Content Marketing – Publishing Formats That Spell Sales and Marketing Success

Choosing the most appropriate content publishing format is critical to success in Content Marketing. Use the following criteria to guide you in deciding which format(s) will work best for your company and your target audience: best registered agent services

Know your target audience’s publishing format preferences
Determine your specific marketing and business goals
Gauge your capability (budget, resources, expertise) as a publisher-marketer
Learn from what other companies are doing
This article addresses the fourth point, by describing six popular publishing formats companies are using to achieve sales and marketing success. One or more of these might be just the ticket for your business.

Business blogs: a business blog is both a social media tool and a content repository. It can serve as a company’s online content hub, with posts covering a multitude of topics including company news, executive and employee insights, detailed answers to customer questions, how-to information, industry updates, and much more. Note that by optimizing blog posts with keyword-rich content, major search engines will index more of your company’s website pages, which in turn can improve search result rankings and generate more inbound traffic and leads.

eNewsletters: an eNewsletter is the perfect publishing format for an email marketing program, delivering timely news and relevant content to a target audience of brand subscribers, prospective buyers, and existing customers on a regular recurring basis. A quality eNewsletter may also serve as a “premium” content asset with which to attract opt-in subscribers and also nurture more of your prospects to becoming paying customers.

White Papers: usually 8-12 pages long, a white paper is the perfect format to address a technical issue or a subject requiring intensive explanation. White papers are excellent learning and reference material for prospects in the consideration stage of their decision-making process. Asking recipients to complete a lead capture form before granting them access to your white paper is okay, because business buyers will typically appreciate its objectivity and educational value.

eBooks: usually longer and less technical than white papers, an eBook is perfect for introducing an unfamiliar subject or presenting complex information within a more informal, visually appealing format. An eBook may include a call-to-action or link on each page, and at the end recommend “next steps” to readers.

InfoGraphics: infographics are popular because they appeal to people who are predominantly visual learners (of which there are many!). Visual learners love to see information such as data, concepts, lists, and processes presented graphically.

Online Video: inexpensive yet high-quality hardware, editing software, and online repository/sharing sites like YouTube have transformed a once daunting challenge into something very doable: creating, publishing, and sharing video content. Video can also be embedded to enhance and enliven heretofore static text/graphical content with an infusion of rich media.

Five Big Advantages of Online Video:

Video is a great alternative (to reading pages of text) for the prospective buyer who needs to quickly review and understand the benefits of a complex product or solution.
Video effectively and convincingly demonstrates a product in action, by showing and telling prospects everything they need to know.
Video is a dynamic way to portray a company’s image or personality, with style and sophistication.
Embedding video within a landing page (a web page designed to capture contact information and allow users to download content) has been proven an effective way to boost the conversion rate of that page.
Attaching a video to an online news/press release, then posting it on a PR site like Pitchengine.com, may attract the attention of industry bloggers trolling the Web for content, who may in turn share your video with their community
(Source: Tom Pick, PR consultant and blogger, Webbiquity.com)

Content Marketing can position a company as a thought-leader, an authority, and ultimately as a trusted vendor. In the words of Anne Hadley (co-author of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars That Engage Customers and Ignite Your business),

“… educating prospects about the products you sell and underscoring your own expertise actually increases your credibility and fosters trust (along with traffic). You show that you know what you’re talking about, and those who dig your stuff will become more educated and ready leads for sales.”

For more on this interesting topic, be sure to read two additional articles I’ve written:

Content Marketing – What It Is and Why Companies Should Be Doing It