Inbound marketing centers around the attraction and conversion of customers through valuable content, which is defined by relevance. Instead of outwardly advertising products, inbound marketing generates user experience to convert leads for the long term. Additionally, inbound marketing is a business methodology that starts with the execution of the best type of website content.
So what are the best types of content for inbound marketing? The content executed for inbound marketing strategies should be the right balance between creative visual and written content. To summarize the types of content, these are usually long-form, written, informative, and fact-based in a way that’s relevant to the target market segment.
In the modern age, marketing centers around content as the primary mechanism to attract and convert leads. Identifying your brand’s purpose can be helpful in knowing the right content execution strategy.
The content can center around a specific theme, context, and branding, but there are many ways it can be packaged to attract and generate leads, such as the following:
Blog posts appeal to a particular niche that your website is attempting to cater to. This is a way to keep generating conversations with your target market so you may speak to them in a manner that appeals to them. Blogs are often platforms used by influencers who contribute ideas, advice, and inspiration to like-minded consumers.
Although blogs may sound personalized as it serves as the embodiment of the author’s voice, which is used in generating conversations, blogs may be written by professional content writers who have sufficient SEO knowledge.
Additionally, in creating a blog post, writers must prioritize problem-solving and informative content over content that attempts to sell as this is more likely to drive meaningful website traffic.
Long-form articles that are both educational and entertaining are one of the most common SEO content. These are always fact-based and derived from research of existing content that can best generate a response from target readers.
Writing articles is one of the best ways to penetrate market segments, especially as the pandemic moved transactions online and most people are likely to search for something before making a move.
This can be implemented at any stage of the marketing funnel, which is why it’s a good type of content for an inbound marketing strategy. This can also be effective in attracting leads especially if its focus and intention, despite being centered around a website’s branding, are still customized per piece.
This is also flexible as it isn’t limited to being published on websites. Long-form articles can also be published in magazines, newspapers, press releases, and newsletters. Compiling articles into an ebook is also an applicable strategy.
You can write anything about the products and services offered by a brand, but nothing beats the reviews, opinions, and stories shared by fellow customers. Most people are likely to be attracted to a brand if real people can attest to the effectiveness and level of quality of the products and services.
Personal anecdotes by customers speak directly to target audiences. It’s best to talk to customers from another customer’s perspective if the generation of trust is to be targeted in the content marketing funnel stages.
When most customers use search engines, they frequently ask questions about a product, a service, or a brand. Frequently asked questions can provide a quick but very useful segment that answers important customer queries.
Having FAQs is a great inbound marketing content as it magnets leads with concise, skimmable, and scan-friendly content that informs, entertains, and generates interest among target leads.
Although FAQs are succinct in the information they provide, it’s still helpful to ensure that each answer to a question is detailed as much as possible so it can be a useful resource to potential customers. It’s also essential to understand customer needs so you have access to what they regularly search for and how to work your way around their information needs.
Instead of simply trying to sell products, brands must create content that educates customers about the value of their products at a deeper level using case studies. Fact-driven content provides a perspective on target leads regarding their potential satisfaction with the products and services offered by a brand.
Case studies are effective in backing up the claims presented in blogs and long-form articles. This also boosts brand credibility to enhance the trust that customers place in a brand. This is true, especially for products that require a certain level of trust in purchasing.
Although case studies can be used at any stage in the content marketing funnel, this is best used in the closing stage to fully cement and secure the customer’s intention to convert into a lead by purchasing the products and services of a brand.
It’s also important to know the target market segment that your brand is targeting using inbound content marketing strategies to know the right time to use data studies. There are instances when the illustration of numbers and charts becomes a necessary step instead of merely a supplementary one.
If applicable, provide your customers with content that involves concise data illustrations in a visual format with appropriately thorough descriptions. Similar to case studies, this can also be helpful in the closing stage, but it can also be used at the attraction stage to simply generate relatively informative content.
