In the world of content marketing business owners have a wealth of tools at their disposal when it comes to varying content formats. From written blogs to “explainer” videos and even inspirational memes, the delivery of content is now more flexible and interesting for the audience than ever before.
But what about the style of content you’re embracing, what types of things are you actually saying, and where can you find inspiration?
Here’s a guide to the types of content available and the different places to find content inspiration.
Like the leaves of an evergreen tree, evergreen content is timeless and relevant year-in, year out. This type of content is ideal for laying the foundations of a content marketing strategy as it offers relevancy to an audience at any moment in time.
Evergreen content can be found in a whole host of places within a business.
It can be in the education you provide your customers, the insight into how products are made or the tips you offer to solve customer’s pain points.
Places to find evergreen content include:
Frequently asked questions
Whether it’s answering “how do I?” or “why?”, one of the best places to seek out evergreen content is within the questions your target audience commonly asks.
Consider the types of things your customers ask of you in person or online, and expand on these to make their lives easier.
The benefit of answering commonly asked questions within your content is that it helps establish your business as an authority, setting you up as a destination they should visit in order to receive trusted advice.
Educational-based content is becoming one of the most searched content types currently available on the internet, especially on platforms like YouTube.
How tos allow you to walk your customers through how something is done, whether it’s how your product is used or how they can easily complete tasks themselves.
Again how-tos allow you to establish credibility as a brand.
Industry insight allows you to educate consumers about what’s going on in your sphere, with particular attention to what it means to them.
This is a great source of evergreen content for service-based professionals such as lawyers, and government bodies.
Breaking down industry terminology, explaining how something applies to the layman, or the common tasks a sector undertakes and the roles within it are excellent places to start when it comes to industry insight.
Employee profiles and behind the scenes
There’s a wealth of content opportunity in simply opening the door to what happens within your business, including introducing key staff, and showcasing the manufacturing or service process.
In service-based industries this might include before and after profiles, highlighting the transformation that your business provided.
In manufacturing, it might offer an insight into how a product is made, and the credible suppliers you use.
In many offices or businesses, it can also include featuring or profiling key staff. This offers an insight into who your business is, what it believes and how people within it approach getting the job done.
As a content type, it helps build trust and transparency.
Regardless of whether you work in retail, the legal profession or as an orthodontist, each sector has peak periods throughout the year depending on the calendar.
These are known as key dates that affect your content calendar.
General ones include big holidays and recognised events like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter, but they also extend to seasons and recognised awareness days.
For example, each year, there are key dates like Dental Health Week, International Nurses Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Week, Law Week, and more. And these provide a timely opportunity to showcase what’s going on in your business or sector.
This is the time for tips, latest research and newest developments. It’s also the chance to highlight the importance of what you do.
Beyond evergreen and calendar-based content, you can also break content types into proactive and reactive content.
Proactive content is about promoting or commentating on things prior to an event. It includes announcing products, introducing new services, and flagging things that are likely to happen.
For example, each year in advance of the Federal Budget, business has the opportunity to highlight what they think will occur or call for things they hope will be introduced.
On the flipside, reactive content involves responding to something that has just occurred which affects your business or sector. Reactive content most often relates to forces beyond your control.
It can include response to legislation change, industry regulations or new government policies.
Meanwhile, reactive content is most common in any industry where there is likely to be regular change, including where legislation has recently been applied or where external rules have altered.
For example, the sphere of mortgage broking lends itself to industry insight and reactive content, with interest rates often changing and lending rules regularly shifting.
In some cases, reactive content may also involve responding to negative publicity or reviews directed towards your business that you were not expecting.
It can be the type of content you employ after a workplace incident, following a product recall or when someone publicly criticizes your brand.
In this latter instance, the tone, style and commentary of reactive content needs to very carefully considered, but handled well and transparently, the response can illustrate your business is committed to improvement and has the customer as its focus.
To effectively deliver consistent, interesting, informative and insightful content, most brands will embrace the full suite of content types, utilising careful content planning.
This sees a brand sit down at least once a year and identify what content will likely run, when using a content calendar.
When creating a content calendar, the first thing any brand should so is identify key dates that relate to them.
For example, an orthodontist might note:
- Valentine’s Day for stories about the attractive nature of a beautiful smile
- Dental Health Week to highlight the role straight teeth and an aligned bite have in dental health
- Spring because it’s wedding season and many people look to their appearance prior to the big day
- International Smile Day
- New Year’s because this is the time people make resolutions in their life.
Although these dates pop up each year, they remain valuable year in, year out and offer the opportunity to come at the topic and key date in a host of different ways.
After identifying key dates, a business would look at topics that will fill the gaps with evergreen items.
Again, an orthodontist might look at topics like:
- Does my child need braces?
- How does the orthodontic process work
- What to look for in an orthodontist
- Can I straighten my own teeth?
- Meet the orthodontist
- Case studies and before and afters
In addition to this, there might be times throughout the year when that business will jump on the reactive content theme.
For example, if Medicare announced an additional rebate for some orthodontic services, an orthodontist should be welcoming that and explaining exactly what it means for their clientele.
Used effectively, these content types help to build consistency and strategy for any brand when it comes to content delivery.
Together, they work to establish trust, credibility and indicate a business has its finger on the pulse. Coupled with behind the scenes content items, they also offer a window into the operation of a business, allowing transparency.
Most importantly the consistency of this content keeps a business front of mind for their client, establishes their authority and builds familiarity.
In the interim, used in conjunction with keywords, this consistent content delivery caters to search engine optimization, allowing a business to rank more highly on search engines and be readily found by potential customers.
At Openseed we specialise in planting the seeds of customer reach through compelling brands and SEO optimised websites. We then nurture kernel of great content, devising strategies and storytelling to support business in their ongoing conversation with their customer. Ultimately it reaps an ongoing harvest that delivers business real and proven results.