A Vertical Guide to Content Marketing

Oct 18, 2013


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Article ImageContent marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of the marketing strategy for companies across a wide variety of industries. Establishing yourself as a source of authoritative content is more important than ever on the web, but each industry has its own challenges, concerns, and potential benefits when it comes to content marketing. Jessica Davis of Godot Media has addressed these issues in an ongoing series of posts on econtentmag.com. In this article, we have highlighted some of Davis' best advice for four of the most prominent industries in content marketing, but no matter your industry, many of these tips will help make you a better marketer.

Healthcare Sector

The internet has changed the way many of us get information about our health. In fact, according to a survey by RxAlly, more than 20% of internet users in the U.S. consider the internet to be the most trusted source of information when making critical decisions about their health and well-being. Companies in the healthcare sector should take note of these results and start content marketing effectively to educate and reach out to people via the internet. These results show that brands in the healthcare sector already have a ready audience for their content. Even practicing physicians, small practices, doctors, etc., who want people to get accurate information and who want to expand their reach should start creating and publishing easy-to-understand, relevant, and authoritative content.

  • Always publish accurate content-While this should be the goal of all content marketers, it is especially true for the healthcare sector, and false information can have drastic consequences. Make sure that in-house healthcare experts are the ones creating content for your company. If you have outsourced content creation duties, then make sure that all the articles are reviewed by a healthcare expert before being published. Always verify your facts twice before placing them in your content, and never exaggerate numbers to make your brand look good. People expect realistic information, and claims that sound too good to be true can put readers off.
  • Share positive recovery stories-People need to have hope and love to read about people who have beaten the odds. However, you should make sure to highlight all the difficulties that they had to face and be realistic about expectations. To make the stories more personal, use pictures and videos of the patients taken throughout treatment. Such stories can also be used to subtly market drugs or treatments that your company has developed and that have led to these amazing recoveries.
  • Blog posts should be authoritative and not promotional-The best example of authoritative medical content is the blog maintained by the Mayo Clinic. Instead of advertising the organization, the clinic provides exceptional and valuable original content related to healthcare on its website. Posts are always created by reputable doctors and physicians and are very easy to understand. People do not want critical healthcare information from people who are not respected sources of information. Always highlight your credentials and explain healthcare terms in all content.
  • Write for your audience and not search engines-Instead of worrying about inserting keywords into your content to achieve optimum keyword density in articles, focus on your audience. Learn more about your readers, and create content that they will find valuable. If a large chunk of your readers consists of doctors, physicians, and other healthcare companies, then you can use healthcare jargon. For such an audience, creating content with the latest news, breakthroughs, research, and surveys is always a good idea. On the other hand, if your readers are mainly people who have no medical or healthcare background, then it is better to simplify the content.

Financial Sector

Many people are clueless about banking terms and turn to friends, family members, and colleagues for (sometimes wrong) information. Also, because of a lack of banking-related content on the internet, most people are unaware of the latest and very important updates that can affect their savings and financial status. Filling this gap for your customers can make your company a market leader. Here are a few tips for banking and financial companies to develop effective content marketing strategies:

 

  • Create blog posts, not ads-Instead of increasingly ineffective traditional ad campaigns, create banking blogs and post useful advice and information. Blog posts explaining everything from banking terms to the latest rate changes should be posted instead of descriptions of the services and products of the company.

 

  • Professionalism is key-Credibility is key when it comes to handling people's money, so the blog should look professional-more like an online magazine than a personal blog.

 

  • Make your content findable-Your visitors won't always know what they're looking for. So your catalog of content needs to be well-organized, and the categories should be easily accessible and visible to visitors.

 

  • Go beyond the blog-Companies should not limit themselves to blogs. To increase the amount of traffic to your site, the content should be shared on social media and other platforms. (Share your expertise as a guest blogger!) It should go without saying that companies need to have attractive social media profiles before publishing content on these platforms.

 

  • Create helpful content-Createebooksand guides to explain banking procedures in a detailed, step-by-step manner. Such guides can be offered for free. This is a great way to expand email marketing lists as companies can have opt-in forms that people need to fill out to download long-form content.

Ecommerce

Content marketing is not only about maintaining a blog and sharing posts on social media platforms. Content marketing is also about providing additional value to a customer and providing all the necessary information required to make an informed decision. As people are switching from brick-and-mortar stores to online retailers, the global ecommerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Moreover, the purchasing decisions made by customers are highly influenced by the information that they come across on the internet. According to a recent survey by Burst Media, the purchasing decisions of 80% of Americans between 18 and 34 years old were influenced by blog posts. This goes to show that content is king when it comes to the ecommerce industry.

  • Highlight user-generated content-Customers are a jaded lot and have little faith in advertisements and other company-created promotional material. They want honest reviews and opinions from existing clients and customers. In fact, endorsements from friends and family members greatly influence the purchasing decisions of customers. If your products have received positive feedback, publish this feedback on the product's webpage and on your social media pages. More importantly, show how your products have changed the lives of your customers.

 

  • Use visual content-Visual content is perfect for ecommerce industries. Instead of writing about your products, you can create video tutorials and show customers how to use your products correctly. Infographics, charts, and graphs can all be used to describe your company's progress and to show yearly results. Don't forget to publish this content on your social media pages too.

 

  • Engage with customers-Encourage customers to leave their feedback and comments on your website and social media pages, and always respond promptly. Always thank customers for their positive comments, and always answer any query that a customer may have posted. Analyze negative comments, respond diplomatically, and use such feedback to improve your products.

 

  • Offer downloadable content-Content marketing should not end with publishing content on your website. You need to make your content as memorable as possible. This is why you should offer downloadable content to visitors and customers. Such content should, ideally, be free. Ebooks, brochures, quizzes, catalogues, manuals, etc., can all be offered as downloadable content on your website.

Advertising and Marketing

More than any other industry, content marketing is absolutely essential for companies in the online marketing and advertising industries. After all, content marketing is the latest, and probably one of the most effective, forms of marketing out there. How can they provide excellent marketing services to their clients when they themselves are not using one of the best marketing and advertising tools online? In a recent survey by MailOnline, among American advertising and marketing brands and executives, more than 75% of the responding agencies said that they use content marketing as part of their overall promotional and advertising activities. Still, it comes as a major surprise that there are quite a few companies in this industry that have yet to embrace this form of marketing for themselves or their clients.

  • Hire journalists-Content writing is all about storytelling. As an advertising or marketing executive, you need to be able to create cutting-edge, attractive, and original content. Journalists are skilled at weaving stories around topics, and they can tell the story of your brand in an effective manner. With all the search engine algorithm updates, there is a need for content that's written in a traditional way, and journalists know how to do that. They are also able to find interesting stories and build on them quickly. With original and interesting content written in an excellent manner, you can establish your company as an authority figure in the industry.
  • Get the in-house team to create exciting visual content-If you own an advertising or marketing agency, you probably already have a great in-house team of graphic designers, animators, copywriters, artists, videographers, etc. Get them to create excellent content for your company, and make sure a major portion of the content that you are uploading is visual.
  • Gather content from other sources-You may want to publish content that has been created in-house, but referring to other sources and using outside content with due credit allows your company to offer different types of material to readers. Also, if you find interesting articles, infographics, case studies, etc., from competitors, don't hesitate to share them with your readers.