Email and newsletters are great content ideas at any stage in the content marketing funnel. This attracts customers using informative and relevant content that’s regularly sent out to generate trust.
Email may not really sound as popular as social media when it comes to thinking about a marketing strategy platform, but it’s also something checked by potential customers every day. This also helps brands stay in touch with their audiences.
The current circumstances have further enhanced the role of search engines in inbound marketing strategies, and it’s essential for email campaigns to be structured in a way that walks alongside the leads to cater to their needs. Emails must feel personal and empathetic so it builds trust among consumers.
Long-form content is the new trend in SEO, but it also helps to summarize a few points into infographics or create a good visual design with inclusions in the content to make the information more digestible to the target leads.
There are instances when simple photographs aren’t enough to portray a story, which is how these kinds of content may be helpful to augment inbound marketing strategies. These bring more clarity and aid in representing the quality of information that would be consistently delivered by a website.
In the process, balancing text with relevant visual content builds more trust and enhances the authenticity of the brand image.
Press releases involve a specific format and style to convey information to media outlets regarding any events that are newsworthy about the brand. Using this content and publishing it on the brand website, among many other media outlets, helps the brand earn media mentions that involve all the stages of the content marketing funnel.
On the other hand, social media posts that are integrated with the website content can also help attract more users. Using social media engages more target audiences into participating in a conversation initiated by your brand. This allows brands and their intended audiences to participate in a cycle of identifying needs, providing for those needs, and getting relevant feedback to improve content.
Another way to directly communicate the brand message in a concise and straight-to-the-point manner is through keynote presentations. This type of content is action-oriented, and it may be used at any stage of the funnel depending on how the content is structured. This may be a formal and direct way to approach audiences, but its very form is the reason why this kind of content allows a brand to boost its credibility.
If you want more audiences attracted to your website content, podcasts may also be used to attract audiences that claim to have “no time” for reading. This allows brands to infiltrate the target audience’s schedule, even including the most mundane ones. The opportunity for another platform makes the only reason that brands wouldn’t be able to engage its target audiences would be because of their poor quality content.
Aside from that, this type of content may also be used to provide a subtle promotion of the products and services offered by a brand. In using podcasts, the conversational aspect must be prioritized so audiences would keep wanting more of a brand’s content. This type of content may go hand-in-hand with other forms of content such as blog spots and articles, among many others.
Including surveys in your website content not only provides a point of engagement between the target audience and the brand, but it also provides an opportunity for a thorough audience analysis of website visitors for continuous improvement of the website content and updated knowledge on the information needs of the target audiences. This is helpful to gain a better understanding of the brand’s target persona so they can consistently be relevant in the content that they publish and attract more customers to the brand in turn.
Aside from photo and infographic content, videos are also applicable visual content to pique the interest of target audiences. When dealing with SEO, it doesn’t have to be purely related to text content or static pictures, you can further make the user experience more dynamic using other visual resources and content.
Examples of video content that can attract customers to the website are live streams, motion graphics, and tutorials. Livestream content involves real-time coverage of events, which can be paired with text content and integrated into social media to further boost the overall inbound marketing strategy of the brand.
Additionally, live stream content may involve webinars (preferably free webinars) hosted by the brand which are highly educational yet engaging in providing insights about the brand’s products and services.
On the other hand, motion graphics can be a way to illustrate text content to make it more digestible to visual learners. These can also be a strategy to incite engagement among viewers, which work alongside strategies that draw audiences into the website and into the brand.
Lastly, video content may also involve information-rich tutorials. These may be complementary content with content guides that provide instructions on how to work processes or execute an action properly.
Another type of long-form content is an ebook. Ebooks are used to explain processes through informative and entertaining content. Ebooks don’t always have to be original content, these can also involve a compilation of other content in the form of articles, blogs, case studies, and other content.
In addition, it can also involve white papers which are authoritative resources that boost the credibility of the claims by brand. This adds an air of persuasiveness that works best in the conversion and sale stage of the content marketing funnel.
