Any small business marketing plan will not be as effective as possible without incorporating content marketing. That's why we put together this list of the different types of content marketing for you.
Identify the types of content marketing you relate to and love doing. This is the best place to get started...if you like something there is a higher likelihood you'll stick with it.
When you think of content, think about your audience. Think of how they will react to content you create. The responses of your audience are very important because it will tell you how effective your content is.
Before we jump into the types of content marketing, lets first look at the essential elements all content must have to be effective.
The Essential Elements for Content
When you publish your content online, a sense of trust should be built within your niche. Your content should establish you as a knowledgeable authority in your industry.
Remember, people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Your content should educate your audience and add value at every stage of the customer journey.
If your content is building trust and educating your audience, involvement will soon follow.
You want your followers to leave comments or feedback, hit the like or share button, and mention your business every time you post content. A sense of community will help grow your online presence.
The most important element of any effective content marketing is conversion.
The ability of your content to convert total strangers into followers and followers into customers will lead to a great return on investment. If your content doesn't convert to profits then something has got to change.
But, be patient because content marketing is not a sprint...it's a marathon and you need to be committed to see successful results.
The great thing about content marketing (compared to something like paid advertising) is it's the gift that keeps on giving. Once you put it out there, it will be there forever driving traffic and interest to your business.
Now let's get into the types of content marketing...
The Main Types of Content Marketing
As a starting point, here's an illustration of the Content Marketing Matrix.
It's a great visual representation of different types of content marketing and how they compare when it comes to entertaining, inspiring, educating, and convincing.
We're only going to cover the best types of content marketing for most small businesses to start with in this article, but the matrix will give you some other ideas if you'd like further inspiration.
A blog is a regularly updated website or web page that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Most small business owners use their blogs as a way to produce educational information their audience will find helpful and valuable.
Types of Blogs:
These blogs are mostly about a persons passion for family, travel, food, style tips, health, etc.
How-to, Tip, Review Blogs
These blogs aim to inform and provide educational information for people.
These are about company information, products, services, and educational content related to the industry.
Here are some of our company blog posts. You'll see they are related to what we do: marketing consulting and digital marketing.
Benefits of Blogging:
- Blogs boost SEO. Search engines like Google and Bing value websites that consistently provide fresh and relevant content.
- Blogs establish strong and lasting relationships with current and new customers because they build trust over time with the content you produce.
- Relevant blogs help small businesses build a good reputation in their industry. If you post valuable blog content, you become a "go-to" site for starters and pros alike.
- Blogging promotes brand awareness. It creates a sense of corporate standards, business character, vision and the personality of a company.
- Blog sharing increases traffic. Followers can share the direct link to a blog post, tweet it, or email it to others and this is a great opportunity to penetrate unknown markets.
Downsides of Blogging for Small Businesses:
- Blogging is time-consuming. You need enough time to plan, research, construct, and write a blog post. You also need to edit and proofread after. I also recommend creating a content calendar to help you maximize your time and stay organized. The one way around this is to hire someone to handle this for your company.
- Blogging can be technical at times. Blogging platforms like WordPress require some technical knowledge to create maximum results. Stuff like optimizing blog posts for keywords and on page SEO can make a huge difference in how well your posts perform over time, but they aren't easy for most people to understand.
- A bad blog can instantly backfire. Your blog reflects your brand. A blog that is poorly written, rushed, and full of typos and spelling errors will turn people off. You don't want to simply publish content...you want to publish great content!
Creating videos is so much easier than it used to be. You can create pretty high-quality videos with a smartphone, a few additional accessories, and a tiny bit of editing.
According to Social Media Today, Facebook generates 8 billion video views on average per day.
Videos are wildly popular and preferred to other forms of content by a number of people.
Types of Video Content:
Benefits of Video Content:
- Videos can increase your search engine ranking, click-through rates, open rates and conversions.
- Videos can boost conversion rates because it is easy to build consumer trust from video content.
- Videos are very easy to access on mobile devices.
- Videos are incredibly effective at connecting with people. There's something about people being able to see and hear you that you just don't get with other forms of content.
Disadvantages of Video Content:
- Slow internet connections can affect video load times and views.
- Videos can take a lot of time to make due to content planning, shooting, and editing.
- There can be technical issues with online video, especially if a user has a limited bandwidth internet connection.
Podcasts are downloadable internet audio files that can be played on computers and mobile devices. Think of podcasting as radio shows on demand.
I like calling it “Audio Streaming” because, just like Netflix, podcasts are subscriptions readily available to customers that come in a series or new installments.
Podcasting has become an incredibly popular form of content marketing in the last 5 years or so. And podcasting is perfect for our mobile-centric world because subscribers or listeners can easily consume them anywhere using smartphones and tablets.
