Mobile technology means the answer to any question is never more than a tap or swipe away. With statistics from January 2018 revealing that 68 percent of the world population uses mobile technology, it’s obvious why content marketing is such an important part of any marketing strategy. You need it to ensure that when users reach for their phones in search of answers, they find you. Good content has the potential to improve your search ranking, raise brand awareness, encourage sales, and promote brand loyalty to increase the frequency of repeat business. But getting the most out of your content means hitting all your demographics in the right place at the right time, which requires the right content marketing mix.
Types of Content
There are many different types of content, each appealing to certain types of people or certain people at different points along the path to making a purchase with your company. It’s important to know what options are available to your marketing team, so you know how to use them best.
- Blogs: Articles on your company blog are a solid way to attract consumers, as they improve your search ranking. This is a cost-effective way to grow an audience organically and to position your site as a source of quality information. Short-form content is good for generating interest, although long-form content lets you drill into subjects in greater detail.
- Infographics: The human brain is better at understanding and recalling visual information. People recall only 10 percent of audible information but retain 65 percent if there’s also an image. Infographics impart information quickly and are better at catching someone’s attention compared to blocks of text.
- Videos: A video is instantly engaging and easy to share across social media. Videos can be short or long, funny or serious, persuasive or informative. They could also provide an excellent way to demonstrate how to use products and services. Statistics from Forbes suggest that 90 percent of consumers find product videos useful when making purchasing decisions.
- Newsletters: A regular newsletter is a good way to generate sales leads. Ask a site visitor for an email address, and in return you have the opportunity to send product updates and special offers.
- White papers and eBooks: A white paper is a way of building your reputation as a thought leader. If you have important, valuable information, share it among peers and establish a name for yourself so when other companies are looking for business partners, your name springs to mind. White papers and eBooks are also a good way to capture sales leads, as it’s possible to ask for some contact details in exchange for receiving the documents.
- User-generated content: You don’t have to do all the work yourself. Including testimonials and reviews on your site is a good way to offer potential customers valuable information. Statistics suggest that 64 percent of consumers actively seek reviews before committing to a purchase, with 75 percent of people believing user-generated content is more authentic.
Selecting the Right Content
Selecting the right type of content involves understanding your audience and knowing what it needs. A good way to create an effective content mix involves producing content that talks to people at each step along the path to making a purchase, from the initial first contact that raises brand awareness to the in-depth information that gives the customer the confidence to buy.
- Raising awareness: Before it’s possible to think about encouraging people to buy a product, you need to make them aware that a product exists. Social media plays a vital role in this step, as it offers the necessary platform for reaching a wide audience. Partnering with an influencer to run an influencer marketing campaign is a good idea, as it gives you the opportunity to showcase products to a loyal fan base while gaining an endorsement from a trusted content creator. At this stage, an important goal is getting people to visit your official site to learn more.
- Generating leads and encouraging purchases: Once someone has visited your site, you need to take steps to turn that person into a sales lead by acquiring some contact information. For example, you may ask for an email address in exchange for an eBook or white paper or request details for a newsletter subscription. Having great content on your site — including blogs and webinars — makes it more likely that visitors will subscribe. Don’t underestimate the value of user-generated content, such as reviews and testimonials.
- Developing brand loyalty: A new customer making a single purchase is great, but a new customer who becomes a loyal brand follower and makes regular purchases is the ultimate goal. It’s possible to build brand loyalty by constantly engaging your customers, sending them regular newsletters, and developing a fun and informative social media presence that encourages them to like and share what you’re doing. You need to make sure your customers are always thinking about you, and you should always position yourself as the primary solutions provider they need.
Successful Content Marketing Brands
When planning your content marketing mix, consider what other successful brands have achieved. For example, Land Rover partners with photographers to produce travelogues. Social media posts, blogs, and videos combine to show interesting real-world stories about people using their Land Rovers in breathtaking locations. Meanwhile, Mazda uses a brand magazine to build a community and encourage user-generated content, and Barclaycard has a content hub for sharing news and insights for small businesses.
In the Mix: Final Thoughts for Getting It Right
If you aren’t using content marketing you’re behind the curve. Statistics show that 91 percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing, so there’s no time like the present to get involved. But before you start, keep in mind that the right content marketing mix is essential. Your mix is as individual as your brand, reflecting your company’s overall goals and specific needs at any given point — and there’s no single recipe for success. Think about your potential customers and what information they’re looking for at different points in the sales funnel, and then make sure you have that information readily available so they seek you out among the clutter and noise of the internet.
Remember that innovation is key to evolution. If you find something that works, keep doing it — but allow a little time and effort to experiment with new ideas that have the potential to open up new avenues for sales. Just ensure you stick to your budget and have a strong mission statement with clearly defined goals, so your content marketing mix doesn’t risk stirring up trouble.