Original post: 15/02/2016
By now everyone who has a website understands how important content is to generating traffic and converting visitors. High-quality content raises brand awareness and encourage conversions on your website while also provide web crawlers with loads of new search terms to index and score.
It sounds great, but how do you get started? Thinking of how to approach content is a critical step in creating a long term content marketing plan. We’ve revisited and updated our sage advice to help you come up with the ideas to start running a successful content marketing campaign.
Types of Content
#1 – Blogging
You may already have a blog on your website, but have you thought about a regular blog content schedule? Depending on your industry, a blog can be a great way to collate and share important information with your audience while also linking readers to relevant pages.
Blogging also improves the visibility of your website, can increase your time on-site metrics and establish trust between you and your reader.
However, there can be some drawbacks. Especially if you have dates on your blog, not updating it regularly can make your website seem out of date or inactive. Before starting a blog, be sure that you will be able to consistently write and upload related content to your industry.
Blogging is the simplest way to improve your content strategy but it is also one of the busiest. The internet is awash with blogs and insight so it’s important to focus on quality, not quantity. There is lots of poor quality content being shared that dilutes the overall perception from audiences so standing out with something special can really help you get the most out of your content plan.
In addition to this, unless your blog is an absolutely gripping piece of literary genius, most users won’t read it all. Users are reacting less and less to the written word, and more to visual media, so you may need to tailor your campaign accordingly and include easy-to-consume elements like images, infographics, and videos.
Having trouble creating content for your blog? Take a look at our blog about coming up with blog ideas.
#2 – Infographics
One type of content that is not currently facing over-saturation, and easily engages audiences, is infographics.
Infographics are a great way of displaying information visually, to allow easy consumption by your audience. Take, for example, our infographic about salary and progression within the design industry. Have a look at a little extract from the infographic in question:
It clearly outlines the different paths you can take to reach the top levels of progression within the design industry.
Now, let’s have a look at how that same image would come across in text form:
“There are several possible paths you can take within the graphic design industry to reach the top levels. All start with the role of Junior Designer. It is important to gain experience in this role before moving on to tackle bigger, better ones. After receiving experience as a Junior Designer, you can then move on to the role of a Mid-Weight Designer. From there, there are multiple opportunities to progress. Dependent on your experience, skill, and dedication, you can progress from Mid-Weight Designer to almost any other role; Senior Designer, Studio Manager, Art Director, or Creative Director.”
Which of the two more clearly presented the information, and which of the two did you engage with more? The answer is probably the infographic because it is so much quicker and easier to consume.
We’re by no means saying that infographics are better than blogs in all situations, but they can condense a lot of information into small, easy-to-read chunks.
#3 – Videos
Videos give you the best of both worlds, but can be more expensive and time-consuming to create. You get the visual element from a video, which keeps your audience engaged, but can also broadcast a lot of information easily within your content.
Videos can also serve multiple outlets and can be used on-site pages, blogs, and social media. So even if there is an additional cost, it can pay for itself across multiple platforms.
Check out our video about Google Remarketing below:
This video gives helpful information about how Google Remarketing works, whilst providing visual elements to reinforce the information given. Using this technique, you can present more information more quickly and easily than if you ask your users to read a blog or view an infographic.
#4 – Podcasts
If there’s one thing that’s come from lockdown it’s the massive boom in podcasts. There are podcasts that cover absolutely everything from business insights to who would win in a fight between a T-rex and Sylvester Stallone? Millions of people regularly tune into podcasts to learn and even escape the every day so why not create a content plan around this fascinating medium?
All you need is a microphone and a group of people that know what they’re talking about. You can do a podcast with just one person (there are plenty of examples of this), but as with radio shows, having multiple people creates a more relaxed approach, allowing discussion of your topics over reading directly from a script. This approach is more user-friendly, allowing the audience to feel like part of the conversation.
What to talk about?
Now you’ve got an idea of the types of content that can get you started, it’s time to look at subjects. You can’t create a great piece of content if you’ve got nothing to talk about, and content marketing is not about just promoting your services. You need something to talk about. Here are just a few ideas.
#5 – “How To”
The most basic form of content marketing that can be applied to any of the types of content above. There are things within your industry (it’s the same in every industry) that your customers wonder at. “How do I do this?” they ask, “How does that thing work?”
Chances are, if you’re working within the industry, you already know how “that thing” works, so share that information with your audience.
“But,” we hear you say, “If I tell my customers how to do that thing, why would they then pay me to do that thing?”
The idea behind this is to provide enough information that they can make a start by themselves if they want to, but not enough for them to become an expert (which is what you are).
This makes total sense and isn’t even considered a ‘sneaky’ tactic. Could you explain everything about everything you do within your industry in a couple of hundred words? Of course not! This blog has already surpassed 1,000 words, and we haven’t even started on the most advanced stuff you need to consider when starting a content marketing campaign.
By providing your customers with this most valuable information, though, you increase the chance of them returning to your business if they want to take their knowledge that extra step further.
#6 – Industry News
Do you subscribe to any news channels/blogs/videos/etc.? If your audience is interested in your industry, they’re most definitely interested in up-to-date news about your industry.
Whether you discuss it in a podcast or video, just report the news in a blog, or create an infographic to outline how it changes your industry, content marketing is a great way to share news and updates about a particular subject. Industry news also allows you to show off your experience and get readers thinking; “Wow these guys really know their stuff.”
#7 – Behind The Scenes
Why not show your customers what you’re doing for them? Giving your audience a look behind the scenes can help promote a sense of community, and lead to a more loyal customer base.
It is said by many marketing experts (including us) that users trust a company more when it has “a face”. What we mean by that is that by showing the real people that help keep your business running, your company instantly becomes more personable and likeable.
#8 – Tips & Tricks
Very similar in tone to the “How To” blogs we mentioned earlier, rather than providing a guide to completing a task, you can share a collection of tips or tricks to get your audience started, allowing them to experiment a bit for themselves.
This works particularly well in videos, with the “Life Hack” format becoming really popular in recent years.
#9 – Reviews
Are there related products/services to yours that your customers might be interested in? Why not write a review of said products, allowing your audience that information all in one place. Rather than having to go out and find other products, they can buy one based on your review, from a company they trust.
Another benefit of this is that it may encourage the other company to return the favour, further building your relationships and backlink structure.
There we have it. 9 Content Marketing Ideas to get you started. If you’d like a hand planning an engaging content strategy or want to find out more about what we do please feel free to contact us. Our digital team is on hand to help you make the digital space your own.