Depending on who you ask, content can mean just about anything. Across platforms and media channels, “content” can take countless forms from an academic paper on electromagnetism to a 17-second TikTok of a cat meowing (with 4.1 million views).
Content is almost anything mobilized on- or off-line by creators, marketers, and everyday people. It’s experiential, sometimes informational, and always offers some level of user or viewer engagement.
When it comes to marketing, content gets a bit more specific. Generally, it breaks down into four major categories: informational text content (blogs, articles, whitepapers), graphic content (charts, images, infographics, etc.), video content (podcasts, YouTube videos, video game streaming, etc.), and social media content (which mixes bits and pieces of all the former).
Used correctly, content can become a significant contributor to new business––which is why 90% of organizations use some form of content in their marketing efforts. But how do you determine what exactly is content? And how do you make it work for you? Let’s dive in.
Content Is Communication
Successful brands across industries, especially in the electronics world, optimize and identify how to communicate their brands and problem-solving possibilities to their target audiences. Industry leaders are also experts at determining what type(s) of content and distribution channel(s) best suits their customer base’s needs.
Strong content grabs viewers and ideally communicates the big ideas your audience wants to learn more about. Take a problem/solution mindset rather than focusing on product features or slogans.
Once you determine what you want to communicate, the next step is deciding how. Luckily, there isn’t a wrong answer here, and diversifying platforms and content types means casting an even wider net with a higher likelihood of ROI.
That said, sticking to content that works for your brand is often a better use of resources than spreading yourself thin in hopes of reaching every channel. Think about your ideal audience, where they spend their time online, and determine what types of content offer the greatest potential value.
In the electronics engineering space, thought leadership content hosted on your website or social media can be a great way to showcase your business’s problem-solving potential and skills as a design partner.
1. Long-form Content & Blogs
According to SEMRush’s State of Global Content Marketing 2022 Report, video content, blogs, and written posts ranked as the top content types in terms of delivering results. This is no surprise, as long-form content offers an incredible opportunity to engage with your audience and improve SEO.
This type of content works best when focused on subjects in your industry space rather than promoting a specific product or part. This way, readers build a sense of trust with your brand as a leader in the field. In turn, making it more likely for them to stumble across your website while looking for solutions to their problems.
Adding new information to the conversation is vital, if possible. Blogs, whitepapers, and articles show that you not only understand your customer’s problems, you know how to solve them and have the insight they can’t find anywhere else.
And don’t forget to engage with keywords, which are critical crumbs creating a trail from your potential buyer’s Google search straight to you.
2. Graphics & Imagery
Content doesn’t have to be text heavy. It’s a cliché, but an image really does say a thousand words. Creating unique infographics and imagery can catch the eye of a potential client much easier than a string of text. Whether stand-alone or mixed into marketing plan, graphics work great incorporated into:
- Web and Landing Pages
- Articles and Whitepapers
- Presentation Decks
- Social Media Posts
A well-crafted infographic also has the potential for countless shares (and thus inbound links) if you can express a groundbreaking idea with a pop of color and concise design. Of course, it’s also all about balance. Breaking up your site and posts with a mixture of text and images allows your reader’s focus to flow organically from one place to the next.
When done right, this creates an optimal user experience where they’ll be sure to understand your business’s key takeaways. Images and infographics work best when they are informational, simple, and clear.
If video isn’t already on your radar, take this as a strong suggestion to give it some thought. Though creating video does require significant investments in terms of time and resources, it’s in high demand by consumers with no signs of slowing down.
A short, well-produced video can breathe life into your brand and present your “personality” to potential buyers.
Plus, there’s no better tool for communicating a complex concept, how something works or presenting a how-to.
If you’re looking to go viral, it’s going to take time and steady effort. But as you build a following, distributing your videos to email lists and social media is an excellent opportunity to engage and start conversations. The versatility of videos means you can also post them across channels: in email campaigns, on YouTube and Vimeo, as well as throughout your socials.
Be sure to include text and subtitles if you do begin video production. This is critical both for accessibility and to majorly boost your chances of being found in an organic search.
4. Social Media
Finally, we have social media. Social media content can include any of the elements listed above and opens the door to direct interaction with real people. However, it also demands regular maintenance and creativity to build engagement, even more so than anything covered thus far.
The good news is that if you’re making almost any other kind of content, you can mobilize it on social media and track how your followers are enjoying it (or not). Following up on analytics will quickly show whether your audience prefers direct addresses from the company or CEO, thought leadership long-form content, videos, infographics, or some combination of these parts.
Take your time, and always remain flexible when tracking trends. It’s also critical to find your best posting times through tools like SEMrush or Facebook’s Business Manager.
Putting Content to Work
With the major types covered, you may still be asking why content is so important. The answer: reaching your desired audience.
Content, over time, becomes your brand and can achieve nearly any business goal if given the proper time and resources.
Calls to action can drive new business. Thought leadership can build lasting customer relationships and establish you as an industry leader.
The deeper you can go into what your audience needs, the problems they face, and the ways you can help them find solutions – the easier it will be to build a content strategy.
Once you are thinking in the shoes of your potential buyers, you can address any number of goals. Whether you want to increase new sales, nurture leads, build brand awareness, grow post engagement, up-sell or cross-sell, or create customer evangelists––good content can help.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get started, either. Look at what content you already have and the problems you’ve helped customers solve. Then, all you need to do is get creative and begin communicating what makes your brand the answer your buyer has been looking for.
Take your time, have fun with it, and good luck!