Content Types: Essential Formats for Audience Engagement
by gardenpatch Insights on Oct 23, 2023 2:12:55 PM
Everyone wants the most engagement, brand awareness, and links online.
As you know, getting high levels of engagement and brand awareness is not easy. Hundreds of companies are trying to rank for the same content you are ranking for. Thousands of businesses are selling the same product or service you're selling, and millions of content marketers are creating content each day.
To put things into perspective, take a look at the following statistics taken from Hubspot:
- 56% of marketers say blog content creation is effective
- 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
- 54% of decision-makers spend at least an hour per week reading thought leadership content
- 80% of marketers that use video marketing report that video has resulted in more sales
That last statistic gives me the chills! This means that content is a key ingredient influencing a person's buying decisions.
Align Marketing and Sales with HubSpot
Break down silos and align your teams on one integrated platform. HubSpot's software solutions seamlessly connect your departmental data to help you create an exceptional customer experience. Click here to learn more about HubSpot.
You can convince your audience to purchase through whatever content you put out there. People are looking at the content surrounding any product or service that captures their interest. And they can either run away from you and go to your competitor or feel so related to your brand that they would want to buy from you.
This is where the importance of creating high-quality and highly targeted content comes in. You can't just produce content left and right without a strategy. You must create the right content for your specific audience and deliver it to them promptly.
Content means power. We've all heard of the famous "Content is King" phrase. However, I like to think of content not just as a king but as a never-ending source of power in your hands.
We, who dedicate our day-to-day to content marketing, know that for a piece of content to be successful, you must differentiate the content and pick the right type of content to resonate with your audience.
Buyers are becoming increasingly selective with not just the products and brands they buy but the content they consume.
Nowadays, people tune out content that doesn't resonate with them. For this, you must understand your ideal buyer and ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does your ideal buyer look for information?
- What channels does your ideal buyer use to look for information?
- What does your ideal buyer like?
- What don't they like?
- What are your ideal buyers searching for on Google?
Most importantly, what type of content do they consume most often? And what type of content do they engage with the most?
How Content Marketing Benefits Your Business
Before I dive into what are the most effective content types to engage with your audience, I want to highlight a few of the benefits that content marketing will bring to your business:
- It helps you target your audience throughout every stage in their buyer's journey.
Every person goes through several stages before finally deciding to purchase from you. It's only logical that you want to be present in each stage.
How do you do that?
Through helpful and educational content.
Content is one of the best ways to not only attract your audience, but it helps to engage with them and, later on, delight them.
When buyers go through the awareness stage, they realize they have a problem. You can provide content addressing that specific challenge.
In the consideration stage, a buyer is aware of their problem and has several options to help them solve it. You can provide content addressing all those possible solutions.
Furthermore, when a buyer is going through the decision stage, they've already made a decision. In this case, you can provide content regarding their specific solution and keep delighting them. Delighting your customers ultimately leads to them turning into advocates of your brand.
- It boosts your ROI.
Your ROI can be positively influenced by content. So pay attention to the type of content you produce versus the content your audience interacts with the most.
1. Content Can Give Your Business Brand Visibility
You can put your brand out there through blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. Then, with the right SEO practices, a single piece of content can help your website rank #1 on search engines like Google.
If that happens, you can get inbound traffic to your site, plus the possibility of turning those visitors into leads. And later on, you can turn those leads into clients.
Did you know that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search?
2. Builds Online Authority
With the right strategy and SEO best practices, a single blog can help other pages on your site rank higher.
The strategy we follow, which I highly encourage you to follow, is based on a content cluster and pillar page strategy.
This specific strategy will help you organize content ideas in a way that directs traffic to particular pages on your site. So you can't overlook the importance of creating content within a specific niche. Let us say, for example, that your niche is organic gardening. You must keep your content in line with this niche to remain relevant. It wouldn't make sense for you to link to content irrelevant to the question you're trying to answer.
So, if you create content about preparing the soil for organic gardening, you can later produce an article about preparing seedlings for planting. Keep updating your blog with a new article every step of the way. And before you know it, you've created multiple opportunities for internal linking. Whenever Google sees this type of arrangement in internal linking, it is easier to crawl a page, ranking it even higher.
3. It's Inexpensive
We are all looking to save money. And let's face it, paid advertising does bring great results. However, it also takes a good chunk of our budget.
Creating content is free. It does take time to produce, but at the end of the day, you are not spending any money if you don't want to.
One good page of content can bring a lot of quality traffic to your website. But you must keep up with your audience's pain points. As an added value, it is highly recommended that you recycle good content. So if you wrote a blog post that performed well and drove traffic to your website like nothing you've seen before, it doesn't have to end there. Format the same message differently and use it again to get similar results.
Recycling your content takes some of the stress out of content production. Developing a copy with a high conversion rate takes a lot of time and research. So don't hesitate to use this content when you find it works.
Content marketing is one of the best ways to get organic traffic to your site.
4. Content Helps You Stay Relevant And Compete
I started this blog stating that content creation is a saturated market. This tells you that everyone is doing it. Your competition is doing it!
