Is your target audience actually reading your white papers? The purpose of a white paper is to generate high-quality leads but they may not take full advantage of your digital content marketing efforts and budget. Delivering content online offers you the opportunity to connect and interact with your target audience, and if you’re not using this opportunity to your full advantage then you’re missing out.
There are three types of content all agencies should consider instead of or in addition to white papers: podcasts, webinars, and animations.
Since the start of COVID, podcast listeners have increased massively (by 42% according to Voxnet). Podcasting has been around since 2004 and yet very few agencies are using this platform to deliver their content marketing material. Podcasting offers the opportunity to engage with data that could have been distributed in a white paper or blog post through conversation and collaborative dialogue with multiple voices and perspectives.
Anna Carey, co-host of The Parent Rap podcast says, “We liked the “chatting with friends” format for [a parenting podcast] because we wanted it to feel like talking about hard stuff with someone you trust to be gentle when you disagree. Blogging can get there, but it’s harder to create collaborative content and communicate that very particular tone in writing.”
Whether you’re creating content for your agency or for a client, a recommended strategy for using a podcast as a lead generation tactic is to publish a snippet of the content for free and then offer the full episode or series of episodes behind a squeeze page to capture email addresses.
Ideal Content for Podcasts:
- Expert interviews
- Panel discussions
Recommended Podcasts for Content Marketers:
The $100 MBA Show
Awarded Best of iTunes, The $100 MBA Show hosted by Omar Zenhom offers quick marketing and business advice with new episodes posted a few times each week.
Social Media Marketing Podcast
Hosted by Michael Stelzner, this podcast is a stand out amongst all the social media marketing podcasts out there because each episode goes into such depth. The host is also incredibly knowledgeable and asks great questions to get into the meat of each topic.
We’ve all attended webinars that have been 90% sales pitch and 10% value. These build distrust in your community and give webinars a bad reputation, and more importantly are a massive missed opportunity.
So how do you host a webinar that is both valuable and brings in new clients? Natasha Marchand, COO of Bebo Mia, says it all starts with valuing the time of your webinar participants. Bebo Mia is an online training & mentorship organization for people wanting to work in the reproductive health field and has been hosting webinars for over 10 years.
“We genuinely want information to get into the hands of people who need it…We really use webinars as a way to build trust and for our community to get to know us and each other. If you are approaching webinars from that angle they could work for any demographic!”
Now more than ever, your target market is looking for meaningful ways to network, connect, and interact with people solely online. Capturing their contact information for a high-quality webinar on a topic related to your services or industry allows you an interactive platform to showcase your expertise and services.
Ideal Content for Webinars:
- Education delivery
- Community-building conversations
- Live events
Recommended Webinars for Content Marketers:
If you’ve been in the industry for even a microsecond, you’ve probably heard of Hootsuite and they offer webinars throughout the year to stay on top of trends.
If you want your agency to really stand out with your storytelling and instructional content online, animations can deliver this and capture your target audience from start to finish. According to Jeca Martinez, a Toronto-based animator/illustrator there are some best practices to keep in mind when creating animations for social media. “The ideal platforms for animation are Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. Short-form animation do well on Facebook and Instagram (such as comics, stop motion, memes, etc), while longer form ones work for Youtube.”
Where white papers miss the mark is their ability to capture your audience for the entire piece of content since people are more likely to skim written material online for the most relevant information. In doing so, they may miss the most important piece of information you intended to deliver. This challenge is solved by creating an animation to deliver instructional or technical information.
In order to generate leads, at the outset of your animation project, map out the cost of creating a trailer-length animation to use in your marketing channels and then a full-length version available to download.
Ideal Content for Animations:
- Abstract concepts
- Technical processes
Recommended Animations for Content Marketers:
These animations aren’t specifically about content marketing but every content marketer should see these. TED Animations set the standard for how animations can be used to breathe life into instructional content.
Creating a lead-generating quiz gives you the opportunity to filter clients into different categories, collect data outside of just contact information, and learn more about the needs of your target market. Conversion is always higher when you’re able to provide specific information rather than generic content that would be delivered through a white paper.
Recommended Quizzes for Content Marketers:
Jenna Kutcher does almost all of the content marketing I’ve listed above: she podcasts, she hosts webinars, and she creates lead generating quizzes. Her quiz called What’s Your Secret Sauce? is a perfect example of how a lead generating quiz should work to fill your sales funnel and learn more about your target audience at the same time.