You may have heard that customers are already 57% of the way through the buying process and have consumed seven or more pieces of content before they even engage with a sales team or buy something. While this may sound like a lot, it is likely low today, given the advent of COVID-19.
For the week ending June 14, 2020, for instance, web traffic increased 10.2% and transactions grew 32.9% compared to January and February 2020 levels. People today are spending about 74% more time with their smartphones and 45% more on laptops – and that’s on top of already high numbers.
It’s no wonder enterprises ranging from Fortune 100 to SMBs are becoming their own media outlets by producing high-value content and even publications, in addition to seeking out critical third-party endorsements with PR. About 77% of companies say they have a content marketing strategy in place according to SEMrush. Successful companies are employing strategies such as blogging, guest articles, infographics, e-books, videos, white papers or seeking contributions from partners and, even, outside experts, as we have done with our own The Path Forward Series.
With many brands taking advantage of the COVID-19 pause to get their marketing and public relations programs ahead, how can you also use it to “be your own best media” and address your customers’ needs for specific types of content?
Following are 10 creative and highly effective content topics we recommend to address prospects’ needs at various stages in the buyers’ journey. Read on to get your creative juices flowing to amp up awareness, lead generation and social fodder.
10+ Pieces of Content You Need Now to Gain Brand Awareness and Drive Leads
- Reading lists/running lists (or listicles) – top lists of industry articles, blogs, books, resources, videos, etc. for people continuing to work from home, researching solutions online, and increasing training. One way to address their needs, early and midway through the buying journey, is by compiling favorite resources, or best videos and how-tos on the web.
- Key terms to know – who wouldn’t love a glossary of industry terms to help as they are trying to get familiar with a particular niche? Creating a glossary is another way to be a great resource. And, with all of those industry terms, key word rich content can help to amp up SEO.
- Video messages from the team – people are craving authenticity and interaction with other people (as evidenced by the 12% rise in Google video chatting application, Duo, and 79% increase in Houseparty, during the pandemic. Reach out to your team members to create short clips on tips or your CEO for feedback on the company’s commitment to ensuring the best service and give back. While videos need to be professional in nature, they don’t have to be professionally produced. Spread the love by showing people from different offices and areas.
- Interviews/Q&As – are another great way for prospects to get to know the people and strong expertise your organization draws from.
- Your company history – who started your company? Why? How has it evolved? And how is it different from others out there? We all want to know who we are doing business with. This combined with a milestones graphic can be powerful in communicating your organization’s experience and success.
- Company values – similarly, what is your mission? What motivates your company and employees to go to work every day? Do you operate under a set of core values or isms? Communicating about your company culture is an effective way to show kinship with prospects looking for a business partner that will be a good fit.
- Case studies and success stories – every serious customer wants to align with other successful companies just like them. About 65% of respondents in a PwC study say that a positive experience with a brand is more influential than great advertising. Let prospects know how you will work with them and that they are making the right decision with a proven solution. Consider who can provide a testimonial on how your product saves time, money, solves important problems, and get it out there with customer stories in a variety of situations and industries.
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) – whenever I can’t find the answer to a question on a company or service, this is the first thing I look for. Consider doing an FAQ via video, blog, text list, or a combination thereof, as people like to learn differently. FAQs are good content for your media kit too.
- Checklists – your prospects and customers have common challenges. Make it easy for them to find solutions. Consider commonly-asked questions, and the 3, 4, 5…critical elements you recommend with handy checklists.
- Tutorial series – another great way to answer common questions is with “how to’s” in the form of a video or slide show. Maybe it’s a quick YouTube video. Show your prospects ways to solve challenges and at the same time demonstrate your domain authority.
Now more than ever, your prospects are on their PCs and mobile devices looking for information and resources. Provide that content, make it easy to consume, and your prospects will see your organization as an authority, a problem-solver and a partner that can help them achieve their goals.
This blog was written by Clearpoint Agency National PR Director, Hilary McCarthy.