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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is, and rightfully so because storytelling is a crucial part of the most successful marketing campaigns. It sets vibrant brands apart from simple businesses and loyal consumers from one-time, stop-in shoppers.

It’s also the heart of inbound marketing.

Storytelling is an incredibly valuable tool for you to add to your proverbial marketing tool belt. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide, to help you discover and understand storytelling and weave gorgeous, compelling tales for your audience.

Pick up your pen, and let’s dive in.

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Because storytelling can take so many forms, it can be a challenge to create a good story. Here are some quick do’s and don’ts to get you started:

Storytelling Do’s and Don’ts graphic

The Art of Storytelling

Art of Storytelling graphic

Since the dawn of human language, storytelling has been how cultures pass on shared beliefs and values. Some of the stories told today come from stories our ancestors were sharing over 6,000 years ago.

Every person has a story, but the art of storytelling can make a story transformative. There are a few qualities that can push a basic story into the art of storytelling.

Narrative

While the setting will influence what a story can be, all great stories have a narrative, a spoken or written account of events.

For example, stand-up comics sometimes tell stories during a set. The structure, setting, and details of this narrative may not feel the same as they do in a Shakespeare play. But both storytellers are sharing a narrative.

Attention-Grabbing

But it’s not enough to just tell the story. The storytelling that resonates with people grabs their attention. There are many ways to grab and keep an audience’s attention in a story.

Creating suspense is one option. Stories that are full of mystery are interesting because of their unanswered questions. Surprising your audience is also a great way to pull readers in.

Another way to captivate your audience is to add details that bring your story to life. A popular way to describe this storytelling technique is “Show. Don’t tell.”

For example, say your company is launching a new product. In your story, you can share details about the moment your team came up with the idea. This is more exciting than telling your customers that you’re about to release the best new product. Talk about the roadblocks and small wins that led up to launch. This makes your audience feel like they’re part of your process.

Interactive

Storytelling isn’t just the story that you tell. It’s also the way that your audience responds and engages. Some kinds of storytelling require the reader to take part in the story, like the Netflix interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

But with most stories, the interaction comes from the relationship that the audience builds with the storyteller. Your audience might be a fan group for the latest Harry Potter movie. And your favorite storyteller could be a TikTok influencer.

That feeling of connection and interaction is essential to storytelling.

Imaginative

Many movies come from popular books. And it’s not unusual for viewers to rate the quality of a book-based movie on its ability to match what they imagined as they read the book.

When someone listens to storytelling they often run a picture show in their mind. This picture show can be incredibly detailed, including characters, setting, and events.

These imaginings often pull up memories for individual readers, or they might see their qualities in one of the story’s characters. No story is complete without the listener or reader adding these imaginative details on their own.

Telling a story is like painting a picture with words. While everyone can tell a story, certain people fine-tune their storytelling skills and become a storyteller on behalf of their organization, brand, or business. You might’ve heard of these folks — we typically refer to them as marketers, content writers, or PR professionals.

Every member of an organization can tell a story. But before we get into the how, let’s talk about why we tell stories — as a society, culture, and economy.

Why Do We Tell Stories?

There are a variety of reasons to tell stories — to sell, entertain, educate or brag. We’ll talk about that below. Right now, I want to discuss why we choose storytelling over, say, a data-driven PowerPoint or bulleted list. Why are stories our go-to way of sharing, explaining, and selling information?

Here’s why.

Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages.

We’ve all experienced confusion when trying to understand a new idea. Stories offer a way around that. Think about times when stories have helped you better understand a concept. Maybe your favorite teacher used a real-life example to explain a math problem. Maybe a preacher illustrated a situation during a sermon or a speaker used a case study to convey complex data.

Stories help solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages. Taking a lofty, non-tangible concept and relating it using concrete ideas is one of the biggest strengths of storytelling in business.

Take Apple, for example. Computers and smartphones are a pretty complicated topic to describe to your typical consumer. Using real-life stories, they’ve been able to describe exactly how their products benefit users. They use storytelling instead of relying on technical jargon that few customers would understand.

