A pair of studies Brafton recently highlighted demonstrate a growing trend within content marketing focused on developing multi-faceted strategies to reach different types of prospects. Both SEOmoz and IDG Enterprise found that marketers write articles and white papers, while also designing infographics and shooting videos. Each of these content types helps attract different audiences and can be used to guide prospects at different points in the conversion funnel.
According to IDG’s study at least 40 percent of B2B marketers currently use 10 different types of content or more. SEOmoz, on the other hand, did not measure how many respondents use multiple formats, but its results show that participants utilize a wide variety of content types. Among the most common responses from each study were online articles, blog posts, social media marketing and press releases. Each provides businesses with a dynamic strategy that helps prospects learn about new products and services, find answers to common questions and interact with brands.
Other common responses included white papers and infographics. IDG, for example, found infographics are the fastest-growing content type, generating 1.5 times as much investment in 2012 compared to 2011. Moreover, the report pegged white paper production as an element of content marketing strategies for more than 60 percent of respondents. SEOmoz’s data revealed different totals for both white papers and infographics, but similarly found both tools are used by marketers as part of diverse website content strategies.
Brafton recently spoke with Ken Barhoover, marketing manager for Park Place Technologies, who said his company’s use of different kinds of content has helped appeal to prospects of different backgrounds and positions. Park Place works with businesses, providing managed IT services, so offering different types of content will pique the interest of different stakeholders. For example, news content and infographics may speak to tech managers focused on the latest trends, while white papers and other more in-depth content case studies may sway a stoic vice president or director of marketing focused solely on spending as little money as possible and ROI.
As companies are investing in more content formats, reports indicate content marketing yields more success. Among the methods respondents to the IDG poll use, at least 40 percent said 13 different strategies have proven effective for their company. Case studies and white papers proved the most effective, cited by 78 percent and 73 percent of respondents, respectively. Online articles, videos and blogs also came out on top, each named effective by more 60 percent (or more) of respondents With the goals these marketers named as diverse as the methods they’ve invested in to achieve them, such strong success rates demonstrates the power content marketing to help marketers make the web a critical part of their businesses.