There’s more than one way to use content marketing services. In fact, taking a multi-pronged approach might be the best option for your brand. Different types of content will allow you to connect with different audiences at various stages of their journeys.
Get to know all of your options for content marketing services, and when it’s best to use which type.
Currently, video traffic makes up about three quarters of all internet traffic, according to Cisco. That’s expected to increase to more than 80 percent of all traffic by 2021. Video’s popularity is just one reason why it’s one of the top content marketing services.
Another reason for trying out video is that content with video is more likely to land on the first page of search results, as Fast Company reported. People who watch videos are also 85 percent more likely to buy a product, according to Thomson Reuters.
If you are going to create video content, make it short, sweet, and personal. Hubspot found that personalized videos had a retention rate that was 35 percent higher than non-personalized videos. More than half of viewers are likely to make it all the way to the end of a video that’s less than 90 seconds long, while only about 10 percent of viewers watch until the end of a 30-minute video.
This video from a2 Milk (a milk designed for people who are allergic to certain milk proteins) is a great example of video content marketing. It’s relatively short, it’s personalized (for people suffering from A1 allergies), and it’s creative.
White papers are in-depth reports that offer solutions to perceived problems. According to Purdue OWL, most white papers present a solution as the best way to go about solving a particular problem. When used for marketing, a white paper’s goal is usually to persuade a reader in some way.
Although a white paper is meant to be persuasive, it’s important that it not be overly promotional. You don’t necessarily want to come out and say “our product is the best for X!” But you do want the reader to reach that conclusion on his or her own.
White papers usually don’t have the razzle dazzle of other content marketing services. They can be denser than most ebooks or other forms of written online content. If you’re wondering what type of tone to take with your white paper, or what the average length is, the American Marketing Association has a library full of white papers that you can look at to get a good idea of how the content format works.
Although people tend to think of visual and written content when they think of content marketing services, you don’t want to neglect audio content. If you haven’t tried them already, podcasts are a great tool to add to your content marketing services toolbox.
One of the biggest benefits of podcasts is that they can be listened to pretty much anywhere, according to Entrepreneur. A person who’s cooking dinner or going for a run can’t exactly read a blog post or watch a video. But he or she can put a podcast on and listen to it while engaged in another task or activity.
One of the best content marketing services, a webinar is an online seminar, lecture, or workshop. Webinars let your brand strengthen relationships with existing customers and find new ones, since most ask participants to sign up with email addresses. Webinars also give your brand a chance to really show its stuff and position itself as an authority on a particular subject.
For a few good examples of well-done webinars, look at LinkedIn. The social platform has a series of on-demand webinars that let content marketers learn more about B2B content marketing and using LinkedIn for marketing.
Given a choice, the brain will pick images over text every time. According to Thomson-Reuters, the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. The vast majority of information that makes its way to the brain is visual, and around 40 percent of people respond better to a picture or visual than to a block of words.
This brings us to infographics, or content marketing services that present data and information visually. In short, infographics help an audience process and understand a lot of potentially complicated information quickly and easily. They are the ultimate form of snackable content.
Infographics also happen to be pretty good for the brands who use them. According to Thomson Reuters, posts that have an infographic are able to boost traffic by 12 percent.
Slideshares are essentially PowerPoint presentation content marketing services. These presentations live on the web, and that can be looked at by a wide audience, not only those who attend a live presentation.
The best slideshares are visually engaging, easy to read, and colorful (but not too colorful). If you decide to use slideshares as part of your content marketing strategy, take a look at several existing shares to see what works and what doesn’t. LinkedIn’s Slideshare is an ideal site to visit to get ideas for your own presentation, and to see what works for others and what doesn’t.
People still read email, and using an email newsletter or other types of messages is a great way to connect with them. When it comes to content marketing services, email marketing has a pretty high return on investment. Constant Contact reports that email marketers can expect a return of $38 for every dollar spent.
The big challenges email marketers face is getting people to open their messages and actually take action once they do so.
Like webinars and white papers, ebooks are great content marketing services to use to generate leads and reach a new audience. Ebooks tend to have a bit more pizzazz and interactivity than white papers, so your audience is more likely to engage with them, rather than use them as a source of pure information.
There are several ways you can go about creating an ebook. You can start from scratch with just a subject or topic and do all the research necessary, then write the book. You can also interview other people, then use the interviews as the main sources for the book.
Unlike white papers, ebooks don’t have to be only text. You can include graphics and images in them to make them more exciting and engaging for the reader.
When ebooks are used for lead generation, brands often give them out for free, in exchange for email addresses. Some brands do charge a small fee for their books. Whether you do that or not depends on your overall goal.
Blogs are kind of like the OG content marketing services. At one point, it seemed like every brand thought it needed to have a blog, either to keep up with Google or just to establish some authority online.
While not every brand necessarily needs a blog or could make good use of one, blogs are still a worthwhile form of content marketing. Having a blog on your brand’s website can help increase your traffic. It can also help increase website visitors into leads, and give your brand some authority.
Starting a blog can be as easy as writing a post and putting it online. But most brands have moved past that by this point. It also helps to have a content schedule in place, as well as a plan for promoting your blog posts.
Remember that blogs don’t have to be purely text, and they don’t have to be solely about your company. Brands that blog well, such as Anthropologie, cover a range of topics that appeal to their audience, and feature images and other visual content, as well as text.
One form of content marketing services that are on the rise is interactive content. That is, content that requires the participation of the audience in some way. More than half of marketers surveyed for a white paper produced by the Content Marketing Institute said they were using interactive content marketing at some point during the buyer’s journey.
Quizzes, calculators, and surveys are three examples of interactive content. If you want to see a shiny example of interactive content in action, you can take a look at Buzzfeed. The site is known for its quizzes, such as “Pick Six Shows to Binge-Watch and We’ll Tell You Which Book to Read Instead” and “Are You Cultured Enough to Ace This Shakespeare Quiz?”
People like to learn from the experience of others, or at least get a sense of what someone else’s experience has been with a brand. Case studies reveal a particular customer’s experience with a brand. They bring a product to life by telling the story behind it — and, as Fast Company pointed out, a good story is what really sells a product.
To create a case study, you need a customer who’s willing to share his or her experience with your brand with the world. You also need stats and figures to back up the story and make it more “real” for your reader. Another thing to keep in mind as you put together a case study is how it looks. You don’t want it to be a dense block of text. The more white space there is and the more images you use, the better.
Like ebooks and webinars, online courses, or “ecourses,” are great for getting new leads. They are also great for showcasing your brand’s authority or knowledge, as you’ll be sharing some of that knowledge with the people who sign up for the course.
The great thing about ecourses is that you can run them over and over again, with only a small amount of time invested on your part. Once you have the materials created, the ecourse can pretty much run itself.
Ecourses can be on pretty much any subject, and can include a range of content. You might give students texts to read and videos to watch, or assign topics for discussions. Whether there’s graded materials like quizzes or papers is up to you. If you’re not sure what an ecourse can look like, or want some examples for inspiration, check out SkillShare. It has thousands of courses on a wide range of topics, from crafts to business.