Once upon a time, a marketer only had to consider a few times of content. Articles, blogs, and maybe a podcast or video. But these days, there is a lot of different kinds of content that you can create for the web. You can captivate and engage your audience with blogging, videos, articles, guides, infographics, and more. In this article, we’ll go over some of the more common types of content and give you a few pointers for creating it so that you can drive more traffic to your site, increase your leads, and raise your bottom line.
Blogging is, without a doubt, the most economical, effective, and accessible form of content on the web. Blogging for your business is a great way to form connections and relationships with your clients, and it’s the best thing you can do to position yourself as an expert in your space. Blog content is easily indexed by search engines, and your users can easily share your posts, so it’s no wonder that almost every company has blogging as a cornerstone of their content strategy.
With that said, when authoring a blog for your site with the idea to drive more traffic, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.
First and foremost, you want to be consistent with your blog posts. This is the number one thing that businesses do to lose traffic. Not keeping a consistent schedule with posts makes your business seem flakey.
The next thing you want to do is to make sure you have compelling calls-to-actions on your blog posts. Your posts are going to situate you as an authority in your space, but you also want them to be generating leads and sales.
Blogging is accessible and it’s easy content to produce, so this is one type of content you’ll want to have as part of your content strategy.
Like blogging, long-form content can establish you as a thought leader in your particular space. When you put a substantial amount of effort into crafting a piece of long content, your readers will see your business as authoritative.
One good way to utilize long-form content to drive traffic to your site is to release your content in chapters. With each chapter, create a compelling call-to-action so that you can get your readers to subscribe for the next chapter.
Doing original research in your space can be a fantastic way to establish yourself as an authority. When creating content like this, don’t be afraid to really get down and dirty in your research. Show your users how much depth you were able to mine from your topic and make them want to keep coming back to your site for original insights and actionable knowledge.
A presentation can be a great way to communicate a product or service to your potential customers. Presentations are more engaging than simply watching a video as there’s an element of interaction with it. And you can get creative with these interactions since you’re doing it on the web — it’s not as static as a simple PowerPoint.
There are plenty of options out there for creating impressive slideshows, and a quick Google search will show you all the possibilities at your disposal. But when creating a presentation for your site, there a couple of guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind.
For starters, you want to be succinct with your message. Don’t throw a lot of filler at your viewers. Figure out what your core message is and focus on this for your presentation.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, when styling your presentation, less is more. Of course, you want to have your presentation be engaging and pleasing to the eyes, but you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with unnecessary visuals that don’t add to your message. Keep it simple.
Quizzes & Polls
Everybody likes a quiz or a quick poll. These are great ways to engage your users and get them to interact with your site. Even better, you can use this kind of content to gain valuable insights into what your audience would like to see.
For example, if you have a site that focuses on careers, you can create a poll asking your users what would make their job more enjoyable. You can then use the answers you get to craft a blog article or even a long-form piece that addresses the concerns of your users.
When used with a little creativity and strategy, polls and quizzes can be an amazing way to connect with your users and gain knowledge that can help influence your content strategy.
Good old-fashioned podcasts are still a great way to connect with your users. The equipment necessary to create quality podcasts is relatively affordable these days, so with a little upfront cost, you can produce your own podcast and give your users a chance to engage with you while they’re on the way to work or at the gym.
If a podcast is something you’re considering, be sure to tie it in with the rest of your content strategy. Announce it on your blog or maybe even create a poll asking what kind of topics your users would like to hear on it.
A case study is a highly focused look at a certain topic or subject. A good case study should give a user in-depth knowledge as well as something actionable they can take from the case study. Like other forms of written content, case studies can go a long way in creating authority and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your sphere. The best thing about case studies is that they’re highly unique, so it’s challenging for someone to come along and blatantly rip off your hard work.
An effective and useful case study follows a pretty simple formula. Open with a summary of your case study and explain the problem in detail and what you believe to be the solution. Then you’ll go over the results of your study and explain why they’re important for your readers.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want to make your case studies engaging. Don’t simply present your readers with a bunch of facts and data. Tell a story with your case study, treat it as a blog post and write engaging copy.
A white paper is a piece of content that seeks to provide in-depth knowledge on a particular topic in the form of persuasive copy that offers a problem and a solution to the said problem. Essentially, a white paper is used as a guide to solving a problem, and they can be highly effective tools in establishing you as an authority.
In marketing with white papers, offer an overview of the problem your paper promises to remedy. And then trade this solution for your user’s email address. This can be a great way to offer value and expertise to your viewers while generating leads.
An ebook is essentially long-form content that’s been packed into a book format. One marketing trend is that they’re often distributed freely for joining a mailing list. Writing your own ebook can be another great way to establish yourself as a leader in your space, and it can add a sense of authority when you’ve got a book published under your name.
Given how easy it is to produce an ebook, it’s no surprise that there are a lot of them out there. While this does negate the value of them to some extent, they’re still generally regarded as valuable, and if you put quality work into writing and producing your ebook, it can go a long way in helping you drive loyal traffic to your site.
An infographic is information that’s been crafted in a visually-appealing way using graphics. A good infographic is powerful. It’s a beloved form of content that gets viewed and shared more than any other type of content.
Unless you’re a graphic designer, infographics can be a little expensive to produce. But given their potential as great pieces of content, the cost is definitely worth it. They can be used to illustrate or communicate any kind of concept, information, or research in a visually appealing way that will engage and captivate your users.
Template & Checklist Downloads
Downloads for templates and checklists can be a great method for generating leads. They’re a highly useful tool that users can use over and over. And the best part is that they don’t require much work on your part to make. Just be sure that when you’re offering them up on your site, you have your branding on them so that people remember where they came from.
Videos are the holy grail of web content. They can be expensive to produce, but when executed correctly, they can bring in enormous amounts of traffic.
If you’re looking into producing a video for your site, you want to keep in mind a few things. The first is time. Engaging videos are short and to the point; rarely will a good viral video exceed more than two or three minutes in length. You want to communicate your message clearly and succinctly and keep your viewers interested.
The next is your script. Your video content is only as good as the script you write for it. It’s worth it here to pay for a professional scriptwriter to write something that’s going to pop and keep your users watching until the end.
Great video content should be accessible on as many video sites as possible, including YouTube and Vimeo. Be sure you have a compelling call-to-action in your video so that you’re directing viewers back to your site.
This list isn’t an exhaustive one for the types of content you can create, but it is, without a doubt, a powerful one when you’re looking to create compelling content for your viewers. Utilizing a strategy that employs more than a few of these content types will undoubtedly push more traffic to your site, giving you more leads and more conversions.