Which Type of Content Brings In the Most Traffic?
The idea behind content marketing is to attract potential customers to your site and engage with them. The goal is to establish a bond and win their trust so they will buy from you. It sounds simple enough, right? Not so fast there, Sparky. Consider that only a tiny sliver of the 6 billion humans on the planet have any interest in what you are doing in the first place. To further increase the challenge, your particular slice of the global population is already swimming neck deep in more information than they can handle.
So, what is the key to reaching these data-overloaded folks who are a good fit for your offering; then, getting them to pay attention to your message long enough to win them over to your camp? Good question, but, unfortunately, no one has a sure-fire answer. Since consumer habits evolve so quickly, and people have such varied tastes and preferences, nailing down an effective content marketing program is a little like trying to hit a moving target.
Making a lasting connection involves finding the right message and delivering it with the right mix of content types. Network marketing experts do know that the “best” way to connect with your audience depends on emotional dynamics influenced by your product type, brand reputation and demographic target.
In a recent poll, Search Engine Journal asked respondents to indicate which content type provides them with the most traffic. The three top forms of content deemed most beneficial in order of effectiveness were:
- Written Content
- Video Content
- Visual Content
Since all of these information carriers are effective when used correctly, it is helpful to take a closer look at each one along with some of the ways it can help your audience get in the habit of returning to your website whenever they need information in your area of expertise.
The written word is a long-standing and beneficial form of communication. Its efficiency in transmitting ideas is due in part to humans’ ability to scan for information. The synthesizing ability of the brain is unmatched when aided by skillful placement of headings, lists and short blocks of data.
How well does the written content on your company website link what you do with your visitors’ expectations? Will the content encourage them to stick around long enough to learn more about you, or will they get frustrated and click away? You might consider hiring one of the better website content writing services to help you move this vital initial contact point closer to perfect. Some other tools in the written digital content marketing tool bag include:
The blog format continues to provide an effective way to convey useful information to customers. In fact, one study reported that that focusing on blogging gives you a 13-times better chance to realize a positive ROI. Each post added to a blog is like a page in a book. As the number of pages grows, they become chapters, and eventually whole books of information. In time, with consistent effort, a business can build an entire library of knowledge on their field.
Those seeking understanding of the subject will find your data reserve to be an invaluable resource and, likely, a good reason to do business with you. Using a blog writing service is one option to help you maintain consistent quality and frequency with your blog posts, which are both critical qualities to making this tactic a success.
- Product Reviews:
Product reviews grab customers’ attention when buyers are in the right stage of the sales process. When a consumer is deciding on a purchase, they want to read opinions that compare and discuss the quality and features of different brands they are considering. Shoppers search the term “best” followed by the product or service name 80% more than two years ago. Produce easily understood accurate information on products that interest your audience, and you will turn casual readers into fans.
- White Papers/Case Studies:
These typically longer forms of written content offer marketers a compelling format to present in-depth information on their business. One effective way to generate leads, a priority for 68% of companies, is to offer free comprehensive reports on industry-specific topics as downloadable PDF files in exchange for an email address and opt-in sending privileges.
Case studies give business to business (B2B) purchasers ammunition for convincing higher-ups to purchase from you by providing stories describing how your product or service helped a similar business obtain an advantage or savings.
After years of promise, online video has finally reached its potential in the digital age. Better hardware, faster networks and, of course, YouTube have transformed video from a novelty into a robust marketing platform. People are responding to video content like never before, and 85% of marketers are using video’s power to capture attention and influence choices. Video content is also 53% more likely to get a first page Google listing. Getting started with this explosive form of content marketing requires minimal initial investment, and you can expect a considerable payback in audience appreciation and loyalty.
- How To:
Learning how to do something—anything from proper teeth brushing to fixing a car—is a hugely popular use of video. Research shows that 86% of viewers use YouTube to watch some form of instructional video before starting a new project.
- Product Reviews:
When people get ready to make a purchase, they want to know they are making the right decision. Review and demonstration videos can offer a practical understanding of product operation and feature comparison. Reviewing products related to your industry help establish you as an expert and knowledge source. Google reports that videos on YouTube with “review” in the title would take 50 years to watch.
Almost everyone enjoys a good laugh or moment of escape. Videos designed to entertain work well, but be careful. Humor can be tricky to pull off without offending someone unintentionally. Make sure that material oriented toward entertainment has a good tie-in with your product or service, or it can backfire on you. A good business fit for entertainment videos might be something along the lines of a T-shirt shop. How about a funeral home? No, it is probably not a good idea. Since many people would consider using entertainment to promote burial services insensitive, you should keep your tone serious. Use your imagination, but it is a good rule of thumb to stay somewhat within the accepted conventions of your profession.
Pictures and symbols are even an older form of communicating ideas than the written word. Nature has hardwired our brains to process visual content faster and retain the information longer than through writing. Some reports claim pages with views garner 94% more views; however, telling a detailed story about your company using only pictures can seem somewhat primitive. More effective use of visual content is to combine it with written content to aid the audience in understanding and retaining the message. A few popular types of visual content are:
Photos work on an emotional level, so they make a great way to establish the tone of your written message. Use photos almost as you would punctuation, allowing them to cause the reader to pause and consider what they have just read. By breaking up long blocks of written content with carefully selected pictures that add to the essence of what you are saying, your content becomes more appealing and receivable.
These little “explainers” can go a long way toward encouraging your customers to rely on you for help grasping tough subjects. By combining words and pictures with fun or interesting ideas, infographic designers make it fun and exciting to learn new things. Infographics are exceptionally good at getting complex information about processes or systems across in a way that is easy to understand.
- Slide Decks:
Presenting slide-driven live talks is a great way to spread your company’s message. When the presentation is over, slide decks shared online can help the information continue to promote your brand and mission.
Gaining the Broad View
No hard and fast rules exist that will guarantee a successful digital marketing campaign. Each company and audience reaction is unique. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment. Especially, do not succumb to the “we tried that before, and it didn’t work syndrome.” Look for the one tweak to the mix that might help your marketing take off in a big way.
Stay consistent and focused on your customers’ needs for the long run. If you commit to producing the highest possible quality content, you will ultimately find the right formula to propel your content strategy to success.