Did you know – content marketing generates over 3x as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less?
Yes, that’s why you need a content marketing strategy in 2024. Let us show you where to focus your efforts. Come on in.
A large portion of our work as digital marketers has focused on content marketing strategies and content creation.
So today, we’re going to share our top content marketing strategy suggestions for 2024.
As always, we’ve got lists of ideas and stats to help along the way. Let’s get into it.
- In content marketing, you need to focus on creating what is relevant and valuable to your audience, and then distribute it consistently.
- Content marketing is a quick and easy thing to implement but is time-consuming and can take months to see results.
- There are 3 categories of content marketing: written content, visual content, and audio content.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like; marketing your business by creating content.
Now, it can’t just be any type of content.
You need to focus on creating and distributing content that is relevant to your audience, valuable in some way, and you must distribute it consistently.
We did a full post on what is content marketing here, so if you’re interested in learning more, be sure to read it next.
Must-Haves Of Content Marketing Strategy
Set yourself up for success by following these steps to gather the tools, resources, and materials needed to see your plan through.
- Branding guidelines (How will you maintain consistency in tone & style?)
- Platform strategy (Where will you post and how often?)
- Customer avatar (Who are you making content for and what do they like, dislike, need, and want?)
- Content map/topics
How Much Time Does It Take To Create A Content Marketing Strategy?
As a small business owner, we know you’re short on time.
And we’re not going to lie to you and tell you that content marketing is a quick and easy thing to implement.
It’s a time-consuming effort and can take months to see results.
But, it’s well worth it, and you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Look for in-house help, hire a freelancer, or outsource to a content marketing firm like LYFE if you’re tight on time but recognize the value.
Now let’s get into the types of content you should be creating in 2024.
Types Of Content Marketing
There are really 3 categories of content marketing, each with its own subcategories and platforms. You can make:
- Written content
- Visual content
- Audio content
Let’s start with written content.
Content Marketing Strategy Type: Written Content
We’ve found it most helpful to start by creating a long-form, in-depth content piece (like a blog post or video script)…
…and breaking that down into smaller pieces of content.
This helps us focus on the quality of the main piece, which improves the quality of the smaller pieces.
Let’s look at the most effective forms of written content marketing.
a. Blog Posts
According to HubSpot Research, 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it’s effective, and 10% say it generates the biggest return on investment.
Blogging is not a guarantee, and to make an impact with your blog content it needs to be:
- high quality,
- optimized for keywords,
- shared everywhere, and
- at least 1200 words long (though longer pieces usually rank higher in search results).
To brainstorm blog post topic ideas, we like to make a 10×10 grid on paper. We list 10 topics for our clients across the top.
These are broad categories, like “content marketing”.
Then, we list out 10 topics within that broad umbrella category that are most relevant and useful to the audience.
In this example, it could be “how to research content ideas” or “10 best blog posts for small businesses”.
By the time you’re done, you’ll have 100 pieces of content planned.
b. Social Posts
Your social posts can feel like an afterthought for your content marketing strategy.
But, they are an excellent way to distribute your content to new and existing audiences.
Sure, we could post a video on YouTube and those of you that follow us or searched for our optimized keywords will see it.
But how many of you came on our channel from Facebook or Instagram, or our blog post that accompanies these videos.
Your social posts should be strategic, planned in advance (for the most part), and scheduled.
Tip: Don’t sell all the time. Social media (and internet users in general) are tired of brands that sell non-stop.
They want to follow businesses that have culture, care about their communities, show some personality, and help or entertain their followers.
We like to balance content here at LYFE by focusing on 3 main categories:
- Share – This content is shareable. This could be a quote, a story, a fun fact, an announcement, etc.
- Sell – This content is focused on selling your product or service.
This could be a product post, a new service announcement, a discount or sale, a shipping update, etc.
- Brand – This content focuses on your brand.
This could be an employee spotlight, work that you’re doing in your community, a cause you support, your office cats, etc.
If you feel stuck when trying to come up with content, try this mix and let us know how it works for you.
c. Email Marketing
When you think of email marketing, you think of the Black Friday sale announcement emails you get from 700 brands all at once, right?
