The inflation rate is no longer towering at the 9.1 percent peak it reached back in June of 2022. It is, however, still a lot higher than its pre-Covid rate. Costs are up for individuals and organizations alike.
In turn, businesses and organizations are losing ground with customers, clients, or would-be students searching for ways to cut discretionary spending. While this makes sense for customers, it can push organizations with so-so marketing into the lurch.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your potential customers or students engaged, keep reading for some key content marketing strategies.
What Is Content Marketing?
Traditional marketing takes a familiar approach. It interrupts the thing you want to do in order to talk to you about something someone wants you to buy.
Television is a classic example. Networks interrupt the thing you want to watch with advertisements. Print publications and websites insert ads.
Yet, these methods are particularly ineffective for Gen Z and Millennials, who often exhibit banner blindness, will pay to avoid ads, or use services that don’t employ them. There’s a reason why so many Millennials use streaming video services.
The content marketing approach attempts to invert the relationship. Rather than interrupting with unwanted content, content marketing starts by trying to create content that people want.
That approach will attract visitors rather than repel them. This approach also gets your business or brand on visitors’ mental radars without aggressively selling the business, products, or services. The content provides value, which should help you establish trust with visitors.
Ideally, that trust will convert visitors into customers down the road.
With the content marketing basics out of the way, let’s look at the most effective content marketing strategies.
Know Your Customers
You cannot create content that will attract the right people until you know your customers. In other words, content marketing begins with a good customer profile.
Granted, the depth of the profile will vary based on industry and product, but you should have some essential information at your fingertips. That information includes basic demographic information, such as:
In a perfect world, you’ll also have some psychographic features as well. These can include:
- Political leanings
Depending on your exact product or service, you should also have a pretty clear idea about what pain points your product or service solves. Let’s say that you run the marketing for a trade school.
The pain point that you solve is how someone can acquire the necessary skills to enter a trade. Of course, what you’re really selling is the better life that comes with working in a particular trade.
Once you pin down your customer profile, then you can focus on creating and distributing content.
Written content is one of the main forms of content for businesses, individuals, and organizations. In part, this stems from the substantially lower costs involved.
Even if you outsource your written content, hosting written content takes up minimal space on a website, and distributing it demands minimal bandwidth.
There are, of course, a lot of different paths you can take with written content. Let’s look at some of the more common options.
Probably the most widely used type of written content for businesses and organizations is the venerable blog post. These days, it’s surprisingly versatile, and there are several types of blogs that can help you keep things fresh, such as:
- Employee interviews
Most blogs will pick one type of blog and do that most of the time, then mix it up with other kinds of posts from time to time. For example, you often see checklists in the fall for parents and students.
The line between articles and blog posts online has gotten blurrier and blurrier in the last decade. Many blog posts rely on the same kind of data and research that articles rely on to demonstrate their accuracy.
In general, you can distinguish between them based on some stylistic choices. Articles typically take a more formal approach. For example, they stick with the third-person, while blogs will often directly address the reader.
Organizations generally stick with the article approach when they want to convey that the subject is something they take a bit more seriously.
The use of eBooks is often very dependent on the business or organization. For example, a business that provides a service might create ebooks about topics related to the service. A business that offers products is often less likely to generate eBooks.
This is a format that every organization must decide on for itself.
Newsletters are another very popular written format for organizations. It lets the organization provide information or even entertainment to insiders.
For example, a college might run multiple newsletters for staff, instructors, alumni, and students. The content in each will cater to the exact audience and the desired goals.
Video content is the 800-pound gorilla of content marketing these days. After all, streaming video accounts for around 65 percent of all internet traffic. While it’s not absolutely essential that you use video, it can become a major draw for your business or organization.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the many kinds of video content you can produce.
The term video blog can mean a couple of different things. One version of the video blog is a completely new video that you record to cover a topic. Some blogs use this type of video almost exclusively, while others may only produce these occasionally.
The other version of the video blog is the repurposed blog. In this version, you take a blog you already wrote and have it converted into a video, usually by a service. The service will take narration, images, as well as existing or new video and splice it all together into a video.
You can potentially post the video with the existing blog post or post the video elsewhere.
