Saturday, October 12th, 2013
There is a saying going around.
“Content is king.”
How many times have you heard it?
Likely, quite a few – especially if you keep up with SEO news and the ins and outs of search engine rankings. You don’t have to look very hard to see that it’s true. Content really is king. Without it, there would be no websites, blogs, social media networks – no Internet to speak of. Everything you read, see and watch online is ‘content’ in some form or the other.
However, you want to be sure that the content you’re posting to your website and blog is actually worthy of posting.
If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to each one, you should rethink posting it on your site.
Now that you’ve determined that the content is good, now it’s time to find out whether it’s good enough to convert readers into buyers.
You want your content to have an angle, right? Something about it that whispers, “Buy this thing. Invest in this company. Give us your money.”
However, you don’t want to be obvious about it, at least not all the time. People don’t like to feel like they’re being sold to all the time so be subtle in your marketing attempts.
Content doesn’t actually have to be promotional in tone in order to effectively sell your business, brand or product to consumers.
Good content that’s well-written, solves a problem for a reader, answers questions and/or provides tangible advice will not only sell your product and services.
It also establishes you as an authority in your industry. It provides your readers with the assurance that you are knowledgeable and experienced in that which you speak of, which gives your brand or business more credibility. The more credible a business is, the more likely people are to trust them. And the more likely a consumer is to trust a brand, the more likely they are to invest in that brand.
That’s how good content sells. Not by screaming or shouting, “BUY ME! BUY ME!” in bold red font to anyone who happens along, but by building up your business and brand on a solid foundation that people can rely on time and time again.
So, now that we’ve established that having good content on your website and blog can work wonders for your business or brand – we need to talk about the different kinds of content you can use to achieve those wonders.
Here’s a list of 27 different types of content that is guaranteed to sell people on your business and/or your brand.
Yes, emails can sell, too – if you know how to use them. A simple follow up email to a recent or former client about their last experience or purchase with your business can work wonders for generating new business.
Newsletters are great for letting consumers know what’s been going on with your business and what they can expect in the future. You can recycle content that you used previously elsewhere to include in your newsletters as well. Give them an option to opt in on your website and blog to make subscribing easy.
3. Blog Posts
Got something you want people to know in a hurry? A new product you can’t wait to share? Blog it. You would be surprised how quickly your blog grows as you add new content to it all the time, which lends to your brand’s credibility and influence in your industry.
4. How-To Articles and Guides
Everyone likes free advice on how to fix something or deal with an issue they have been experiencing. Put together a how-to guide that will help your client solve common issues and post it on your website or blog for easy access. Giving something back to your readers is definitely good for increasing brand loyalty.
People always like to know as much as they can about a company or business they are dealing with. Doing some interviews with company executives, owners and other people related to the business is a great way to add a personal touch for your readers. These, too, can be posted on your website or blog for easy access and future reference.
Video content is self-explanatory. It’s a video clip used for marketing or informational purposes. Think of TV commercials, but on a do-it-yourself level. Many people prefer video content over written content because it’s easier to understand and adds a personal touch to the message you’re trying to convey.
Articles are the most widely know type of written content. They are used for a variety of purposes like populating website and blogs, filling up newsletters and for distribution in article marketing campaigns as well.
8. Press Releases
Press releases are formal statements issued by a company, business or organization with the intent to pass important information on to consumers and the public. There is a distinct format to follow when crafting a press release, which should answer the all-important “5 Ws” – the what, the when, the where, the who and the why.
Yeah. Cartoons can break the monotony of written text and add visual appeal to your marketing message as well.
Infographics are hugely popular right now so be sure to include those in your website and blog. Be sure the information, data or statistics shown in the infographics is directly related to your business or brand in some way.
Slideshows are an highly valuable, but extremely underutilized way of getting your message across. People like seeing information put into visually appealing presentations. It makes them easier to understand. Make them colorful, interesting and concise for the best results.
