The much-used phrase that content is king remains so beloved due to its enduring truth. Even as content has transformed over the past few decades, content marketing remains a major means of drawing in leads and maintaining customers. Whether your company is on the luxury side of content marketing or in a different niche, what kind of content services can you use to gain more momentum?
Content marketing services encompass the written word, audio, and visual elements. They include the following:
- Email marketing
- Social media and influencer marketing
- User-generated content
- Testimonials and case studies
- eBooks and whitepapers
With so many different content areas to mine, your company’s approach to engaging your audience never has to grow stale. Keep reading, as we’ll discuss the above content marketing services in depth. You’ll be ready to implement them in no time.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
Before we can take a deep dive into the various content marketing services, we thought we’d begin with a definition.
Content marketing is a form of marketing in which your company makes and posts content. This ranges from blog posts to infographics, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, email newsletters, and more.
The goal of content marketing is to generate enough buzz about your products and services that leads and customers alike feel incentivized to check it out. Despite this goal, content marketing doesn’t get overly salesy, and it’s not super self-promotional, either.
As we said in the definition, your company is responsible for creating the content you send out into the world. Through keyword research, editorial calendars, and similar tools, you can tap into the topics your audience will be interested in.
Of course, you can’t anticipate that every last lead and customer will have the same needs and interests. When you segment your audience into different buckets, you can produce content relevant to each segment. This drives up engagement and other important metrics, such as open and click-through rates.
Another major tip for your content marketing is that your content should always be evergreen. This is named after the humble evergreen, a tree with leaves that never turn anything but green. In the worlds of marketing and sales, evergreen content is that which doesn’t go out of date. Years from now, it will still be relevant.
HOW CONTENT MARKETING CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS
Whether you’re a startup dipping your toes into the business world or a full-fledged, established company, you still need a content marketing strategy. By producing content of many kinds, you’ll notice the following changes occur.
Boosted Brand Recall
Are you struggling to make an impact among your audience? While every business big or small wants to become a household name, without the right branding, it won’t happen. Content marketing services are one such way to establish that brand.
When you post consistently great content in the same brand voice, people begin to remember your name. You could even produce a viral video or infographic that gets spread like wildfire across the Internet. Now your name is everywhere, boosting brand recognition among your customers and potential customers.
Engaging with your audience is critical if you want to maintain the bond you worked so hard to create. Sometimes it can feel that after the welcome emails and initial correspondence, communication stops on your end unless you’re trying to sell something. With content, you can continue engaging with your audience in a variety of ways.
You can also nurture those hard-fought relationships through content marketing. Whether you respond to social media inquiries, personalize email newsletter content, or even give your audience sneak peaks of upcoming products/services, you’re nurturing each time.
In building and maintaining that relationship, your customers develop trust and loyalty in your company. They could be in it for the long haul, serving as repeat buyers that contribute to your bottom line.
Think about the last time you considered buying a product that was new to you. You didn’t know much about it, so you did research, right? Through content marketing, you’re saving the audience time spent researching by presenting the info they want upfront.
For instance, if you have a new product you’ll soon unveil, you can write an educational blog post about it. You could also make a video on all the features this product comes with. While the customer may choose to do additional research on their own time, they have a lot of great info that could influence a purchasing decision.
CONTENT MARKETING SERVICES
Now that you understand more about content marketing and its many benefits for businesses, let’s talk about the myriad of content marketing services out there.
The first content marketing service is blogging.
Blogging has been around since the late 1990s and has today grown into something that consumers expect every business to have.You could blog weekly or even biweekly and then promote the content you write on social media.
Keyword research can inform the topics you write about while an editorial calendar will keep all your ideas organized.
According to marketing resource Quoracreative, average blog word count has gone up in four years. Back in 2014, posts averaged out at 808 words. By 2014, it was 1,150 words.
Still, you may need longer content than that. Quoracreative notes you can get 10x the leads by writing long-form content, which has 2,000+ words.
If you recall our recent post on digital marketing services, we mentioned the immense popularity of video as a form of content marketing. Indeed, Shopify company Oberlo mentions that customers almost always love video content.
Most consumers (54 percent) wish their favorite companies and brands produced more videos.
Whether you make a YouTube channel, post clips on Instagram, or share your videos to Facebook, more than ever, your customers are expecting this from you.
If it seems like everyone has a podcast these days, that’s because they do. Music Oomph notes that, in 2019, more than 700,000 podcasts exist. Collectively, there are over 29 million different episodes to listen to!
Despite being around since the 1980s, podcasts really only began gaining steam in 2004. With such steep competition, if your company produces a podcast, you have to make sure you stand out. To do that, you want to stick to lesser-explored niches.
Also, make your podcast a delight to consume. You must anticipate that your listeners are busy people. By injecting the podcast with personality and making it informative yet fun, you’ll attract more listeners.
Did you know that by 2022, there should be about 4.3 billion email users with active accounts? So says Oberlo in data from early 2019. That makes email marketing as viable a campaign tool as ever.
