Maintaining a blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website and increase your leads and sales. Particular types of content are more successful than others when it comes to getting attention and making an impact on your business. Utilise these eight, easy types of content on your blog and take note of the difference it will make to your traffic.
Nowadays, when people need to find out how to do something, they will often search for answers using a search engine like Google. Content in the form of a how-to guide will drive traffic and sales by helping readers solve a problem or complete a task. A how-to guide is the reliable step-by-step instruction manual that goes into detail and answers any queries the reader may have. It will often include images or videos demonstrating each step, making it even easier to follow. As there will likely be many other websites out there trying to answer the same “how to” question, it is important to optimise this type of content wherever you can, as you will be competing for search engine ranking and traffic. If you can answer a unique question that relates to your company, even better, because there will be less competition in the search results.
Some people prefer their how-to guides even further simplified, and a cheat sheet does exactly that. The name itself lends itself to describing a quick, simple method for getting the best result – think of the cheat sheets you were allowed to take into tests in high school! When it comes to content, cheat sheets (in infographic or text format) attract traffic because they show new customers how to use your products and/or services to fit their needs, and they can show existing customers how to best use the products and/or services they already have. The more visual you can make your cheat sheet, the more effective it will be, as imagery can simplify your content and ensure it can be used as a quick reference guide rather than a detailed explanation.
Check lists help people to remember everything they need to do or buy. Posting a check list can drive sales in almost any industry because you are relating it back to your product or service. For example, if you sell a cleaning product, a check list titled “Top 10 Essentials You Need to Have in Your Household Cleaning Kit” would be a great fit. Nobody likes the feeling of forgetting something and most people prefer have a very clear idea of what they need to buy before they buy it – so a check list acts as both a reminder and a way to choose a product or service without putting much thought into it. The cleaning kit check list could simply say “glass cleaner” OR it could say “Windex Glass Cleaner Spray Bottle” – the latter makes it easier for the reader to choose what is written, rather than comparing different brands.
Compare the Pair
When you are fighting against another brand for customers, why not directly address your competitors? Comparison posts highlight the benefits of your product or service over another company’s product or service. It could simply be pointing out the cheaper price of your product, or it could be mentioning a specific outstanding feature and the competitor’s lack of. If you are going to make claims against a competitor, particularly when using their official name, logo or product in advertising, be sure that you can back up your allegations. Comparative content could make the difference between a consumer making a purchase or not making a purchase.
People love to hear from brand advocates that they can relate to. An advocate or guest poster could be anyone, from an everyday customer to a social media influencer or celebrity. This person should genuinely be “in love” with your brand, products and/or services – so much so that they are happy to write about it or mention it on their own popular accounts. Nowadays, people are particularly responsive to regular people with large followings, because they feel as though they are normal people who will make realistic product judgements. Depending on who you ask, you may have to compensate for their work. Remember to choose wisely and find brand advocates that fit your brand and your audience.
A case study demonstrates the relevance and effectiveness of a particular product or service by describing in detail a time when the product or service was used to produce positive results. Rather than simply asking the customer to trust what the company says about itself, a case study is all about the real-world application of a product or service. Case studies are proven to help leads convert into sales, as readers are able to envision themselves in the position of the case study subject. Some examples of Cause studies can be client traffic increases or more process driven case studies about a long term project.
The Wake Up Call
The feeling of having an epiphany or realisation can be extremely powerful – it often provokes people to recognise an error in their ways or change their behaviour. In terms of content marketing, a wake up call scares the customer into action – ideally into buy your product or service. Although you are frightening people and technically using a bit of a scare tactic, it should simultaneously be recognised that your “wake up call” is a helping hand in a time where we are overloaded with information on what to do and what not to do. In this case it is particularly important to be established as a trusted brand or company with expert knowledge that overpowers any previous, unreliable information they may have heard.
To become an industry leader or trusted company, you need credibility. If you ever present information that is new, controversial or questions the status quo, you must be prepared to back it up. Your own unique findings will also be more likely to get attention, as you aren’t just regurgitating content from other sources that have bothered to do their own research – this gives them credibility, not you. To fix this, make an effort to research issues around your product and use your findings to promote your product. Even a simple statistic like “9/10 women said their hair felt softer and healthier” can encourage consumers to give your product or service a go. Research or “unique findings” can also be combined with other content types, like case studies, to create more elaborate posts that demonstrate your company’s expertise. An example of unique findings could be the result of testing for example a move to HTTPS for a client noted a 39% traffic increase.
As you can see there are many ways you can adjust your content to drive traffic to your website and improve your chances of creating leads and sales. The key to a successful blog is to keep it active – regular, proven effective content will build your audience and establish your company website as the place to go for helpful information. Blog content is also shareable across social media and e-mail communication, allowing it to also gain exposure from these platforms rather than just organic search engine results.