The goal of content marketing is to attract the attention of your audience without annoying them. With so many content formats to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint which ones actually generate qualified leads. You don’t want to waste your time on formats that don’t work, nor do you want to push your audience away with content that frustrates them, like pop-up ads.
Here are 10 types of content that boost engagement and can help you secure more qualified leads.
Surveys and Polls
Offering surveys and polls to site visitors and social media followers is an excellent content form to take advantage of. Unlike quizzes, survey takers don’t have to possess a considerable amount of knowledge to complete a survey. Instead, they are simply giving their opinions. Surveys can be offered in various forms, including onsite, off-site, and in emails.
An onsite poll tends to work best in a pop-up format when people are already on your site. This type of poll will ask a variety of multiple-choice and yes-or-no questions. At the end of each poll or survey, you should always have a section where takers can provide feedback. An onsite survey is very effective in learning what new customers want from you.
Off-site surveys are generally offered via social media. If you have an off-site blog, you can easily integrate a survey into it as well. This type of survey will ask questions relating to your products and services, allowing you to gain a better understanding of what your potential clients are looking for.
Surveys sent via email are ideal for existing customers. You can ask questions about a product or service they have already purchased from you, such as “how satisfied were you with the accounting software you purchased?” You’ll also want to ask questions relating to how the customer believes you can improve not only your product but your customer service too.
Contests and Giveaways
Everyone loves to win a free prize. When you host a contest or giveaway campaign, you are sure to boost engagement. An effective giveaway campaign will ask your audience to opt-in by providing you with their email address. If you prefer, you can even ask for a phone number. Many people, however, are leery to give out their phone number because they don’t want to be bombarded with annoying SMS messages.
If you ask for a phone number, you should make it optional and never as a requirement to be entered into the contest or giveaway. To boost engagement even more, ask your audience to share your post in exchange for additional entries in the contest.
Blog posts are the most popular form of content marketing. They can also be the most effective type when used properly. A research study conducted in 2017 found that even if you publish only one to two posts a month, you’ll generate about 100 new visits. The more you blog, though, the better. The study went on to reveal that companies who post at least 16 times a month will generate 350+ new visits.
In addition to an increase in site traffic, blogging helps generate more inbound leads. Think about it like this. If you’re publishing two posts a month and getting 100 new leads, imagine what you’ll get if you post 20 times a month.
The number one thing to remember when posting on your blog is to make sure it’s quality content. Also, long-form content has higher engagement rates, so you’ll want to publish content that is at least 750 words. Also, adding various visuals to your blog postings — images, videos, etc. — will boost engagement even more.
Furthermore, it’s important to do a lot of experimenting with your blog, especially in regard to posting frequency and content mix. Regardless of the topics that you choose to write about, integrating keywords is crucial. A keyword ratio of two to three percent tends to please search engines and won’t cause your content to sound like unnatural.
Infographics have a two-fold benefit. They not only increase engagement but they also help you earn valuable backlinks. HubSpot published an article stating pieces of content that include infographics are shared three times as much as content pieces without them. Search Engine Journal says, when compared to an article with text only, a person is 30 times more likely to read content in infographic form.
Infographics that garner the most engagement always present well-research statistics. They have an amazing design; this is why it can be of the utmost value to outsource infographic creation to an agency that specializes in infographic design. This agency will know how to present a ton of data without the infographic looking cluttered and unorganized.
In order for an infographic to go viral, it needs to be promoted properly; this applies to all other content forms as well. Viral infographics are shared across a plethora of social media sites as well as published by a variety of well-known publishers.
Videos are well known for improving both clickthrough and conversion rates. They also prove to be an effectual alternative to YouTube ads that viewers are forced to watch. During the creation process of your video, remember it’s the first 10 seconds that matter the most. If you don’t capture your audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds, they are probably going to take their attention elsewhere.
When using videos for marketing purposes, you should strive to entertain and educate. Never do you want the video to come off as being overly-promotional. Instead of telling the audience they need to buy your product because of x, y, and z, show them how they will benefit from whatever it is you are promoting. More so, show them your product or service in action. By offering them a taste of your product, you can convince them that it’s worth investing in.
