As expert content creators, Clay Agency has done it all, but we notice time and again that certain content tactics deliver more bang for the buck. Those listed here are our current front-runners based on how well they drive engagement and work to position our clients’ brands as leaders in their industries.
Tactic #1: Whitepapers
While our writers regularly do the research and writing for whitepapers, we typically include a byline that attributes that work to an expert within our clients’ companies. That’s because the overall goal is to create a piece that highlights a company’s know-how and its unique ability to help its customers understand and respond to pressing industry issues.
We choose topics for whitepapers very carefully. A strong whitepaper topic should be slightly controversial in order to get readers interested, it must include quotes and statistics that show authentic research on the topic has been done, and it must allow us to provide an unexpected and unique solution—preferably one that ties back to our client’s product or service offering without explicitly drawing the connection.
Whitepapers are strong content because they are educational and enable our clients to provide value at many different touchpoints. They can be shared through social media sites like LinkedIn, they can drive email or ad campaigns, and they can live on the website as a gated offering that can help us gather future contacts.
Tactic #2: Case Studies
The best thing about case studies is that they can live on your website to entice those just exploring your brand or they can be printed out and used by your salesforce as talking points with potential customers that need a bit of a nudge to commit.
Strong case studies highlight measurable successes that include data, but they also need an interesting narrative to ensure they are engaging. The “Challenge/Solution” approach is fine, but at Clay, we like to interview the team that drove your company’s success and find out exactly what hurdles they overcame along the way. We also like to include quotes and real-world details that really showcase how well your team delivers on its promises.
Tactic #3: Business Briefs and Sales Sheets
Some might argue that these tactics are not “content marketing” in its purest form because they are sales tactics and not brand builders, but we disagree. A strong business brief can be written almost like a one-page whitepaper that tackles an industry problem. For instance, let’s say there’s a talent shortage in your industry. Your business brief might focus on how your company helps its customers do more with less, so that talent shortage no longer impacts their bottom line. Maybe your solution even makes it easier for the team they do have to work smarter, helping them increases employee satisfaction and improve recruitment and retention. A business brief or sales sheet that is created in a real-world context and addresses the real pain points of potential customers is far more likely to get results than one that simply line-lists your offerings.
Tactic #4: Articles
You may be surprised that blog posts aren’t on our list, but we think that articles are more effective and shareable. They may even be the new blogpost! Unlike blogposts, articles do not have to be evergreen enough to survive over the long haul on your website, so they can be based around current events.
Well written articles can be emailed out, shared with industry publications, and/or posted on social media where they are much more likely to create interest in the company that produced them. Articles generally offer a strong opinion about an issue and invite discussion and sharing—everything blogposts are supposed to do but often don’t.