There are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content–far too many to cover here. My intent is to give you an introduction to content marketing and get you thinking like a content marketer so you’ll see the opportunities all around you. Soon you’ll be coming up with 50 content marketing ideas every day. You won’t be able to stop seeing opportunities to create content. Here are a few examples to get you started.
These are generally long, vertical graphics that include statistics, charts, graphs, and other information. If you need some examples, here are 197 infographics on the topic of content marketing curated by Michael Schmitz, head of Content Lab at Publicis, Munich. Infographics can be effective in that if one is good it can be passed around social media and posted on websites for years. You can get a professionally designed infographic by hiring a contractor on a site like oDesk or if you want to remove some of the risk you can go with a company like Visua.ly. A decent infographic will usually cost you at least $1,000 to have designed, but can cost several thousand dollars if you are hiring a contractor or agency to include strategy and planning, research, copywriting, and design. There is also the matter of promoting that infographic to bloggers and the media. Or you could set up a board on Pinterest and curate infographics on a topic related to your business. That is also a form of content marketing, and it costs nothing but your time. Hey, it worked for Michael.
A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation.
Blogs are usually (but not always) written by one person and are updated pretty regularly. Blogs are often (but not always) written on a particular topic – there are blogs on virtually any topic you can think of. From politics, to recipes, to personal diaries, to hobbies and music. The best thing to do is find 12 questions that you think your prospective clients might ask and write a blog every month answering one of those questions in detail.
Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the Internet. The reason it became linked with the iPod in name was because people download the broadcasts (audio shows) to listen to on their iPods. However you don’t have to listen to podcasts only on iPods; you can use your computer with some music software such as Windows built-in Media Player or iTunes for mac (which has a podcast library), or your Smartphone, or even in your car. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you have some way to play music on your computer you will be able to listen to podcasts.
Podcasts are shows, similar to radio or TV shows that are produced by professionals or amateurs and posted to the Internet for download and listening or viewing. Many podcasts are made available for free, though some must be purchased.
A podcast provides an alternative media channel. There are some people who prefer reading blogs. Others prefer listening to podcasts. Often, these are very different audiences. This has been my experience.
Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, practices what he preaches. His “This is Your Life” podcast is downloaded 250,000 times each month. As Hyatt elaborates on his blog post 4 Reasons You Should Consider Launching Your Own Podcast, “A podcast gives you visibility in a completely different world—primarily iTunes. I have had scores of new people say they had never heard of me until they stumbled onto me in iTunes.” Hyatt gives valuable information and advice in his podcast–all for free. But that podcast leads to more sales of his books, signups for his courses, and requests for him as a speaker.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at his YouTube channel. He got his start creating videos to promote his family’s wine store and through those videos and other online marketing he eventually grew it to a $45M empire. Videos and podcasts are a largely untapped form of content marketing because people think it’s expensive and hard. But with the falling cost of professional grade equipment creating high quality video and audio content is easier than ever.
An eBook is an electronic book, one you read digitally on your computer, laptop screen or on devices called eBook readers.
You will find them in various formats and until the industry has a standard accessible in all devices these various formats will exist.
PDF format is a popular format for eBooks. All platforms are able to gain access and read PDF formatting. So regardless if you have a PC or Mac, you are in business! PDF requires the Acrobat Reader but this software comes on many new computers and if not included, it’s a free downloaded from Adobe http://www.adobe.com. There are still many who prefer printing out the pages of an eBook to read and PDF files have always been good for this purpose.
If you had a series on your blog that I was really interested in, and you had gathered all 6 or 10 or 31 posts into a PDF I could download and read on my Kindle app, guess what I’d prefer? The file that has it all in one place.
According to a recent study over 80% of people search a business online via Google, Bing, etc. before doing business with them. Having an informative website, Blog, Podcast and EBook will put you ahead of the competition.
Once you have build a good online presence with your website, Blog, Podcast, etc. It is time to get people to your website, etc. Which takes us to finding your audience?
Books are a great way to provide value to your customers and build your brand. It’s much easier to write and publish a book then ever before. If you are just starting out then this may be something that isn’t in your near future but it’s a great way to set yourself up as an expert in your field.
Those are just a few examples of content marketing. I could also have mentioned white papers, ebooks, apps, public speaking, presentations, and blogs. Entire books have been written on using each of these in content marketing efforts.