When it comes to developing a content marketing strategy and producing original content, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and determine which content marketing strategy is the right fit for your business. If you feel like your current content isn’t reaching the right people or achieving your goals, it may be time to rethink your messaging and explore and experiment with some different types of digital content.
Content Strategy #1: Blog Postings
A blog allows you to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and help your brand repeatedly connect with people. If your business is continuously releasing useful blogs that resonate with your audience and provide value, your brand will stay top-of-mind when they need information about a subject related to your product or service.
Our digital experts oftentimes get the same questions about blogs and articles when we recommend this type of content for a client:
How often should I post blog articles?When creating content, it’s important to focus more on quality than quantity. We understand that most businesses do not have time to create new content every day, so if you’re just getting started, one high-quality content piece a month is a good starting point. If your business has the resources to produce more, try to release a couple blogs a month or start thinking about adding additional types of content and elements to your blog, like images, videos, or other types of content that can reach your target audience in different ways.
How long should blog content be?
As an agency that puts search engine optimization(SEO) first, we recommend posting content containing at least 800 words. Google doesn’t always index content with less than 300 words, and while that’s the bare minimum, the longer a blog, the better. If you go through our site, you’ll see many blogs pushing 1,000 words and even some hitting 5,000 words.
Following SEO copywriting best practices will help your blogs appear more often in Google search engine results pages, which means more people could potentially see your blog. We’ve seen many blogs with an SEO optimization content strategy continually increase the organic traffic to a website, bringing in more and more new users each month.
Content Strategy #2: Email Marketing
Emails can be an extremely effective content strategy to boost leads. Encouraging website users to fill out a form on your website can give you access to an extremely engaged audience that is already familiar with your brand. Chances are, if a user will take the time to complete an online form (adding their email address to your database), they might also spend some time reading a helpful email sent to them by your business.
There are many different ways companies can take advantage of email marketing. We believe an email content strategy can be successful when informing potential or current customers about a timely event or offer, spreading awareness when running seasonal promotions or to update your “fan-base” on major company updates. Since you’re reaching an audience that is most likely familiar with what your business does, you can utilize email content to reach informed customers. Instead of focusing on general overview content, you can dive right into the important next steps that need to be taken instead of spending additional time educating them on your products or services.
Content Strategy #3: Social Media Posts
Being active on various social media platforms gives your brand the opportunity to build relationships with your audience. A consistent social media presence can make your brand more tangible to your customers, and it can keep you on their minds more frequently.
Social media is another tool that can drive website traffic. This is the perfect setting to share other content marketing strategies you have in place, especially your helpful blogs. With any content you post on social media, be sure your post has a link back to a relevant page on your website.
Many businesses don’t know exactly where to start when it comes to a social media content strategy. Not to worry, our content marketing gurus are here to answer your questions!
Why should I use social media for my business?
If you want to get your brand in front of people, social media is the way to do it. According to Social Media Today, 30% of all time (and counting) spent online is allocated to social media. Whether you’re interested in brand awareness, sponsored content, or a combination of both, we can help put together a content marketing strategy to help!
What social media platforms should my business use?
The short answer: It depends! Because every brand is unique, deciding which platform(s) to spend time on relies on multiple factors: where your audience spends time, what products and/or services your business provides, the goals you wish to achieve and the time and resources you have to dedicate towards maintaining a positive social presence. While Facebook is a great starting point for most businesses, we like to get to know each client on an individual basis.
How often should I post on social media?
On platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, it’s best to post at least once or twice a week, but some social media outlets are an exception. Twitter and Pinterest can be more frequent if your team has the time and the content to post. At Blue Compass, we post on Twitter daily, whether it’s socializing a blog, office event or relevant curated content. Our content strategy reinforces the idea that businesses need many types of content to keep their digital presence fresh and to give it a little variety
Another great way to stay top-of-mind on social media, is utilizing Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories. These stories only last 24 hours, so you have the opportunity to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity with this type of fleeting content without being too excessive on your regular feed.
