The content marketing landscape has undergone an overhaul in this decade. New content formats such as infographics, podcasts, and videos have become an essential part of the content marketing mix.
As you are working on your content marketing plan for 2020, here are twenty content marketing strategies that span the website, email, social media, and rich media space.
Website Content Marketing Strategies
In this section, we’ll look at four content marketing strategies to improve your website experience:
1. Create Gated Content
Gated content is a high-value content piece that requires visitors to provide their details to gain access to it. Gated content can be created for different stages of the buyer’s journey. It’s an effective technique because it helps you qualify visitors or leads (depending on the stage of the funnel) without interacting with them on a one-to-one basis.
Here are a few examples of gated content that you can create:
- Content upgrades (readers gain access to your long-form blog posts after providing their email address)
- Case studies
- Research reports
- Downloadable checklists, tools, templates, cheat sheets, etc.
You can share downloadable content in the following ways:
- Add them as a call-to-action (CTA) below blog posts
- Run social media campaigns to promote the downloadable content
- Create lead magnets (hello bar, pop-ups, sliders, etc.)
- Create a content repository. HubSpot has created a resources section on its website, enlisting the gated content.
2. Collaborate With Brands
Co-branded content initiatives enable brands to combine the expertise of another brand to create well-researched content. It also helps both brands reach a wider audience base.
While guest blogging, expert roundups, and content curation are some common collaboration techniques, their impact could be limited. Brands need to create high-value content to generate high-impact results. Some examples of high-value collaborative content are:
- Industry research reports, case studies, and other downloadable content
- Expert interviews
- A video/podcast series that delves deep into relevant and trending topics
A caveat while choosing a collaborator is to ensure that the brand has similar values to your brand and has a sizeable audience that your brand can benefit from. In short, the collaboration should be a win-win for both brands.
3. More Interactive Content
Users prefer visual formats as they aid comprehension and information retention. Interactive content takes it up a notch by engaging the audience through their active participation. Interactive content can be considered the stripped-down version of gamification and includes formats such as quizzes, surveys, contests, polls, interactive infographics, assessments, and calculators.
Here are a few suggestions on how brands can create interactive content for different stages of the funnel:
- Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU): Create an interactive infographic or e-book around for the most common queries in your niches
- Middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU): Run a contest aimed at users who are already aware of your offerings
- Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU): Create ROI calculators to help them understand the value in your product
Salesforce has created an ROI calculator to help potential customers understand the value they will get out of their offering.
Considering the rise of immersive technologies, marketers can also experiment with AR/VR and 360-degree videos.
Learn More:Opens a new window title=”Opens a new window” target=”_blank” href=”https://www.martechadvisor.com/articles/content-marketing/content-marketing-courses-certifications-online/” rel=”nofollow noopener” title=”Opens a new window” target=”_blank” target=”_blank”> Top 20 Content Marketing Online Courses and Certifications to Enroll in 2020Opens a new window
4. Experiment With Topic Clusters
The topic cluster strategy caters to the evolving SEO landscape. The topic cluster model consists of the following two components:
- A pillar page: Covers the core topic. E.g., What is content marketing?
- Cluster topics: Covers topics that revolve around the core topic. They often tend to be the subtopics of the pillar content. For example, how to generate content ideas, how to research content topics, how to write headlines that drive clicks, etc.
To win at this strategy, pick topics that are highly relevant to your offerings, identify their subtopics, plan internal linking for each pillar and its cluster topics, and create content in various formats. Evaluate your performance over time and make the necessary tweaks.
Social Media Content Marketing Strategies
Here are four content marketing strategies geared toward social media:
5. Practice Marketing Storytelling
Storytelling is a commonly used technique in marketing because it evokes an emotional response and influences the purchase decision. People prefer brands that look and sound human.
Social media storytelling doesn’t always have to be a tear-jerker. You can use humor, cheer, and positivity to engage your audience emotionally. While you can use storytelling to create content around your products, keep it free from sales tactics.
Oreo uses humor to create lighthearted content.
