7 Types of Content your Audience Wants
If you were an advertiser, publisher, or marketer in the 20th Century, traditional media was the way to go. By interrupting media consumers while they were reading, watching or listening to their desired content, you could steal their attention and deliver your message. Back then, of course, you had a relatively captive audience, something that the internet age has pretty much brought to an end.
Today, interruption-based advertising is practically useless. The number of advertising messages we receive on a daily basis is at least well into the hundreds, and the odds are stacked against even the best traditional campaigns. Instead, we live in a world where content is king, and where establishing trust, knowledge, and customer loyalty means everything. That’s where content marketing comes in: if you can position yourself as the thought-leader, as the trusted, reliable go-to source for quality information, then people will look to you for the solutions to their problems.
But that means having the right resources available at your potential customers’ fingertips when they need it. That means having the information all in one place, and having it be accessible at the touch of a button. And that means having it in the right format for your audience, no matter what point they’re at in the sales cycle. So what are the types of content you should provide them with?
- Cutting-edge news: Sharing knowledge of the most recent news in your field — including staying abreast of the most recent discoveries, press releases and industry developments — shows your audience that you understand where the future of your industry lies.
- Relevant opinion pieces: There are a wide variety of perspectives out there on any topic, and at least in the digital age, people aren’t shy about sharing their own. But most of them simply parrot the same points with only a cursory level of quality information. If you can seek out and highlight the true diamonds-in-the-rough out there, you position yourself as plugged in to the pulse of your industry.
- Infographics: There’s a ton of information and data out there, and separating the wheat from the chaff is a daunting task for the casual consumer. But as an industry professional, summarizing complex information is a breeze for you, and telling a quality infographic from mere click-bait is something your audience could find incredibly valuable. If you can present to them a brief summary showing what they should be considering, getting those gears turning could have a tremendous payoff.
- Original thought-leadership: You can get very far simply by finding and sharing the most relevant third-party content that’s out there, and there’s absolutely no point to reinventing the wheel. But it’s paramount to establish your own value-add to the subject, whether that’s through social media, blogging, or complementary original content. Without your own voice interjected from time-to-time, you’re just reflecting the light of others rather than generating your own, and customers can tell the difference.
- Podcasts/webinars/online video: Grab your audience now with something that catches the eye. Have you put the effort into creating engaging content that goes into deeper detail, like a podcast, video or even a webinar? This takes time and effort to do right, but this is exactly what you ought to be doing if you’re interested in cementing your position as the premier source for quality, trustworthy information. Rise up to the challenge and your audience will be grateful.
- White papers/downloads: You have their attention, and they’ve made it to your website. They have a problem and think that you just might be the one to help them solve it. The big question now is this: where are your resources for them? A series of white papers, PDFs or other downloadable materials gives your audience the information they need to decide that your solution is a good one. And finally…
- A clear path to a solution: Is it a product you offer? A service? Something else? Make it absolutely clear, and make it easily accessible to anyone interested. If you’ve gone through all that trouble to build trust and to get your potential customers this far along the path, make it easy for them to go the rest of the way. A clean, easy and direct purchase or sign-up page can make all the difference in the world. Don’t create frustration when you can streamline instead.
Don’t make the mistake of not meeting the needs of your audience; if you don’t, there are plenty of others who will step up to the plate. In the 21st century, content is king, but delivering a uniquely valuable message that takes advantage of your unique expertise is what can set you apart. Use these 7 types of content to engage them with that message.