When looking for more effective ways to market your business, you should consider the types of content that increases website traffic and bring in higher quality leads.  According to Content Marketing Institute, 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing and more than half plan to increase their content marketing budget and production over the next 12 months.

content marketing leads traffic

With the growth in content marketing, one of the main obstacles marketers and business owners face is a lack of content creation ideas and resources.  Determining what content you want to create and where you will get it is a stumbling block for many small businesses who lack the resources to hire or outsource a content marketer and strategist.  To scale down your content marketing and make it manageable for your business, creating a simplified content marketing strategy can get you over the hump.

top content marketing challengesCreating a Simple Content Marketing Plan – 5 Step Process

Whether you are addicted to spreadsheets and binders, or live your life in the land of Post-Its and Evernote, the point is to scratch out a simple content marketing plan.  If you can write out, or type out the answers to these five questions, you’ll have a jump off point you can use to produce more effective content.

  1. Determine your business goals for your content marketing efforts (leads, traffic, opt-ins…).
  2. Identify your ideal customer.
  3. Look at your sales funnel and determine where your existing content fits and where there are gaps, drawing on an understanding of what type of content work best at each stage.
  4. Identify and calendar what content needs to be produced, for what marketing channel, and the timing of publishing.
  5. Determine the metrics important to your business when considering your goals and put a process in place to collect and measure on reportable metrics.

Once you get this done, you’ll know what types of content your business should create and promote to attract higher quality leads to your website.

4 Types of Content that Increase Traffic and Deliver Quality Leads

This list concentrates on blog content as it is the cheapest and easiest form of content for a small business (with a small budget) to produce. Written in-house or contracted out, blog post feed your marketing across many channels including search engine marketing and social media marketing.  Also, it is builds a strong foundation for all your future content marketing efforts because your written content can be economically repurposed into infographics, videos, podcasts, slide presentations, or even ebooks.

content marketing costs less

Ultimate/Definitive Guides

They say you should do the hardest thing first, so starting us off is the EPIC, ultimate, definitive, comprehensive guide posts.  If you are using these words, you have to deliver some in-depth content because your readers are expecting thousands of words.  That is a lot of work, but if you can do the residual payoff is huge.  Long-form content has the potential to be repurposed whole or in parts in a multitude of ways that could feed your content pipeline for months.

Lists Posts

What’s a list post? Well, you’re reading one.  We started with a little education but really you’re here for the list of 9 content types we promised.  Lists post are everywhere because they work to attract traffic, and they are less work to create.  They are attractive because people like the promise of an easy-to-read and smartly formatted list the can scan.  Picking which parts of the list they want to dive into.  Pack your list with valuable information, and the larger number of points you offer (think 100 Ways to Avoid Paying Taxes) the more popular it will be.

Tools/Resources Posts

Readers believe you are going to save them time or give them an easier way to do things when you use the words “tool” and “resource.”  With the hectic lives we lead, everyone is looking for a tool or resource that will make his or her professional and personal lives better. In writing your post research each tool and let the reader know how they can use it.  Provide useful links that go to a features page, and include the cost in your post so readers won’t have to search only to find it was not in their price range.

Expert Roundups

If you are not scared to reach out to people outside of your circle of influence, then you have to do an expert roundup.

  • Start by picking your niche-specific topic (i.e. “building an email list”)
  • Internet search for experts and their contact information
  • Send ALL of them a short, one-question email asking if they could participate in your roundup (“…doing a roundup post, would be great to get an expert quote, could I get a few sentences one your top tip for building a quality email list by deadline, tons of appreciation…”)
  • Expect that some experts won’t respond (which is why you emailed everyone you could find)
  • Publish the expert responses you did receive in a post

Here is a secret about experts: They are regular human beings, just like you and me, and they love when people call them “Experts.”  That means when you ask for their expert opinion and publish in your post; they like to share it with their network.  Now your post is reaching the audience of the experts and influencers you included in your post.

What Types of Content Are You Going to Create?

Remember that quality content is useful, accurate, and evergreen.  Find out what type of content resonates with your ideal customers and then promote the heck out of it to broaden your reach.  Increased traffic is great, but the real purpose of content marketing is to generate quality leads for your business.  To do that you need quality content, so it all begins here.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.