So, you’re committed to doing inbound marketing. You’ve done the research. You know it works. And you know that “content is king” and is the fuel which will power you on this journey.
Which is why you’ve spent the last few weeks mapping out all your content ideas. If you’ve got stuck at that stage, have a read of this blog for 16 places to find content ideas.
Now you’re asking, what types of content can I create, or should I create?
The truth is there are all kinds of different types of content you can create that work in inbound marketing. No-one type works better than the other. It just depends what platform you’re using for your content, and what audience you’re aiming it towards.
Plus, you can always use one topic to create different types of content across multiple platforms.
So, here are 12 types of content that you can create to help with your inbound marketing and sales. We know these perform well, because this is the kind of inbound marketing content we create on a regular basis.
Video is quickly becoming one of our favourite types of content to create. Particularly video for sales. Video is great because you can use it all across your inbound marketing and sales. Whether you want to create product demos, explainer videos or posting videos on social, these can be a really useful tool for creating more personalised content as it puts your face in front of prospects and customers.
We have another blog on the different types of videos your team should make.
Another reason we like video and are recommending it to you, is because it works. Marketers who use video create 66% more qualified leads than those who don’t, according to the latest research.
A key part of the inbound marketing tool-kit. Blogs have reportedly taken a back seat in recent times as everyone rushes to try new types of content but the reality is, well written, informative and entertaining articles are as popular and effective as they’ve ever been.
Like all your content, make sure you’re producing blogs and articles that focus on solving problems and offering information rather than just trying to sell. Blogs which answer questions will drive more traffic to your site and turn your business into a go-to resource for prospects and customers.
Here's our essential guide to writing great blogs.
Pillar pages & topic clusters
Pillar pages and topic clusters have become a central part of content strategies in the last couple of years.
A pillar page forms the basis of a “topic cluster strategy”. It is a page which covers every aspect of a particular topic. They’re not as deep-diving or in-depth on a topic as a typical blog or eBook might be, but they answer questions at a high level and open up the possibility of creating another article which expands on the answer on the pillar page.
With a series of “topic cluster articles”, which are longer form and go deeper into a subject than the pillar page, and having all of these individual articles linking back to the main pillar page, and vice-versa, you draw Google’s attention to the fact that your main pillar page is an authoritative source of information and it will rank higher.
This, in turn, brings more organic search traffic, leads and potential customers to your site.
Guides or ebooks
Downloadable content can be a valuable asset for your prospects.
For you, we create guides on inbound marketing, video for sales and web design. If you’re writing for your customers then guides on problems and solutions you provide to their problems are really valuable to them.
They don’t have to be salesy, although a detailed product guide can be useful if they’re in the decision making stage, but as long as you provide value and make it worth someone handing over their contact details then a guide or eBook can be a great piece of inbound marketing content.
Just be sure to ask yourself that one key question - Is this guide valuable to someone else, or are we just creating it to get lead information? If it’s the latter, don’t do it.
Don’t make the mistake with social media of thinking that you’re using it because everyone is really interested in what you have to say. They’re not. No one likes the person who turns up to a party and spends the whole time talking about themselves, and no-one follows on social media who basically does the same thing.
Sure, you should use your social media to promote your content that has value to other people, but the key value in these platforms is that you can have one-to-one conversations with people.
Have conversations with people and engage your customers, prospects, partners and teammates and you’ll see the value of social media for inbound marketing.
This blog goes into more detail on the three things you should know about social media marketing.
If you follow the world of media and PR you might have heard that the humble press release has had its day. This isn’t true. The main reason people think this is because most of the press releases that go out today aren’t news, they’re adverts trying badly to come across as news.
If you actually have news to share with a journalist then a press release is a great way of getting your story in front of them in a format they can put on a news page straight away.
Don’t just rely on words to tell your stories. Visual content can be just as good and, in some cases, are better for getting complex information across in an easy to digest manner.
Whether you’re repurposing existing content into a more visual format or just creating something more visually appealing for social media - don’t discount the value a good graphic can have for your inbound marketing.
Yes, whenever we hear the word ‘newsletter’ we instantly think of the terrible ones we have received over the years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a good one. If you focus on what your audience wants then you’ll have a newsletter full of interesting and engaging content that people want to read.
Newsletters can be a great way of nurturing leads and reminding them you’re still there without being overly salesy.
They can also be a great customer success tool. They can be used to show your clients you’re still engaged and interested in them, even after you’ve won them, and provide them with new ideas and potential upsells for your company.
Research and thought leadership reports
These are great for creating content that is exclusive to your company. You can share unique stats, industry insights and create a platform from which to comment and provide some thought leadership style commentary on your industry.
The aim with this type of content is to provide something truly one-of-a-kind so there is nowhere else your prospects can get the same value.
Podcasts and webinars
Whilst content should be educational, people aren’t just looking for information.
They want to be entertained, engaged and to get a break from their own work. Podcasts and webinars can be perfect for providing just that. If you have something interesting to talk about and can get some interesting guests to join, then you’re onto a winner.
However, they’re only effective when done right - don’t use them as an excuse to push your products or to have a chat with your mates. Provide real value in an exciting way and you’ll really get people inspired.
You might be surprised to hear it, but physical direct mail content that you actually post to people can be used in inbound marketing.
For some, because we’ve all got used to digital content, receiving something in the post has some novelty to it so can be effective in making you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Ideally you want to have something in place to measure the success of this activity but informational direct mail that is designed in an appealing way can be just as effective as your email marketing activity.
We don’t know why so many people don’t feature the opinions of other people on their website. Maybe they’re concerned at having someone other than them featuring on their site, or having someone else’s opinions getting out via their social channels.
But interviewing industry experts and publishing interview style content can be really useful, puts you apart from the competition and stands you out as an independent, reliable source of useful information that people will keep coming back to.
We know that's a lot of content, but if you want to succeed at inbound marketing, you really do have to commit to the content creation process. Have a read of this blog that we wrote on how to carry out content audits and organise your content effectively - it's got some good information in there.
While all of this is useful information (we hope) it is just a small part of your inbound marketing strategy. To get a more comprehensive guide about every aspect of your inbound marketing, download our “COMPLETE GUIDE TO INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY”.