How much money should my business spend on social media marketing promotions?
It’s difficult to put an exact number on what your social media marketing budget should be. Obviously, more ad spend will usually earn more results, but a little can go a long way. We recommend starting with a lower budget and testing ads to see what works best for your brand. On Blue Compass social channels, we don’t put ad spend behind everything we release on social channels, but when we do allocate a budget, we put at least $25 behind our content.
Content Strategy #4: Long-Form Content & Pillar Pieces
Long-form content is a lengthy blog or informational piece that is around 2,000+ words. It most likely covers a variety of components on one specific topic to give users one complete guide on the subject. According to The Next Web, long-form content has proven to boost online visibility, social sharing, link building efforts and website authority.
Our team also believes that long-form content, also known as pillar pieces, can be a great content marketing strategy that improves organic rankings when it’s written with SEO copywriting in mind. This is where keyword research and link building opportunities comes in. With all this beneficial information about one topic in one place, it becomes a great resource to link out to your related blogs to provide more information on the subject. The goal is to provide users with another helpful resource which will increase the number of pages they view during their visits and the average time they spent on your website.
Blue Compass used this type of content marketing strategy when we created our Search Engine Optimization Guide. Our goal was to produce a helpful piece of content where people can find all sorts of information about the various types of SEO users are searching for. It includes eight different chapters about various search topics, such as the basics of SEO, local SEO, how SEO and UX work together and more. On this pillar piece, we utilize SEO copywriting tactics and link to many of our blogs that provide more in-depth content about a specific subject, strengthening our link-building strategy.
Creating long-form content and pillar pieces for your website can take quite a bit of time and effort, but if you have a lot to share about a subject users are searching for, we believe it’s a good investment. By breaking down your knowledge about your business into a helpful guide, this type of content can provide many SEO benefits to your website and bring in additional visitors.
Content Strategy #5: Podcasts
If your company has the time and resources to produce consistent content, consider starting a podcast or webinar to establish yourselves as the experts on a specific subject matter.
Podcasts don’t have to be very long in order to be effective. In fact, it could be important to keep your outline short and sweet so you don’t lose your audience’s interest in the middle of your podcast and your voice talent doesn’t feel the need to fill time with unnecessary information. Another important thing to remember when getting started with podcasts, is this type of content is expected to be released regularly, at the same day and time each day, week or designated time period you choose. For example, one of my favorite podcasts is only about 15 minutes long and is released at 5:00 p.m. daily during the work week, which is a convenient time for people looking for something to listen to on their commute home from work. What works for your business may vary, so it’s important to do a little testing and determine what works best for your team.
Choosing to start a podcast can be a big undertaking, so make sure you’re ready to commit to this content marketing strategy before purchasing the equipment and spreading the word about your new podcast. If you don’t have enough fresh content to discuss or the man-power to produce a podcast regularly, it might not be the best content strategy for your team to try.
Content Strategy #6: Videos
A video can engage an audience like no other content can, and people love this type of content right now. If your business isn’t taking advantage of video yet, you’ll want to try something soon so you don’t fall behind the trend.
There are many different ways businesses take advantage of this type of content by including video in their digital content marketing strategy. One of the most common places to see videos these days is on social media. It is a well-known fact that many social algorithms favor video content over images or posts without any visuals, since users on social platforms will engage more often with video content. In our helpful video marketing blog, our experts outline some of the best practices for posting videos on social media.
Video is a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge by demonstrating some of your business processes and explaining what you do to others. Many service industry businesses can benefit from educational content like this. An example is to make a simple time-lapse video of your process, if it’s something viewers would be interested in watching. We’ve used educational and how-to video as a content strategy for a number of our clients and have seen fantastic results.
