Content is king…or Queen as I always say. It’s crucial if you’re trying to build a long term brand online. I say long term because there are a lot of “business owners” out there who are looking for overnight success or building businesses that are not built for sustainable success. Content lives FOREVER so it’s worth the time it takes to create it once and use it forever.
Content marketing is a strategy that requires effort, time…and yes, sometimes money.
It’s the number #1 strategy that MOST new startups deploy when they are pre-launching. I’ll link to a few great examples for you at the end of the article.
So, where do you start when you want to add content marketing to your business? You don’t have to look very far. The opportunities are everywhere.
With 84% of people expect brands to create content that provides solutions, experiences, entertainment, and events, you can’t really avoid content marketing any longer.
Here are the Top 18 Types of Content Marketing You Can Use To Grow Your Business:
There’s a reason I made this number one. This is by far, one of the best tools you can have in your marketing tool-belt. One, because it’s free. Now, it does take some time to set up and write, high quality posts, but when it’s done the RIGHT way? You’re literally opening up an endless amount of opportunities for your business.
Just think of blogging as your way of communicating with your audience. BUT, here’s the twist – think about what THEY want and how THEY will appreciate what you’re writing.
Many blogs write about themselves, their products, their features…but rarely do you find a blog that dives deep into how that product, or feature, or content helps the READER.
The more you can master this, the more dedicated your readers are going to be.
Benefits of blogging include communicating with your audience, providing value, providing content to share on other platforms, HUGE SEO opportunity, excellent place to collect leads, great way to build exposure, to increase your websites rank on the internet, to provide an opportunity for others to share your brand. And on, and on, and on. Like I said, endless opportunities just by using a blog.
2. Social Media Posts
My second favorite! You need to be active on social media. Every. Single. Day. More than once. On more than one network. Non-negotiable.
When I started Marketing Solved, we had a blog and social media. That was it. No marketing budget. No ad spend. Just some good old fashioned time, dedication, and willingness to do the work.
That combination skyrocketed us to six figures in under 2 years…and growing.
The beauty of social media is again – endless opportunities!
You can choose which networks you want to share on and you can build a unique audience on each site.
For example: our Facebook fans and our Instagram fans are two TOTALLY different audiences. There’s very little overlap between the two. Which means that when we provide content – we’re hitting target audiences on two separate networks which expands our reach.
The ONE disclaimer about social media is you NEED to be consistent. If you really want this to work for you, you have to commit to posting daily. If you don’t, you’ll lose exposure, you’ll lose your audience, you’ll lose reach, and you’ll lose opportunities.
The good news…is there are a ton of tools to help you be present on social media…without having to become a part time social media manager for your own biz. Check out GetTassi.com. That provides you with a calendar and a huge library of statuses and graphics you can personalize in your business. You can cut hours of your social media time down to minutes with TASSI so it’s definitely worth the investment.
3. Email Marketing
This, combined with a blog and social media has been our trifecta in growing Marketing Solved.
Email marketing does a few things. It gives you an opportunity to collect the information from potential customers AND the ability to reach them, whenever you want.
With blogging, you have to rely on them finding your articles.
With social media, you have to hope they’re online when you post your content AND the algorithms aren’t getting in the way.
With email marketing – you can send out a broadcast whenever you want to reach your audience. No algorithms. Guaranteed delivery. (They still have to open it but that’s an entirely different post)
Email marketing should be used as a way to build a relationship with your audience. Provide them with value, offer them insights they can’t get anywhere else, and of course – make them offers.
Video is performing really well right now. Across ALL mediums so if you’re not camera shy, you should start integrating video into your content marketing strategy. Even if it’s once a month – video is going to allow you to connect to people on a different level.
Remember this, people want to consume information the way THEY want to consume it. Some people like to read, some like to listen, and some like to watch. That’s where video comes into play. It meets the need of people who want to watch, not read or listen.
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Just like Video, podcasts are another content marketing medium that you can start using to reach your audience. If people are driving, they can’t watch or read your video. Which makes podcasts the perform delivery method for your content.
There are programs out there that will take your video and automatically strip the audio from the video so essentially – you could do the video recording and in one sitting – have a video and podcast ready for your audience.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Just think of ways you can provide value, promote your brand, and deliver content to your target audience.
6. Webinars & Live Streaming
This is similar to video but it’s different as it’s real time. When you host a webinar, you’re live and can interact with people who are watching. Versus a pre-recorded and edited video. We use ZOOM for our webinars and it not only allows you to host a webinar and have live chats with your participants, you can ALSO live stream it to YouTube or Facebook.
Which means – you can actually be in two places at once!
Thank you technology!
These are another form of content that appeals to a certain kind of audience. Creating infographics gives your audience a quick bite of content that you want to share. And you don’t need to hire a designer to do it!
