much more.
A recent survey found that the average person who had listened to a podcast in the last month had spent an average of 6 hours of listening per week. With the rise in social listening, podcasts have become an excellent way for companies and brands to spread their wings while showcasing new ideas, providing their POV on current topics, and positioning themselves as authorities in their industry.
Email marketing may be one of the hardest working content channels in your arsenal. According to DMA, every $1 spent on email marketing can generate a return of up to $42. So, Newsletters can be a great way to help qualify leads that have shown interest in your business. An effective strategy can flip prospects into customers and first-time buyers into returning customers. Best of all? You can automate the deployment process and use tracking tools to learn more about how your readers are interacting with your content.
eBooks are a non-editable book that is converted into a digital format. They are an excellent tool for building credibility and authority within a given industry. They’re also a great way to help grow your email marketing list. Because they’re perceived to be of high value, customers are more likely to give up their information. This can easily be done by creating an SEO-optimized landing page that drives people to sign-up for the eBook in exchange for this information (and a new potential lead).
According to Cisco, by next year, online videos will make up more than three-quarters of all consumer internet traffic (making it 15 times higher than it was 4 years ago). As video has grown in popularity, new technology has made it possible for video to take on many different formats, including 360-degree experiences, ephemeral and shoppable videos. Whatever the format, videos can help boost SEO, drive conversions, and drive engagement.
Live Streaming Events
2021 continues to be a big year for live streaming. According to Tech Jury, the live streaming industry is expected to be worth more than $184 billion by 2027. With people spending most of their time at home, live streaming is a great way to connect with customers without interacting with them in person.
Customers continue to crave authenticity from the companies that they know and trust. User-generated content is a fantastic (and very cost-effective way) to achieve this. Ads that are based on UGC typically get 4x higher click-through rates than average ads. By putting customers at the centre of the story and allowing them to tell their story in their own voice, brands can look to build more meaningful and authentic conversations with their audience.
According to DemandGen, interactive content is twice as likely to get engagement compared to static content. So, what exactly is it? Interactive content is designed to engage an audience based on their contribution. For example, when a visitor reaches a website and is asked to provide their information via a form in exchange for a free quote. Interactive content can also take the form of quizzes, polls and surveys. In most cases, interactive content helps you gather data that can tell you more about your audience, making it easier to create content that will resonate.
Digital Ads (They count, too!)
Content developed specifically for paid advertising can help you reach a larger and more targeted audience. It’s most useful when included as part of a larger effort. Paid advertising gives you the flexibility of creating content for several different formats and a number of different channels (like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest).
Want to dig deeper into Content Marketing? We’re happy to do some brainstorming with you.