COVID-19 has moved more consumers online and, in turn, created a larger captive audience, which has sped up the need for companies to boost their content marketing efforts. IMMedia Editor Robert Wilson outlines the top five types of content that businesses should be creating to reach their target audiences.
Without in-person events or meetings, the majority of client interaction has moved online. And for the majority of people this is a situation that’s not changing anytime soon. The opportunity? It’s time to start boosting your online presence and creating more content.
Here are the top five content formats you should be creating now to maximise your content marketing efforts:
In the race to fill the void of in-person events, taken centre stage in 2020: webinars. With each passing month, my email inbox is groaning with more and more webinar invitations. And for good reason. According to a recent survey by MarTech Today, 69% of marketers said that they would only attend online events until a COVID-19 vaccine was available. So naturally, webinars fill that void.
For those who love the experience of mingling in person, fear not, in-person events will eventually return. However, webinars are also likely to stay as they have proven to be so popular — 75% of those surveyed said that they were satisfied with the webinar experience.
So, how can a webinar stand out from the crowd? You need to keep viewers engaged by making webinars as interactive as possible. Have polls and Q&A sessions to learn more about your audience and what they are interested in, as well as ensuring you have more than one speaker. Even when webinars have a big-name celebrity on hand to speak, they will still feature multiple speakers.
There is a perfect day and time to send a webinar invite
In fact the day you send a webinar invite as well as the day you host the event can make all the difference in the number of viewers you receive. Weekdays are the best days to send invitations — except Friday. Don’t even think about sending one on the weekend.
When it comes to which day to hold your webinar, choose wisely. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the optimum days to have a larger audience. While the time of day varies based on where your audience is and the type of job they have. According to research by GoToWebinar, 11am, 1pm and 2 pm have the highest percentage of registrants.
Do C-Suites like webinars?
You’re likely to get C-Suite viewers as well if you have the right panel of speakers. These execs want to listen to and learn from their peers. But don’t make the webinars for these viewers too long; C-Suite execs are busy people and only have time to watch 15-20 minutes of your highly polished and produced webinar.
2. LinkedIn Thought Leadership
Social media isn’t just about showing the latest image of yourself living an imaginary life. It’s also a great opportunity for your business to show off. If you aren’t doing so already, 2020 is the year to really spread your valuable knowledge online. LinkedIn provides the perfect platform to discuss your company’s achievements as well as your insights into a specific field. It provides a chance for you to connect with your peers and provide useful information that aims to educate readers.
It’s also an important part of the buying journey for your potential customers. Oftentimes learning about something from an expert can make all the difference in someone choosing to use your services or purchase your products versus someone else’s.
Podcasting is experiencing incredible growth. Take the US as an example. According to figures released in April, 37% of Americans listen to podcasts every month. That’s up from 32% in 2019.
So how can you leverage the increasing appetite for podcasts and use this content format to generate leads for your business?
First, create a theme for your podcast. If you create a series, even better. This will keep people coming back to learn more. A great theme isn’t always enough to ensure listers though — you need to keep them entertained. Set the mood with opening music, tell them something interesting right at the beginning to get them on the hook for the rest of the episode, and ensure you have at least one more person speaking. Without any change in voice, the show could potentially sound monotonous.
The length of the show is also important and podcasts can really vary, however according to PodcastMotor, a daily show shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes long. If you’re looking to create a weekly or monthly podcast then you can increase the length to 60 and 90 minutes respectively. If you have more content to share than the numbers provide time for, then you can test it out and see what sticks with your listeners, but this is a good rough guideline to follow.
In order to further connect with your listeners, include subtle calls to action (CTA), such as how to contact you or your business. Placement may take some trial and error, but initially try placing it in the middle or end of the episode. You should also promote your show at the end. Tell people when they can tune in for the next episode and where to listen.
Your podcast should be on platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Remember, keep your podcasts regular and entertaining and you’ll have the best chance of growing your number of subscribers. And don’t forget to create detailed show notes as an easy reference for your listeners
Okay so we’re all guilty of signing up for something online because we wanted to read an article or purchase a new pair of sneakers. And we do so knowing there’s a strong chance we’ll then receive numerous EDMs trying to sell us something else.
I know that I for one don’t read about 90% of the EDMs that come through my inbox on a daily basis. Yet the problem isn’t that I don’t like receiving EDMs in general, it’s because I’m being sent emails too frequently (I can’t buy a new pair of sneakers everyday) or it’s just junk that isn’t relevant to me, that causes me not to read them or take action. So what do you do?
Be personal, be relevant and don’t push people more than you would like to be pushed. This may all sound familiar to you in other aspects of your life, but it needs to go into your EDM plans as well. Building your database and sending EDMs can be one of the best ways to grow your business. Just ensure that your customers feel like they’re being offered something useful or desirable, not that they’re just being sold to.
You can’t have an article on content formats without mentioning the blog. If you’ve done all of the above forms of content then you’re pretty much sitting on a goldmine of content repurposing opportunities. For example, if you run a podcast or webinar, take the time to write a blog — or even a series of blogs — about the top takeaways. And even if you’re not doing webinars and podcasts, you should be writing blogs for your website, and promoting them via your social channels.
Not only are blogs a great way to tell a story it’s also a great way to get more eyes on your website. Blogs are notoriously good at boosting your SEO and bringing traffic to your business. Think of a headline and intro that will attract eyeballs. But most of all, write about topics that resonate with you and your audience. Have a point of view and add value for your reader.
The bottom line
This is the year you really need to ramp up your content offerings. There are so many different opportunities out there to reach your target audience, with new ones seemingly arriving at a blistering rate. Why not take the leap and start growing your brand, your market, and ultimately your business online today?
Speak to us today about how we can help you create and amplify the perfect content for your business.