Since emotions drive engagement in storytelling, get to know your audience well. This will allow you to use storytelling in the right context.
6. Create a Lead Generation Framework
One of the key goals for content marketingOpens a new window is to generate leads on an ongoing basis. Social media is an effective content distribution channel to achieve just that. Although sharing links through organic posts on social media may no longer garner much engagement, they can certainly be pushed through dark posts/paid ads.
You can build a lead generation framework on social media using retargeting. The goal is to consistently nurture and qualify potential customers. For instance, if a visitor lands on a TOFU content on your website, you should target them with a TOFU gated content to qualify them for the next stage, and gradually guide them through the funnel.
7. Go Gung-ho on Video
As of 2019, 87% of marketers use video as a marketing toolOpens a new window . Try out different types of videos to see which ones work for you. People use social media platforms to consume snackable content. In fact, videos that run for less than 2 minutesOpens a new window get maximum engagement.
Plan your video marketing initiative around one main platform, with the other platforms revolving around it. For example, you can use YouTube or IGTV to upload long-form content and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to post nuggets of the main video. Tailor the preferred content format for each platform, i.e., use vertical videos for Instagram Stories and Snapchat.
8. Use Platform-Specific Features to Distribute Content
Facebook and Instagram each offer unique features to distribute content. Here’s how you can use the features:
1. Facebook Messanger: Brands can integrate chatbots with Facebook Messenger to distribute content. You can let your customers choose the topics or types of content that they’d like to receive. Here is an example of The Wall Street Journal using a chatbot to deliver content via Facebook Messenger:
2. Instagram Stories: Instagram lets verified profiles or users with more than ten thousand followers share links in their stories. Brands can utilize this feature to share content. If your account isn’t verified or doesn’t have ten thousand followers, you can run an awareness campaign to meet the criteria.
Email Content Marketing Strategies
This section shares four strategies that would boost your email and content marketing initiatives:
9. Create Email Courses
The purpose of an email course is to send out a series of emails every day focusing on the different aspects of a particular topic. Email courses are effective in building a subscriber list passively while delivering tremendous value to your subscribers.
To build an email course, pick a topic in your niche, break it down into subtopics, and create a series of emails. You can push out your blog and gated content as a form of supplementary reading for each subtopic. At the end of the email course, you can qualify the subscribers by asking them to join your exclusive community, sign up for a demo, or go for a hard sell.
Buffer has created multiple email courses that focus on different aspects of social media.
10. Segment Your Subscriber List
Not everyone prefers receiving new content every day. It helps to know subscribers’ preferences on the frequency and types of content they’d be interested in reading.
Brands can also segment their customers based on demographic, geographic, psychographic characteristics, stage of the funnel they’re in, and product usage to send them content they’d benefit from the most. Segmenting your email list will boost the open rate, engagement rate and reduce the unsubscribe rate.
11. Launch Drip Campaigns
A drip campaign is an automated sequence of emails triggered after a specific event. Marketers can set up different drip campaigns for various events, such as product sign-ups, newsletter subscriptions, or content downloads.
Similar to the social media lead generation framework, drip campaigns can be used to qualify subscribers for the next stage of the funnel. For instance, when a user subscribes to your email list by downloading gated content, follow-up by sending out a series of advanced gated content to gauge their interest in your offerings and make the sale when the time is right.
12. Set Up an Onboarding Sequence
Onboarding email campaigns are essential to help users identify value in your product early on. Content can especially help onboarding campaigns aimed towards inactive users. Besides offering incentives and other soft-sell techniques (discounts and coupon codes), marketers can send valuable content such as blog posts, downloadable content, infographics, etc. to dormant users to motivate them to re-engage with your product.
Webinar Content Marketing Strategies
Here are four techniques for your 2020 webinar strategy:
13. Create a Landing Page
It’s mandatory to have an optimized landing page for each of your webinars. It should consist of the following fields:
- Schedule: Mention the exact date and time of the webinar, with a countdown or a reminder button.
