Continued from ‘8 Hidden Benefits of Inbound Marketing.’
The year isn’t over yet, but it’s never to early to start planning next year’s marketing strategy! And producing great content is one of the best ways to use inbound marketing to promote your website. Here are the content tactics we recommend implementing in your inbound marketing plan next year–and beyond!
Most people think of blogging where it applies to content marketing. They are partly correct. Running a blog on your website is a great way to feature your content in an informal and familiar format. Even traditional corporate websites are slowly replacing old-school “company news” and “press releases” with friendlier blogs. Effective blogs are designed to attract, interact with and engage visitors by providing the content people want in a casual and welcoming format. In fact, with proper inbound marketing, your website’s blog could be the most visited section of your website. Good content will eventually bring visitors to your website, and new content appearing on a regular basis will keep them coming back for more.
Regardless of the purpose of your website, you should consider running a blog as a part of your website. It will act as a starting platform for your content and will be tightly integrated with your inbound marketing campaigns. Maintaining a blog is not limited to writing articles. Some of the most engaging blogs feature a lot of visual content such as images, infographics or videos.
Guest blogging is contributing your content to third-party blogs and websites that are willing to publish it in exchange for a credit or a link to your website. It’s a great way to build an audience, especially in the beginning when very few people are aware of your blog’s existence. When your content is well liked and appreciated, readers will naturally travel from your guest blog post back to your own blog. Guest blogging also allows you to build partnerships and affiliations with other blogs and websites to exchange good content on a regular basis.
Infographics are fun. People love them because they make even the most technical and complex information visually attractive and easy to digest. Infographics are great for incorporating into blog posts or when used on their own. They are often favorites on social media as their visual nature makes them great for sharing.
An eBook is an electronic version of a book that is designed for view on a computer or an electronic reader. eBooks may be the length of a book, or just few pages in length with focus on a particular topic for readers strapped for time. Unlike whitepapers, eBook are generally more casual and more visual, often containing images, interactive presentations and even videos.Content marketing often utilizes eBooks as an offer that can be downloaded in exchange for a website visitor’s information. That information (like an e-mail address) can then be used for lead nurturing to convert and close. For example, Hubspot.com makes great use of eBooks in a wide range of marketing topics that can be downloaded your information is submitted. Every company, including yours, has similar material that can be converted into an eBook that your visitors would love to download and read. In this scenario, they won’t mind providing their e-mail address.
The key is to determine what information really interests your prospects. It could be a “how-to” guide, market research or a guide into the state of your industry. A blog is a wonderful platform to test the content and give your visitors a “teaser.” It could then lead to a downloadable eBook that will request their information, join a mailing list, or similar action. Here’s an example of a call-to-action featuring a free eBook download:
Whitepapers are slowly being replaced with more casual and visual eBooks in content marketing. However, whitepapers do have many applications. Whitepapers are generally technical documents or reports focusing on a particular topic. They are more academic and formal than eBooks and typically consist of mostly text with minimal graphics.
Consider using whitepapers to share any information that is data-centric, technical or based on quantifiable research. Whitepapers are often created in PDF format and can be downloaded, just as eBooks, in exchange for a visitor’s contact information. A common strategy is to offer whitepapers via e-mail, which requires their email address for delivery.
LinkedIn SlideShare Presentations
LinkedIn SlideShare is a great way to deliver lengthy, in-depth content in an easily-accessible format to millions of people. Many of the world’s best content producers use SlideShare, and visitors regularly use the site to look for information, to learn about new topics and to research products and services. It’s also easy to use–if you already have created presentations, videos, infographics, or documents, uploading them is a breeze! So if you want to establish your authority on a given topic, SlideShare could be right for you. Here’s an example of a SlideShare presentation from the Content Marketing Institute:
In a previous blog post, I discussed using videos as an effective communication tool for your website. The same concept applies to marketing. Videos can be effectively used on your blog. People love sharing videos on social media. Google includes videos in its search results that create yet another avenue. Finally, there are entire communities such as YouTube or Vimeo through which you can get even more exposure by uploading your videos there.Some of the most effective videos in marketing have compelling content. Videos are great for educating and entertaining. Think about how you can use videos to help your customers: video tutorials, screencasts, product demonstrations, interviews, and more.
A podcast is an amazing way to deliver your content on the go. Thanks to mobile devices, people now have quick access to their favorite content in their car or on the train while commuting to work, going for a walk or travelling. It may seem like a lot of work, but podcasts can actually be the same recycled content that you and your team record and release on a regular basis. Some of the best podcasts are informal and conversational. HubSpot’s podcast, The Growth Show, is featured prominently throughout its website.
Of all content marketing tactics, the webinar is probably the most immersive, with attendees focusing all their attention for as long as an hour. Unlike a static video, the webinar format allows for interaction with others, including asking questions. This makes the webinar an incredibly effective tool.
Ready to put these content ideas to use in your Inbound Marketing strategy? Download our free eBook on Inbound Marketing below!