A successful online marketing strategy involves having effective content marketing. But you might be wondering, what is content marketing and how does it work? In this post, we’ll cover the different types of content and how you can use them to help with the different phases of your customer’s journey.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to your long-form content, podcast, blog, YouTube channel, the things you do on Pinterest, and all of your social media activities.
You’ll need different types of content for each of these areas to attract people who are in different stages of their journey. This includes awareness content, thought leadership content, connection content, consideration content, and conversion content.
For people who are newer to your business audience, awareness content, thought leadership content, and connection content will normally be your focus. Consideration and conversion content will play a larger role after they’re learned more about you and your business. Meanwhile, your email marketing content will focus more on connection, consideration, and conversion content.
Types of Content
There are three different groups of content that you can use in your content marketing strategy.
Long-form content is the more substantive content that you create. A few good examples are podcasts, blogs, or YouTube shows.
Promotional content leverages social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) to draw attention to your long-form content, such as your podcast, blog, or other types of content. Your promotional content is a platform that allows you to build connections with your audience and invite them to visit your page. You can also use it to promote your product or service.
Promotional content sometimes starts out as conversational pieces that aim to get people to sign up for your offer. But as you use it regularly, you should start using it to promote your long-form content and lead magnets.
Social content involves pushing out content on traditional social media like Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are the places where you engage with people.
But unlike promotional content, you don’t promote anything. You don’t tell your audience to go to your blog, check your podcast, or buy your product or service. You’re just being social with your audience.
Long-form Content Trumps Social Media Posts
When you’re working on creating a strategy for your content marketing, you need to think in terms of creating assets for your business. You should avoid making one of the biggest mistakes that many entrepreneurs commit and that’s keeping themselves so busy creating social media posts that they don’t have time to create long-form content.
Long-form content doesn’t have a short shelf life. If you have a podcast or a website, people can come and listen to an episode or read a post you made a few years ago. Those who have YouTube channels can tell you that they’re making money from videos they posted years ago.
As you can see, long-form content grows. It’s a type of content that offers value upfront. And when you put out great long-form content, your audience will still consume it even if you created it a few years back.
Social media posts, on the other hand, have a short shelf life. Your Instagram or Facebook posts, for example, generally won’t be seen 72 hours or so after it was posted. People spend hours a week creating social media posts but can’t put out long-form content. They might create a lot of buzz with their social media posts, but it’s fleeting.
Build Authority Through Long-form Content
Long-form content takes on the role of your thought leadership content. If you want to be considered a thought leader in a certain field, you need to become an authority.
How can you do that? You create content that has substance. Can you do this on social media posts? Theoretically, yes. But most people won’t read long posts on social media.
When you create content with meat on the bones, your audience will read a long blog post, watch a 20-minute YouTube video, or listen to a 30-minute podcast. It helps you establish yourself as a thought leader.
Here’s the irony… you may get a lot of attention when you put out interesting social media content, but it won’t go far toward helping you establish yourself as an expert in the field. Social media posts aren’t enough to convince your audience that you know what you’re talking about and that you can actually help solve their problem.
Long-form content forces you to create crazy valuable content for other people to see. It allows you to explain things thoroughly. You can also add your personality or flair to your content. So when people read, watch, or listen to it, they get drawn to the content not just because it’s interesting or fun, but because it’s valuable and it’s about you. Your audience will become invested in you, and they’ll keep coming back for new content.
Creating a podcast, a video, or a blog will force you to think things through, create a system, and come up with some original ideas. It lets you do something more than just creating short posts on social media.
The key is to remember that social media content focuses more on awareness and connection while long-form is more on thought leadership.
Solidify Your Message, Belief, And System
I’m not saying that social media posts are ineffective. You can make the most out of its short shelf life by creating content that will catch people’s attention and then include a link that will bring them to your long-form content. This way, they’ll get to see that you know what you’re talking about. It offers you a way to establish your authority and solidify your message.
You may also introduce a new belief through your long-form content. For example, create a video that you can post on social media. The clip should start with a common mistaken belief, something that will catch the attention of the viewer. Then you deconstruct that belief and introduce a new one.
Whenever you have new long-form content, you can promote it through social media. Once you catch the attention of your audience, guide them to your blog post, podcast episode, or YouTube channel, where they can access the long-form content.
Not all content is created equal. You have long-form content, promotional content, and social content. Long-form content trumps social media content because it’s more valuable and has a longer shelf life.
When creating a content marketing strategy, stick with a simple process so you’re not constantly trying to figure out what to do next. Grab the attention of your audience, direct them to your long-form content, promote new content through social media, and then build connections.
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