Case studies allow you to give yourself a pat on the back without coming off as being overly promotional. They also help you create niche-specific content and deliver to your intended audience. More so, a quality case study will establish trust and authority for your brand and highlight your competitive advantages.
Long Form Articles
We already talked about the effectiveness of long-form content when blogging, but the same also applies when displaying content on your website, including its services pages. Research shows people love sharing long-form content with their friends and family and they often do so via social media. So not only do you enjoy an increase in web traffic from the social shares, but you also receive SEO benefits because search engines love content that gets shared a lot.
If you choose to distribute long-form content, it must provide valuable information and be extremely authoritative. A tip to remember when publishing long-form content is to break it into pieces and give each piece its own URL.
Take for example you are publishing a 20,000-word article. Within the piece of content, it is broken into six chapters. Each chapter could be posted separately, perhaps one chapter a day or one a week. This not only helps the content to have high search rankings but it also helps you achieve your goal of posting frequently.
If you struggle with ideas for creating long-form content, you can always break a topic down and then break that topic down even farther. For example, let’s say you want to produce a long-form piece of content boosting audience engagement with infographics and your goal is to create a 30,000-word piece of content with 15 chapters. To help you achieve this word count, you can write 2,000 word on each of the following topics:
- What is content marketing?
- How do infographics improve engagement?
- How to create a content marketing strategy that includes infographics
- 10 platforms to publish infographics
- 10 elements that all infographics need to include
- Knowing how to incorporate SEO into an infographic
- What design tools can be used to create an infographic?
- Should I outsource my infographic design?
- Places to conduct research for an infographic
- Can infographics be used to acquire quality backlinks?
- What is an interactive infographic?
- Why do people like infographics so much?
- What industries can benefit from infographic creation?
- How long should an infographic be?
- Can an infographic help generate leads?
Going into great detail on each of the topics outlined above and sharing this information in long-form format is a sure way to establish yourself as a thought leader within the infographic creation industry. It also provides you with 15 different postings to publish, each having their own unique URL.
Interactive content is a sure-fire way to boost engagement because it requires the audience’s full attention. As the audience clicks on various parts of the interactive content, they are then provided with even more information in visual format. This content not only provides a reader with valuable knowledge but it also helps create an experience around the interaction that takes place.
The CEO of CyberAlert, William Comcowich, says, “Content marketing is becoming less about the words you put on a page, and more about the experiences you create for the consumer.”
When your audience comes across a piece of interactive content that they want to share on social media, they are very likely to give you their email address in exchange for the opportunity to share the content’s URL. So, not only does this type of content boost engagement, but it also drives your link building campaign and directs more traffic to your site.
We’ve already covered the value of videos, infographics, and interactive content. Images are another type of content that drives engagement and results in a higher qualified lead rate. Every minute there are more than 45,000 images uploaded to Instagram. Buzzsumo published a chart revealing that posts with images are much more likely to be shared on Facebook than those without them. In fact, they are almost three times as likely to be shared.
There are several ways you can go about incorporating images into your content. From memes to GIFs to charts, images come in many forms and are easy to create when using helpful tools like Stencil, Know Your Meme, and Giphy.
There a lot of people who would probably engage more with your brand if they knew how to use your product or service. A how-to piece of content is an effective way to show them exactly how they can benefit from whatever it is that you are selling.
Best of all, a how-to article provides valuable information to your audience without asking for anything in return. Before you start creating a how-to article, take a look at the questions you get asked the most by your existing and prospect customers. It’s these questions that your audience is craving answers for.
Diving into all of these content types at once is not a strategy you want to employ. Instead, you need to focus on two or three of them at a time and do a lot of experimenting. Over time, you’ll notice that some content types work better than others for your industry and brand. You also need to keep in mind that as your audience grows, content types that didn’t work well in the past may start to be more effective. This is why keeping a bird’s eye view of your content marketing strategy is key to knowing which direction you need to take it in.