Last fall, Entrepreneur magazine joined the ranks of content marketing evangelists when it called content the king of marketing strategies. Whether you agree with that statement or not, content can be used to create and enhance brand visibility, generate sales, and drive your company’s bottom line. Just look at Coca Cola, which recently changed its marketing strategy to focus on “content excellence,” for an example of a big company embracing content marketing.
Of course, since we don’t all have Coca Cola’s resources, focusing your content marketing efforts is essential. That’s why it’s important to not only understand what the different types of business content are, but also how they can help you propel your business forward.
Here are some examples of common types of business content, organized by the value they can bring to your company. Generally speaking, focus on
Choosing content that raises awareness, inspires confidence, and drives sales
Use content to help your customers and prospects understand who you are, what you can do for them, and why they should choose you over your competitors. This includes:
- “About Us” Content — It may sound obvious, but companies often fail to clearly articulate what they do. Having a concise and easily understandable “about us” page on your website is as critical as it is basic.
- Press Releases — A staple for communicating company news, press releases are only effective when used to communicate something truly newsworthy. Yes, it’s great to get the word out, but make sure you’ve really got something to say when you do.
- Testimonials — Documenting positive feedback can go a long way toward converting prospects into customers.
- Case Studies — Describing how you diagnosed and effectively resolved a client’s problem will help win over other customers by giving them tangible examples of your work.
- Collateral — Brochures, fact sheets, and other types of collateral are important tools to help customers and prospects fully understand your products, services, and capabilities — a necessary precursor to using them.
Choosing content that demonstrates thought leadership and can enhance your brand
Living in the information age means people want access to information more than ever before. Providing it not only fills that need, but helps position your company as an expert and go-to resource.
- FAQs — User-friendly in nature, FAQs are an effective way to share useful information in an easily digestible format.
- White Papers, Reports, and eBooks — All common vehicles for thought leadership, they share a common purpose: enhancing your brand by demonstrating your insights into, and expertise around, a particular topic.
- Webinars — A great way of engaging a live online audience, webinars can be a slick tool for giving your clients and prospects interactive access to your company’s executives and their expertise.
Choosing content that is not just all about you and that can broaden your appeal
No one likes people who only talk about themselves — the same can hold true for companies. Avoid this pitfall by finding ways to incorporate external parties and their content into your strategy.
- Interviews and Q&As — Producing interviews or Q&As that spotlight external thought leaders (not just your own) is a great way to further your cause while also appealing to a potentially broader audience.
- Guest and Curated Content — Sharing the best content available (even when it’s not yours) is a valuable service that will help make your website a destination.
- Blogs — Offering a chance to talk about a wide range of topics, corporate blogs can tackle business issues within the context of more widely popular subject matter.
Choosing content that is innovative and can help you go viral
Unless you’re Anthony Weiner, you want your content to go viral. In addition to using pictures, you’ll increase your chances of doing so by creating:
- Infographics — Incredibly popular communication tools, infographics like this one distill often complicated information into a visual format that’s easy to glean information from.
- Videos — Everyone’s heard about YouTube videos that have gone viral. Create a great business video that’s interesting, informative, and fun, and you could have the same results.
- Cartoons — Time management and talent management solutions provider Kronos recently used a cartoon as a humorous but effective way to communicate a simple business message.
I’ve only scratched the surface here.
What types of content have given your company the best results?