How do you keep your desired audience engaged without depending entirely on blogs? If your content marketing strategy solely focuses on blogs for consumer engagement and conversion, you are missing out on an incredible opportunity to maximize the potential of other forms of content marketing. Attracting traffic to your site with content that connects with your audience is a “big picture” goal. But how does your audience prefer to get their information? How can you boost engagement? Going beyond the blog model is a marketing strategy for the forward-thinking marketer, and a way to keep your content engaging and fresh over time.
How to Make Content Marketing Effective
Leading brands use strategic content marketing approaches that emphasize the creation and distribution of consistent, valuable, and relevant content with the objective of attracting and retaining their target audience and fostering desired customer action (e.g., conversions, purchases, etc.). According to one report, 72% of marketers maintain that for their business, content is a core component of their business strategy.
Unique content is a driver for traffic and engagement, and in the context of marketing, it’s the reader (not the marketer) that truly matters. From the way readers read and absorb information, to presenting relevant content that they relate to or find to be a solution to their problem, the reader is the most important person in all of this. The reader is the person that needs to find what you’re presenting interesting enough to support your brand or business. Data indicates that 52% of customers were more likely to buy a product after reading a vendor’s content. The number of clicks and views can help you to gauge the effectiveness of your content marketing, making tools like Google Analytics quite useful. After absorbing your content, what do your target audience members do? Do they comment, share, or download your content? After all, the end goal is some kind of conversion - so if they convert, you know your content marketing is effective.
Content Types - Beyond the Blog
Forming a strong blog content strategy is a key pillar in many marketers’ overall approach to content marketing. It’s a tried and true way of engaging consumers and generating traffic. While blogs are the most popular content medium (with 93% of marketers using blog content according to a B2B Content Marketing 2020 Report), it’s not the only way to boost engagement. Here’s a look at four other content types that you can explore:
1. Podcasts / Audio
Getting audiences to follow and read frequently updated blog content can be difficult - and this is where podcasts and audio can be useful in driving engagement. It’s a versatile content medium that allows you to cement yourself as an authority in your industry. According to a 2019 research report, “54% of podcast listeners were either somewhat or much more likely to consider a brand after hearing it advertised on a podcast.” Clubhouse, a drop-in audio networking app that connects individuals through audio chatrooms, is known for its personal appeal; marketers can use it to share valuable content by creating their own room that taps into their niche industry, building brand awareness, and joining or teaming up with industry leaders in chatrooms to gain new audiences. Another great example of a podcast that has expanded its reach and audience engagement is VaynerMedia’s #AskGaryVee, an interactive podcast that engages its audience by taking questions from listeners on different topics. Podcasts are a great medium for engaging your consumer, telling stories, creating a brand, and being available whenever your target customers want.
Video content marketing is growing as more marketers include it in their marketing strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, roughly 60% of B2B marketers use webinars as a marketing tool, while another study indicates that a single webinar could produce more than 1,000 leads. Beyond lead generation potential, webinars can effectively and easily reach a broad audience, engaging your audience in an interactive manner that allows you to answer your audience’s questions and view their feedback. Furthermore, you can create authority and trust, and nurture relationships in the process to build a loyal base. As a path to revenue generation, webinars allow you to promote your product, subscription, or service and drive sales. Your webinar itself could also be what customers pay for.
3. Whitepapers / Booklets / Infographics
Clear and concise content can be presented with whitepapers, booklets, and infographics. Compared to blogs, whitepapers typically provide a greater level of detail by providing in-depth information on a subject. Less emphasis is placed on selling and more focus is on reliable and solution-oriented information. Based on the 2018 B2B Content Marketing Trends report, 71% of B2B respondents use content marketing white papers and over 60% view white papers as their most successful content. High-quality infographics and booklets tend to be effective at boosting SEO performance by fostering greater user engagement, providing visual content that helps to increase traffic, and attracting the target audience with simplified content. This can quickly lead to desired conversions as it can increase trust and demonstrate expertise.
4. Youtube / Video Marketing
Video content is an effective alternative to blogs and can be the most memorable content type. Research shows that 61% of marketers view video as a “very important or extremely important” part of their marketing strategy, while 74% say video has a better return on investment than static imagery. YouTube is the most popular platform for videos, and a source of effective content for brands looking to boost engagement. Compared to blogs, audiences are roughly 10 times more likely to comment, like, embed, and share video content. Replying to comments, encouraging viewer subscription, and asking viewers to turn on the notification bell are all ways to boost engagement with video content marketing.
Blogs have been the staple of content marketing, but they do not need to be the single tool in your marketing strategy approach. While blogs are still effective, marketers have to look beyond this tried and true method to elevate their marketing strategy and boost engagement to a degree that can yield profitable conversions. Podcasts, whitepapers, video content, and webinars are other content types that marketers should consider to boost engagement.
For help getting your content diversified and better engaging your audience, get in touch with Ironmark’s digital marketing team. Our professionals are ready to boost your content marketing. And while you’re waiting, check out our own resources page for some of our amazing content!