Content is everywhere. A TikTok here, a tweet there, an Instagram story lurking just behind the corner. The world isn’t short on content. Quite the contrary.
It may be fun to create TikToks with your friends or share your latest travel adventures on Instagram, but what about the type of content that moves the world (and the money) around? Sure, social media content can become a business. However, I’d like to focus on the opposite direction: you’ve already got the business, now you need the content to support it and to grow it.
Where do you turn to?
You Can’t Be Everywhere
Trying to find out if you should put the bulk of your money in social media, PPC ads, or SEO content can be daunting. If you settled on SEO content, you’re left with the next choice: which type of content?
Every choice you make can be split into dozens of others and so on. To add insult to injury, everyone has a different opinion.
Care to hear another one?
My professional opinion is that we have so many opinions about everything because everyone tends to be hyper-specialized these days. Just like in Isaiah Berlin’s essay The Hedgehog and the Fox, – everyone is a hedgehog with one big idea these days.
A social media specialist will tell you that social media is the answer to all your problems and to a wealthy future. A PPC marketer will explain how they can take $1000 and create a campaign that will sell at least 10 times that much. An SEO expert will tell you that, unlike all the others, SEO’s results will last forever (well, not forever, but for years, which is essentially forever in the online world).
This is one of the many reasons why I obstinately avoided hyper-specializing and why my agency offers more than one service. Hedgehogs and hyper-specialization have their advantages. But very few things can beat a multi-disciplinary bird’s-eye-view.
In a well-rounded strategy, everything has its place. The cases where you can definitely say that SEO content doesn’t work or that PPC ads don’t work are so few that they become statistically irrelevant.
Just like you can’t create a comfortable home with a single piece of furniture, you can’t create a strategy with a single tactic. When it comes to content, there are quite a few tactics you can choose from.
What Are the Types of Content that Can Spark Sustainable Growth in the Long Run?
After spending more than 10 years in this space and advising countless companies on their content or marketing strategy, I can easily identify those types of content that work well for the long run. This is not to say that other types of content are irrelevant.
Again, even an ephemeral tweet can have an important place in your strategy. The ones below, however, are what you should invest in if you want content that keeps on giving ROI for months or years to come.
1. Long-Form SEO Blogging
This is what my business was built on. In turn, this is what built many of our clients’ businesses. Seven years ago, I built my first agency from scratch.
I had no reputation, no connections in the industry, and no large initial investment. I had a domain name and a few clients I had gotten through freelancing websites.
Long-form blogging helped me built a real business. Within a few months of our first post, organic leads started coming in. And they haven’t stopped since.
We have blog posts that have been ranking consistently in the first ten results for more than three years and they keep on generating leads too. They are optimized for long-form, yet high-value keywords for our industry, like “how to hire SEO copywriters”. This is actual, quantifiable ROI – you can put a number of leads and conversions next to your articles and see if they were worth the time or the fee.
The same results have happened consistently for all our clients who stuck to blogging for at least a few months. You can see our case studies here.
This week, one of oldest clients told me that they have too much traffic coming from their blog and they now want us to work on their landing pages as well to have them optimized and attracting eye balls.
Yes, blogging can help build a sustainable business and can deliver results for years to come. However, you have to keep at it. Posting a single article and expecting dozens of leads to fly in doesn’t work.
Whitepapers can be the rock stars of your strategy. They are high-level, premium content that you can use as a lead magnet. Or that you can actually sell (although that rarely happens).
They can be the next step of your funnel that starts with SEO blog posts. The flow is simple: you attract organic users through blogging. They like what they read and they see your pop-up asking for their email address in exchange for a high-value whitepaper. And now they’re on your mailing list, ready to be converted.
You can also use whitepapers to convert leads that are already on your list. Whitepapers that showcase how you’ve solved a common problem in a unique way are excellent at doing just that – sealing the deal for leads that are still on the fence. We’ve seen it happen time and again, especially for our clients in the tech industry.
Whitepapers have a shorter lifespan than blog posts, though. Since they usually present new approaches or new technologies, they tend to become obsolete very fast – usually, a few months to a year.
However, this takes nothing away from their value. Since a whitepaper is a far more complex type of content than a blog post, it is expected to bring bigger and better results. And, if done properly and marketed to the right audience, they do!
For the long run, whitepapers are one of the best way to establish your innovator reputation.
3. Video Content
Whether it’s live or recorded, video can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. From webinars to YouTube videos, everything can help you establish a reputation and build a brand.
Video comes in handy for humanizing your brand too. Your (potential) customers get to see you and hear your voice, which establishes a rapport no type of written content can.
While videos may take longer to rank, they are also a good SEO investment, especially if you bet on evergreen topics.
Are You Making the Most Out of Content?
There is no pre-set mix of content types that works for everyone, especially since execution plays an important part as well. However, one of the most important rules of thumb in marketing is testing.
I encourage you to test and see what the perfect mix for your business is. Just make sure to give each tactic enough time to work before gathering the results.