Avoid Falling Behind Competitors: Stay Ahead with Agile Strategies
Be sure to check what your competition is doing regarding content, what content works better for them, and what topics they are creating content on.
Do a competitive analysis to understand better where you stand in your industry. You can find out how much of your target audience you are reaching and why. You will also be able to see what parts of the industry you're not reaching and what you can do to change this. But even more than that, a competitive analysis gives you access to your competitors' customers and their pain points. This means you can find out why your competitors' customers aren't happy with their business and then develop a solution.
Step into the customer's shoes for a moment. You have a problem with your current service provider, leaving him a complaint on his website. Then out of the blue, another company comes up with a solution that seems tailored to meet your needs. Wouldn't you be interested in that new company? Exactly!
Looking at what your competition is doing will help you stay ahead of them. You can take on what they've done and make it better.
Okay, now you know how important content creation is and why you should invest your efforts in producing high-quality content.
Now, let's get to what we are here for. Let me share 5 of the most effective content types to help you engage with your audience better.
Did you know that one in ten blogs is compounding, meaning that organic search increases traffic over time?
There is a good reason why most companies invest most of their content marketing efforts in blogging, or else no one would be doing it.
Blogging is very effective in attracting your audience. People have problems, they have questions, and they face challenges every day that they want a solution for. The best way to reach your audience and engage without directly selling to them is through resourceful content that can help them with those challenges.
If you optimize your blog properly, and as I mentioned a couple of times throughout this blog, using the right SEO practices can help your page rank higher on search engines.
A great advantage of blogging is that it does not only positively impact your site's organic traffic. It's also one of the easiest types of content to create.
Video can take a lot more time and effort, but to write a blog, you need a good pair of headphones, a great playlist, and a quiet space to write.
Humans are visual creatures; to catch their attention, you must be visual with your content too.
45% of B2C marketers believe visual content is their most important type.
People engage more with a visual representation of something than with a long paragraph.
Remember that using infographics is a great way to stand out from your competition. Not everyone does it because creating an infographic takes time. So get ahead of the competition and create one.
An advantage of using infographics is that it can help you get brand awareness because people are likelier to share an infographic than a blog. Infographics are highly shareable pieces of content.
Another great advantage of infographics is that people producing content on the same topics might give you a backlink. Let’s say someone has a blog on “How to lose 10 pounds in a month,” and you have an infographic on that same topic; they might link back to the page on your site with that infographic.
The usage and consumption of video show a continuing growth trend for 2023 and beyond.
Here are a few statistics that show just how big this trend is:
- 86% of companies currently use video as a marketing tool
- 92% of his video marketing is an important part of their marketing strategy
- 87% of marketers report that using videos posItively impacts their ROI
As you can see, these numbers are pretty high. You can see how much engagement brands receive through video content like vlogging.
This shows us that consumers expect their favorite brands to create videos; the ones doing it are getting most of the attention. So, listen to what your audience wants. They are screaming for video content!
4. How-to Content
How-to content engages your audience because people want to solve their problems.
What do you do if you don’t know how to fix your blow dryer?
You go into Google and type, “How to fix my new blow dryer?”
Am I right?
When producing content, one of the questions you should ask yourself is, “What is my audience looking for?”. These How-to pieces of content tend to solve the problem or problems your clients are looking for.
It pays to know what customers are talking about in your industry. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and WordStream to understand your industry's pain points. This step puts you in the best position to create targeted content relevant to what people are asking.
Also, considering how people perform web searches has changed a lot in the past few years, there are other factors we have to include. The use of voice search has skyrocketed during the pandemic and is still relevant today. When you can use your content to provide concise responses to specific questions, it makes it easier for AI bots like Siri to find you when customers use voice search.
Let me give you another trick I use to find what questions our client’s audience has.
Being efficient at Google is important.
Sometimes I have clients in an industry that I know very little of, and we all get writer's block occasionally. So when that happens, I turn to our old friend Google.
Type How to… related to the industry or topic you are looking for, and you will see the most asked questions on the search bar below or at the bottom of the page on the related searches section.
This trick has helped me a lot, and I’ve come up with great pieces of “How to” content that have shown great levels of engagement with the intended audience.
So, there you have it! Four of the most effective content types will help you engage with your audience.
With all of that being said, I do want to mention that there are so many other types of content that you can use.
Please remember that content marketing is not an act of magic, and things don’t just happen overnight.
You will see results, but you have to be patient.
Before producing content, remember people don’t want to be sold to. They want to be educated, and they want to learn. So instead of filling your content with sales plugs and keywords, aim to add value to your customer’s experience.
Don’t overdo it with the keywords. Too many keywords in your blog post can make it hard to read. So you want to find that balance between appeasing the search engines and AI bots while still being able to appeal to your audience.
The ultimate goal for these pieces of content is to engage with your audience and ultimately get them to buy from you. You need to earn their trust by advising them to help them solve their problems when they are ready.
It all boils down to creating and following a cohesive content marketing strategy.
If you are unsure how to create content that educates your audience or even have trouble identifying and understanding your buyer persona, we can help!
Talk to us, and we will gladly guide you through the process.