Unless you’re sending the seldom-used email blast, then your emails must be segmented.Now you can send with confidence, knowing there’s some interest in the content you’re offering each audience segment.
Our blog has a great post on email marketing tips, which you can read here. Some pointers from that article that we’d like to reiterate are as follows:
- Use triggered or transactional emails. These go out when a customer does something, such as subscribe or make a purchase. They’re automated messages that build a relationship without you having to be at the helm.
- Brand your email newsletters with one theme or template. Perhaps you have a color scheme or a logo that goes out with all your correspondence. Never send an email without it!
- Provide content that’s valuable. Sometimes, this isn’t so much about selling products/services as it is setting yourself up as an authority.
- Choose a day/time to send your emails and stick with it. Think of your emails like a favorite TV show. People tune in on a certain day and time and anticipate their show coming back on when it’s over. Your emails could be something they look forward to as well.
Social Media & Influencer Marketing
From Pinterest to Twitter, Facebook to Instagram, and LinkedIn to YouTube, social media is still a prevalent part of many lives. The Next Web states that, in 2019, 3.48 billion people used social media. That’s out of 4.39 billion people who are on the Internet.
This leaves us with a difference of 0.91 billion people. With 288 million new social media users coming online between 2018 and 2019, that gap will only continue to close.
We already talked about one way to use social media for content marketing: by sharing your blog content to your favorite social platforms. You can also hop on your social accounts to connect with your audience, answer questions, advertise products/services, and generate press.
Yet another means of getting your name spread is through influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, you seek out an influencer to promote your products or services. This influencer has their own large audience of followers. When the influencer recommends a product or service, their audience will listen. This could lead to a whole new customer base coming to your company.
Of course, once you get the customers, it’s your job to keep them. Also, influencer marketing can go awry if you’re not careful. You want to choose an influencer whose values align with yours. Inauthentic relationships can hurt your brand more than help it.
Infographics are considered a visual form of digital content marketing services. These insanely viral images can break down complicated topics or visualize a concept that needs it. You can take any of the blog content you already have and reimagine it as an infographic by boiling down the most crucial points.
Since infographics are very sharable, that’s just people do with them. Like with viral videos or other content, a well-made infographic could end up all over the ‘net. You must make sure you always have your company logo somewhere on the infographic then.
This way, if someone doesn’t share the source material, your name is still on there.
Through these graphics, you can establish your company as an authority while generating new traffic to your blog or website. If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer, we’d recommend you hire one for the job.
The cleaner and more visually engaging your infographic, the better.
User-generated content or UGC is a hands-off form of content marketing. Your audience are the ones producing the audio, text, videos, and images that relate to your company.
The most basic form of UGC would be reviews. If one of your customers buys your product, loves it, and raves about it on YouTube, this helps you in several ways. For one, it’s positive press, and who doesn’t want that?
Also, this testimonial is a form of social proof. If you’re not familiar, social proof is a psychological concept in which social influence can drive our decisions.
Everything from reviews to star ratings can act as social proof. In fact, OptinMonster found that many consumers, up to 97 percent, have been swayed into a purchasing decision by a review.
Case studies are another form of social proof. In a case study, you tell the story of a struggling company and how your business helped them succeed. On our website, we have several case studies, like here and here.
By padding your case study with stats and numbers, you can show the undeniable difference of working with your company. This can trigger curiosity in your audience and possibly convince them to give you a try.
Has your company ever hosted a webinar before? If not, you may want to change that. That’s doubly true if you want to generate leads. GoToWebinar notes that most B2B sales and marketing firms, up to 73 percent, reported high-quality leads through webinars.
The most common industries that host webinars are technology and software (29 percent), followed by financial services (14 percent) and education (11 percent), says GoToWebinar.
While you can use many content marketing methods to drive sign-ups, by far the most popular is email. This will net you 57 percent of registrations. That’s followed by social media (15 percent), blogging (14 percent), and email newsletters (eight percent).
Not only do webinars allow you to draw in new leads and engage with customers, but you can use them to make money, too. For instance, you can sell a replay of the webinar or even a transcript.
eBooks and Whitepapers
The last content marketing service we want to talk about relates to written word. An eBook or electronic book is a digital publication. Whitepapers are guides or reports that can drive decisions, overcome problems, or provide information.
If you have a topic that deserves more coverage than a mere blog post or two, then you might decide to produce a whitepaper or an eBook. Not only can this content generate sales, but leads as well.
Don’t underestimate the value of giving some of this content away for free. As an example, you could offer the first few chapters of an eBook free when a lead opts into your newsletter.
This is known as a lead magnet.
Content marketing encompasses audio, visuals, and writing. There are many content marketing services, including eBooks, email marketing, social media marketing, producing podcasts, and influencer marketing.
No matter which form of content marketing suits you best, you can achieve better brand recognition while nurturing and engaging your customers.