Content creation is one of the most important tasks for your website to get better rankings in top search engines. Content has always been king on the Internet and it is the backbone of a successful online business.
Achieving the optimal digital content creation for your business is possible if you have the necessary expertise, in-house or from outsourced providers, to complete the tasks effectively. And sometimes it’s done by subject matter experts that work alongside the content creators. For example, consider a healthcare business promoting prescription drugs to consumers. The pharmaceutical company could appoint a doctor or medical professional as the subject matter expert and they could provide information that would help infuse the materials with more authority and confidence – and increase conversions as a result.
Why Is Content Important?
Content creation is the ultimate inbound marketing practice. When you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience, attracting potential customers to your website, and retaining existing customers through quality engagement.
You’re also generating some major ROI for your company, as these content marketing stats demonstrate:
- Content marketing brings in 3X as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
- SMBs that use content marketing get 126% more leads than those that don’t.
- 61% of online purchases are the direct result of a customer reading a blog.
- Companies that publish 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5X more traffic than those that post four or fewer posts per month.
Content equals business growth. So, let’s get started with the types of content you can create and then review your content strategy.
Whether you want to post videos on social media or YouTube, creating a video is one type of content creation that becomes more popular as the years go by. Short-form and long-form videos both have their place in your content creation strategy, so it’s important to come up with ideas for this type of content.
Lake Elmo Inn
This notable restaurant in the suburbs of the Twin Cities has been around “forever,” according to Laura Malm, Senior Writer. But despite their solid reputation in the community, they are still working on nurturing their fans while growing new ones through their social media efforts.
Laura called out Lake Elmo Inn’s “Inside Scoop” video series on Facebook, which features the restaurant’s chefs walking viewers through step-by-step instructions of a cooking technique such as making the perfect hardboiled egg, the best method for cutting onions, or how to peel fruit. They also reveal how to create some of their recipes. “This shows you don’t have to have a big budget or a large internal marketing team to do some modern content marketing strategies,” explains Laura.
Videos are a hot topic in content marketing, and Lake Elmo Inn has mastered it by showcasing the expertise of its internal chefs. Fans not only learn the best way to cut an onion, but they get a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant and the person who might be cooking their dinner.
Headquartered in Bloomington, Minnesota, Salsa Cycles is a bicycle manufacturer that describes itself as, “Dedicated to keeping the spirit of adventure alive in bicycling. We make bikes to help you get there.” This mission is central to their brand identity that is evident as soon as you enter their website or social media pages.
Salsa Cycles uses content to communicate that mission. The first thing you see when entering the Salsa Cycles website is a featured video. Kate Ankofski, Senior Copy Editor (and endurance cyclist), chose to highlight their video, “I Ride For Her.” “This is a great example of powerful content marketing,” says Kate. “Subtle brand references, excellent storytelling, and a rock-solid understanding of target audience.”
The video has a cinematic quality to it, but its major theme is simple: Feature the struggle and triumphs of the athletes who competed in the 200-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Shots of the riders slugging through mud (and even falling) are featured between short, but emotional interviews with the racers.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to win,” said the top finisher. “I’m dedicating this win to my wife. … She’s battling stage 4 colon cancer and she’s four years clear. So I ride for her.”
The grocery chain partnered with Funny or Die to create a video that features Jeff Goldblum. He makes an unusual trip to the local Ralph’s grocery store (“I always have three cameras whenever I go shopping”) to pick up items — using Ralph’s mobile app, of course. He then uses the ingredients to cook a meal in his kitchen with actress Bryce Dallas Howard.
Copy editor Karla Wennerstrom chose this video because though the video doesn’t hide that it’s sponsored content, it “goes at it in a really fun and unscripted way,” she says. “Watching Jeff Goldblum do just about anything is a home run, but the famously tactile and expressive actor is particularly perfect exploring all aspects of cooking here.”
This was a new marketing initiative for Kroger. “… it’s the first brush with Hollywood celebrity and ‘a big pivot’ in its marketing,” said Stuart Aitken of Kroger’s analytics firm for AdWeek. In the same article, Brian Toombs, VP of digital at Funny or Die, said that it’s “ultimately a talk show,” that showcases a charming and witty host who hilariously interacts with Ralph’s employees.
