Have you hit a brick wall with your content marketing?
If you’re a small business or a freelancer who works for multiple clients, the blank webpage can be intimidating. Especially if you’re looking to create content that strikes a balance between adding value for the website’s visitor, and you have to do it on a weekly (or even daily) basis and on a budget.
Creativity is a muscle. It gets stronger each time you use it. But not every day can be fuelled by pure artistic expression.
In this article, you’ll find tricks, ideas, and inspiration for how to create a template or structure, that’ll ensure your content is relevant, useful – and won’t require an advanced degree in graphic design or coding.
Blog – Mix News with Evergreen Content
Blogs are the cornerstone of most content marketing.
That’s because it works. It’s an easy way to structure your output and create content that helps your SEO-effort, transforms social media users into paying customers and helps you brand your business.
Blogs are especially beneficial, if you’re an expert in your niche field and can create actionable guides that help improve your readers’ day-to-day life – and answer their questions.
If you’re creating content that is predominantly used for social media, you can often fall into the trap of chasing news and other short-lived content. Which works very well most of the time. But if it’s been a slow news week, you can quickly end up either regurgitating dated articles or trying to force a non-story into a compelling blog post.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to mix it up with some evergreen content. That’s content that is as applicable today as it will be a year from now. Evergreen content can be everything from how-to-guides to explainers on topics in your field to deep-dives that expand on important, but often neglected subtopics.
Comb through your former posts and ask yourself – did I neglect to explain one of these concepts? Or do I have more to say on the given topic?
Whitepaper – Case Studies & Less is More
Whitepapers are often an integral part of content marketing.
They drive traffic, engender users to your brand and create leads for your e-mail campaigns.
Whitepapers are fairly similar to blog posts, except they’re often tuned to be even more actionable – and are often based on detailed case studies. You can usually think of one or two interesting cases from your business that taught you something. Good or bad.
Showing your missteps and errors can be just as engaging (if not more so), and endear you to your reader. If you’re willing to talk about your faults, people will find you more trustworthy. You’ll also appear more knowledgeable because you were able to correctly suss out your mistakes.
One of the biggest pitfalls, when it comes to whitepapers is to overwhelm the recipient. Simply put, a lot of businesses make the error of giving away too many whitepapers for one sign-up.
Overwhelming your customers like this can make them less inclined to read the thing they downloaded. If they don’t read the whitepaper, they’re less engaged in your business – and might even forget about you.
It’s almost always better to stick to one whitepaper per campaign.
Infographic – Clear and Surprising
Infographics are all about clarity.
They can communicate extremely dense information at even a cursory glance. It’s also one of the more advanced techniques in content marketing because people usually assume it requires a lot of time and effort.
And that’s true. If you’re looking towards creating a comprehensive study, a survey or tracking something over time. The urtext of infographics is the graph chart that tells you how something, such as currency, has changed in worth over time.
But even simple information can become surprising and memorable if it’s presented differently from what we’re used to.
When you’re creating content, you can often make a far more engaging piece, simply by presenting data visually. You can also use website tracking and statistics from your own site as the basis of your infographic. For example, during the current pandemic, a lot of webshops have seen surprising changes in user behaviour. That’s an obvious and interesting piece of information – especially if it’s served in a visually appealing way.
There’s a lot of free online tools available online such as Canva, Figma, and Datawrapper, that have a very low barrier to entry if you’re looking to make infographics, but don’t want to bother with Photoshop or another technically complex paid service.
Interactive Content – Make It Easy and Useful
Interactive content keeps people on your site. And makes them remember you.
Interactivity often requires a lot more work than other types of content. First, you have to collect the data and then find a program that helps you present it to your users helpfully and simply. The first time you make interactive content, it’s often best to prioritize a few data points rather than a total overview. Feature creep is a real danger here.
That said, interactive content has become a lot easier over the last few years. Firstly, a lot of data can be found in publicly available databases. As for the presentation, you can often find plugins or free online tools that allow you to just copy and paste the dataset into the tool and produce a simple and useful piece of content.
Video – Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long, but Stay On-Topic
Video has for a while been the future of content marketing. It’s the #1 form of media used in content strategy according to pretty much any content study from 2020.
Video can also be a lot of work. Especially, if you don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera.
But high production value isn’t necessarily what your viewer is visiting you for. They’re looking for something to entertain them, inform them or help them do something.
When you make video content the most important thing is to make sure it stays on-topic. It doesn’t matter that a video is long, but if parts of it feel like filler or junk, then people will bounce. So make sure you know what the video will be about, and ask yourself frequently: “Is this a tangent, or irrelevant to the video’s overall statement?”
Google just launched a beta for their new video builder tool that allows you to easily create brief and impactful videos with a minimum of shooting, editing or even your own graphical assets.
Also published on Medium.