Stories promote and shape ideas.

Throughout history, people have used stories to promote cooperation and influence social behaviors. And there is scientific evidence that stories can change our behavior.

This is because stories engage our emotions. So, even if you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, you can still connect with a story. That connection might lead you to be less critical about facts, less defensive, and more open to changing your ideas.

Data is powerful. But data without storytelling can result in confusion, frustration, and conflicts of opinion. This is because listening to stories engages different parts of the brain than data does.

When you tell a story, you’re asking someone to see a series of events from your perspective. The person listening to that story believes in the truth of what you’re saying.

If you’re good at storytelling, you might influence the future behavior of that person. And cultures often honor skilled storytellers. They appreciate brands that tell stories to promote wider societal values too, like this Ben & Jerry’s example in support of the People’s Response Act.

Storytelling example: Ben & Jerry’s

Stories bring people together.

Like I said above, stories are a universal language of sorts. We all understand the story of the hero, of the underdog, or of heartbreak. We all process emotions and can share feelings of elation, hope, despair, and anger. Sharing a story gives even the most diverse people a sense of commonality and community.

In a world divided by a multitude of things, stories bring people together and create a sense of community. Despite our language, religion, political preferences, or ethnicity, stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them. Stories make us human.

Storytelling example: TOMS

TOMS is a great example of this. By sharing stories of both customers and the people they serve through customer purchases, TOMS has effectively created a movement that has not only increased sales but also built a community.

Stories inspire and motivate.

Stories make us human, and the same goes for brands. When brands get transparent and authentic, it brings them down-to-earth and helps consumers connect with them and the people behind them.

Tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad is how stories inspire and motivate and eventually, drive action. Stories also foster brand loyalty. Creating a narrative around your brand or product not only humanizes it but also inherently markets your business.

Few brands use inspiration as a selling tactic, but ModCloth does it well. By sharing the real story of their business, ModCloth not only makes the brand relatable and worth purchasing, but it also inspires other founders and business owners.

Storytelling example: ModCloth

What makes a good story?

Words like “good” and “bad” are relative to user opinion. But there are a few non-negotiable components that make for a great storytelling experience, for both the reader and teller.

Good stories are:

  • Entertaining: Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Believable: Good stories convince the reader of their version of reality and make it easy to trust and engage.
  • Educational: Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Relatable: Stories remind readers of the people and places they know. They help their audience recognize patterns in the world around them.
  • Organized: Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable: Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

How to Tell Great Stories

According to HubSpot Academy’s free Power of Storytelling course, there are three components that make up a good story — regardless of the story you’re trying to tell.

1. Characters

Every story features at least one character, and this character will be the key to relating your audience back to the story. This main character is often called the protagonist.

Your characters form the bridge between you, the storyteller, and the audience. If your audience can put themselves in your character’s shoes, they’ll be more likely to follow through with your call-to-action.

2. Conflict

The conflict is the lesson of how the character overcomes a challenge. Conflict in your story elicits emotions and connects the audience through relatable experiences. When telling stories, the power is in what you’re conveying and teaching. If there’s no conflict in your story, it’s likely not a story.

3. Resolution

Every good story has a closing, but it doesn’t always have to be a good one. Your story’s resolution should wrap up the story, give context to the characters and conflict(s), and leave your audience with a call to action.

If you’re new to storytelling, there are a couple other elements you’ll want to think about as you build your first story.

4. Structure

Your plot is the structure of your storytelling.

A blog can have great writing and relatable characters. But if you don’t create a natural flow of events, your blog will confuse your reader.

Your “About” page on your website can run through the story of your business. But if you don’t break it into clear and useful segments, your site visitors might bounce before they get to the good part.

Plots don’t need to be in chronological order. There are many ways that you can experiment with the structure of your story.

But your story should have a beginning, middle, and end. This structure is familiar, so it makes your audience more comfortable and open to new information.

5. Setting

The context of your storytelling impacts how your audience takes in your story. The setting is more than where a story takes place. It’s how you can:

  • Share the values and goals of your characters
  • Shift the tone of conversations and action
  • Make it easier to show instead of tell

For example, say you’re creating an ad campaign that features two main characters. One runs a small startup and the other works for a large enterprise. Where would it make sense for these two to meet up? How could their location impact the conversation?

