7 Content Formats Every Marketer Needs In 2013

Focus Your Content Marketing Options

Content marketing is part of 2013’s marketing mantra, at least for brand marketers. Over 90% of brand marketers have, or plan to have, a content marketing strategy this year according to research by Outbrain and Econsultancy.

7 Content marketing formats for 2013

Whether you’re a content marketing newbie or an experienced content creator, your 2013 content marketing plans should include these seven content formats. 

  1. Social media (excluding blogs). With over 90% of US businesses on social media, it’s at the top of the list. Further, social media is fueled by content in a wide variety of formats including text, images (especially photographs), videos, presentations, audio, comments and links.
  2. Blog. Despite being an older form of social media content, blogs supply content for social media engagement, aid search optimization, and help close and support sales. Here are thirteen steps to get your blogging on track for 2013.
  3. Images. With the growth of smartphones and tablets 2012 was the year of the photograph. While Facebook remains the 800-pound gorilla of photographs, look for growth and a turf war between Flickr and Instagram.
  4. Video. Consider both YouTube and your website and blog to make your product, employees and brand real to prospects, customers and the public. Use 360° product views to show your product in context.
  5. Email. While not sexy, email remains business’ workhorse. It was at the top of Outbrain and Econsultancy respondents’ list. Email enables marketers to continue to communicate with prospects, customers, social media connections and the public by getting content delivered to their email boxes for current or later consumption. Email is a major activity on both mobile (83%) and tablets (84%) according to a 2012 IDG Mobility Survey
  6. Website. Regardless of the type of business you have, B2C, B2B, not-for-profit or solopreneur, you need an online presence, namely a website. You can’t just hope that alternatives such as a Facebook page are sufficient to reassure prospects to buy from you. Roughly one out of two people trust a brand or manufacturer’s website when they’re looking for information about a company, according to research by nRelate via eMarketer. These findings reinforced an earlier Accenture, dunnhumbyUSA and comScore study where roughly two thirds of of the top 25 CPG brands averaged less than 100,000 unique visitors per month to their brand websites but these visitors spent 37% more on average than non-visitors on those brands in retail stores.
  7. Live events. This includes events that you create whether it’s a conference or a local book club as well as  attending third party events. You’ve got to get out from behind your computer. What you decide to do depends on your business and your audience. This is particularly true if you live somewhere off-the-beaten track. Extend your content offering by creating, sponsoring or attending a live event. Consider the breadth of content including blog posts before, during and after the event, presentations, videos, photos and social media interactions.  (BTW – If you didn’t attend Content Marketing World 2012, here’s a full set of videos including my content marketing 101 class!)

5 Elements you need to support your 2013 content marketing

Content marketing can’t exist by itself. It needs context and support from these five elements to ensure your content marketing delivers real results based on your business objectives.

  1. Be findable on mobile. In 2012, smartphone and tablet ownership and use made mobile a necessity in every marketing plan. In 2013, this means you need a fast loading mobile website focused on one activity, a mobile app, and mobile search.
  2. Optimize content marketing for search. Just placing content across the information ecosystem by itself won’t ensure prospects can find your information or products. It’s critical to optimize your content and social media for specific keywords.
  3. Format content for easy consumption. You must realize that consumers with PCs, smartphones and blogs have changed their content consumption habits. If your content appears difficult to get through, they’re likely to move onto the next article, video, or presentation. Therefore, use bullet points, colors and bolding to guide readers through your information quickly and easily.  
  4. Incorporate relevant call-to-actionEnsure prospects, customers and readers can find the appropriate product you’re referencing in your content marketing. Don’t just hope they’ll look for you later (because they won’t!) You need to guide them and make it easy for them. Use a contextually relevant call-to-action with a unique tracking code to send prospects to a tailored landing page.
  5. Have sufficient resources to create, curate and distribute content. You can’t just hope that effective content will magically appear on your social media and websites. It requires headcount and budget to become a reality. (BTW – We can help  with your content marketing needs.)

To succeed with your 2013 content marketing, you must have a mix of social media, blogging, photographs, video, email, website and live events. Further you need to support these seven types of content marketing with mobile findability, search optimization, easy-to-consume formatting, relevant call-to-actions and sufficient resources, both people and budget.

What else would you add to this list and why would you include it?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Please join me at Content Success Summit. I’ll be speaking talking about blogging and content marketing.

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3797226322/

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