Smart marketing managers are in on this little secret: a scalable brand content strategy builds long-term revenue. A solid base of high-quality long-form articles and blog posts on your website and social media platforms positions your brand as a solution provider and makes it more likely you'll be trusted over your competitors.
But is content creation in marketing itself really all that simple?
Content marketing forms animportant, if resource-heavy, part of overall brand strategy: you've got market research, channel exploration, analysing metrics to assess how your content's performing over time … the list goes on. But we think we might have discovered the type of content that best drives revenue: long-form content that you can repurpose at a later stage.
Here, we cover some of the different forms of content used in content marketing and why investing in long-form written content is your best betto building authority, expertise, and trustworthiness in your niche. We also cover why content repurposing is key to creating brand awareness in your content strategy — while saving you time and effort.
What’s content creation in marketing all about?
Content creation in marketing is more than just writing a how-to blog post or shooting a video series — it’s a form of strategic communication as a part of your brand to create awareness and engagement. Content produced by a company:
- Educates customers about the ins and outs of their products and services.
- Helps them connect with customers virtually and build trust.
- Promotes a style of communication that suits their brand voice and personalitybest.
Successful brands understand that valuable, informational content types that answer customers’ problems will position them best as a solution provider. But it doesn’t come without its challenges — not every business has the time, budget or resources to shoot videos, host regular podcast series, hire design teams to create infographics or create the different types of content needed.
But don’t let that pause your content marketing journey. Some types of content are easier to create than others and more likely to best drive revenue and traffic back to your site.
The different forms of content in marketing
There are different types of content that you can invest in depending on your audience and industry. Most importantly — no, you don’t need to dive into every single one of them. Instead, we’ve simplified the list for you. The most effective forms of content marketing are creating and promoting written and audio/visual content.
You’re likely to be most familiar with this content type — and for a good reason. Written content is our go-to when we want to educate ourselves on a topic: what it is, what problems it solves, how to do it yourself, why it’s great for you, and more. Since it’s the most common form of communication, it’s also what your customers are going to find easiest and most accessible when it comes to finding a solution to their problems.
Written content spans a variety of formats, including:
- long-form blog posts, articles or product PDFs
- white papers
- ultimate guides
- emails and newsletter series
- success stories and case studies
- press releases
These are the most essential written content types you need to educate your customers, provide updates on your products, and overcome their doubts when guiding them towards a purchase.
Audiovisual content promotes your brand voice and personality: it humanises your brand, entertains audiences and shows what you know. Some types of content here might be:
- infographics, flow charts, graphs
- educational video series
- podcast series
- memes, GIFs and images
Audiovisual content is easy to consume and should be a part of your content strategy for building brand awareness. They’re also a great complement to written content: you can even repurpose long-form written content into audio/visual content without having to start from scratch.
Here's how you can leverage audiovisual content to raise brand awareness:
- A podcast series where you interview industry experts helps educate customers about your niche.
- Hosting a webinar demonstrates your know-how and builds partnerships with fellow companies.
- Customers curious about your brand might watch one of your educational videos if they don’t feel like reading an entire blog post.
- Infographics and flow charts are easier to skim over if you want to share your market research results in an engaging way.
The catch? Audiovisual content is pretty resource and time-consuming to create consistently. It might draw in visitors to your website and keep them engaged — but for them to make a purchase, you’re going to need more than colourful charts and catchy videos. They’re a great way to maintain customer engagement after they’ve made a purchase — not before.
Here’s a versatile and cost-effective solution that bridges the educational value of written content and the visual appeal of audiovisual content: long-form content, and specifically long form written content.
Long-form content: what it is and how it builds brands
What is long-form content, really? A simple Google search defines it as pieces of (usually) written content between 1000-7000 words. The most basic long-form content every company should create are blog posts like this one.
The best long form content pieces are thoroughly researched, cite authoritative sources, and cover topics from head to toe. No, this doesn’t mean writing a PhD dissertation. Content writers who handle long-form posts still need to use the right tone of voice to educate, inform and sometimes even persuade readers while keeping them engaged.
Long form content also needs to be scannable: serious customers are looking to educate themselves on the ins and outs of your product — but they might not still be reading your content word-by-word or even from start to finish.
Bottom line: long form articles should be easy to skim through while still covering a topic in sufficient depth so that serious customers can feel justified in making a purchase in the end.
It's actually our speciality at Say it right — by outsourcing their content writing to us, our clients receive regular monthly deliveriesof long form written content they can use to promote their products.
How long-form blog posts build brand expertise
Your first step to driving revenue is showing what you know in your niche — why else would your customers buy from you as the ultimate solution provider and not your competitors?
Here’s how long-form written content builds your brand expertise.
Blog posts and articles
This is where written content truly shines: blog posts, white papers, e-books and ultimate guides are excellent examples of content resources demonstrating your thorough knowledge of your niche.
Long-form blog posts are great educational resources: you can use them to address common customer pain points and share solutions. They can simplify complex topics into relatable language that deeply connects with customers’ experiences and develop your brand image as their neighbourhood-friendly expert.