Another great example of how to use video is to create a series that talks about what you do, like the Whiteboard Friday series produced by Moz. Each week, one of their team members analyzes some aspect of SEO to help other digital marketers get a better understanding on technical subjects. This is sort of like a weekly visual podcast because it’s full of useful information, but they do a great job of using visual aids and breaking down the basics of technical subjects.
Content Strategy #7: User Generated & Curated Content
When you have customers engaging with your brand, it is great to take advantage of that and share it! Firsthand testimonials, interviews and other user generated content build your brand’s reputation.
People don’t just want to hear from you about how great you are, so it’s more convincing when the positive information comes from someone else. This type of content can be informal, and businesses can simply share a positive review or ask a customer for a quick interview about their experience with the brand. With customer reviews becoming more prevalent in the decision-making process, this could be a great way to easily provide potential customers with that information.
Content doesn’t just have to come from your customers though. If you find related content from a larger provider, it can be a great idea to share helpful blogs and videos from industry experts, as long as this curated content is not from a competitor. Our team focuses on sharing curated content from larger social media and SEO platforms that keep our users informed on the latest updates without our team having to spend time writing a new blog about the topic.
Content Strategy #8: Infographics
What is an infographic?
An infographic is an image used to represent information or data in a creative, engaging layout. They’re commonly used to simplify complex information for users to easily consume.
Do infographics count as content on the page?
Just like any other image, infographics are read as an image by search engines. Any written content in the infographic should also be paraphrased throughout the article for SEO value. You wouldn’t post a new blog with only an image and no words to give it context. In the same way, an infographic should have descriptive content to support the creative animations, graphs, images and text to be sure the search engines send the right users to your page.
If you’re looking for an exciting way to share a lot of data or information, infographics are the perfect way to showcase that type of content in a visual way. Including an infographic could be a way to get people hooked by seeing what you’re going to be explaining before they read all the information, research and data in the article.
Content Strategy #9: Free Guides & Information
At Blue Compass, we’re firm believers that when you give away a little of your expertise, it will generally give people the information they’re looking for to reach out and contact you. Oftentimes, readers aren’t necessarily reading about a topic because they want to do it themselves, but because they want to know more about the process before hiring it to be done.
This content strategy has worked time and time again for our business and many of our service clients. By sharing what some people would consider too much, the user views your brand as straight-forward and transparent about your work, incentivizing them to be your customer.
Content Strategy #10: White Papers & Case Studies
What is the difference between white papers and case studies?
White papers are specific, authoritative reports that present a problem, a solution and typically feature diagrams or charts with data. In general, these are lengthy reports containing around 2,000 words, which is about six pages. We frequently see them as downloadable or gated content, promoting a methodology or process used by a company. Case studies are usually shorter in length and are created to explain the results of a test, survey or study.
Which should I be using?
The subject matter and the type of audience you’re trying to reach will help you determine whether a case study, white paper or both convey your message best. White papers will usually have helpful information for users at any point in the sales funnel, whether they’re gaining brand or industry awareness or they’re looking for more information before making a purchase. Case studies are meant to show insights about a subject and show a real-life example, which will typically be directed toward the top-of-the-funnel users.
As an example, our team conducted a survey asking Iowans to share their social media preferences. We wanted this information to know where our target audience and our clients’ target audiences were spending the most time online, which social platforms they trusted and if the demographics information lined up with other industry reports we’d studied. See the full Iowa social media case study in our blog!
Learn About More Types of Content From The Digital Experts at Blue Compass
If you are overwhelmed and you’d like assistance with your content marketing strategy, contact Blue Compass. Our digital marketing team can work with you to create an original, personalized content strategy that will engage your target audience.
If You Found This Information Helpful, Check Out Similar Blogs:
- How to Write for Your Audience and Appease Search Engines
- What Are The Benefits of Video Marketing?
- The Art of UX Storytelling: How to Create Your Brand Story Online
- New Limits for Facebook Posts on Mobile
- How to Respond to Google Reviews and Conquer SEO