Now that you know what your story should contain, let’s talk about how to craft your story.

The Storytelling Process

We’ve confirmed storytelling is an art. Like art, storytelling requires creativity, vision, and skill. It also requires practice. Enter: The storytelling process.

Painters, sculptors, dancers, and designers all follow their own creative processes when producing their art. It helps them know where to start, how to develop their vision, and how to perfect their practice over time. The same goes for storytelling – especially for businesses writing stories.

Why is this process important? Because, as an organization or brand, you likely have a ton of facts, figures, and messages to get across in one succinct story. How do you know where to begin? Well, start with the first step. You’ll know where to go (and how to get there) after that.

1. Know your audience.

Who wants to hear your story? Who will benefit and respond the strongest? To create a compelling story, you need to understand your readers and who will respond and take action.

Before you put a pen to paper (or cursor to word processor), do some research on your target market and define your buyer persona(s). This process will get you acquainted with who might be reading, viewing, or listening to your story. Understanding who your story is for will also offer crucial direction as you build out the foundation of your story.

2. Define your core message.

Whether your story is one page or twenty, ten minutes or sixty, it should have a core message. Like the foundation of a home, you need to set up your core message before moving forward.

Is your story selling a product or raising funds? Explaining a service or advocating for an issue? What is the point of your story? To help define this, try to summarize your story in six to ten words. If you can’t do that, you don’t have a core message.

3. Decide what kind of story you’re telling.

Not all stories are created equal. To decide what kind of story you’re telling, figure out how you want your audience to feel or react as they read.

This will help you figure out how you’re going to weave your story and what goal you’re pursuing. If your goal is to:

Incite Action

Your story should describe how you completed a successful action in the past and explain how readers might be able to create the same kind of change. Avoid excessive, exaggerated detail or changes in the subject so your audience can focus on the action or change that your story encourages.

Tell Your Story

Talk about your genuine, humanizing struggles, failures, and wins. Today’s consumer appreciates and connects to brands that market with authenticity. Your storytelling should reflect your authentic self.

Convey Values

Tell a story that taps into familiar emotions, characters, and situations so that readers can understand how the story applies to their own life. This is especially important when discussing values that some people might not agree with or understand.

Foster Community or Collaboration

Tell a story that moves readers to discuss and share your story with others. Use a situation or experience that others can relate to and say, “Me, too.” Keep situations and characters neutral to attract the widest variety of readers.

Impart Knowledge or Educate

Tell a story that features a trial-and-error experience, so that readers can learn about a problem and how you found and applied a solution. Discuss alternative solutions too.

4. Establish your call-to-action.

Your objective and call-to-action (CTA) are similar, but your CTA will establish the action you’d like your audience to take after reading.

What exactly do you want your readers to do after reading? Do you want them to donate money, subscribe to a newsletter, take a course, or buy a product? Outline this alongside your objective to make sure they line up.

For example, if your objective is to foster community or collaboration, your CTA might be to “Tap the share button below.”

5. Choose your story medium.

Stories can take many shapes and forms. Sometimes people read stories. Other times they watch or listen., Your chosen story medium depends on your type of story as well as resources, like time and money.

Here are four different ways you can tell your story:

Writing

Written stories take the form of articles, blog posts, or books. They’re mostly text and may include some images. Written stories are by far the most affordable, attainable method of storytelling as it just requires a free word processor like Google Docs or a pen and paper.

Speaking

You tell spoken stories in person, like in a presentation, pitch, or panel. TED talks are an example of spoken stories. Because of their “live”, unedited nature, spoken stories typically require more practice and skill to convey messages and elicit emotions in others.

Audio

Audio stories are spoken aloud but recorded — that’s what sets them apart from the spoken story. Audio stories are usually in podcast form, and with today’s technology, creating an audio story is more affordable than ever. (For great story-driven podcasts, check out The HubSpot Podcast Network.)