It’s so much more than that.
From a study of 1,000 small business owners, email marketing was ranked as the second most effective medium for building brand awareness.
What can you send other than a sale email?
- Announcements, updates, and news
- Employee spotlights, behind-the-scenes, holiday festivities
- Customer highlights or testimonials
- Tutorials, tips, hacks, not-to-dos
- Tell your company story
Check out our post on email marketing ideas to get more tips on what to send to your subscribers.
Content Marketing Strategy Type: Visual Content
if you haven’t noticed by now, video content is queen.
Video content is the primary form of media used by marketers, and you can use it everywhere from social to search.
87% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website.
Internet users’ consumption of video content will just keep increasing.
So if you haven’t made the foray into video content, there’s no time like the present.
Just like we do with written content, we’ll often create or write the long-form video first and use it to make shorter videos for wider distribution.
Let’s look at the most effective forms of visual content marketing.
a. Long-Form Video
Anything over 5-minutes long can be considered a long-form video.
These videos are ideal for audiences who are more serious buyers or browsers.
They’re spending time with you to watch your video and that’s a good sign. It means they trust you and value what you have to say.
Best long-form videos for small businesses to invest in:
- Video Essays (yes it’s a thing)
- Brand Story
- Explainer/educational video
- Answer FAQ’s
b. Short-Form Video
These would be things like Stories, Reels, and TIkToks.
Anything less than 5 minutes is short-form, though TikTok caps it at 3 minutes and sometimes those feel endless.
Speaking of Stories and Reels, we have posts that will help you learn more about these short-form videos. Check them out at these links:
Best short-form video for small businesses to invest in:
- Employee bios/spotlights
- Office pet features (everyone loves a pet feature)
- Tips and tricks
- Product highlight
c. Live Video
Live video is becoming more and more common. That’s half of the content we get served on TikTok these days.
It can be a useful tool for small businesses, but it’s also a bit nerve-wracking because – well, it’s LIVE. No editing. No redos.
As scary as it may be, going live is an excellent tool for small businesses for a few reasons:
- It allows you to engage with your customers in real-time, thus helping you to develop and maintain relationships with them.
- Viewers stay on live video longer than they do on recorded videos (because you just never know what will happen next…)
- You can tag products and link out to your website to drive traffic and make sales.
- Social platforms are prioritizing live video so you can often get a nice boost from the algorithm when you go live.
We did an entire post on live streaming strategy, so be sure to read it next.
Content Marketing Strategy Type: Audio Content
As you’ve no doubt noticed, there is a crossover between these categories.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed the trend that you’re really creating one really good piece of content and breaking it down into usable parts.
You could take just the audio recording of a video interview, for example, and turn it into a podcast.
You can turn a blog post into a video essay.
You can use the tips and tricks video to put together an infographic.
Podcast use is on the rise.
Almost 30% of U.S. citizens aged 12+ listen to podcasts weekly, with the average number of podcasts folks listen to being 8.
If you’re already making video content, the step to audio content is a baby one.
Here’s what you could discuss on a podcast:
- Tell stories about your brand, business, product, or self
- Share insights or lessons learned
- Share tips and tricks, pro tips, or hacks
- Invite employees or industry experts to talk with you about selected topics
- Do a descriptive tour of your offices
We put this last on the list because it’s typically the final frontier for small businesses.
You master the written and visual medium before audio – at least the singular audio. That’s not to say it isn’t valuable, though.
If you use a podcast for your business, let us know what’s worked best for you!
Content marketing works because it helps you establish your knowledge, help your potential customers…
…build brand awareness, and showcase your personality.
It develops a relationship beyond buy and sell, which turns shoppers into loyal, dedicated customers.
Try different things, pay attention to the analytics, and be patient.
Content marketing strategy is a longer-term strategy, but you can accelerate your reach and audience size with paid ads including:
- page like ads and
- boosted posts (which you should budget at least $300 for monthly).
And that wraps up our top suggestions for your content marketing strategy. If you need more help with this, don’t hesitate to contact us today!