We talk a lot—we get it, a lot—about creating and sharing blog posts via your website for a very good reason. Content marketing, which involves blogging, is the best way to reach out to and engage with your audience as well as tell potential clients, “Hey, we exist, come check us out!”. This in turn can help increase interest in your business as well as convince would-be customers to follow through with buying your product or service.
Did you know that there are more types of content than blog posts that you can use in your current content marketing strategy? If your answer was ‘no’, then you’re in luck—there is! So if you want to extend your content strategy a little more while also increasing interest in your business, here are some alternative content ideas you can use.
Bear in mind that we are not saying you need to get rid of blogging entirely—that is not the point of this post at all! The point is to address alternatives if the blog posts are not doing what they’re supposed to do: build interest and lead to sales.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here is our list.
If you’ve got a lot to say about a topic related to your business’ industry and an hour to spare, a webinar is a great idea! These can lead into other forms of content we’ll go over below, such as ebooks. Webinars can be offered for free to your customers or, if there was a lot of work put into them, for a small fee (free is more encouraging to those who can’t afford to attend though!). With applications such as GotoWebinar now in full swing, making a webinar is easier than you may realize. What you will need beforehand is written content, a working microphone, and slides.
Think of webinars like a Powerpoint presentation in real time; a slideshow of vacation pictures you want to show to your family, for example. Always leave room at the end of the hour for any questions your attendees want to ask. A webinar is a prime chance for them to inquire to you about anything regarding your business and the subject matter you’re discussing.
If you have a lot more than an hour’s worth of things to say and more than one person really wants to contribute their thoughts to the same subject, consider putting together a podcast. Like webinars, these can be recorded and then made available to share and listen to at your customers’ leisure. The major tools you will need are a quiet room with good audio, working mics, and the people who want to contribute—including you!
Podcasts are great if you don’t really have time on your hands to create a webinar. They involve less set-up (aside from audio tech) and you don’t have to worry about knowing how to use visuals—just talk and have a conversation with others.
We’ve talked about video marketing before. Today, videos are still incredibly popular when shared online, especially through social media. You can also use videos as more than just blog posts made into a more visual and audio presentation; they make an excellent portfolio of yourself and your staff on your website if you so choose.
Videos are only as good if you know how to set up a camera, lighting, and acoustics. You may also need a little video editing prowess if you insist on making the videos yourself (especially if you’re on a tight budget). Considering how popular video is on social media though, it could be well worth your time.
Ebooks make for wonderful content these days! You can form them from the blog content you’ve created so far or make one from scratch (depending on how much content already exists on your website). You can create a workbook based on your industry or add images to make the text really pop out.
You need to make sure if you do decide to promote an ebook that it is easy to access and download (hence why we recommend it as a freebie). Most ebooks come in the form of PDFs as it’s the easiest to install and feature on websites. When you’re done publishing it, don’t forget to promote and distribute it. You can do this on your website, social media, and even in your e-mail newsletters (more on that in a bit).
Infographics are exactly what you think they are: information with graphics. They are growing in popularity as a more visual means of explaining complex information in a more eye-catching and easier-to-digest way. You can take a study, white paper, or any subject considered to be very technical such as finance, healthcare, and technology, and add graphics to make it more visually engaging.
The only downside of creating infographics is the actual process of creating them, which is actually more time-consuming and complex than you may realize. Some social media platforms do not format them very well either unless you know how (Facebook tends to squish them into a smaller, unreadable size!).
Unless you have a professional graphic designer on your team, this type of content may not be what you need right now. Regardless, infographics can be an effective way to share information if they’re created right.
These are a must if your business happens to be very visual, such as travel, tourism, real estate, and ecommerce. Text can say a lot, but as the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The same can be said for the photo galleries you want to share with your customer base.
You can feature galleries on your website and share them on social media (we recommend you use Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for this type of content). Even if your business is more technical, we’re sure you have some pretty interesting pictures worth sharing. Consider sharing galleries of building renovations of your business, the winners of any contest your business is hosting, and so on.
Despite social media being a major factor in distributing content online, people still check their e-mail and so e-newsletters are not going away anytime. With these, you can inform your customer base about your new ebook, remind them that you’ve published fresh content on your website, and offer discounts, sales opportunities, and freebies.
The key to a successful e-mail newsletter is to be consistent with producing high-quality content for it. So if you want to go through with e-mail marketing, you need a blog on your website in the first place.
At the end of the day, most of these forms of content cannot produce the benefits you want to see for your business if you do not create, distribute, and share any content in the first place. That goes for blogging, too. If you want to improve the way your business handles content marketing, or you want to get a website that can support a blog such as WordPress, give us a shout at V3 Media. We can also provide one-on-one consultation if you are not sure which form of content marketing you think would best suit your business (and don’t worry about traveling to us; let us come to you if you can’t travel!).