You can use Canva, Piktochart, or Infogram to create these pieces of content yourself.
8. Quizzes, Questionnaires, & Surveys
Bet you haven’t thought of these as a content marketing strategy, have you? (If you have, high five!) People LOVE these types of interactive content and just imagine all the data you can collect by running a quiz or questionnaire to your audience!
Want to know what types of products they love? (So you can create them)
What about what they hate? (So you DON’T create them)
You can ask anything and give them a way to engage with you!
A few options are: SurveyMonkey, Jotform, or a paid program like QZZR.
Want to have your customers spread the word about your biz? Ask them to leave you a review! They could make a huge difference in helping others find you online.
Sites like YELP have been proven to provide limitless customers to business by having reviews for businesses. Facebook & Google reviews are right behind them! When someone searches your business – by having reviews up of your business, you’re creating a spider web of opportunities to be found by new customers.
You can offer free or paid ebooks online. These are just like regular books but in digital form.
The strategy most people use is to create a shorter piece of digital content like an ebook. Then they can give it away to collect leads, or sell it to earn a profit.
They’re WAY easier to make than an actual book and there’s a lot less overhead involved since there’s no actual manufacturing and the delivery is completely digital.
Depending your business, an ebook might be a great way to start providing content to your audience that you can later convert into higher sales.
11. Free Guides
One of our FAVORITE list building strategies is to use Free Guides. This is another form of content marketing but can be leveraged to collect leads. Instead of just giving away a free guide to people by giving them a link to download it –
Do what we do.
Create a landing page, ask for people to input their email address, (you can start building your email list and collecting leads), then you can have your email management system deliver the free guide.
The customer is happy because they get a free piece of content that is high in value and you’re happy because they’re getting a high quality piece of content and YOU just collected a lead to a potential customer.
Want an example of how a free guide works?
Click this link and you can get our FREE GUIDE: Social Media Posts that Work…and Why.
You’ll learn our top strategies to increase your reach and engagement on social media.
12. Presentations, Powerpoints, or Keynote Slides
Have a presentation that provides a ton of value? Why not use it as a content marketing piece? You can upload your presentation to sites like Slideshare to reach a new audience. OR you can put them on your website, provide them as a downloadable free gift, or even email them to your audience.
Anytime we host a webinar for our Inner Circle, we also provide them with the Keynote slides to keep. This provides another piece of value that they love! It’s the little things that can make a big difference.
Do you know someone who could provide some value to your audience?
Maybe you want to interview someone who’s used your product or taken your program?
Interviews are insightful. They provide a different perspective to your audience. And they’re pretty easy to execute.
You can record them on video, break it down to an audio, write a blog post about it, and put up some social media posts. From ONE interview. THAT is a content marketing machine.
Instagram stories, Facebook Stories, and yes. YouTube currently has stories.
Stories are H-U-G-E for social networks and for brands.
These are short (under 15 seconds) clips of information or value.
You can share little videos, images, images with stickers, short interviews, anything. In easy to swallow – little pieces.
If you haven’t integrated stories yet and need some ideas on what you can share, this article will help:
RELATED: 25 Instagram Stories You Should Be Creating
Ok, this is a new one but very effective! Chatbot marketing is popular on Facebook and it’s another form of content marketing you can be using to connect with your audience. We don’t use it too frequently but when we do, the response is phenomenal.
Just last month, we had an end of the year special. We sent out 4 emails. Each email had an open rate of about 9% (which is pretty good for a sale) – our chatbot? 84% open rate.
So…there’s definitely an opportunity for you to directly connect with your customers using a chatbot!
We use ManyChat.
16. Text Messaging (SMS)
This is another new form of content marketing and another REALLY effective way to communicate with your audience. We use LeadPages to collect phone #’s and to send out text broadcasts.
17. Digital Magazine
Have you heard of Away? The billion dollar luggage startup? Earlier in the article I mentioned a startup that used content marketing to get a head start with connecting to their future customers and the brand AWAY had a brilliant content marketing strategy.
They created a travel magazine, Here, to fill the gaps in the travel industry. You can read the entire story here on how they executed this brilliant strategy.
That’s right. I’m giving Pinterest it’s very own category here. They don’t call me the Princess of Pinterest for nothing! It’s so much more than a social network. It’s a visual search engine meaning people search for what they’re looking for and the results are image and video based. It’s really a content marketing machine that once you put your content on, you can drive traffic from it, for…ever.
It’s an easy to use platform where you can share you articles, videos, products, podcasts, magazines, free guides, webinars, images, anything connected to your brand. We’ve leveraged this powerful platform for the past three years and it’s the most popular source of traffic to our site.
If you have content and you want it to be found? Pinterest is your magic.
There you have 18 types of content marketing you can use to grow your business. Start with one or 18, the best advice is to start now!