How-to videos are popular because people like them. In most cases, these videos walk people through easy to moderately difficult tasks.
For example, a college might put together a video about how to sign up for classes using the college’s web portal system.
The line between how-to and explainer videos can get blurry sometimes, but there are differences. As a general rule, explain videos tell you how something works rather than walking you through doing something.
Interview videos are popular because they’re often some of the easiest to shoot. All you really need is some good lighting, a chair, and a willing victim. These videos can, however, prove a good introduction to an organization’s important figures.
You can also see some overlap between demo videos and how-to videos. You can typically distinguish between demo and how-to based on whether you focus on steps in the video.
With a demo video, you typically just see someone using something. This is typically more common with products but could apply to things to on-site technologies.
Experience videos typically adopt a first-person point of view. That point of view lets the viewer “experience” something like they were there.
For example, a school could put together an experience video of attending a common event on campus, such as a basketball game.
Culture videos focus on things like core values. So, let’s say that your organization focuses on a culture of excellence.
You could put together a culture video of employees, management, and even students talking about how they embrace and encourage that culture. It’s relatively straightforward, so you can immediately start onboarding people to the organizational culture.
There are very few kinds of businesses or organizations that don’t have a list of questions that they get asked over and over…and over. Many organizations simply write up answers to these questions and post them somewhere on their website.
If your organization deals with a lot of people, though, you also deal with different learning styles. Not everyone reads their way through an entire FAQ because they get distracted or don’t retain written content well.
FAQ videos let you address those questions in a different format that can make the content more accessible to the viewer.
All of these forms of video content provide access points for visitors to learn about you, your products or services, or your organization. They help you establish relationships and begin the trust-building process.
Another content format that has gained a lot of ground in recent years is the podcast. Podcast formats can vary, but they often take a form similar to talk radio shows.
You have a host. The show has a general topic. The host discusses the topic on a weekly basis.
Also like radio shows, podcasts often invite guests in to offer perspectives, talk about their personal experiences, or simply keep things fresh.
There are approximately 10 podcast formats out there to pick from. Most businesses and organizations will employ one of the five following types:
- Solo host
While most of these formats are self-explanatory, the repurposed podcast format bears a little explanation. Most organizations produce a lot of content on a weekly or monthly basis. Coming up with original content for every format can become overwhelming.
With the repurposed podcast, the host doesn’t cover original material. Instead, they take existing content and convey that. So, for example, they might take the last blog post the organization published and simply read it.
Depending on the expertise of the host, they may adapt the content a bit, so it sounds better when read aloud. They might also expand on the content if they know the subject matter very well.
The relationship between social media and content marketing isn’t always clear. For example, many social media platforms put specific or practical limitations on how long your content can be.
Twitter, for example, limits posts to a certain character count. When text exceeds a certain length, Facebook will routinely truncate the displayed text. While users can expand that text, many opt not to do so.
Those kinds of hard and implicit limits often constrain your ability to engage in content marketing on social media. There are, however, some exceptions. For example, you can post an infographic image on almost any social media site.
You can also typically post video and audio content on social media sites, although they may impose length limits on you.
In many cases, social media functions best as an assistant in your content marketing efforts. Rather than trying to post fully-formed content on the sites, you can post excerpts from your content and link out to the original.
Social media is most often the place where you see crossover content. For example, let’s say that you do a 10-minute video interview or you have a particularly interesting guest on your podcast. You can post a 30-second or 1-minute clip on social media.
You can also sometimes double-dip with your content. For example, you can set up video recording equipment while you do your podcast.
That lets you post the podcast as a complete video or use parts of the podcast to put together a shorter video to help promote it.
Again, this kind of content gives you multiple paths to connect with your audience.
Content Marketing Strategies and You
The content marketing strategies you employ will typically depend partly on your resources and partly on your available time. For example, written content is often low-effort because you outsource it.
It takes a lot of time to organize a weekly podcast or set up regular video recordings. Plus, you need the equipment to capture the raw audio and video.
Local Finder LLC specializes in online and content marketing. For more information about our services, contact Local finder today.
An Error Was Encountered
Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.