Ebooks can also be an additional product that can be offered as a good freebie to boost email sign-ups. It’s a good asset used in the closing stage of the content marketing funnel to let customers feel a more material benefit that they have gained out of a simple transaction with a brand.
Content guides may be a kind of article, blog post, ebook, or white paper. Brands may offer policies and procedures, or respond to the general concerns of their target audiences. These should be engaging, scan-friendly, and information-rich with a good content structure that focuses on the authenticity of the intent behind providing such information.
When we say focus on authenticity, it means avoiding discussions about the brand in this type of content to avoid sounding biased. Instead, focus on the accuracy and quality of the information provided to ensure that the website content has provided what the leads have searched for.
Content guides can be done in the awareness stage of the content marketing funnel because it attracts potential customers to the brand. But before doing this, it’s essential to have a sound understanding of the pain points and challenges of potential customers that highly calls for these content guides.
Landing pages is an entire page dedicated to welcoming newcomers to the website. It contains information about the homepage, what the website’s all about, their contact information, and other pages.
The purpose of these pages, other than to inform website visitors about the website itself, is to persuade and generate curiosity among target audiences. It’s a page that provides an opportunity for the audience to get to know the brand more.
This is scan-friendly content that summarizes what is to be expected in a brand. Landing pages tend to be long, but they’re visually structured using multiple sections in a way that’s skimming-friendly.
Landing pages may also include service pages, service area pages, and location pages. So landing pages may also act as lead magnets that target according to specific market segment characteristics, one of which is the geographic location.
Inbound marketing focuses on the attraction of target leads to the brand. However, the type of content is just a way to execute the strategy. The form of content is part of the inbound strategy, but it’s not the actual strategy.
Brands must go out of their way to create quality content with useful, reliable, and credible information. Therefore, it’s necessary that the best types of content focus on their relevance to the target market’s life.
Relevance is the key to generating engagement, conversions, sales, and loyalty among intended audiences. It’s the primary mechanism that drives users into the brands so the type of content must center around that.
Without relevance, there would be no purpose of being attracted to a brand in the first place and brands would have to go through hard-sell techniques to boost the reach of their products and services.
All types of content provide an opportunity to create a dynamic user experience for the intended audiences of the brand. However, among those listed, a blog post is proven to be the most effective way to attract audiences to the brand.
Blogs may be considered an old form of content, and most marketers tend to think of ways to stray away from this kind of content. Despite that, its effectiveness as an inbound marketing tactic will always be established so it’s essential not to overlook blogs when crafting inbound marketing strategies to attract potential audiences to the website.
General marketing strategies such as outbound marketing require marketers to go out there and advertise the products and services, often emphasizing what potential markets can get out of it. But currently, the goal isn’t simply to make a sale, but to generate meaningful long-term conversions in a cost-efficient manner. Such a goal entails creating quality content as an inbound marketing strategy.
Using content as the central aspect of inbound marketing doesn’t simply lead to sales, it also leads to other stages in the content marketing funnel that establishes trust. Being regarded as a trusted source helps build authority. Although conversion is a way to evaluate the effectiveness of inbound marketing strategies, conversion isn’t really the top priority of inbound marketing.
Rather, the goal of inbound marketing is to provide value in every customer interaction regardless of whether they are making a sale or not. Having sufficient knowledge on inbound marketing is essential to know when a type of content is appropriate and how a specific type of content should be crafted.
The stages of inbound marketing include the following:
If executed correctly, inbound marketing strategies involving content marketing can drive business growth. The type of content is not in itself a strategy, but rather a way to execute a successful inbound strategy to increase website visitors, generate more leads, encourage sales, and build lasting relationships with the target market.
Knowing what your target market wants is the initial step when it comes to inbound marketing, but making content SEO-friendly is the highlight of what will attract customers to the website. However, the ones mentioned will only do so much to attract customers to the brand. A continuously improving inbound marketing strategy is still essential for long-term results.