Content marketing works. There is over a decade of publicly-available data and independent research studies that corroborate this fact. The problem is that the continued application of “quick-and-dirty” marketing “hacks” for content marketing has desensitized consumers and business-to-business (B2B) clients to most of it. The constant barrage of click-bait headlines and blog posts that read like an extended billboard ad can be tiring. Conversion rates are dropping, and it is easy to understand why.
According to a recent strategy report released by Hubspot, there are currently three types of content marketing that are impacting target markets the most: video, blogs and eBooks. Social media users are taking a hard pass on the insubstantial, content-poor material flooding social media channels. These “content” marketing posts are the junk food of online content, and many social media users have “Dorito Syndrome,” the term used to describe the sense of emptiness after engaging meaningless content online. If it is not applicable or does not provide new information users can apply to their daily lives, visitors are scrolling right on past.
There is a reason that commercial-free streaming services are so popular, and it is the same reason they are ignoring social media “content” marketing. If you are responsible for the content marketing strategy at your business, you need to tune into the new model that is driving high conversion rates: content-rich videos, blog posts and eBooks/whitepapers. Here are some ways you can update your strategy to reach your target customers and get those conversions rolling.
The name of the game for long-form content marketing via video is branding that sells. To accomplish this objective, you need to have an effective content hierarchy strategy. Begin with the most relevant information, and then organize everything else as secondary or tertiary to those topics. This principle applies to all three strategies, but it is essential for building effective video content.
Quick clips blasting a product and a link to a landing page do not have the impact they once did. Do not go overboard and just create longer ads, as if you were creating your own infomercials to post on social media or your website. Your aim should be to strike a balance between promoting your brand and presenting useful/practical content that people will want to share. That balance is why content hierarchy is critical to this endeavor.
Your team should be passionate about the product or service you offer, and your videos need to focus on presenting those products/services as something everyone needs to know about. Start there with your video strategy, and build a video brand that offers concrete, practical benefits to your audience.
Above all, remember you are not peddling a product or service like some old-time carnival barker. You are offering your audience the opportunity to better their lives. Create that kind of video content, and you will see a major uptick in conversions.
There are many approaches to blogging for content marketing, and to date most of them are ineffective. Posts read like extended ads with shotgun blasts of SEO keywords thrown in to increase ranking on social media and major search engines. SEO is important, but what your blog presents to your audience and what they can do with that information needs to take precedence. Establish your on-brand content hierarchy for each post, then start creating content.
One of the best ways to implement a more effective strategy with content hierarchy is to use pillar pages and connect them to related blog posts. Pillar pages are information hubs on specific topics relevant to your product/service, your industry and what your target audience would find most useful.
Posting links within pillar pages is a great way to direct your audience to the most relevant information quickly while boosting your overall website/blog SEO. If you want to drive higher traffic and conversions from your blog, setting up pillar pages and organizing your posts with pillar pages is the way to go.
The ultimate long-form content media is definitely the eBook. Generally exceeding 4,000 words in length, these publications can be downloaded to the devices of target audience members. The bar is much higher for the quality of content in eBooks since you are asking your audience to commit to the time it takes to read your content thoroughly and glean useful information.
Respecting your readers’ time is critical, so your eBook needs to be more than a lengthy, rambling sales flyer. The governing principle of your content hierarchy is to clearly lay out the most useful topics and information right away and then create deep-dives on each topic.
You have to prove the usefulness of content immediately to keep them reading, and effective content hierarchy accomplishes that goal. The creation of eBooks does require a significant time investment, but they have been proven to be more effective in driving conversions than blogs and video over the long term. Best of all, eBooks present a unique opportunity to give your brand both a backstory and substance in ways you could never accomplish via a video or blog post.
Supporting Strategy Across Content Types
After reorganizing and implementing your new content strategy by content type, you must bring everything together. Your brand is the common thread that binds your content together across all marketing channels. Make the story of your product/service a narrative, and you will see consumers and businesses drawn to your brand to be a part of your journey. At the end of the day, that is really what it is all about: welcoming your audience into the family and story of who you are and what you are all about. Accomplish that, and you will not ever want for customers again.
Are you seeking to deepen the value of your content strategy? Green Vine Marketing can help! Start a conversation today by calling (720) 295-VINE (720.295.8463).