Digital

Digital storytelling comes in a variety of media, including video, animation, interactive stories, and games. This option is by far the most effective for emotionally resonant stories and active, visual stories. This is why they can be expensive to produce. But don’t fret: video quality doesn’t matter as much as conveying a strong message.

6. Plan and structure your story.

You have an idea of what you want to include in your story, how you want to organize it, and what medium is best. If you were doing some creative writing, your next step might be to jump right into writing and work on the structure of your story later.

But while storytelling in marketing is creative, it also has a goal in mind. This means it may need a more structured process because every step from intro to CTA needs to meet a specific goal.

Your storytelling should ignite imagination and emotion no matter where you share it. But marketing storytellers are also tracking metrics once their story goes out into the world.

With this in mind, you may want to create a detailed outline of your story. You might develop storyboards, wireframes, or a PowerPoint presentation. These can help you stay focused as you craft your story. They can also help you keep your original vision of your story as you move through the approvals, meetings, and pitches that often come with business storytelling.

7. Write!

Now it’s time to put pen to paper and start crafting your story.

You’ve done a lot of work to get to this point. For many storytellers, this is the fun part. It can also be the hardest part because it can be tough to create on cue.

As of this writing, there are over 215,000,000 links on Google for the search “writer’s block.” If you feel stuck, you’re not alone. But help is on the way.

You might want to check out some quotes about storytelling to get inspired. And these excellent tips for writer’s block can get you writing again if you feel stuck.

Remember, you’ve got this. Every person is a storyteller, and audiences aren’t just waiting for any old story. They want to hear from you.

7. Share your story.

Don’t forget to share and promote your story. Like with any piece of content marketing, creating it is only half the battle — sharing is how your audience can complete your story.

Depending on your chosen medium, you should definitely share your story on social media and by email. Promote written stories on your blog, Medium, or by guest posting on other publications. You can share digital stories on your website, YouTube, or a mobile app. While spoken stories are best conveyed in person, consider recording a live performance to share later.

The more places you share your story, the more engagement you can expect from your audience.

Storytelling Resources

Storytelling is a trial-and-error process, and no one tells a story perfectly on the first try. That’s why we’ve collected these resources to help you fine-tune your storytelling skills and learn more about the different ways you can tell a story.

For Writing

For Speaking

For Audio Stories

For Digital Storytelling

Start Telling Your Story

Storytelling is an art. It’s also a process worth learning for both your business and your customers. Stories bring people together and inspire action and response. Also, today’s consumer doesn’t decide to buy based on what you’re selling, but rather why you’re selling it.

Storytelling helps you communicate that “why” in a creative, engaging way. You are a storyteller. So, pull together your ideas, find the right channel and tools, and share your story.

This post was originally published in November 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

brand consistency

Blogging Time Management: How to Blog When You Have No Time

Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

→ Download Now: 6 Free Blog Post Templates

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

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Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The Beginner’s Guide to the Competitive Matrix [Template]

Have you ever been playing a game and had to look around to check out the competition?

Whether you currently own or you’re looking to start your own business, you need to do the same thing. Luckily, there’s a methodical way to do that: by conducting a competitive analysis and creating a competitive matrix.

Access Now: 10 Competitive Analysis Templates [Free Download]

A competitive matrix will help you identify your competitors and lay out their products, sales, and marketing strategies in a visual format. By doing this, you’ll learn where you’re positioned in the market, how to differentiate yourself from your competition, and how to improve upon your processes so you can beat them in the marketplace.

Below, you’ll learn what a competitive matrix is and review some templates and examples.

Competitor Matrix Types

Before you dive into the world of competitive matrices, it’s important to understand that there are different types you can use to compare your company to your competitors:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Competitive Advantage Matrix
  • Competitive Profile Matrix
  • Sales Matrix
  • Product Feature and Benefit Matrix
  • Price Matrix

SWOT Analysis

competitive matrix type: swot analysis

A SWOT analysis is a technique used to assess how your business compares to its competitors. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It analyzes internal and external factors that affect the current and future potential of your business. By identifying these elements, you create a space to capitalize on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and eliminate threats.

