Nine Formats of Content Are Must for B2B Content Marketing
Before you jump into content writing, it's imperative to have an understanding of the majority of the choices available to you as a Content Marketer. The kinds of content you can create may appear to be limitless; however, it's reasonable that some content will be more qualified for your content strategy than others.
Nine kinds of content formats
Here are the nine kinds of content formats that may be a solid match for the objectives that you laid out for yourself.
The Company Blog
Your blog has a very positive impact on SEO. Web search tools love valuable content and will feature you higher on SERP if you continuously produce great content. 60% of organizations that blog gets more clients, as per a HubSpot study. Blogs help you in positioning yourself as a subject area expert and a thought leader. Prospects would connect with you as a reliable resource for data on your industry. Normally, they would want to purchase from somebody who not simply knows the business but rather is a specialist and an idea pioneer. Blogs are cost-effective marketing investments. Each post you distribute is a long-term asset. You can use free analytics tools such as Google Analytics to gain insights into your audience.
It’s the best format for communicating product or service benefits, policy, etc. in short 2-3 pages.
Technology companies must create white papers for their busy target audience.
Too small content pieces fail to educate. And too much of content often turns off people with time constraints
White Paper distribution has become a norm in B2B Marketing. Technology Marketers should create White Paper for every product and/or service and classify them in the “resource section” of their website.
Whereas White papers are more of a scroll-down PDF file, E-books are generally more engaging. I find it easy to underline texts, for example, in e-books. From my experience, most Marketers prefer e-book formats if the content is lengthy.
Whitepapers are commonly 2-3 page files (sometimes extending to as long as eight to 10 pages as well) In comparison, e-books are at least 10 page long documents. Although there is no such thumb rule regarding the size of ebooks or white papers, it can be seen that ebooks are generally lengthier than white papers. Just like white papers, ebooks are also very common digital assets that are distributed by marketers through digital channels.
Videos are proving to be the most-consumed digital asset (even in the B2B field). I feel there are obvious reasons for videos to be so popular. It’s certainly more fun to watch videos than reading books. Most like it because video communicates more through visuals and audio compared to texts and images. Here are some stats on video marketing that I gathered from the internet:
Email subject lines that include the word “video” see a 19% increase in open rates, and a 65% boost in click-through. Four times as many customers would prefer to watch a product video than read a product description after watching a video, customers are 64-85% more likely to make a purchase.
These stats give a clear message that Video Content can, in no manner, be ignored by B2B Marketers.
Wikipedia says Infographics (a clipped compound of "information" and "graphics") are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. This is actually a very precise description of Infographics. Just to see how Infographics look like, just do a quick Google search on Infographics and you would find a few.
Infographic is a great way to present a long story through a series of graphs, charts, images, etc.
Infographics are highly capable of driving home the information to the busy decision-makers very quickly.
MBA students go through hundreds of case studies. So, they would surely be aware of what case studies are. A case study is a document that showcases how an organization solved business challenges through its products and/or services. This usually represents a comparison between the problem-state and the present state.
A webinar is a great knowledge-based-marketing tool. Influencers and decision-makers are invited to participate in an online meeting where a few professionals discuss important topics (often business pain points). Although the discussion is very generic at the beginning of most webinars, the latter part of the webinar showcases how the presenter or his company can solve the existing business pains through products or services.
Most B2B Webinars are about an hour long and include a 15-20 minute Q&A time. I find webinars to be a great lead generation tool because no decision-maker would spend an hour on the certain online discussions until they are really interested in the topic and/or the company that is offering that product or service.
Google directory says, "a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, the new installment of which can be received by subscribers automatically." For Marketers, it is easier to create Podcasts compared to videos but lack of visuals must be compensated with the depth of the content. I love quality podcasts because I can make use of my travel time to listen to the podcasts. We certainly can't read a white paper or watch videos while driving.
I have been watching B2B technology industry for several years now. Most common reports that are distributed by Marketers to decision-makers are benchmark or comparison reports. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is one such report that classifies key players in the industry into four categories. Similarly, Forrester Wave is Forrester's evaluation of vendors in a software, hardware, or services market.
In simple words, business reports are documents that present data and information to specific readers. So, reports can vary widely on the basis of the target audience being served, industry focus, etc. A lot of reports are designed to target individuals with specific job roles. The best available reports are primarily surveyed reports. For small organizations, conducting large-scale primary research through the survey is often too time-consuming and expensive. Hence, many small organizations restrict themselves to developing reports only through secondary research.