Producing content that gets sufficient engagement and brings long-term results should be the aim of every content marketer and the goal that every brand and business has for their content strategy.
While there’s no magic formula to creating engaging content, with the right structure and plan for each piece of content you produce you can give yourself the best possible chance at creating content that your audience engages with and takes action on. These practical tips are used by expert content marketing agencies for maximum impact and engagement.
Passive, Outbound and Inbound Content
One of the most important steps in your content creation process is defining your objectives for each piece of content you create.
Are you creating an email campaign to sell a product? Are you writing a blog post to educate your customers about a change in your industry? Are you presenting a slide deck to a group of investors?
Whatever kind of content you’re creating it will typically fall into one of three areas:
Passive Content – This is content that buyers typically read to educate themselves on the options available to them when they’re looking to make a buying decision. Passive content includes whitepapers, e-books, slide decks, infographics and blog posts.
Passive content is particularly useful for those potential customers who are in the awareness phase of their buyer’s journey and are looking at the different options available to them.
Content for Outbound Marketing – As the name suggests, outbound content refers to any kind of marketing where a business/brand initiates the conversation and sends it’s message/content to its audience.
Examples of outbound content include email marketing, pay per click advertising, event marketing and direct mail. This type of content is perfect if you’re prospecting for new customers or wanting to stay in touch with existing or past customers.
Content for Inbound Marketing – Inbound content is content that works to capture leads and drive traffic to a website. Types of Inbound content include landing pages, contact capture forms and sales pages.
While these three categories aren’t absolute, they should give you a good idea of what the purpose is for the different kinds of content you’re creating and what each piece of content can be used for.
Types of Content That Every Business Needs
With so many different kinds of content available, it can be hard to know what to focus on. To make it easier, we’ve broken down three kinds of content that every business needs, no matter what industry they’re in.
Here are three to take note of:
No matter the industry, every business needs a strong, user-friendly, functional website. The three core pages every business website should contain is an ‘’About Us’’, ‘’Contact and ‘’Services Page’’.
These three pages help visitors to your site understand what your brand or business is about, what services or products you offer and how they can get in contact with you.
How to Structure Your About Page
Your ‘’About Page’’ is your first chance to build trust with your customers and let them know why they should be choosing your business/service.
Don’t try to overcomplicate your about page by using language that visitors to your site may not understand. By speaking in a friendly, conversational tone and avoiding unnecessary corporate jargon, you’ll make it easy for customers to understand the products or services you’re offering.
For an effective ‘’About Page’’:
- Communicate the story of your business, and it’s origin story.
- Introduce the services/products you offer and how they can help
- Explain how you can help potential customers.
Your ‘’About Page’’ should summarise your company story, the services of products you provide and leave visitors to your site wanting to know more about what your business has to offer.
How to Structure a Contact Page
Your contact page should make it easy for your customers to get in touch with your business.
Your contact page should contain:
- Your business address.
- Your contact email.
- Telephone number and links to your businesses social pages.
As well as listing your contact information consider creating a contact form so visitors can leave their contact information with details of their enquiry.
On your contact form include the following fields:
- A first and last name field.
- An email address field.
- Company name.
- Reason for reaching out.
A contact form makes it easy for your customers to request more information about your products and services and also makes it easy for you to track how many leads your contact form is bringing in.
How to Structure Your Services Page
Your services page is likely one of the first pages your potential customers will check out. This is where you can give more details to your customers of the different services or products you offer.
Your services page should contain:
- A headline for each service or product you offer.
- A brief overview of the services you offer, followed with a more detailed description of your services and how they can help potential customers
- A description of your ideal customer and who you want to work with.
- A testimonials section, where you can show new prospective customers past client success stories.
For some more ideas of what an awesome ‘Services’ page looks like, check out these 11 examples from ImpactBnd.
How to Structure a Case Study
Case Studies are your chance to show existing and potential customers the benefits and results that your business/services can bring them by showing how you’ve achieved results for previous clients in the past.
While there are many different ways to structure a case study. Here are some general rules to consider when you’re creating case studies:
- Introduce the problem, describe the process of a client using our product or service, show how your services or products helped the client achieve their desired result and a breakdown of the results that were achieved.
- Use charts, diagrams and images to create a visually appealing case study.
- Make sure your case study is easy to read, and the language is appropriate for your target audience.
- End your case study with a call to action.
A successful case study will help establish your business’s credibility with prospective customers by showing the real results you’ve produced for your customers.
How to Structure a Blog Post
While almost every business has a website, not every business has a blog. Blogs are fantastic tool businesses, and brands can use them to keep their audience informed about their business, while also offering practical content to help solve particular problems.
Think of your blog as a direct communication channel between you and your audience. It’s your opportunity to talk in-depth about your products/services, share updates about your business and comment on relevant industry trends.
When creating blog posts, consider these structural tips:
- Use a descriptive title to draw readers in.
- Map out your blog post with a clear introduction.
- Use heading and subheadings to break down your blog post into bite-size chunks.
- Use short paragraphs.
- Summarise the key points of the blog in your conclusion.
- Include a Call to action at the bottom of your blog post.
For a great resource on creating blog posts, check out HubSpot’s in-depth step-by-step guide.
The Content You Create Depends on What You Want to Achieve
The type of content you create will depend on the direction of your content strategy and the objectives you have for each piece of content you create.
By taking the time to think about and plan who you’re producing content for, what you want each piece of content to achieve, sharing valuable information with your audience and structuring each piece of content you produce in a clear fashion you’ll make it easy for your audience to want to share and engage with your content.