Popular Podcasting Tools:
Benefits of Podcasting for Small Businesses:
- Podcasting builds authority. It paints a professional image in your listener's minds. Your enthusiasm and speaking skills are highlighted in every podcast you produce. Trust is built easily when you know enough about certain subjects covered in your podcasts.
- Podcasting builds relationships. The connection between you and your subscribers strengthens whenever they hear you talk. Listeners are assured that there is a person behind the brand and this is how you make them buy. You also have the ability to build great relationships with the people you may interview for your shows.
- Podcasts aren't super technical to produce. All you need is a great microphone, a quiet environment, and some recording software.
- Producing a podcast is a great way to promote brand awareness. Regular podcasts put your brand out there consistently with your target market.
Disadvantages of Podcasting:
- Time. Just like producing videos, it also takes enough time to produce a podcast. It takes hours to plan the direction of the podcast, come up with a theme, write, and then create the podcast itself.
- They Take Time to Consume. Podcasts aren't very easy to scan or peruse like a blog post. Some people prefer content they can easily scan.
- Limited Audience. Some people just don't want to download and manage podcast files on their various devices. You won't reach these people with your podcast.
When you mash up the words information and graphics, you get Infographics. Infographics take the written word, images and put them together in a visually pleasing format that people love.
Marketers use them to communicate with their audience quickly. Infographics include pie charts, bar graphs, line charts, and other visuals along with limited text to communicate a message.
Here's an example of what an infographic looks like. Pay particular attention to how it flows. It's visually appealing and easy to read.
Pros of Infographics for Small Business Marketing:
Pro #1: Easy to Read
They turn information from complex to simple. Your audience will find it easy to digest without spending too much time reading and understanding your content.
Pro #2: Eye-catching
Remember that people respond quickly to colorful designs and infographics do a great job grabbing attention. Consider infographics as both an art and a science of content creation for small business marketing.
Pro #3: Increased Sharing
When your audience loves your content, they won't think twice to share it with their circles. Infographics have better chances of being shared on different social media platforms because of their fun designs.
Pro #4: Improved SEO
When people share your infographic, it links to your site which improves traffic and ranking. Your site will also be listed in the “image search” giving you twice the chance of getting found on Google.
Cons of Infographics for Small Business Marketing:
Con #1: Consumes Time
If you want quality, you need to invest time. The effectiveness of infographics depends on the quality of the content and design. Your audience might not be interested in your infographics if the design looks off and the content is completely irrelevant to your business. Great design and high quality are essential.
Con #2: Requires More Effort
Creating an infographic is just the beginning. You also need to launch a promotion campaign for people to notice your work. Without promoting your infographic, the internet will be happy to keep it somewhere no one will ever notice.
Con#3: Not Naturally SEO-friendly
Although infographics can help improve SEO, they are not tangible text. Search engines like Google favor text in order to rank higher. However, you can post the text below the infographic and tweak it to become SEO friendly and you are good to go.
Check out these tools to easily create infographics for your small business:
Instagram and Pinterest are the top social media platforms for image sharing. The internet community responds quickly to photos that are relevant and valuable, hence small businesses are given an opportunity to increase their following.
Benefits of Using Images:
- Images make any type of content look more attractive like blogs.
- Images are easier to produce than videos.
- Images are faster to make than blogs and videos.
Downsides of Using Images:
- Images are hard to optimize for SEO, unlike blogs.
- Images are bound by copyright laws. However, here are some of the best free stock photos sites to help get around this issue.
- Images can require serious editing and design skills. However, check out Canva for an easy image editing tool even a novice can use.
Other Types of Content for Small Business Marketing
A testimonial is a formal statement from clients or customers expressing their satisfaction towards a product or a service. It helps build credibility and social proof with new customers and maintain trust among current clients.
Here's a sample of how we list testimonials on our website:
2. Case Studies
Case studies help an audience understand how your business has solved a problem for a client.
They are a great way to tell how valuable your products or services are and build credibility.
If you are thinking about putting together a case study for your business, this article will help you understand how to write a case study.
3. White Papers
A white paper, on the other hand, is an effective way to report about a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution. This kind of report must be persuasive, authoritative, and in-depth.
Here's a great resource on how to write a white paper.
A newsletter is a type of content marketing that informs customers about a product launch, new service, upcoming event, company changes etc on a regular basis.
It can be posted daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It is a great way to keep your audience updated about anything business related.
If you are looking for some inspiration, here are some newsletter templates you might want to check out.
Remember, not all types of content will be applicable to your business. Pick the types of content marketing that are most manageable and appropriate for your business and run with it.
You can always handle your own small business marketing but if you don't have the time or skills, don't be shy to seek help from a freelancer or an agency. The most important thing is you start using content marketing to help grow your business.
I hope you got something out this information. Feel free to comment below and share.
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