Paper & Packaging
Warning: This video, “Letters to Dad,” is a tear-jerker. It’s only one minute long, but it tells a full, emotional story — even without dialogue! The video also successfully features the brand’s products without disrupting the story or the message so it doesn’t feel like an ad. When I think of the term “storytelling” as it related to marketing, this is the video I always reference.
Business Development Manager Matt Hall loves this quiz from Fidelity, which helps consumers measure their financial health and improve their finances. Quizzes can be time-consuming to get through — it’s easy to lose the attention of people who want a quick outcome. But Fidelity’s quiz is short and quick — you can see your progress on the left part of the screen.
To keep users engaged, statistics and graphics appear after you answer each question to show how your finances compare to others. These stats provide a feeling that you’re not alone or motivated to start working toward a stronger financial future.
The highlight of the quiz is the results page that they call your “Personal Action Plan.” Rather than providing a score, it first shows you the area of your finances that you need to prioritize. Then it brings you to a window with a “Smart Next Action.” Here, there is a link to a relevant piece of content to help improve this area. In the “Debt Reduction” section (pictured below), the content is a two-minute video that provides easy-to-understand tips.
The content is interactive but quick to get through, it’s helpful and it breaks down the complexities of personal finances. In addition, it’s an excellent showcase of Fidelity’s expertise and trustworthiness as a service that can help.
Email newsletter content
Smile Direct Club
“Their email nurture campaign is excellent,” says Brittney Domeier, Client Success Manager. “Once you engage with Smile Direct Club you will not be shorted email coupons, promo codes, or testimonials from happy customers.”
Smile Direct Club sells clear retainers to straighten teeth at a lesser cost than traditional braces or invisible retainers. In addition to Smile Direct’s engaging emails, they post sponsored ads on social media. It seems every time I browse Instagram, Smile Direct is there. It’s a smart place to be when Instagram is a visual platform that boasts ideal, but often false and unattainable, versions of beauty. Regardless, they know their audience and the best platforms they are on.
Even if you’re sending emails to subscribers who have not yet become customers, sending special offers and content that they read (make sure to measure your CTR) can prove your company’s value.
“For me, Seth Godin’s blog is required reading. I’m sure every content marketing writer in America says this,” Senior Writer Jodi Rogstad comments. Long known in the industry, Seth is an accomplished teacher and author on marketing and writing (and has even earned a spot in the Marketing Hall of Fame).
He has built a brand for himself that marketing pros and writers admire. He practices what he preaches with a genuine tone and care for the reader. “His daily doses offer these great nuggets of inspiration, philosophy, humor, and resolve. He makes a believer out of me. I watch for his email every morning in my inbox to start my day!” adds Jodi.
For solopreneurs, contractors, freelancers, and anyone who is trying to build a business by your lonesome (kudos!), Seth is a great example of how content can bolster your online identity. His newsletter helped build a loyal audience and make him a respected figure in the industry.
Social media content
Digital Marketing Manager Andy Krall is a fan of Dictionary.com’s playful — and at times cheeky — Twitter posts. They’re a bit lucky considering they have A LOT of material to work with (it’s unknown how many words are on Dictionary.com, but the second volume of the Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words).
Digital and Content Strategist Elinor Bradbury loves Betty Crocker’s approach to content marketing. “They seamlessly integrate General Mills brands and products throughout almost every piece of content on their site and other distribution channels,” says Elinor. “The average consumer would never know GM was aggressively pushing products on them. It’s truly native!”
Betty Crocker is also an excellent example of a timeless brand that hasn’t hesitated to go digital and adapt to the latest technology trends. For instance, they’ve implemented Alexa skills so consumers can ask about recipes and measurements while in the kitchen. Betty Crocker continues to assert itself as one of the most helpful home cooking brands in the industry by making sure they stay in consumers’ kitchens — whether as a cookbook or a digital assistant.
In your blog posts or your social media posts, you might want to post original graphics. These can be infographics, animations, etc. This type of content creation usually requires a graphic designer or at least a graphic design tool to help you get the job done.
Another type of content is content offers. These are templates, whitepapers, worksheets, or ebooks that your audience can download. This is gated content — meaning your audience will need to fill out a form and provide their email to have access to it.
Our list of best content creation examples can inspire you. We have digital content creation examples for your daily job. These digital marketing strategies and SEO techniques will help you to improve your content and make your digital marketing more successful.