Today’s top performing organizations agree they have built credibility and trust, increased brand awareness, generated more demands/leads, and built stronger loyalty among their existing client base with content marketing. This finding is from a recent CMI report, which also shows that content creation is the area of content marketing where there has been the most reported increase in spending over the last 12 months. So, what does your content strategy look like for 2020?
Here are 20 kinds of content I recommend for the new year (in no particular order):
1. Sales scripts: Engage and educate your sales staff with a well-written script that helps them easily navigate calls with customers and prospects. These kinds of scripts are usually built off of product or solution messaging frameworks (which can be quite lengthy and overwhelming to navigate). Chances are, you already have everything you need to create a solid script for driving sales in the new year.
2. Email/email campaigns: Emails are the No. 1 method marketers use to nurture their audience, according to CMI. Consider newsletters, special offer emails, curated content emails, new product announcement emails (or email drip campaigns) or partner emails that promote your content.
3. Educational content: 90% of today’s most successful marketers prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message, compared with 56% of the least successful. Consider upping the ante on educational content like white papers, eBooks or purchasing guides. Give your audience the information they’re looking for without all of the frills.
4. Call-to-actions: Experiment with different CTAs. For instance, instead of having a simple “click here to learn more about XYZ,” you could create an interesting branded graphic that draws more attention. There are so many CTAs to consider today, from simple “read more” buttons to submission forms to a dedicated product discovery page. Play around with some and see which you like best.
5. Content for in-person events: In-person events are huge for nurturing customers, so consider the kind of content you can produce in the new year to better engage and attract your audience. For example, freshening up an existing brochure or converting an old informational pamphlet into a new and improved one-pager. Consider even creating some video content to play on repeat at your booth.
6. Storytelling assets: Consider creating assets that tell a story and relate to your target audience. As opposed to educational assets, storytelling assets are designed to drive meaningful human connection to drive trust, credibility and loyalty. Learn more about storytelling in content marketing here.
7. Creative offers/incentives: Consider how you can more creatively position offers and incentives with new content like graphics, website pop-ups or even quizzes (i.e. “which of our XX services suits you best? with the incentive at the end after a customer or prospect finishes).
8. Interactive content: Interactive content is everywhere today, and it can be strategically used by brands regardless of what products or services they offer. Overall, 90% of consumers say they want more visual and interactive content. I offer nine examples of interactive content here.
9. Membership content: How can you better engage those who have a membership with your company or are part of an exclusive group of some kind? For instance, those who are part of your subscription service or loyalty regards program? What kinds of “above and beyond” content can you whip up to show these customers just how valued they are?
10. Videos: 64% of companies have increased their use of video from one year ago, according to CMI. Consider how you can broaden your horizons in terms of the video content you create. For example: storytelling videos that follow a fictional person or character around, quick videos that share facts and statistics, testimonial videos or videos where employees or subject matter experts present on a hot topic.
11. Livestreaming: Engage with your target audience in real-time to offer a different perspective of your brand and offerings. For example, livestreaming a product demo at the next tradeshow you attend or a customer giveaway live at your headquarters.
12. Webinars: Feature some interesting guest speakers or spice up topics compared to what you normally do. Pair webinars with attendee-exclusive offers as well as supporting content like blogs and follow-up gated assets to drive awareness.
13. eBooks: 61% of companies have increased their use of digital content like eBooks, specifically for use during the early and middle stages of the buyer’s journey. Consider how you can pump up your eBook content in 2020 or more effectively position them for demand generation purposes.
14. Case studies: How can you boost your case studies to make more engaging and/or relevant? Consider an interactive case study where client quotes are featured in hover boxes or “before” and “after” shots are featured in a scrolling capability.
15. Blogs: You know you need them…lots of them. It’s usually a matter of trying to find new and inspiring ideas that are relevant to your target audience. I offer 50 creative blog ideas here, and 10 ideas for creating bolder, edgier blogs here.
16. Infographics: See how you can create more shareable infographics or spruce up some that were created a while ago. Remember to focus on your audience’s informational needs.
17. Charts: Charts can do wonders for helping your target audience gain the information they need as quickly and easily as possible. They’re not as long as eBooks nor as flashy as infographics. You can create a chart to be shared on its own as a one-pager or integrated into guides/white papers as a special add-on. A buyer’s guide to a certain product or service, for example, can include a chart that walks readers through key purchasing considerations.
18. Audio-only content: Podcasts are huge right now, and they’re a fantastic option for storytelling. You could have a monthly podcast hosted by your CEO that discusses your brand’s vision and strategy and what makes it unique. Or, a podcast hosted by a specific department that explores the future of X, Y, Z. Audio-only content is a great way to connect with your target audience outside of standard, written content.
19. Magazine: This could be a short monthly or quarterly magazine that delves deeper into the future of your industry (predictions from executives go over well to position an organization as a thought leader in its space); inspiring customer stories; and company news and updates. You could even take a string of related blogs you’ve produced in the last 12 months and freshen it up to have some relevant, ready-made content.
20. Brochures: Even if you can’t spruce up the content of the brochure, think about how you can reimagine its design. Here are some tips for stepping up your brochure design.
Which will you tackle? Good luck!