Welcome to the 2015 Content Marketing Draft: Top Content Formats

The NFL Draft is right around the corner, and I’m putting on my GM hat to choose the best player for my content marketing team.

But in this draft I won’t be taking the best player available. Instead, I’ll analyze four different stops along the sales funnel that can benefit from content marketing – Lead Generation, Brand Awareness, Thought Leadership and Customer Retention – and select the best content format for the job.

No matter where your business is struggling to produce, content marketing has a player ready to make an immediate impact.

Lead Generation

Is your business struggling to generate qualified leads? If you’re wasting time sifting through the weeds just to find a rusted can of beans, try producing more gated content. This type of content commonly includes e-books, whitepapers and long-form articles that provide detailed information on a topic that relates to a wide range of people in your industry.

After producing this content, promote it on social media and with CTAs (clicks to action) on your blog. Any user who clicks through will be sent to a landing page where they will be instructed to fill out information like their name, email, phone number and even company name. After doing so, the user is then sent to another page where they can download the content.

Users who choose to provide good information tend to be genuinely interested in the topic and content, giving you a good starting ground for a sales conversation … or maybe some lead nurturing to get them ready for that.  More casual viewers tend to drop off once detailed information is requested.

Brand Awareness

If you’re looking to raise your company’s awareness stock, generate more interest and increase organic traffic, you should look toward producing an array of easily accessible content like videos, lists and blogs.

This type of content casts a wider net than more detail-focused gated content. You can attract a larger audience and keep their attention with shorter, easy-to-ready blogs and simple-to-make, to-the-point videos. This content also provides SEO benefits, as you can target a list of keywords through multiple blog posts, meta descriptions and titles.

Maintaining a consistent schedule for posting this type of content will help shift the perception of your business among search engines and your audience in the long run.

Thought Leadership

Everyone wants to become a thought leader. But how do you really gain authority in your industry? The answer is to provide expert-level content with a personalized touch. You can do this by hosting webinars and producing case studies. Personalization is important because it puts a face to your expertise.

Hosting a webinar that details an industry-related issue and how you and your company can help solve the problem establishes you as an innovator. It also gives you the opportunity to interact one-on-one with people in the industry by sharing ideas and furthering your influencer reach on social media. Be sure to use the contact information that attendees provide when they sign up, and leverage them as sales leads.

Case studies are extremely effective pieces of content. Here’s an awesome template for creating effective case studies. The keys?  Introduce a problem facing you or your clients, detail the solution you came up with, and share the results and success story.

Customer Retention

In order to keep customers from leaving once they reach free agency, you need to keep them happy during their initial deal. To do this, provide content like how-to blogs, product reviews or user-generated pieces.

This type of content keeps your audience’s attention by giving them useful information about your products and services, as well as reviews covering your latest products. User-generated content is a great way to get your audience involved, too, as it encourages them to share customer stories, quotations and images in weekly or bi-monthly blog posts. Everybody appreciates a little love once in a while, and this is your opportunity to shower your audience with praise.

Conclusion

Our team at Brandpoint is full of first-round picks – folks that can help with your strategy development, writing and account management. We’re ready to help your company reach its content marketing goals no matter what stop in the funnel you need to address.

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