The content train left the station about 5 years ago and for those who jumped aboard, the rewards have been substantial. High search rankings in competitive areas, a constant source of warm leads, credibility and brand reach, foundation content for sales funnels – all good nourishing elements for a healthy business, yes?
The internet moves fast and while a solid blogging strategy is a content marketing keystone, blogging alone will no longer get the attention it did 3 or 4 years ago.
We have identified 5 content items beyond blog articles, which, when coupled with a consistent content strategy, will get you to your content marketing goal faster:
1) Your opt-in offer / lead magnet
An opt-in offer is something small but valuable you give in exchange for a name and an email address.
What it can be:
A discount offer
A free trial
What it will do
Opt-in offers are how you build your database. When someone downloads your opt-in, they are saying “I could be interested in your service or product.” They’ve gone from anonymous visitor, to warm lead!
Once you have them in your database, don’t leave them sitting there – create a newsletter and communicate with them regularly. Many people are wary of newsletters. They see them as in-box clutter and an annoyance. We are going to myth-bust some newsletter misinformation right now.
a) Value v clutter
People who use the internet are savvy. They know if they give up their name and email address, they will get information in their in-box. They also know where the unsubscribe link is – so all you need to do is make sure your newsletters are filled with value for your target audience.
b) Too many v not enough
Most businesses err on the side of not enough. Once a month or once every 2 months in todays terms is not enough. If you are looking to really engage your audience and include value-add offers, once a week is fine.
It does depend on what industry you are in – so knowing your audience, where they are online, and what they are doing there is still as vital as ever.
Your newsletter should, above all, be CONSISTENT. Brand, brand voice and layout need to be consistent. Why? Because consistency grows trust; give value + build trust = a happy client
What it will do
Newsletters are brilliant for keeping existing customers engaged and staying front of mind. They are good for keeping the ‘yes but not right now’ crowd (and trust us, they are a significant part of your audience) on the hook, and they are brilliant for moving cool leads through your funnel and turning them into happy clients.
3) Client Scenarios/Case studies
Case studies can be very powerful pieces of content. Look what we did for Business X, imagine what kind of results your business would get with the same treatment. If you don’t have a client willing to showcase their results on your website, you can create a client scenario. A scenario can be more powerful than a case study because you can target the problem in a way that will resonate across different types of businesses.
A simple scenario can highlight the kind of results you get for your clients:
“Company A was feeling invisible in their market place even though they had spent a lot of time and money on a new website. We created a content set and a broadcasting strategy for them and within weeks, they were getting inbound calls and enquires about product Y.”
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times – the way of the future is video! And it is true – video has been proven to significantly increase engagement. Companies who are focusing on video as part of their content marketing are seeing phenomenal results. But beware! Video is not ‘easier than writing’. Great video requires the same dedication to as writing does – your message must be clear and you need to be master of your craft. Equipment for recording, editing skills, and how you comfortable you are when the little red light comes on all affect the professionalism of your video content.
5) Online course
People are increasingly time-poor so the rising popularity of online courses is hardly surprising. In terms of growing your influence, the one-to-many model means your reach is unlimited. Portals for hosting online courses, such as Thinkific and Udemy all have no-fail interfaces which walk you through the process of organising your content and uploading the various files you need for each of your modules. Online courses can be used for revenue or as a lead magnet.
Of course, it doesn’t end there, this list of ways to keep your content fresh (and your message consistent) is (almost) endless:
- Online quizzes
- Live video
- Landing pages
- Slide shows
- Keynote talks
- Mini workshops
Look at the big topics which form your core message and find the best way to deliver them. Content marketing is no longer about blogging. It is about publishing content in formats and on channels that are relevant to the people you want to see it.