The abundance of content vying for prospect attention is absurd today. For every topic, there are hundreds of blogs, videos, graphics and more. How, then, does a business cut through the noise to deliver authentic, valuable content to their target audience?
The answer is by choosing the best type of inbound content that resonates with their buyers. The challenge, however, is in identifying which type of content that is and what you should be doing.
Below is our short guide to the types of content you should be thinking about to stand out from the crowd, and how that content will help you conquer your competition.
I’ll start with video. The golden knight of inbound content today.
Everyone knows the value of good video content, but no-one executes the way they need to, except for Wistia, maybe. Video is the best way of actually evoking emotion from your audience and we all know emotion is a driving force behind decision making. It’s also far more engaging and you can actually have conversations with your prospects, as opposed to pumping out written blogs (yes, we know the irony of this post being a written blog - stay tuned for the video version).
The crux of it is if you can nail a video strategy and start producing plenty of video that actually interests and provides value for your audience, then you’ll see the leads fly in.
Iron throne rating: 9/10 - Dragons breathing fire (or ice).
Ye old blog. The golden bullet for all. To be fair, I mock, but everyone really should add a blog to their website. It’s basics. Why? Because it provides social fuel, it improves your digital footprint (cue that ‘ahhhhh’ moment when you see your website ranking on Google for a keyword), it helps you engage with your audience and it draws relevant, interested traffic to you.
However, be warned. Given the abundance of content out there in the digital world, make sure you write with authenticity and value in mind. Generic, boring fluff is so ‘yawn’. Pick a topic, decide why it is useful for your target audience, write about the challenge, educate. It’s simple.
If you fail to promote your blogs through the various channels (another topic entirely), you might as well not bother.
Iron throne rating: 5/10 - Table stakes.
Podcasting has really taken off in recent years. With the arrival of platforms such as Anchor readily available, it’s never been easier to actually start one. The best thing about Podcasts is you can engage your audience for a much longer amount of time & therefore provide greater value. Podcasts aren’t really a passive medium either, people will sit down and actually listen to what you have to say, in long form. We have loads of podcasts we love and would be happy to share. One of our favourites is Drift’s Seeking Wisdom.
Iron throne rating: 8/10 - Something different to up the ante.
Guide / Whitepaper
When I think of a whitepaper, I think boring. Sounds harsh, right? But let’s be honest, when most traffic now comes from mobile, who wants to read a lengthy PDF on their phone? Instead, bring your whitepapers to life with interesting visuals. Begone with the ‘old school’ method of essay-style long-form writing. Instead, mix real value with short and sharp bullet points, creative graphics, box out’s for the important bits and so on...
There is a time and place for long-form, in-depth content. But make sure you pick the opportunity wisely. Think about your audience. Think about their attention span. Create content they want.
Iron throne rating: 6/10 - Old school but still has something to offer.
The visually engaging infographic is a fairly underused content asset (I think). While many are using engaging infographics in their content strategy, I still see lots of businesses struggling to create professional graphics - maybe they don’t have the right skills or the right topic for content.
If you really want to up your game, ditch the static file type and create an interactive infographic on a landing page. Hard to execute, but can be powerful when done right.
Iron throne rating: 6/10 - Static infographics are very shareable, but to really make a move, go interactive.
Taking a leaf out of the B2C world, Twitter threads are a really easy form of content to drive prospects to you. As mentioned earlier about blogs, if you aren’t promoting them there is no point writing them. An easy way to promote them is by repurposing them into a Twitter thread stream. For instance, '10 reasons why you need Inbound Marketing'. Shorty, punchy Tweets, which tag in anyone mentioned, get really high engagement. Include a link back to the full blog post in the last Tweet.
Iron throne rating: 8.5/10 - Highly engaging and builds brand personality.
This is something you might not have considered as a content type, but you can’t ignore the growth in GIFs in recent times. Being authentic in your marketing is a huge trend going into 2019, and using GIFs is a fantastic way of using content as you would in your spare time. It’s how people use social media and conversations natively, so why not create GIFs for your brand.
Iron throne rating: 7.5/10 - New, growing, but hard to break out into in B2B. A new world to explore.
Looking to share that valuable, time-consuming deck you’ve been working on? Slideshare does the trick. Slide decks are not the most glamorous type of content, but they can be an essential resource, especially for a senior business audience. It’s a shame, after all, to let your snazzy deck go to waste.
7/10 - Don’t let your deck’s die a sad death after one use.
Surveys / Q&A
They might be two separate things, but surveys and Q&As can be great ways of engaging your audience. Written Q&As can double up to be very good blog content as well - a double-edged sword. Think about using Survey Monkey and Typeform to create engaging and compelling content.
9/10 - Improve engagement to seize the throne.
Do you have really, really good content? If so, webinars will work well for you. You’ll need to have the right tech setup and a good presenter, otherwise, your prospects won’t be engaged. But if you cover all bases, webinars can be a serious, lead-driving piece of Inbound content. View them as a platform to not only highlight your prospects most burning challenges but help solve them. Make sure you put in the work beforehand to have a very visually appealing deck and content that is actually valuable.
Iron throne rating: 8/10 - Generate serious interest with a well-delivered presentation.
So if you want to take the iron throne and beat off the competition, you need to be thinking about which types of inbound content work for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all winning approach, so you might need to trial and test the various types of content to get the results you want. But, when executed properly, each content type can be ruthlessly effective.
1️⃣Video - 9/10
2️⃣Surveys - 9/10
3️⃣Twitter Threads - 8.5/10
4️⃣Podcast - 8/10
5️⃣Webinars - 8/10
6️⃣GIFs - 7.5/10
7️⃣Slideshare - 7/10
8️⃣Infographic - 6/10
9️⃣Guide - 6/10
🔟Blog - 5/10