How to pick the right form for your marketing content

Provide your leads with the right content piece at the right time. This way, they’ll go through your marketing funnel more smoothly. For the optimal match, ask yourself this question: if I were the customer, what would I want to know at what time? Your content piece is the answer to this question, but you’ll need to wrap this information in the right form.

There’s a convenient tool to check if you’ve chosen the right form: the marketing funnel itself. There are certain types of content that belong to certain funnel stages. Blogs are a good way to create awareness; whitepapers are really helpful when it’s about consideration. A good reference case is a great help during the decision stage. In other words: you’ll have to align both form and content with your lead’s funnel progress. We’ll offer you a helping hand in this blog by telling some more about the various forms for your content and which funnel stages they belong to.

Awareness: your fish hook

In a way, a funnel flow is like fishing. A blog is a ‘fish hook’ when you combine it with Google Ads or a LinkedIn ad campaign. This blog has to draw the reader’s attention. The piece can be about trends in the market, for example. Or even better: it’s about solving the specific problems your intended audience has. Of course, you’ll have to sell your products or services, so you won’t reveal the complete solution. Or you subtly make clear this is something your readers really can’t do on their own. For example, you can advise them to work with a partner with the much needed expertise and experience.

Videos are another good way to create awareness. YouTube has become the world’s second biggest search engine. It’s a good place to share product video’s, for example, with the right search words in their respective descriptions. These can help people to find out about your company.

A third form we’re enthusiastic about: infographics. These are a great way to provide people with the right information, designed in a convenient and visually attractive way. They can be used to give a short explanation of certain products or services, but also to show to research figures (or even a combination of both). This makes infographics very helpful in raising awareness.

Consideration: start reeling in that fish

While fishing, you can start reeling in your leads by offering them in-depth content (yes, we know it sounds a bit ironic). This helps you to establish you as an experienced expert who offers a high quality proposition. When this catches your lead’s attention, they have reached the consideration stage. The right forms for this phase are e-books and whitepapers. They’re both longer texts that tell readers more about the solution they’re looking for. Usually, these texts are offered as a downloadable, in exchange for your lead’s contact details. Most of the time, an e-mail address is sufficient. Providing a company with your contact details can be a bit of a barrier. If someone actually does this, you know this person really shows interest in the topic. A more extensive in-depth infographic can be offered as a downloadable as well.

A question we get a lot: what’s the difference between an e-book and a whitepaper? Well, a whitepaper is more technical. It can provide the reader with details about functionalities, or the implementation process. You can also use this form to compare several services. People who read whitepapers have generally progressed quite a lot in their decision process: they’re seriously considering your product or service. The people who read e-books are generally less far in this process. Yes, they are interested as well, but they’d like to get more information first, that shouldn’t be too technical. An e-book is often designed in more playful way, which makes it resemble product brochures a bit.

Have you ever considered making your own podcast? This is a relative new form that fits in quite well with the consideration phase. They generally have a length of 15 to 60 minutes, which provides you with the opportunity to explore topics more in-depth. If you make a series of several episodes, you can create a longer relationship with your listeners.

Decision: land that fish

A lot of companies are focussed on lead generation, thus on the consideration stage. Someone gives you their contact information and you call or mail them. When this comes to nothing, there are two options. First, you can see if other fish bite, hoping you’ll have more luck this time. Or you decide to create a bit of your own luck by creating content for the decision stage.

Leads are often interested in the experiences of your customers, which can help them make their decision. A reference case is a great aid during the decision stage. In this text, your customer tells about their problems, your solutions, and your collaboration. You can also make a reference video, on-site, and with several of the people who were involved in making the decision: managers, experts and other relevant employees of your customer. Such videos (quite literally) put a face on your proposition. They help you put doubting leads in the right direction.

What’s next? Creating a logical flow

Take a second look at the pieces of content you offer your leads. A critical approach is important. Which content aligns with which funnel stage? Do your content pieces offer the right information your lead will need at that moment? Not too much information and not too little? Can you put the content pieces ‘in the right place’ and create a logical flow? Maybe you’ll have to update them, or make new ones to fill the gaps in your flow.

ContentXperience is a full-service marketing agency that loves to think along with these questions. Feel free to contact us.

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Marketing Automation Partners