What are the most effective types of content marketing according to the Australian businesses using content as part of their marketing mix? Is it video, blogging or email newsletters? Perhaps it’s social media posts or podcasts?
Thanks to the Content Marketing Institute’s Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report 2018, we have a very clear picture of the kinds of content Australian brands – from small businesses to some of our largest enterprises – are finding work best.
And here they are (along with some tips from our expert video production, copywriting, and content marketing strategy team about how to get it right).
Social media posts
This might feel disappointingly obvious, but 56 per cent of Australian content marketers said social media posts are the single most effective type of content marketing. (That figure does not include social videos.)
The trick to making social media posts work, however, is to have something useful, important, interesting or entertaining to say. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can be very effective places to distribute content, like video and blogs, you’re publishing on your website. Crafting short, sharp and engaging posts that link back to your website (and your other original content) is an excellent way to get potential customers into the “sales funnel”.
If social media posts seemed an obvious top choice, case studies have probably taken you by surprise. But 46 per cent of Australian content marketers said case studies were an effective type of content for their business.
Here’s what Lush’s director of content strategy, Sarah Mitchell, has to say about case studies.
“You can’t get past case studies for bottom of the funnel content. Your company’s promotional voice is removed entirely as loyal customers offer insight and recommendations based on their own experience. This builds credibility and trust with your readers, often making huge differences in competitive sales situations.”
Every proposal you send out should include a case study.
Corporate video, social video, web video, commercials, even 360 videos, are all highly effective tools according to 43 per cent of Australian businesses engaged in content marketing.
Why are we so captivated with video? Lush journalist and content marketer Leah Fogliani says we simply can’t help it.
“The brain is wired for visuals,” she said. “MIT neuroscientists found that an entire image can be processed by the brain in just 13 milliseconds. Study co-author, Mary Potter, said the job of the eyes is not only to transport information to the brain but to also think rapidly about what we should be looking for next. This is a much, much faster process than text.”
Ebooks and white papers
That’s not to say that people don’t still love reading. The popularity of ebooks and white papers – which 29 per cent of Australian businesses say is one of the most effective forms of content they use in their marketing – is evidence of that.
Lush content strategist Carla Young said, “White papers are intersection between technical documentation and awareness-building marketing communication.”
“With this delicate balance, white papers can be used as lead-generation tools, thought-leadership pieces and to close sales. Along with case studies, white papers can go a long way to justify a high-stakes purchase decision, and they are often included in business proposals.”
White papers are a tool every business should have in its sales and marketing arsenal.
Infographics have been increasing in popularity in recent years not only because they’re a great, visual way to represent information, but they’re so shareable, too. Some 28 per cent of Australian businesses using content marketing say infographics are one of their effective ways to get marketing messages out.
Infographics can make complex information easy to consume. They combine text, images and data to tell a compelling story, which can convert for your brand. According to one study, infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than a text article, and companies that use infographics grow traffic to their website 12 per cent faster than those who don’t.
There’s more to effectiveness than just creating content
While these stats are great, it’s important to remember that in order to truly be effective, the kind of content you create – and the quality of that content – is only part of the puzzle. It has to be backed by a content marketing strategy, which has been highly researched. You have to understand not only who your audience is and what kind of content they want but where to find them. You need a strategy that includes amplification and distribution, too.
If you want to know more about how to create effective content for your business, get in touch with the team at Lush.
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