The 6 Most Effective Content Marketing Methods

The 6 Most Effective Content Marketing Methods

Content is king.

It’s long been the mantra of successful internet marketing professionals, and it’s only becoming more important.

As Google’s past Penguin and Panda updates and its recent Hummingbird algorithm reboot suggest, the key to boosting your search rank is to provide engaging, informative, and relevant content. But that’s not all – your authority as an author matters, too. The more people share, like, and engage with your past content, the more likely Google is to pay attention to your future content.

And of course, that doesn’t account for how good content marketing can move your visitors to hire your services, purchase your products, or subscribe to your offerings.

Effective content marketing is the key to success on the internet, and it often has a long shelf-life. It can continue to produce results for as long it’s relevant to your audience.

So where do you start? Not all content marketing methods are right for every business, and before you spread yourself too thin, it’s a good idea to look at all of your options in order to develop your strategy.

Here are 6 of the most effective content marketing techniques to consider.

Blog Posts

Nearly every business can benefit from a blog. In fact, almost 40% of US companies already do. (eMarketer, August 2010)

A blog is often the “hub” of the content marketing efforts. You can use it to promote all of the types of content we cover in the article, not just written blog posts. And you can also use blog posts to fuel your social networks, making them easier to keep updated regularly.

Blogs can help you achieve a number of things:

  • Showcase your expertise in your industry
  • Build a relationship with your target audience
  • Establish trust in your brand
  • Persuade people that your product or service can solve their problem
  • Answer frequently asked questions about your product or service
  • Help improve your search rank and drive traffic

Stats to Consider

  • 81% of marketers believe a blog is useful. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
  • 3 out of 5 marketers rate blogs as critical or important. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
  • 92% of companies who blog several times a day acquire a customer through their blog. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012)
  • 42% of consumers looked to articles and blogs for product recommendations. (Cone, Inc. 2011)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. (Social Media B2B)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Content+)
  • Companies with blogs that are regularly updated receive 97% more leads. (Content+ 2013)

Infographics

Infographics are highly effective for explaining complex ideas or concepts in a visual way. They are also useful tools for making an argument.

Many technical companies and products benefit from using infographics to explain their services. Additionally, if your offerings rely on your status as an expert in your field, infographics can showcase your expertise. Non-profits or companies driven by social messages, such as green products, can benefit from their ability to persuade.

When done right, an infographic can:

  • Drive large amounts of traffic to your site
  • Build more links to your site
  • Attract a highly engaged audience (longer time on page)
  • Explain a complicated service, product, or message in a simple way
  • Showcase your expertise
  • Help improve your search rank

Stats to Consider

  • People are 30 times more likely to read infographics than text articles. (CustomerMagnetism.com)
  • Our eyes contain 70% of our total sensory receptors. (Merieb, E. N. & Hoehn, K., 2007)
  • Sites that use infographics get 12% more traffic than those that don’t. (Unbounce.com, 2012)
  • From 2010 to 2012, there was an 800% jump in searches for infographics. (Unbounce.com, 2012)
  • .1 seconds. That’s how long it takes for us to understand something visual. (Semetko, H. & Scammell, M., 2012)
  • People remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read. (Lester, P. M., 2006).
  • People are 323% more likely to follow directions correctly if they are given a mixture of text and pictures. (Dowse, R. & Ehlers, M., 2005)

Photos

If you have a visual product or service, photos are crucial to your success. Many retailers make the mistake of just using them in their storefront, but if you offer something that is unique and interesting, you should share those photos on (and take additional photos for) your blog, social networks, and email marketing. Picture social networks, such as Pinterest, make photos an even more effective part of a content marketing strategy for many businesses.

Photos can help:

  • Directly drive sales
  • Engage your audience
  • Generate buzz about your brand
  • Create content for your blogs and social networks

Stats to Consider

  • Articles with images get 94% more views. (Content+ 2013)
  • 65% prefer emails that contain mostly images vs. 35% who prefer mostly text (HubSpot)
  • 67% of consumers say it’s very important to them that a product have a high quality picture (mdgadvertising.com)
  • 37% more people are likely to engage with something on Facebook if a photo is attached as opposed to just text. (JeffBullas.com)
  • 21% of people will purchase a product after seeing a photo of it on Pinterest. (PriceGrabber)

How-To Videos

In general, videos can be a part of your content marketing strategy, but how-to videos are particularly effective so I’m singling them out here.

