With the old ‘normal’ turned on its head – live events cancelled, widespread homeworking, non-essential shops closed, social distancing enforced – life has essentially gone inside and online. With access to online platforms easier than ever, now is the time to get creative and reach your leads and customers in new ways.
Here are 5 content types that will work well now, and in the future.
Webinars have long been popular in the B2B world as a way to educate, demonstrate, or instruct, and generally help customers (or leads) understand a topic, product or service.
Most often, webinars are private events that require registration. As a result, you have the chance to gain high-quality leads – if people have taken the time to register and watch your webinar, it’s a good sign that they are looking for a meaningful connection with your brand and what you can offer.
This kind of event gives you a platform to demonstrate your expertise and authority. And while a webinar doesn’t offer the same interaction as a videoconference with fewer people – webinars tend to be targeted at large audiences, with a main speaker and a passive or relatively passive audience – it’s often possible to take live questions to bring extra value to those who attend live.
And as well as offering a live event that you can promote, which can add a valuable scarcity factor, this content type can continue to serve as evergreen content or lead magnets on your website.
There are many webinar platforms and remote work tools out there, so it’s worth checking which one best meets your needs. Some of the most popular are WebinarJam, WebinarNinja, GoToWebinar and Zoom.
2. Live streaming
With a large percentage of the world’s population under some kind of Covid-19 lockdown measures, live streaming has seen a huge surge in growth, with social media algorithms prioritising them accordingly.
Facebook has even shifted the focus of its product development towards live streaming with a host of new features on the way. This should include the possibility of watching without having a Facebook account, automatic subtitling, and a new dashboard for managing live streaming.
Why is live streaming so popular? Even more so that ‘regular’ video content, live streaming is authentic, engaging, easily shareable, and easily consumed – a Vimeo Livestream study found that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
With no registration, audiences on publicly available live streams will stay as long as they are being engaged – whether to the live version or a replay – so the content needs to entertain or hold their interest. But while you don’t have a direct possibility for lead generation, live streaming can be a great way to build and engage an audience and start developing a relationship.
Live streaming is possible on many social media channels, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn (though only upon application), as well as platforms like Twitch.
Short, accessible, and (usually) free, podcasts have soared in popularity in recent years. And although most of us have lost of our usual podcast-listening moments (such as the commute to work, or at the gym), in periods of confinement, podcasts can be a welcome escape.
They take less effort than reading, can be combined with other activities in a way that video can’t, an almost human connection, and depending on the topic, a way to learn and keep informed.
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast from scratch or using existing content such as blog posts, make sure you have enough content (or at least ideas) for multiple episodes. Seeking to partner with other credible and trusted sources in your field can expand content possibilities, act as a boost to both parties’ profiles, and help you generate new leads.
Struggling to think of topics for episodes? Ask your customers what they would like to hear about – this not only makes sure you’re delivering content they will appreciate, but it can also strengthen your relationship with them.
Record and edit your podcast using tools like GarageBand, Adobe Audition and Audacity; choose a hosting platform; and eventually even submit your podcast to directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. Here’s a good guide to getting started with podcasting.
4. Pre-recorded video
Video content is a versatile tool that can play an important part of an overall content marketing strategy at any time, so any efforts you put into this now will pay off in the future too.
And although video is often considered more as a powerful B2C tool – especially when used on social media – it’s now being used by more and more B2B companies. Depending on your business you could consider educational videos, demos, interviews with experts or customers, behind the scenes videos or 360° videos of products or properties.
In 2020 statistics from Wyzowl, 13% of non-video marketers said they don’t use video for marketing as they lack time to invest in it. Yet feedback from video marketers is highly encouraging and suggests that it’s time well spent – 80% said video has directly helped increase sales, and 95% said video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
So, if you find yourself with some extra time to invest, exploring how video could work for your business could really pay off.
Blogging remains a solid customer acquisition channel, provided you have value to bring to your audience. By solving a real-life problem, or providing relevant and compelling strategic insights, your content has a greater chance of being shared as well as ranking well.
Remember that KPIs like x number of blogs posted are not necessarily what you should be aiming for, and you won’t necessarily be gaining more actual customers by trying to post often. Instead, focus on providing genuinely useful, SEO optimised content that will establish you as a valuable and authoritative source of information.
In fact, focusing on fewer well-crafted articles around specific keywords can be a great tactic to develop a passive source of new customers. An example of this digital marketing analysis provider Ahrefs, who only publish around two articles per month, yet consistently attract huge volumes of organic traffic to their site.
So, take the time to create some winning content that will keeping on bringing good quality leads to your site, and keep delighting your existing customers.