Engaging your target audience enough to generate leads and sales can be difficult at times. To maintain steady website traffic and ensure that your customers come back for more, you need to give them what they want. According to Forbes, content marketing is the most effective way to develop meaningful relationships with readers and satisfy their ‘strive for the unknown’. Below you’ll find the 10 winning types of content that most customers willingly consume in 2018.
A recent article by Forbes revealed that 84% of marketers find infographics extremely effective for conceiving their ideas and presenting them to online audiences. While this method can be used as a standalone tool to provoke thoughts or demonstrate some unique or surprising findings, it’s also valuable for enriching your blog posts, telling a story about your company or sharing some key figures related to your products popularity and value.
- Educational and How-To Videos
As today’s customers spend more and more time online, their ‘attention span’ is constantly decreasing due to the abundance of textual and visual information, which is why the majority of websites are starting to publish ‘reading time’ under their materials. In this situation, transforming some of your FAQ sections into a brief explanation video or publishing a Q&A video response to some repeating customer questions can be a very good idea. Besides gaining your audience’s gratitude, this will allow you to build trust and expand the ‘upper funnel’ for your lead generation. To educate your audience, videos often prove to be the right choice.
- Blog Posts and Podcasts
While this content type is not new, this type of content can be especially useful to convey a sense of personal communication rather than a uniform brand experience. By offering multiple publications from several high-quality authors, your company can maintain continuous interest towards its website or social media community. This can be particularly useful in professional services marketing and in a b2b marketing context. That said, a recent study suggests that the textual blog format is being gradually replaced by podcasts that are easier to listen ‘on the go’ and provide for the same experience without having to find the patience for reading long texts.
Be it the latest meme picture or live Instagram coverage of your company event, visual images have a unique power of appealing to your customers. Moreover, attractive visual materials published on social media can create thousands of likes and shares in a matter of hours and make your marketing message go viral. While this form of content may be less informative than specialised texts and videos, it’s much easier to consume and share, which makes it one of the fastest and most effective engagement channels.
- Long Articles
While modern users are accustomed to browsing through news headlines and short posts in a matter of seconds, there is nothing like a good old expansive how-to guide if you want to perform some complex and arduous activity like preparing your tax return, migrating your website or learning the basics of social media marketing. A recent Moz.com study based on 1 million articles revealed that long articles were steadily gaining more likes and shares than their shorter counterparts, which can be viewed as a highly significant trend for online marketers.
- Product-Related Videos
According to Google, video format is preferred over texts and visual images by more than 40% of all millennials who want to learn more about companies and their work. Hence, shooting reviews and presentations of your products or explaining your business principles and ethics on camera can be a powerful way to engage your younger consumers. One should keep in mind that both graphical and textual content must be tailored to the tastes and needs of the target audience to cater to their hedonic and utilitarian needs.
- Original Research
According to BuzzSumo, this form of content can instantly add a sense of authority to your materials and increase the amount of likes and shares. Extensive research instantly shows that your statements and opinions are well substantiated and are grounded in real-life data rather than marketing promises. However, it may be more effective to publish such articles on industry-recognised websites or to cooperate with established and well-known organisations to give more credibility to your findings.
As a textual alternative to How-To videos, E-books can be a powerful trust-building method and produce a large amount of leads for your company. Being another ‘long read’ format, they offer the same benefits as long articles and blog posts but in a more organised form. This allows you to discuss more complex topics, present a certain problem to your consumers and demonstrate how they can solve it using your products.
- Viral and Trending Content
While this form of content is usually associated with social media, it allows marketers to quickly utilise the most recent trends for driving substantial volumes of traffic to company pages. According to Inc.com, this instrument relies on an instant emotional response, which blends well with striking quantitative information, regional targeting, visualisation of research findings and the focus on data rather than your marketing message. However, this format has a short-term nature and works best when you apply it to promote recently launched products or brand campaigns.
This format can be invaluable for people-focused businesses seeking to promote their services in a cost-efficient manner. Educational videos can only give consumers a grasp of what your company is capable of. Direct communication with your experts, on the other hand, is a unique immersive experience boosting trust levels manifold. You can also upload successful webinars to your online resources to generate even more leads from new consumers.
Content marketing is constantly evolving and modern technologies such as virtual reality (VR) may completely change the way we advertise goods and services in the next several years. However, we believe in the ‘old is gold’ mentality and encourage you to use these tried-and-true techniques as an inspiration for developing your own unique style of communicating with customers.
About the author:
Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in both freelancing and academic writing industries, specialising in Business, Economics, Finance, Marketing and Management.