Providing high-value, good-quality content has been one of the biggest cornerstones to successful online marketing for years. Yet when shopping for content writing services, many companies aren’t sure which type of content marketing will work best to help them achieve their sales targets.
Content marketing is a distinct type of digital marketing that uses specific content types to reach a particular target audience. It works best when infused into a broader online marketing strategy that helps your brand get the widest coverage possible.
What is content writing?
Content writing is the practice of creating useful, engaging stories to use as part of an overall digital marketing strategy. Content can be used to attract leads, move people further through the sales funnel, and build meaningful customer relationships.
60 percent of marketers create at least one piece of content every day. That’s because they understand the true value of content marketing, and use it strategically to reach certain business goals over time.
However, with so many marketers vying for attention, the need to stand out from your competition is imperative. You can accomplish this by creating content that’s of high quality, tailored to your audience, and created with a purpose to cut through the noise and do its job of building your brand.
After all, you’ve worked hard to create your content. What was the point if no one will ever see it?
What types of written content are there?
Here are 9 of the most common forms of written content used as part of a marketing strategy:
- Article writing: A recent study showed that 92 percent of marketers considered article writing in the form of blog posts as their main form of content marketing. That’s because blog posts allow you to establish your authority with information your customers find useful, thus driving more traffic to your website. Articles can be posted on your company’s website, LinkedIn page, blogging platforms such as Medium, or as a guest post on a partner website.
- Web pages: Unlike blog posts, which are created at regular intervals, you generally only write web pages once. Typically, your website will feature Home, About, and Product/Service pages that feature specific content that speak to your brand, its values, and the benefits it offers their customers. When you’re building or refreshing your website, be sure to use a web design that keeps the customer’s eyes moving down the page with content boxes that make digesting the information easy.
- Product descriptions: This type of content is relatively easy to create, but there is still a strategy involved to maximize their effectiveness. A study revealed that 20 percent of purchase failures are due to unclear product descriptions. You can avoid lost sales with to-the-point product information that clearly states what the product is, who it’s for, and what benefits it offers.
- Case studies: These valuable pieces of content provide real-life success stories about how your products or services solved a problem for a customer. Case studies are typically framed this way:
1) Describing the customer’s problem
2) How you solved the problem
3) The results of your solution
This way, customers who are experiencing the same problem get a sense of your process, approach, and ability to help them, too.
- Email newsletters: Remember those newsletters you signed up for that are now arriving in your inbox? That’s right – they’re part of the company’s content marketing strategy! They’re very effective because newsletters reach an already qualified audience who demonstrated an interest in your company’s updates. Their opting-in is your green light to send them regular newsletters with fresh content, augmented with links to your website, blog, and other online properties they’ll find useful and interesting.
- Press releases: Press releases are very effective ways to announce important company updates, such as the hiring of key personnel, acquisitions of other companies, new ground-breaking projects or partnerships, and more. They’re generally sent out to the media to solicit interviews and/or press coverage, but many companies simply post them on their website as well.
- Testimonials: Few things demonstrate your trustworthiness like testimonials that attest to the great customer experience your company provides. Testimonials can be solicited directly from customers or through online review platforms offered by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. When adding them to your website, try to include as much information as possible about the person who wrote it for added authenticity.
- White papers: White papers are a long-form, in-depth report that breaks down a complex topic for the reader. Their purpose is to educate and help people solve an issue or make a difficult decision. White papers are usually used as gated content that people can only download upon providing (at a minimum) their email address. If the topic is unique and valuable, you can charge for them too.
- E-books: Often comparable to white papers in length, e-books are like quick how-to manuals on solving a problem. They’re often designed like a print book, with a table of contents, page breaks, illustrations, and design elements that help move the narrative along. Like white papers, customers typically access e-books by providing an email address or, in some cases, paying for them outright.
Types of non-written content
Not all content is written! It helps to have a great content mix on your digital marketing properties to break up the text and give it further context. Many of these content types, especially audio and video, help with SEO as they keep people on your website longer.
- Audio: You can use audio as a straight path into your customer’s brain! Audio files, such as podcasts, should employ action words in the script to entice the experience, or music samples can be a very effective way for music industry professionals to showcase their work.
- Video: Not everyone likes to read text, and prefers to receive messages through video. Video can be used for welcome messages, product descriptions, product instructions, testimonials, and more. They can even be inserted into your newsletters to make your email communications all the more compelling.
- Images: It’s true – a picture is worth a thousand words! Bright, beautiful images and crisp photography to augment your written content add to the customer experience, trigger an emotional investment in your brand, and create an immediate visual impression of your brand that will stick with your audience.
- Infographics: If your content contains a lot of data, infographics are very effective at encapsulating the information in a convenient, easy-to-understand format. Well-designed infographics that break down a popular or trending topic are very appealing to share, allowing your website to go viral.
Now that we’ve established the different types of content you should look for when shopping for content writing services, how should you go about creating and integrating them into your marketing strategy? We’ll cover that in our next blog.
Content writing services in Hamilton and across Ontario