In this month's featured blog post, Dr Dave Chaffey delves into some of his own research on content marketing...
In my previous article in February I looked at how the content marketing technique of guest blogging may have less traction in future to help with SEO, since Google has advised against it - particularly if the quality of the content is low. This begs the question: which other content marketing techniques should businesses focus on?
To help understand which content marketing techniques are working, in the Autumn I set up a research project with inbound marketing software provider Hubspot to explore this. We got around two-and-a-half-thousand responses from marketers around Europe.
In the research we asked which content formats were most effective. The results are shown below.
As we might expect, the core inbound marketing techniques of Blogging and Enewsletters are most popular, but many other techniques are less commonly used.
Of the other techniques, infographics are perhaps best known as a technique that assists SEO through attracting embedded links back to the brand creating them. We have certainly had success with these at Smart Insights.
As editor or the Smart Insights blog, I see a lot of suggestions for us to post infographics, but almost all that we publish we seek out ourselves, because the suggestions don’t work for us. Common problems we see with infographics are:
For more suggestions on making your infographics more effective from a marketing point-of-view, see this article by Dan Bosomworth on the Perfect Marketing Infographic. This post references the Content Marketing matrix, a tool to help review existing content, to make sure you have the right balance between educational and more inspiring emotional content. Animated videos or explainers are an example of more emotional appealing content that can help explain a brand proposition. However, these are typically less effective for SEO purposes.
In the research we also asked about the best ways to manage content marketing. Developing an overarching content marketing strategy was highly rated. We found in the research that over half of companies did not have this higher-level plan for content marketing although many were active within content marketing.Other practical tools that were highly rated included:
The last technique is particularly important, since without this in place, you will be unable to prove which content is most effective and so which should gain further investment in the future.