content marketing methods
Content Marketing is one of the most misconceived marketing strategies. The term is thrown around so much these days that small business owners feel compelled that they need to include a blog on their website even if it doesn’t appeal to them.
Now don’t get me wrong, a blog is a powerful tool for growing your influence, your website traffic and your business (I’ve created one after all!), but it isn’t the ONLY content marketing method.
Instead if you think about Content Marketing as any form of information or inspiration you provide your audience that they don’t have to pay for, then the ideas open up.
The heart of Content Marketing is to take your audience on a journey from curious to converted. This is done through providing value but in a way that aligns with your product offerings and takes them one step closer to purchase.
And there are a lot of ways you can do that! Here are 12 ideas to get you started
content marketing method 1 video
Video is powerful! In fact, it is probably the most powerful way to reach an audience in the modern environment. Think about what content you consume online… how much of it is video? Yet so many of us (I’ll put my hand up to that one too!) don’t think it is for us.
Luckily it has been made easier and easier with modern technology. Here are some powerful ways video can be used:
Being the world’s second largest search engine, YouTube is not just about cat videos. Many people prefer to look to YouTube first for “how to” searches than they go to Google, but more and more are using it for even just general face to camera style videos.
Facebook LOVES video. This is because they want to be a one stop shop for all things social. So in order to do that (and move people away from YouTube) they are giving massive rewards to businesses who use video on their pages in the form of greater reach. In other words, if you record a Facebook Live it will be shown to a significantly larger audience than just a general post. Bonus Points: It’s so easy to do, just pick up your phone, switch to live stream in your FB app and start sharing. No need for perfection here.
The first of the mainstream social media live streaming video platforms, periscope still has a place in the market. If your audience is more likely on Twitter, Periscope might be the better option for you.
Video is also popular as means of adding more people to your email list. Common ways to do this include Webinars, Online Workshops or a dripped out series of Videos. The perceived value of this sort of signup freebie can be huge.
content marketing method 2 podcasts
If you haven’t discovered the world of podcasts yet, as soon as you finish reading this I implore you to go check it out! There are podcasts about almost every topic imaginable and many by leading experts in their field. And also many who have become “leading experts” because they have a podcast. There are many different flavours you can choose from and most podcasts use a mix.
Probably the most popular type of podcast content are interviews. It seems to be the most user-friendly method of conducting interviews, plus it has a much bigger appeal to get people to be interviewed than on something like a blog. Some great examples of podcasts that have a great range of interviews are Mums with Hustle with Tracy Harris, The League of Luminary Ladies with Kylie Patchett and Rock your Goals with Sarah Jensen.
The other popular approach is where the podcaster literally just provides some form of training using audio. This can range from short 10 minute bursts of value packed information through to around the hour mark. Great examples include Become a Problogger with Darren Rowse, Off the Charts with Nathalie Lussier and of course Online Marketing made Easy with Amy Porterfield.
Many podcasts are just a video that has the “visual” part removed. This amazing tactic means that your message can reach your audience on the platform of their choice – without much more effort on your part. The Lucky Bitch Podcast is a great example of this. Denise Duffield Thomas uses not only her YouTube Channel Videos but even her Facebook Lives and puts them on an easy to access podcast channel.
content marketing method 3 graphics
Graphics can also be used as a powerful tool to get your message out there. Especially if you are trying to explain a complex topic.
Those long diagram images can really be a powerful tool in explaining a complex topic to your audience in a meaningful and concise way. And they can make the difference in setting you apart from everyone else in the market. They can be as an extra to your blog or on a webpage and shared across social media. Pinterest is a great place for these!
If you use a lot of Powerpoint or Keynote presentations in your business, you might want to consider SlideShare as your content method of choice. Basically it’s a presentation slide deck, without the audio. Hosted by LinkedIn, SlideShare has it’s own unique audience of fans and is another search engine in it’s own right. In addition, you can embed the presentations on your own website.
Photography is still a powerful tool in online marketing. Whether you have a physical or service based product, photos help evoke a feeling about your business and your brand. But it can also be a strategic content weapon through multiple forms such as:
- User Generated Content – where your customers share a picture of themselves with your product
- Brand Representatives – where you get someone with a large social following to take pictures with your product
- Products in their Environment – where you create a feeling of what it would be like to be using your product. This works with digital products too like with EBook Mockups.
- Product Swaps – where you swap products with another business that shares your audience and you take photos of them together.
- “Flat Lays” or “Stack Lays” – also using other businesses’ products as well as your own but laid out with either a top down view (flat lay) or on top of each other (stack lay)
- Behind the Scenes – where you tell a story about how your product or service is created.
content marketing method 4 social media
I’m sure you can see how many of the above can be housed on Social Media, in particular the photos and live streaming video, but there are a couple of additional ways.
Inspirational Quotes & Messages
An oldie but a goodie, these still count as content as they help create a feeling about your brand.
Short Form “Blog” Posts
A shorter version of a blog that is housed on social media instead. If you don’t want to go the full way with a blog this can be a great way to experiment with your ideas. Popular types of this content include mini-lessons, top tips or resource finds.
content marketing methods 5 lead magnets & emails
Ebooks, Email Courses, Checklists, White Papers, etc. All these things you need to enter your email address to get are also another form of content. In fact, your emails themselves (if they aren’t just a sales push) are another form. It all goes back to the basic definition of providing information and value for free to help bring your audience to purchase.
For more information on these forms, I take a deeper dive in these blog posts:
So which ones should you choose?
I could create a long answer around choosing the content that your Target Audience would prefer most or that suits your type of business more. But instead, I take a different tactic with this one.
Choose the Content Types that you will actually get done.
Consistency is the most important thing when it comes to content creation. If you feel forced creating it or if it feels like a chore to you, it will get dropped off the to do list. So choose the ones that you would enjoy the most.
If you find that you are not reaching your ideal audience on that platform, you will still have that content there that can be repurposed into another platform, without as much work. You might even be able to get a VA to do it for you!
So the message is…. just start!