Which Type of Content Is Right for Your Audience?
Over the past several years, you have likely heard about how quality content can lead to increased engagement and visibility for your brand. You also probably know that quality content can result in higher conversion rates and higher returns on marketing dollars spent by a brand. However, it is critical to understand what type of content best meets your marketing needs as well as the needs of your audience. Let’s look at some common types of content, what they are and how they can be used as marketing tools.
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A blog post should be a minimum of 250 words and can be written in a variety of tones, including informational, humorous and sales orientated. The main goal of a blog post is to provide fresh content for a website. Producing fresh content gives readers or other site visitors an incentive to keep coming back to your web properties. It can also help increase your standing with search engines as they prefer sites that publish content regularly.
Blog posts can also be used to start a conversation on social media or elsewhere on the internet. For instance, a blog post about LeBron James will likely attract comments and shares from both his admirers and detractors alike. If your target audience is made up of homeowners, writing a blog post about how to fix a clogged tub drain may be ideal because it is a common occurrence. Therefore, it is a post that could garner a lot of comments and shares.
While blog posts can be in-depth if you want them to be, they are most effective when they are 500 to 1,000 words. In some cases, this won’t be enough to cover a topic as thoroughly as you want or need to. Fortunately, you can create longer pieces of content that are designed to act as guides or to attract traffic based on a keyword or phrase.
Let’s say that you want to teach people how to select the golf clubs that best fit their needs. You could create a how-to guide that explains what each club is used for, the type of materials a club can be made of and how to further customize each club to meet a player’s needs. The guide could also provide some background knowledge on the different brands that make golf clubs and the pros and cons of using a certain company’s club.
Using guides to educate readers is a concept that can be used for any type of product or service that a person or company is attempting to sell. In addition to text, it can be advantageous to include pictures or graphs in your guide to provide visual breaks and to make the content more interesting to those who are visual learners. As with shorter blog content, how-to guides and product guides should be designed with an eye toward being talked about and shared online.
Typically, the goal of an SEO page is to act as a hub for other pages that a blogger or company may have on their site. Let’s say that you sell insurance products in a given state or region. The SEO page will aim to educate people about what insurance is, how it is used and the different types of products available. It could also be used to explain the process of buying insurance.
It is important to remember that this type of content is used to inform and attract traffic more than it is to sell. Consider incorporating hyperlinks to your main website or other online property where a person might ask for a quote or start the purchase process. To create an SEO page, you can either choose to write one or two longer articles or repurpose a series of blog posts into one long piece.
If your main goal is to sell products or help customers learn more about something that they have purchased, a how-to guide may not get to the point fast enough. Instead, simple 50- to 100-word product descriptions or instructional articles can communicate a message effectively.
Product descriptions are generally shorter than 100 words but can be up to 300 to 400 words depending on the product. A product description should mention key points of the product such as what it is used for, its dimensions or what colors it’s available in. It is permissible to end a product description with a link to the product or a call to action to buy it.
An instructional article should be a step-by-step piece that can be used to teach someone how to do something like assemble a product, make a repair or store the item. Instructional content should be more technical in nature and provide pictures and other visuals to help a person better understand what they are supposed to do.
Case studies are generally longer, formal pieces of content that aim to prove the effectiveness of a product or service. For instance, you could write a case study showing how much time a person saved using a lawn mowing service compared to mowing their own lawn. Case studies can either be comprised of original research or use both original and previously conducted research. If you do use statistics, quotes or information from other sources, be sure to cite those sources.
Don’t forget to use social media as part of your content marketing and engagement strategy. You can post polls, quotes or open-ended questions to encourage comments or shares. Prior to choosing a social media platform, familiarize yourself with how your followers will consume content on a given site. For instance, Twitter is ideal for posting links or quotes while Instagram is designed for photos.
Quality content can attract an audience, spark a conversation and create a buzz around your personal or corporate brand. If appropriate, you can recycle existing content to enhance the return on your investment. Whether you write an article or post yourself or have someone else do it, it can work as an effective and inexpensive marketing tool to help your brand grow.
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