- Form: Keep only bare minimum fields that are essential to complete the registration. You can collect more customer data through other lead nurturing activities.
- Speakers: Provide key details of the speakers that would conduct the webinar.
- Benefits: Enlist how participants can benefit by attending the webinar.
You can also include a video as they are proven to boost the conversion rate by up to 34%Opens a new window .
14. Tie-Up With an Industry Thought Leader
If you are just starting with webinars or delving into a relatively new topic, the most effective way is to collaborate with an industry expert. Having an expert on your webinar will boost its credibility and allow you to reach out and connect with their audience as well.
You can interview them or ask them to write a blog post before the webinar, which you can use to build some hype.
To leverage the audience of the expert, marketers can provide them with promotional content such as email templates, social media posts, custom registration links, etc.
15. Ace Your Promotion Game
No matter how well-conceptualized your webinar is, you ought to have a webinar promotion strategy in place. The most obvious channel is email marketing. Run targeted paid campaigns on social media to encourage users to sign-up for the webinar. You can also highlight the webinar on hello bars, pop-ups, sliders, and on thank you/confirmation pages to draw visitors’ attention.
16. Repurpose Webinar Content
Once the webinar is published and the views have slowed down, you can repurpose the webinar content in other formats. Here are a few ideas:
- Publish the webinar as gated content.
- If you want to make it available to everyone, you can upload the webinar on YouTube to drive more attention.
- Create an expert roundup by extracting quotes from the webinar.
- Design an infographic.
- Upload the slide deck on SlideShare/LinkedIn.
- Write a blog post on key takeaways from the webinar.
Multimedia Content Marketing Strategies
As podcasts and videos continue to dominate, these four strategies will help you take your content efforts to the next level:
17. Choose a Format for the Podcast
Keeping a standard format for your podcast primes your audience on what to expect from it. Here are three common types of podcasts:
- Solo: In solo podcasts, only one person is orchestrating the entire podcast. For example, Social Media ExaminerOpens a new window
- Two hosts: Two hosts conduct the podcast. The concept/topic is discussed by the two hosts among themselves. For example, What You Will LearnOpens a new window
- Interviews: You interview experts on a particular topic. For example, The Knowledge Project/Farnam StreetOpens a new window
18. Optimize Your Podcast
To make your podcast found on the web, you need to optimize it. Here are five tips to optimize your podcast:
- Write an enticing, keyword-rich podcast title. To stand out from the clutter, it should briefly explain what your podcast is about.
- Create a dedicated page for each podcast episode on your website with the embed link and show notes.
- Embed podcast episodes in relevant blog posts.
- Upload short podcast clips on YouTube. After all, YouTube is the second biggest search engine.
- Submit your URL’s podcast to top podcast directories such as the Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, and Sticher.
Tim Ferriss’ podcast webpageOpens a new window follows all these best practices. Tim ensures that despite the impressive guests appearing on his podcast, he briefly mentions key topics in the title, includes show notes, and plugs other podcast episodes relevant to the topic.
19. Create a Hook From the Get-Go
There’s too much competition when it comes to videos, especially on YouTube. You need to grab your audience’s attention as early as possible. The simplest way to do it is to use an informative thumbnail that supports the video title.
The second step is to set an intention within the first twenty seconds of the video. Tell your audience what they can expect by watching the video. Brian Dean always explains what the video is about within the first 20-30 seconds to ensure the audience sticks around.
20. Provide Action Cues Throughout the Video
YouTube offers multiple tools that you can use in the video to drive audience behavior. Make sure to use them in the following ways as cues in your videos:
- Use YouTube cards and end screens to promote your videos or a dedicated playlist.
- Include timestamps in the video description to let users jump to a specific section.
- Add a video transcript of the video as it offers SEO benefits.
Planning Content for 2020
Your audience is no longer confined to a single device; they consume content at work, during their commute, and when they’re at home, usually on separate devices. As we’re heading into 2020, marketers need to realize this shift in the content consumption pattern and focus on multiple content formats that cater to the different consumption habits.