Content Formats That Will Rock Your Startup or SMB Marketing
I interact with lots of startups and SMBs discussing their marketing efforts. Many of them believe they do not need Marketing, some of them think they will buy ads which will take care of it and some think it is tedious to start off Marketing.
As I believe in minimum cost marketing, I normally introduce my startup and SMB friends to Inbound Marketing. And I help them set up their inbound marketing machine which will run easily and get them the results they want.
As content is the most crucial piece of Inbound Marketing puzzle, many of these startup and SMB owners are always worried about developing the right content on a consistent basis. Developing awesome content and distributing it using social media and other platforms is crucial for marketing success.
Here are some content types which you can develop easily (some tools are also shared) and on a regular basis.
1. E-books: E-books are one of the most important content types which will help you attract and convert prospects to leads in your marketing process. According to Merriam-Webster, an e-book is a book that is read on a computer or other electronic device.
Why Ebooks are awesome? E-books are typically informative for your prospects. It can carry useful information for them on multiple pages and well organized into sections. A useful e-book can be the best tool which will make your prospects provide you with their email addresses and become a lead.
Tools: There are several tools to create e-books which will cost you money (which I am not so fond of). My favourite tools which you can use to create your e-books are Microsoft Word and some free templates from HubSpot.
2. Infographics: Infographics are one of the most awesome tools for a modern marketer. As the name indicates, it is information represented in the form of graphics. According to Wikipedia, Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.
Why infographics are awesome? According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 B2B Content Marketing Report, infographics was the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year). Infographics convey your message in a visually appealing manner and grab your prospect’s attention much easier.
Tools: There are several tools you can you use to create beautiful infographics. Most of them will cost you money. My favourite tool is Easelly. Why I like easelly is because they provide lots of free templates which you can use for designing your infographics and also allows high-quality downloads of your creation.
3. Social Media Graphics: I recommend all startups and SMBs to leverage social media as extensively as possible for their marketing activities. As per experts, visual content is most effective in grabbing attention, shares and likes on social media.
Why Social Media graphics are awesome? Social media graphics help in getting your message easily to your audience by earning their attention. Your social posts become more effective when it included a graphical representation of your message.
Tools: When it comes to social media graphics, there is only one tool I use and recommend- Canva. Canva is a user-friendly tool which allows one to create all types of social media graphics- Be it a Facebook post, Twitter post, Instagram Post, Twitter Header, Facebook Cover etc. And the best part is it is a free tool unless you use their elements like stock photos or templates which will cost you USD 1 each.
4. Slideshare Presentations: Slideshare presentations are another important content type which you can develop and use for your marketing efforts. According to a report, SlideShare receives 500 per cent more traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Why Slideshare presentations are awesome? Slideshare presentations are tools which can drive traffic to your website. It is easy to create (using inbuilt Haikudeck), share on social media and embed on your own website.
Tools: Visit http://www.slideshare.net/ and start creating your decks.
5. Blog Posts: Blogging is one of the best tools for startups and small business owners. It will help you establish your brand, create a subject matter expert image for your company and generate leads.
Why blog posts are awesome? Blog posts are long content pieces which can carry useful information for your prospects along with graphics and links to the right pages. If you provide handy information in your blog posts, it can be used to pull your prospects to your website and hence become a lead.
6. Whitepapers: Whitepapers are also a good piece of content for any marketer in today’s world. It can be one page or multiple pages collaterals for any business.
Why whitepapers are awesome? Whitepapers can prove beneficial for your prospects because you can use it to showcase your offering’s ability to solve their challenges. It can include nice graphical representations also. Mostly whitepapers are self-explanatory and will increase prospect’s interest in your venture.
Tools: Best tool to create a whitepaper is Microsoft Word.
7. Case Studies: Case studies are one of the widely used content types these days. It is a solid proof of your product/ services capabilities to address your prospect’s problems.
Why case studies are awesome? Case studies can serve as real-time proof of your product solving a customer problem. It will easily answer all the questions your prospect will have in their mind before buying your product. This case studies are very crucial in gaining the confidence of your prospects.
Tools: If you are looking for a powerpoint template for your case studies, Haikudeck will the best tool for you. Or else a word document can also help you develop a case study.
So these are some of the content types who can develop and use for your marketing. Make sure you have the right messaging in all of these content pieces and you share it with the right audience on right platforms.
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