In yesterday’s Advisor, we discussed the process for developing an effective content strategy. However, once you’ve done all the background research and decided which topics you’re going to write about, it’s important to package those ideas into a content effort that will reach your target customers.
Here’s a closer look at the different types of content that resonate in today’s market.
Demand generation assets. One of the reasons companies create and publish content is to attract leads. By developing interesting content on a hot topic, it’s possible to get prospective customers to sign up for access. Demand generation assets help build the bridge between your marketing and sales efforts and use your vertical-specific content strategy to help attract prospective customers and leads, which your sales department can follow up with. However, it’s important not to overinvest in demand generation assets—certain customers simply will not sign up for these gated content experiences, so they should just be one element of your overall strategy.
Thought leadership. In-depth thought leadership plays a crucial role in the vertical-specific content plan. Today’s leaders don’t want to interact with sales or marketing; they want advice from experts who understand their industry. Detailed thought leadership—in the form of expert interviews, white papers, or case studies—helps build credibility and ensures prospective customers recognize you as a respected vendor in their industry. Thought leadership content should be a cornerstone of your vertical-specific content strategy.
Easily digestible blog posts. Both consumers and business-to-business (B2B) buyers are incredibly busy. Many simply don’t have the time to read in-depth content until they are very close to making a purchase decision or are specifically trying to solve an important business challenge. One of the best ways to increase awareness of your brand and trust is by creating a series of easily digestible blog posts that are short, targeted, and provide valuable information and real solutions to the problems these decision makers face. Focus these posts on actionable topics that can immediately help your prospect improve his or her life or knowledge in some key way.
Newsletters. Nourish the relationships you have with the people who have signed up for your mailing list, or invest in deepening your connection with your existing customers. One of the best ways to do this is through exclusive content that you share in your newsletter. Developing your newsletter channel gives you direct access to the people who are authorized to purchase from you.
Social. Depending on your market, social channels may be critical for connecting with and reaching decision makers. Take the time to understand how industry players use social channels, then create a content strategy that’s going to add value and capture their attention.
The different assets you deliver are as critical as the thinking behind your strategy. Develop a mix of assets that can help you reach your thought leaders, no matter what their preferred format, length, or content depth.