Captivating audiences with the right content is one of the biggest challenges in marketing. In fact, according toLinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, successful content leans heavily on audience relevance (58%), followed by engaging and compelling storytelling (57%) that triggers a response (54%).
To make sure your content drives results, its format needs to be just as well-researched as the information contained in it. For instance, if you’re trying to explain a complex mechanical process to an engineer, then a comprehensive white paper would work better than a short blog post or an infographic.
If you’re not sure which content formats will resonate with your audience, then use the following tips to identify them:
1. Pinpoint your audience
You can’t captivate an audience without understanding it first.
Start by identifying your key customer groups. For instance, if you sell complex machinery for automotive plants, then you may already know that your primary buyers are factory engineers and managers.
The next step is to dig into specifics and create buyer personas. Doing so will enable you to gather more intimate details about your customers, including their primary concerns, key challenges and reasons for buying your product. In addition, consider gathering the following content-specific information:
- Topics they’re interested in
- Their favourite content formats
- Where they search for content
- Their preferred platform
2. Set goals for your content
Before identifying your ideal content format, you need to know what you want to accomplish with it first. According to LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the most common content marketing goals are lead generation (59%), thought leadership (43%) and brand awareness (40%). Other common goals include:
- Lead nurturing
- Customer acquisition
- Website traffic
3. Align content formats with your goals
Your next task is to align various content types with your goals. If you have already completed our first recommended step, then your list of potential formats shouldn’t be too long. Here’s how you can group different content formats based on some of the most common marketing goals:
Lead generation requires content that can motivate customers to submit their personal information to your business through a contact form. Content formats that accomplish this very well include:
- Product demos
Thought leadership needs content that can showcase your informed opinion and expertise in your specialized field. These are the formats that tend to work best:
- White papers
- Video guides
- SlideShare presentations
Brand awareness requires content that can grab customer attention without being overly complicated. Some of the ideal formats include the following:
- Blog posts
- How-to videos
- SlideShare presentations
4. Determine what you want to convey
While your content format should be largely influenced by your goals and audience expectations, you should also take into account the information you want your content to convey. For instance, if your content features a lot of statistical data, then it may work better as an infographic than a blog post. So, don’t feel like you need to be locked into a specific format if it doesn’t work. There’s always a little room for experimentation.