Ebooks are a great resource to give your readers as a free download. they offer clients something tangible in return for their loyalty, but they are also another way of keeping your brand and business on people’s mind. Posting your contact information, website URL and other contact information within the pages of the ebook will help accomplish this.
13. Case Studies
Case studies are helpful in showing what your brand can do for consumers by showcasing the success your company’s solutions have brought to former clients. Think of them as a resume’ of sorts and offer them free on your website or blog as a testament to your abilities.
Reviews left by other clients about your products are a wonderful way to let other consumers know about the successes people have had with your products or services. Positive reviews help establish your brand’s credibility and make people more likely to invest in it.
Testimonials work much like reviews do, but they focus on the company itself rather than a specific service or product they offer. Like reviews, testimonials create lots of credibility in your company and make people more likely to choose you over the competition because of other people’s positive experiences.
You can turn articles or blog posts into a podcast that people can listen to on the go. That way they don’t have to be tethered to their computer to find out more about your business or brand. They can do it from wherever they are. People love this kind of flexibility and being provided with it tends to make a consumer more brand-loyal.
Lists are perfect for getting information to people in an effective, yet concise way. They can skim and scan the list for the information they need without having to wade through walls of texts to find one tidbit of information.
Do you think one product is going to surpass another? Do you foresee big things in the horizon for your industry? Make a prediction to attract reader attention. Not only will they find the prediction interesting, they will be compelled to check back again once the time frame of the prediction has passed in order to find out the end result.
19. Guest Blog Posts
Guest blog posts are the same as blog posts, except that you make them on someone else’s blog while linking to your own via anchor text and resource boxes. Guest posts are great for garnering interest and generating new traffic.
People love pictures so use them every chance you get in your content. Blogs, websites and newsletters are all places where you can include images, but think outside the box, too. Use Pinterest to pin you blog images and other pictures to create valuable backlinks to your site.
21. Product Pages
If you have an actual product or book you are selling, create a product page for it. Product pages are great for focusing on one particular product so that it doesn’t get overlooked within your website or blog. You can use them to post images and videos of the product as well as to highlight the product specifications and other relevant information.
Webinars are a great way to share your knowledge with others, which provides a tangible benefit to your audience. Webinars present you as an authority in your field and they also add a personal touch to your business or brand by allowing people the opportunity to see and hear you live rather than just read what you have to say in text form.
23. Raw Data
Facts, figures and statistics that illustrate a point you are making are appealing to all readers. Citing highly trusted sources for this data creates a piece of content that people will be confident about believing and more likely to share.
24. Facebook Fan Page
Yes, you must have a Facebook Fan Page for your business or brand. It’s a very important part of the link wheel you want to keep turning. You can tell your followers about recent blog posts, recent additions to your website or inform them about related news. You can also use the Fan Page to engage your following by holding discussions and putting on contests as well. Take your time and compose updates that are interesting and engaging for the best results.
Just like the Facebook Fan Page, tweets (via Twitter) are another type of must have content for your brand. You can tweet all kinds of information to your followers and keep the link wheel turning, as we said before. Link to other people’s content as well. Remember to respond to all commentary from your following in order to keep them engaged.
26. Top 10 Lists
Everyone loves a Top Ten List. These lists are the most commonly shared type of content in circulation today. Create some that are related to your industry and post them to your blog or website, making sure that they are easily accessed and easily shared.
Stories add a personal touch and are another one of the most commonly shared types of content. Funny ones, sad ones, angry ones, inspiring ones – it doesn’t matter. So long as it’s relevant to your industry, your business and brand, a story can be a great choice of content to add to your website or blog.
Of course, this wasn’t meant to be an all-inclusive list of the various types of content that you can use to market your business. However, we believe it’s a great start. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to choose just a couple of types of content to use and stick with those.
On the contrary.
You should be using a variety of content types on both your website and your blog to keep things fresh and interesting. The more interesting and engaging the content is that you post, the more likely people will be to pass it on!