If your company has an excellent profit record, this is a strength. If your company offers a small variety of products to its customers, this could be seen as a weakness. How do you determine what information goes into your SWOT analysis? Below are some questions you can use to guide you.

Strength Questions

The following questions should help you discover where your company excels. This information will help you attract and draw in new customers as well as maintain existing ones.

  • What are your assets?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What makes you better than your competitors?
  • What do your customers like about your product/services?

Weakness Questions

It’s difficult for your organization to improve if you have no system to determine your weaknesses. To remain competitive within your industry, you need to discover these faults to correct them.

  • What do your customers dislike about your products/services?
  • What areas do your competitors have an advantage in?
  • Do you or your employees lack knowledge or skill?
  • What resources do you lack?
  • Are you making enough profit?

Opportunity Questions

Keeping an eye on your competition is necessary; however, watching for available opportunities will give your business a competitive advantage. These opportunities can come from both monitoring your competitors as well as industry trends.

  • What are the current trends?
  • What is the market missing?
  • Is there available talent that you could hire?
  • Are your competitors failing to satisfy their customers?
  • Is your target market changing in a way that could help you?

Threat Questions

Threats can come up within a business at any time. These can be internal or external factors that potentially harm your company and its operations. Identifying these threats will help your business run efficiently.

  • Who are your competitors?
  • Has there been an increase in your competition?
  • What are the obstacles you are currently facing?
  • Are your employees satisfied with their pay and benefits?
  • Are government regulations going to affect you?
  • Is there a product on the market that will make yours outdated?

As demonstrated by these questions, a SWOT analysis matrix can help your company identify elements that are often overlooked.

Competitive Advantage Matrix

competitive matrix type: competitive advantage matrix

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A competitive advantage matrix analyzes your company’s competitive advantage by assessing volume production and differentiation. Its purpose is to determine how your company can grow.

This matrix has two axes — vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis evaluates the number of opportunities available for achieving a competitive advantage, while the horizontal axis measures the potential size of the competitive advantage. Using this information, the competitive advantage matrix is segmented into four boxes:

  • Stalemate – Few advantages with small potential
  • Volume – Few advantages with great potential
  • Fragmented – Many advantages with small potential
  • Specialized – Many advantages with great potential

Using this information gives you the tools to determine where your competitive advantage comes from.

Competitive Profile Matrix

competitive matrix type: competitive profile matrix

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A competitive profile matrix is a tool your company can use to directly compare your strengths and weaknesses to industry competitors. For this matrix, you will use four elements: critical success factor, weight, rating, and score.

Critical success factors are areas that will determine your success. Examples are brand reputation, range of products, customer retention, and sales per employee. Once you have selected these factors, you will assign a weight. This is a measure of their importance, ranging from 0.0 (low importance) to 1.0 (high importance). Each factor should have its own weight, as each varies in importance. Avoid assigning a weight of 0.3 or more, as most industries are determined by many factors. This high value can decrease the number of factors you’re able to list in your matrix. When assigning weight, make sure the sum of all weights equals 1.0.

The third step is to rate your company and its competitors from 1 to 4 in each critical success factor. Rate:

1 – Major weakness

2 – Minor weakness

3 – Minor strength

4 – Major strength

The final step is to calculate the score. First, evaluate each critical success factor by multiplying the weight by the rating. Once this has been done for all, add each company’s score for the total score. This, when compared to your competitors, will show if you’re behind the curve, ahead of the curve, or on par with the industry.

Sales Matrix

A sales matrix is a tool used to help gauge the urgency and viability of sales opportunities. It evaluates potential customers’ interest in your business against their fit for your product or service.

competitive matrix type: sales matrix

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Imagine focusing all your efforts on a potential customer. You send content and numerous promotions only to discover that they aren’t interested in your company and are a bad fit. It’s unlikely you’ll get that sale, and it feels like time wasted. Now, imagine giving all that energy to someone interested and a good fit. The sale becomes a lot more likely. A sales matrix uses interest and fits to help you decide how much attention to give your potential clients at any given time.