White papers are where you can share the results of your original research: they’re authoritative, highly comprehensive sources of information which cover complex topics in-depth. It’s one of the first steps serious customers might take to assess whether your brand actually knows what they’re talking about.
E-books and ultimate guides are similar examples of content visitors to your website can simply download and read at a later stage. This goes a long way in demonstrating your effort in thoroughly researching different aspects of your industry.
These types of content are also primary lead magnets, i.e. readers can access them by sharing their email addresses, which can form your email list for newsletters and offers.
How long-form articles build brand authority
Brand authority naturally builds from brand expertise: if you consistently create content in your niche, you'll gradually become a familiar namewithin it. Your customers are more likely to recognise your content as distinctly part of your brand. This is how your content strategy can truly build your brand as an industry leader and an authority within your niche.
Customers naturally gravitate towards leaders — but it’s not enough to simply be an expert in your field. They also want to know what you stand for. So why not share it with them?
Demonstrate thought leadership
Thought leadership content is a broad term for long form articles that get your brand founders’ names out into the world and build credibility through sharing their expertise and industry knowledge. It’s how they can share their brand philosophies, journeys, unique perspectives and views on future developments.
The format of thought leadership content is similar to long-form written content: it could be a blog post or a downloadable PDF for visitors to your website. Investing in such a content type is a key pillar to brand building:
- It enhances the impression of industry founders as experienced, authoritative leaders in their niche.
- It deepens their credibility as a source of relevant insights.
- It increases customers’ trust in their brand and, by extension, their products and services.
- It helps industry founders build relationships with potential clients, customers and partners, establishing a network which serves as a foundation for social proof.
With so many benefits to thought leadership content, it's easy to see why investing in this type of content in your overall marketing strategy is so important.
How long-form content builds brand trustworthiness
Serious customers constantly try to figure out whether they like and trust you enough to buy from you. Imagine how reassured they’d feel seeing your company blog full of helpful, informative content on how your product helps solve their problems and makes their lives easier?
But this won’t immediately take you from telling to selling — you’re going to have to show proof of its benefits.
Case studies and success stories
Case studies and success stories show proof of how your product was used, who it was used by, and how it benefited them. These long form articles should include quotes from your clients, visuals and specific use cases for your product in sufficient detail. This satisfies customers’ demand for social proof — when they see how it works for others, they might consider buying it themselves.
Once you’ve established expertise in your niche and authority in your content, your clients and partners are more likely to share how your product has made a difference. It’s simply how the principle of reciprocity tends to work.
But do you really need only long-form articles and blog posts to reap all these benefits?
Repurposing long form content
Long-form written content is your best option to gently guide customers through your marketing funnel and make them believe they made the best choice with your products and services.
But you do need to draw them in first — and you can amplify your efforts by leveraging your social media channels of choice. For these platforms, short-form content is your best choice for attracting attention and creating brand awareness.
Here’s the problem though: creating short-form content from scratch takes up time, money and resources and yields a much lower ROI. Long-form content (like white papers) tend to drive results over a long-term period.
Here’s a solution that combines the best of both:
- First invest in long form written content
- Then repurpose these long form articles into different content types
You can begin by avoiding walls of text in your long form articles and white papers — they'd do great with visual content like images, graphs and infographics. But repurposing your content eases your marketing efforts even better: you just need to take one comprehensive, long-form blog post and turn it into another content type. Here are some ways:
- You could summarise the results of a white paper into an educational video, podcast, or webinar series.
- You could take the main points of a long-form blog post to create a compelling infographic to promote on social media.
- You could create a webinar series from thought leadership posts where participants include industry founders and fellow industry leaders.
- You could combine a number of related blog posts into an ultimate downloadable guide or white paper for your site visitors.
Repurposing content draws attention and inspires interest in your long-form content. It also makes it easier for customers to understand what your brand offers and stands for. You can attract your customers down the funnel towards purchase by sharing smaller bits of information in a more easily digestible format.
We've covered in greater detail how short form and long form content types work best at different stagesof your overall content marketing journey.
Bottom line: while you need them both for the best results, investing in long form content first is the mark of a winning content strategy.
How long form content drives brand revenue
Long form blog posts are versatile, repurposable content marketing materials that best drive long-term brand revenue. They don’t just engage your existing customers but can also bring in new ones via Google and your social channels, especially when promoted consistently. Visuals will keep customers’ attention, but the words that make up your long-form content will drive long-term revenue through persuasion.
Here's what guides your customers towards a purchase:
- The expertise you demonstrate through your long-form articles and blog posts.
- The authority that your leaders build through sharing reliable, relevant content.
- The trustworthiness of your products and services through sharing social proof.
All these content creation efforts position your brand as someone people like to buy from.
Investing in long-form written content for your overall strategy is also the most resource and budget-friendly option among the different types of content. Not only does it bring value over a long-term period, but you can also repurpose it to bring in new customers.
With all this in mind, are you investing in the right type of content for your business?
If you're in the B2B tech industry, you need a scalable content strategy for marketing your tech products best. If you'd like to work with a team of content experts to help you with yours, get in touch with us at email@example.com.