Just like an infographic, how-to videos can be much more effective than copy when it comes to explaining a complicated service or product. Additionally, they are a good long-term investment, driving traffic for as long as they remain relevant. Often, people will seek out a “how-to” and then end up hiring the services of someone who can do that task for them instead. It can also decrease the work load for your customer service or technical help department by answering common questions.

How-To Videos can help:

  • Drive traffic to your site over the long-term
  • Provide answers to technical or customer service issues
  • Explain a complicated service, product, or message in a simple way
  • Establish your expertise
  • Build trust for your brand

Stats to Consider

  • 85% of US internet users watch online videos. (comScore and Nielsen)
  • From 2010 to 2011, mobile video usage increased by 35%. (Nielsen)
  • Pages featuring videos see a 100% increase in the time viewers spend there. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Watching a product video makes people 85% more likely to buy that product. (Internet Retailer)
  • Each minute, Twitter users share 700 YouTube videos. (YouTube)
  • Video posts receive 3 times more inbound links than posts that only feature text. (SEOMoz)

Podcasts

Traditionally, podcasts were strictly audio-based episodes – reminiscent of weekly radio shows. Today they often include video as well. Users can subscribe to them and listen to or watch them at their leisure. A popular podcast can mean thousands of regular listeners/watchers, which is a large audience to promote to. They are most effective for businesses that revolve around a single personality or focus on building relationships with their customers. For example, a book author may regularly do podcasts and then use them to promote an upcoming book release.

Podcasts can be an effective way to:

  • Build an targeted audience
  • Establish a relationship with consumers
  • Showcase your expertise
  • Drive regular traffic to your website
  • Attract advertising or sponsorships

Stats to Consider

  • The number of people listening to podcasts has grown by 163% since 2006. (Edison Research Study)
  • From 2010 to 2011, those listening to online radio, including podcasts, in their cars jumped by almost 100%. (Pew Research Center 2012)
  • 67% of podcast listeners have a positive opinion of sponsor marketing. (Edison Research)
  • 80% of listeners prefer to buy from businesses that sponsor the shows they love. (Edison Research)
  • 90% of listeners said they’d taken action after podcast advertising, and 40% purchased the product or service. (Edison Research)
  • Build trust
  • Establish your expertise
  • Build a targeted audience
  • Directly promote products and services
  • Drive traffic to your website

Emails and Newsletters

Email marketing is sometimes overlooked by companies because it isn’t as trendy as many cutting-edge strategies. However, it is tried-and-true and a consistent performer when it comes to delivering conversions. Why? Because you can use it to build an audience over time, establish trust, and then market to them regularly. This is particularly effective for any company who is seeking repeat business (which is most companies!)

Emails and newsletters can be effective ways to:

  • Build trust
  • Establish your expertise
  • Build a targeted audience
  • Directly promote products and services
  • Drive traffic to your website

Stats to Consider

  • 95% of internet users have email. (ExactTarget)
  • 91% of those users check their messages every day. (ExactTarget)
  • Promotional emails directly led 44% of recipients to make a purchase. (ConvinceandConvert.com)
  • 70% of people use at least one email coupon per week. (Blue Kangaroo Study 2012)
  • Useful email content is share by 72% of B2B buyers. (Earnest Agency)
  • 27% of consumers wish their favorite companies invested more in email. (ExactTarget)
  • You’re 158% more likely to get a click-through if you include social sharing buttons in your emails. (GetResponse)
  • Ad revenue for emails was $156 million in 2012. (Interactive Advertising Bureau)
  • Press releases
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Tutorials
  • Resource libraries
  • Presentations
  • Case studies
  • Webinars and webcasts
  • Online courses and workbooks

Take the Plunge

Of course, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities for content marketing are endless. Here are other forms of content marketing you can consider:

Don’t be overwhelmed by the options. It’s better to focus on just one to three forms of content marketing, track the results over time, and adjust accordingly.

4 thoughts on “The 6 Most Effective Content Marketing Methods”

  1. Pingback: Best SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media: December 2013 | ASEOHosting

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