According to Salesforce Pardot’s study, 77 percent of people want different content at each stage of their research. You don’t want to send someone who’s already reached the bottom of the funnel an “Industry 101” blog post. Curating the right type of content for each stage of a sale is crucial. We broke down the eight most important types of content, why they’re important, and how to use them. Investing in engaging, well-written, and designed content will help ensure that your sales team has its bases covered, keeps your costs for content creation low, and provides value longer.
These are the eight essential types of content that will boost your marketing efforts:
eBooks (and even hardcover or physical books!)
eBooks are the number one most requested type of content from B2B consumers according to CustomerThink. They are digital, long-form books that feature a topic that your company wants to showcase. They’re less dense than traditional books but much more informative than a blog post. At the start of the funnel, eBooks are essential to spotlight all the key points that your audience needs to know. First, it’s necessary to conduct keyword research to understand what’s important to your audience to choose a relevant topic. From there, you can demonstrate that you’re a leader in the industry and have a full grasp of the subject.
Sending the right physical book to a prospect account sets you apart from the competition and is guaranteed to get their attention. They can be used in direct mail engagement to turn a cold-prospect into a warm one, as gifts are a great way to build relationships with closed-won accounts. Accompany a thank you or post-meeting follow-up with a physical book instead of a generic email.
White Papers are data-driven, technical, and focus on advanced deep subject expertise. They directly present first and third-party data tailored to decision-makers. While the tone of eBooks is more casual, White Papers are significantly more dense and professional. They increase your credibility, give your sales team the numbers, and inform potential customers that you are an expert in the field. This helps build the trust necessary to close that high-value customer.
According to HubSpot, 88 percent of marketers that use video in their marketing strategy reported that video gives them a positive ROI. Well-edited videos help you stay competitive due to their ability to form an emotional connection with the audience. Visual communication makes explanations of your product benefits more engaging. Utilize video to educate your audience on your product features, solutions, and benefits. You can also create engagement with how-to’s and guides.
There’s power in explaining how others have benefitted from your solution. Don’t forget to put all your happy customers in front of a camera and create a video testimonial or case study. Testimonials are effective because 92 percent of people trust a recommendation from a peer.
Here’s a bonus: Videos benefit your website’s SEO since the user stays on your page for a longer amount of time.
Podcasts are another way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by sharing your extensive knowledge with a greater audience. When well-produced, podcasts are powerful and personal. The convenient format allows for attention penetration in situations where listeners can’t read a blog post or take their eyes off the road. The auditory ability of both podcasts and explainer videos sets these types of content apart from others. Interviewing B2B influencer Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in your podcast (yes, B2B influencers are a real thing) can increase your engagement and widen your reach past your existing network.
Blog posts are a staple of inbound marketing. A blog on your website is necessary for healthy SEO. A well-done blog has you regularly publishing content on relevant topics. Publishing opinion pieces in your blog humanizes your content strategy. Thought leadership is when industry experts and leaders share their insight and unique opinions on an industry or topic. In blog posts, thought leadership can be posted on your native blog or as a guest post on another publication. Either way, they must provide high value to what the audience wants (some other places you can use thought leadership are in videos, social media, webinars, and podcasts). Pinpointing exactly what your audience is looking for is the secret to crafting great blog posts. In educating your ideal customer, you’ll drive traffic to your website, build credibility, and evergreen posts will generate higher lifelong value.
Infographics visualize the key insights from data aesthetically and concisely. Forty percent of people respond better to visual information than to text. They are incredibly effective because of the ease to share them on a multitude of platforms. Infographics keep it short and sweet with digestible insights. Our infographic below breaks down when to use each of these content types in your content marketing strategy.
Webinars are the perfect, interactive opportunity to break everything down to its core for your customer. People love to know all the steps to complete or understand a topic. That’s why there are so many lists and posts on “The Ultimate Guide to…” or “X Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide.” A webinar takes those posts one step further giving you the opportunity to talk directly to your audience about how to work a new software feature. You can also spotlight an industry expert for a Q&A. Not only is your audience completely engaged, but you are also able to repurpose the recordings from these virtual events to video content for your website, blog, and/or social media.
Now that you have a wide variety of content in your marketing strategy, social media is your best friend to get everyone to look at it. Over 70 percent of B2B buyers use social media as a research tool making it necessary to be present on the same platforms as your audience. Make your content ready for social media with a quick caption, hashtags, and mentions to relevant people (without spamming them).
Expand your content
Once you’ve established a foundation for your content strategy with these types of content, you can expand into more niches and repurpose existing material into different formats. Remember those testimonials you got on video? Use that audio during a transition in your podcast or pull a quote and promote it in a social media graphic. Break down your long-form ebook into chunks of evergreen blog posts. Another form of testimonial is an in-depth case study. This can be presented in the form of an aesthetically-pleasing report using infographics to communicate the results and process of past solutions. You can round up numerous types of content in a nifty email newsletter or share it as educational material in email marketing campaigns.
With the versatile nature of content, it’s no surprise that 90 percent of marketers say that they use content marketing to generate demand from buyers throughout the buying funnel.
Curious about how to make these types of content work for you? Reach out here for a quick chat.