5 types of content marketing formats you need on your blog for your website launch

By Chris Erickson | July 2017

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So you just launched your website, but now what? What else do you have to do? You may just want to call it a day, but your site is not quite ready to work for you. The key to driving traffic and increasing conversions is to have a solid content marketing strategy. One part of that is recognizing people love digesting information in different formats—using only one format can cause your site to feel stale. By using different formats to present your content, you keep your content varied and exciting.

What is content marketing? 

According to Oxford Dictionaries, it is a promotional tactic focused on the creation and distribution of online (mainly informational) materials to attract a specific audience and and cultivate interest in products and services. Content marketing should not be used to explicitly promote a brand but rather drive interest indirectly. The more good content you distribute → more traffic to your website → more revenue (or donations and/or general awareness). 

To help you decide which content marketing elements to implement in your strategy, here’s a list of 5 content marketing elements that have worked for us. 

 

1. Blog Posts

Blogs are usually the first thing that come to mind when someone thinks of content marketing. They are the core to a holistic content strategy. You can use blogs to leverage/reinforce your brand and the message you want to deliver. Rather that explicitly promoting yourself through your copy, try to write about topics that your customers would want to read about. You'll have to do some audience development to understand what these topics may be. This method of blog posting is much more inviting for visitors and will lead to more conversions and traffic on your site.

Make sure to vary the length of your blog posts. For SEO purposes, having both long and short posts is best. According to technicalblogging.com, long posts—1,500 words and more—are effective because you can cover a topic in great detail and your post will stand out because of its depth. Your posts will also be stronger for search engine ranking—Google ranks long posts more favorably. Short posts, 500 words or less, are neccessary because you can write them more efficently. You will be able to publish short posts more often and keep your blog full. This is also notable in terms of SEO as Google sees frequent updates as a stronger blog. You can also grab the attention of a reader with a shorter attention span while still addressing your topics.

 

2. Infographics

HubSpot defines infographics as visual content that combines graphics with text to communicate a specific message. Infographics rank well as they grab the attention of the reader. They often help to visually convey information, especially when paired with the appropriate copy. 

We've established why infographics are important, but how do we create infographics?

HubSpot lays out the steps for us:
  1. You should find your favorite software. This could be PowerPoint, Keynote or even an online platform such as canva.com (premium version is free for nonprofits!!).
  2. Plan the topic and a message you want to convey.
  3. Keep the layout simple, you don't want to confuse your audience. Choose appropriate colors and a typography palette. Try to stick to your style guide.  
  4. Add your content and visuals. Make sure to get your message across right away by showing the audience your message with visual elements.
  5. Export (.jpg or .png), optimize (700-900 pixels wide) and upload (as a blog post or unique page). You're not done yet—share your infographic. This can be achieved through an email campaign, promotion through social, paid ads and more. Have fun with it!

 

3.Videos

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to grab someone's attention is through video. They have one of the highest engagement rates and can convey a message in a very short amount of time. The time it takes someone to read an article vs. watch a video on a subject is nearly incomparable. Videos are also a much more effective way to convey emotions with your audience. 

Creating a short, yet simple video can be easily done. Depending on your operating system, Mac or PC, there are numerous video editing softwares out there. Lifewire.com suggests iMovie and Final Cut Pro for Mac users. They are great and easy to use software, plus iMovie is free for any recent Mac user. For PC, filmora.wondershare.com suggests Windows Movie Maker and Wax as good video editing tools. Movie Maker is free for any PC user. Take a look at what our video marketing process looks like to help you develop your strategy. 

 

4. Guides

Otherwise known as "how-to guides," these can help build brand awareness, drive leads and display your expertise. Through displaying your specialization, you will increase awareness for your brand as you become a go-to source for your industry. Creating a how-to guide on a topic you're already an expert in can be an easy way to drive leads. In order to track leads, consider making a contact form where users can download or access your how-to guide; learn about gated content best practices from Moz.

Guides can be created on virtually any platform, in several formats. You can create a video guide, a guide in your blog or an ebook guide.

Here is a list of best practices according to kissmetrics.com:
  1. Read as many articles on your topic as you can manage. Even if you're already an expert, this is essential as it can both deepen your knowledge and help you avoid writing content that already exists. This being said, you don't have to be completely unique, but you'll want to add to what is out there. 
  2. Make sure your title is clear and concise. Titles are tricky as they need to grab attention, tell your audience what they're getting into and even rank for SEO. Get some guidance in this post from our team.
  3. Include imagery. These will help you grab readers' attention and provide some visual aids. 
  4. Relate your content to real life examples. People want to see how your way of doing things have helped others similar to them.
  5. Give credit to your sources.
  6. Promote your guide. Just like infographics and videos, guides can be promoted through email campaigns, social, a quick blog post, paid ads and more. 

 

5. Ebooks

As stated by www.seldonmarketing.com, Ebooks are a more current version of printed materials, such as a brochure or a pamphlet. The cost of materials is cheaper too, as since they are digital, they're free. Don't be fooled, if you want a hard copy, you can still easily print your ebook. 

Blogtyrant.com suggests a four step process when creating an ebook:
  1. Research your target market. Carefully look at who your target audience is and what the message will look like to them. 
  2. Come up with a topic and title. Keep in mind, your ebook is not just for you or for your audience. Make sure the topic you pick is something you are passionate about and have a good knowledge of or it won't be great materail. Make sure the title you pick conveys the emotions of your message and grabs your audience's attention. 
  3. Write the ebook and make it look good. Find a good software to write your ebook with. Blogtyrant reccomends Open Office, but there are many others readily avaliable. It is key in this step to understand the end goal of the ebook. What do you want users to get out of it? After understanding this you can write the main content, fill it with quality images, use brand colors and proofread.
  4. Convert to a PDF and share. Converting to a PDF file is important because the .PDF is universally recognized by Macs and PCs. PDFs also don't vary when they are shared, which is one of your goals. Keep the file size below 1MB to avoid an issue with downloads. Finally, share and promote your ebook through multiple channels. 

Ensuring a website has a full content strategy in gear when we launch a site is one of our highest priorities. Witnessing all the time and money go into a site design and then seeing it just sit there after launch is one of our biggest concerns. To get help with this portion of your project, download our checklist below or talk with our strategists to come up with a content strategy

Topics: Digital, Digital Marketing

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