Content Marketing Frequently Asked Questions: Blogs, Infographics and Video
Content marketing is one of the most widely-varied types of marketing and can be produced in different forms; almost every business has a blog, videos overwhelm our news feeds and visual content is everywhere.
The increase in the amount of content available online has brought more transparency to products and services, empowered consumers to be more informed and ultimately led to better user experiences. Despite the flood of information available, as content marketing grows there are only more questions to be answered. Here we’ll answer the content questions we frequently hear from our clients and around the web.
Blogs and the Start of Content Marketing
Because of content saturation online, content creators now need to develop articles and videos that are thorough, detailed and answer specific questions users have. It’s more important now than ever to get content creation right.
When done correctly, content marketing can drive brand engagement, bring in more leads and increase website traffic. That’s why it’s essential to write lengthy articles that go into detail about a subject so users can get all the information they need in one place. High-quality content provides a better user experience, improved website metrics and various search engine optimization benefits, including driving more organic traffic!
Let’s get started.
How often should I post blog articles?
When creating content, it’s important to focus more on quality than quantity. We understand not all businesses have the time to create new content everyday, so if you’re a small business getting started, one high-quality content piece a month is a good starting point. If your business has the resources to produce more, start thinking about adding more images or videos, or strategize additional content that can reach your target audience in different ways.
How long should blog or article content be?
At Blue Compass, 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 of blogs pushing 1,000 words and even some hitting 5,000 words.
What resources do you use to stay up-to-date on content marketing?
Some of our favorite content marketing resources are HubSpot, Backlinko, Newscred, Search Engine Journal and Neil Patel.
What tools do you use for content marketing?
There are several content marketing tools that help us put together a blog or infographic. First, we conduct keyword and topic research to determine the information people are searching to find. We usually turn to Moz, SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner to find the keywords people are searching and the questions they are asking online. Once we’ve determined what to write about, a headline is created and run through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. We then use Grammarly as a grammar check and peer review the content to evaluate from a different perspective. When it comes to an infographic or image, our designers use the full Adobe CC suite for quality content creation.
How much should I be spending on content marketing?
There’s no simple answer, content marketing is one of those, “you pay for what you get” services. The more money you spend, you’ll likely generate higher quality content and more of it. For an estimate, ask industry contacts or see if you can bundle content marketing as part of digital marketing services with an agency to save a bit. If you’re writing your blogs in-house, consider how much time you can take away from your other tasks in order to create quality content.
How many pictures or images should I have with a blog?
You should include at least one image, as articles with one image get 94% more total views than articles without an image. Hubspot suggests using one image every 350 words. We suggest you use them throughout your article to break up the copy where it makes sense.
Do blogs need publish dates?
Yes! For both search engines and users, it’s helpful to give blogs publish dates and to update the date when the article is revised.
Do we need authors in our blogs?
This depends on your brand. At Blue Compass, we like to put a face to the content and use authors, but we work with multiple clients who prefer their brand be the author. If you’re looking to get more company buy-in on your blog, we suggest trying authorship — people will have a sense of ownership when their name is attached to an article.
Should I call it a blog, news, article or press release?
This is up to you! While we commonly see “blog” and “article” tossed around as the industry standard, it’s also common to use “news” when you’re posting a variety of information (such as press releases and blogs together). A press release, on the other hand, is a specific type of post and should be classified individually, as such. Many of our clients use multiple or all of these terms as categories within their blog section to distinguish content.
What’s the difference between white papers and case studies?
White papers are specific, authoritative reports that present a problem and 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 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 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.
What’s the difference between gated content and non-gated content?
Gated content requires the user to sign up or register to access it as part of the conversion funnel. Gated content should be valuable content that offers something special to the user. In-depth case studies or eBooks are common forms of gated content. Non-gated content is anything on your site that doesn’t require a login or additional information to view.
Creating Visual Content for Your Audience
Outside of blogging, we’ve seen a rise in visual content over the past few years, as well. Images, video, infographics; pretty much any type of visual content is used in every facet of digital marketing and storytelling.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the use of visual content in digital marketing.
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.
Are infographics 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 value.
Should I have an infographic?
Infographics can be used to supplement a content piece, or they can be made to stand alone. If you’re looking to display data visually, infographics are an effective way to share complex information in a logical and creative way. They also serve as a tool to consolidate long-form content into an easily shareable image. Before you decide to create an infographic, be sure it serves a clear purpose and is the most effective way to deliver your content.
Are infographics mobile-friendly?
This depends on your website. If you have a responsive site, the infographic should adjust to fit on the screen. If you don’t have a responsive site, the individual device and size of the screen will determine if your infographic is too large or too small.
What are stock photos, and should I use them?
Stock photos come from a supply of photographs and are usually licensed for specific purposes. These photos tend to be generic and are obvious to spot. If possible, it’s always best to use your own original photographs, but having a stock photo throughout content can be better than no images at all.
How much does video creation and production cost?
This is all up to you! Whether it’s a high-end camera or a smartphone, free editing software or After Effects, the cost of video production will come down to what you are willing to invest.
How long should a video be?
Depending on the social platform you’re using, video length will vary. For Instagram, keep your videos less than 30 seconds, for Twitter, 45 seconds and for Facebook, one minute. As Facebook continues to mature, we expect the one minute minimum to increase.
Youtube contains videos ranging from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, if not more. If you’re looking to increase video engagement, we suggest sticking to two or three minutes and then experimenting from there.
Keeping any product or service videos down to 1-3 minutes will hold users’ attention. If you think there’s a place for longer video content, run a few tests and see what works!
Get Started with Content Marketing
It’s never too late to dive into content marketing, and it’s beneficial for any business! If you agree, but you’re not sure where to begin, Blue Compass is ready to help you take the first step and answer any questions along the way. Check out some of our work in the Blue Compass blog or the content we create for our clients. Reach out today to learn more about our content marketing expertise.