A decade ago, online content generally referred to blog posts and landing pages on a website. Now, content has grown to incorporate video, webinars, white papers, infographics, and more. Gone are the days a company could pay a copywriter to create new blog posts and maintain a robust online presence. Organizations must branch out in terms of how they’re presenting content online and be strategic about how to use various forms of content to attract their ideal audience. All the types of content listed above make up the recommended pieces of an organization’s content strategy. But how do those types of content fall into various buckets when it comes to strategy and implementation?
We believe it comes down to three main components: thought leadership content, awareness content, and sales content.
Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership content is designed to offer your unique perspective based on your experience in your business and position you as the authority in your market. These pieces provide your unique perspective based on your experience in your trade. These pieces could look like the following:
– A step-by-step process detailing how to do something
– Insight and predictions about your industry
– Breakdowns of the latest concepts in your industry (particularly if they’re a new idea)
Basically, these content pieces position your company as the leader in what you do and build your credibility as an influencer in your market. One key thing to remember about thought leadership posts: many of these topics may not have any search engine volume behind them. The reason is that they fall into analytics’ “unknown” category, i.e., topics that people don’t know they don’t know. That said, you can get creative with finding ways to push this content out to your readers, including sharing them to your own personal social channels, paid ads on Facebook or other platforms, and linking to them within your other content pieces.
The type of content you might be most familiar with is Awareness Content. This type of content focuses on driving visibility for your brand. The goal of these types of articles is to educate your customers, build site authority, and build brand awareness.
Awareness content drives visitors to your site who conduct searches for topics containing keywords you’ve included in your content.
While these articles may not directly drive sales, they become valuable resources that other blogs and pages on your site can link to (called internal link-building) that steer search authority back to your article and each page your article links to.
These topics are generally defined by data-driven keyword research. For example, a home renovation company may have blog titles such as “Ten ways to improve curb appeal in your home” or “How to select interior paint colors.” These topics put search engine optimization first to drive your target audience to your website when users search online about a particular topic.
Sales content is designed to convert potential leads into new customers. Sales content helps convert potential customers interested in your product or services to determine if you’re the right solution for their individual needs. Sales content should meet two goals: converting the right customers and turning away potential customers that may not be a good fit.
One of the best ways to create Sales Content is with numbers. Does your organization have case studies or success stories that showcase the work you have done for current clients? These success stories create empathy with other organizations that might be having the same pain points, as they can identify problems that your customer was dealing with and how and show how your organization helped solve them.
Another sub-group of sales content is known as comparison content, which includes a clear positioning statement about your organization’s core competencies and the ideal clients that work best with you. This type of content is also good for identifying potential solutions and which potential clients benefit from those solutions.
Who’s Creating Your Content?
Now that you have a better idea about the types of content that will grow your audience and create more authority for your organization in the market, the next question you’ll need to answer is about implementation. Who’s in charge of creating and posting this content?
With as many different types of content needed to create a fully successful content marketing strategy, the power of a marketing team is hard to beat. If you’re hoping to create and roll out these various pieces with a freelancer or even a solo marketer on your team, it’s highly likely that they’ll get overwhelmed quickly, and your strategy may come to a screeching halt. (If you want to know more of the reasons we recommend not hiring a solo marketer, sign up for our upcoming tell-all webinar.)
At the end of the day, your content strategy will only be as successful as the people running it. A team of professionals can execute multiple programs and reduce the risk of marketing failure. One of the most cost-effective ways to do that is by hiring a marketing agency to become your marketing department, or at the very least, support your solo marketer.
Interested in learning more about how an agency can boost your content marketing strategy and other marketing initiatives? Reach out to chat with someone from our team.
John’s the founder of Audacity Marketing. When he’s not racing motorcycles, he’s building marketing strategies for Audacity clients and anyone else who’ll listen.
John’s worn all the marketing hats, from consultant to agency owner to executive to university professor. He’s held leadership roles in industries from staffing to behavioral health to capital-C consulting. He’s branded or rebranded over 100 companies.
John buttresses 25+ years in marketing with an MBA from Georgia State University.
John lives with his girlfriend Suzanne, his dog Seamus, and his daughter Annie when she shows up from college.