When I was in school, there was only one form of the ABCs. As a means to explain marketing, ABCs are a useful way to understand Content Marketing.
Content marketing is non-promotional information that entertains and/or helps your prospects, customers and the public while supporting your purchase process.
- A is for articles, source of useful content and opinions on your internal platforms such as your website, newsletters and blog, or third party sites. In addition, it represents audio books. Audio books are a useful resource since they incorporate the human voice and can be listened to on the go while commuting or working out.
- B is for blogs, a great content resource that helps distribute information while supporting search optimization. It also stands for old-fashioned print books. These are in-depth well polished tomes of content. They can be written by a member of your team or can be part of a promotion related to your offering.
- C is for case studies that support sales of your product. These work best when they provide useful content and demonstrate success with your offering. B2B marketers often used them. Comic books can be a form of tailored content. This format can be expensive to use and effective for marketers.
- D is for discussion boards, both on your website and third parties. They require your firm to be present and interact with others. It’s a good way to answer your customers’ questions. D is also for DVD which can contain a lot of information. You can use them for a variety of content formats. Since many computers may not have a DVD drive, alternatively, consider using a flash drive.
- E is for ebook. Ebooks can take a variety of forms. They’re useful for conveying research and other information to help build your email list or generate leads for your sales team. From a business perspective, they’re best when they have attractive design and graphic elements to attract a broader audience.
- F is for Facebook content that comes in a variety of formats.
- G is for games. Some online games are a great way to engage prospects and gather information. Additionally g is for Google Plus where people share content in terms of links, status updates and discussion.
- H is for help desk. Every digital portal needs some form of help or FAQ. Monitor your help to ensure that you’re responding to your customers’ questions.
- I is for Infographics. Infographics integrate research and design to convey information.
- J is for journal, a more personal form of content. It can be useful for showing the day-by-day activities or opinions. Alternatively, it can be used to show a customer or employee’s personal journey.
- K is for knowledge. Your content should always aim to enhance your readers’ knowledge of a subject.
- L is for LinkedIn content that comes in a variety of formats.
- M is for magazine. Custom magazines are tailored offline publications focused on your company or product. M is for microblogging, particularly Twitter although Tumblr is starting to gain traction. M also represents mobile apps to deliver content to your audience on-the-go.
- N is for newsletters both enewletters and print newsletters. Newsletters build customer relationships by delivering useful information. Include a combination of unique content and links to your other content.
- O is for online communities. These can be built on your website or third party websites. They’re great for gathering customer input for improvements they want to see in your products and for providing product support.
- P is for presentations, photographs and podcasts. Post your executives’ presentations on a slide sharing site to extend your reach. Take photographs for your website, blog, Facebook and photo sharing sites. Lastly, use podcasts to add the human voice to your content.
- Q is for Q&A sites such as AnswerWiki and LinkedIn. Q is also for QR codes, concise op art graphics to link to additional content.
- R is for research which fuels content and RSS feeds a means of distributing your content.
- S is for social media in general where content is created and shared. It’s also for social media press releases as a means to attract attention.
- T is for tablets (aka iPads), the newest digital device for consuming content. T is also for trade press an important content source for B2B entities.
- U is for user manual. Don’t overlook the power of this content to support your customers, keep your brand top of mind and extend the usefulness of your product.
- V is for videos to entertain, build brand and support product usage.
- W is for websites, webinars,and white papers. All three of these content elements deliver important information about your firm.
- X is for x-factor that unknown element that can throw your marketing plans off course.
- Y is for YouTube, the 900 pound gorilla of video sharing. It’s also for you, as in the consumer of your content. Don’t forget that your content must entertain and/or be useful for readers, listeners and views.
- Z is for zebra, a term used by former colleagues to describe compromised executions that incorporated a variety of view points and lost their effectiveness. You don’t want your content to be a zebra!
Examining the Content Marketing’s ABCs, as it continues to evolve, will provide insights to help marketers better leverage the power of this form of non-advertising information to entertain and help their customers and the public.
Are there any other forms of content marketing that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they and why do they belong here?
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Photo credit: (c) 2009 Heidi Cohen – All rights reserved.