Product Feature and Benefit Matrix

The product feature and benefits matrix evaluates how your offer matches customer needs. It’s weighted by its importance versus its perceived distinction or advantage. When using this matrix, your features fall into the following categories:

  • Irrelevant – Low importance and low distinction
  • Overinvested – Low importance and high distinction
  • Key liabilities – Low importance and high distinction
  • Key differentiators – High importance and high distinction

This information tells you what features to keep, what features to get rid of, and where you might be able to save money. Consider an iPad. Say Apple spends a large portion of the manufacturing budget to produce a high-quality camera, only to find out that most users don’t even use it. The camera has a high perceived distinction, yet it’s of low importance to iPad users. This information would tell Apple that they overinvested in this feature and could potentially reduce it to save costs in the future.

Price Matrix

competitive matrix type: price matrix or pageA price matrix is a tool used to define product costs, features, and tiers. It allows you to determine how much you will charge for specific levels of service. Unlike the other matrices on this list, a price matrix is a customer-facing competitive matrix type. You are creating it for your potential customer.

When building your price matrix, start with your tiers. It’s common to lay out two or three levels. Once you’ve named them, create a short description. Depending on the industry, you might find it easier to include a few features associated with the category. Once you do, list the prices. If not, create a call-to-action (CTA) for your potential customer to contact you for a quote.

Remember, as you build your tiers, the price will go up with each one. To stay on par with the perceived value, ensure you offer additional features or benefits to justify the cost.

The Benefits of Competitive Matrices

Essentially, you can use a competitive matrix to compare any characteristics of your company with a competitor.

Sometimes these matrices will be more visual in nature (a plotted graph), but sometimes it’s just an Excel document with the information listed in columns.

The goal of the competitive matrix is to see at a glance the competitive landscape and your position in the marketplace. This will help you see gaps in the marketplace and hone in on your unique value proposition.

Perhaps, after looking at a competitive matrix, you brainstorm new product ideas or new tools or features that you hadn’t considered before. Or maybe you come out of it with a ton of ideas on how to improve your content marketing strategy.

Regardless, you can use a competitive matrix for a lot of reasons. You can use it to develop new ideas, or you can use it to train sales staff on how to differentiate your company from the competition.

After figuring out what you’re going to do with the information, make sure you write down your ideas, develop KPIs, and regularly conduct this analysis to stay up to date with your strategy.

Now that you know what a competitive matrix is and how to use one, let’s review some templates you can use for your own strategy.

 

Competitive Matrix Templates

Competitive matrices are used to facilitate the process of comparing your business with other industry competitors. They help you take advantage of strengths and opportunities, while identifying weaknesses and threats before they become detrimental. Ultimately, a competitive matrix is an industry-analysis tool that makes your life easier. To make the process even easier, use the following competitive matrix templates.

1. Two-Feature Competitive Landscape Chart

One type of competitive matrix you can do is a simple comparison of features. You can use this information to plot where your company is compared to competitors.

The features could be something like price or customization potential. Then, you’d place the logos of each company (including yours) on the graph, depending on how well a company executes a certain feature. The point of this matrix is to visualize who does what better, so you can see what you have to work on and how to differentiate yourself against the competition.

competitive matrix template for two features

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2. Content Marketing Analysis Template

As a content marketer, this is my favorite template. With this, you can compare social media followers, blog strategy, email strategy, SEO, etc. This will help you decide where you need to focus your content strategy. Should you place emphasis on Twitter rather than Facebook? If you download this template, it also includes a graph and more strategies to analyze.

competitive matrix template for a content marketing competitive analysis.

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3. SWOT Analysis Template

A basic competitive matrix is the SWOT analysis. Conducting a SWOT analysis will help you identify areas where you could improve. You should conduct a SWOT analysis for yourself and your competition. Knowing what weaknesses your competition has will help your sales reps and help you make improvements in those areas.

competitive matrix template for a SWOT analysis.

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4. Review Tracker

A review tracker matrix will help you see at a glance the types of reviews you get versus your competitors. It’s important not to forget about reviews because they can have a significant impact on a business. With this template, you can also use a scoring system to normalize the averages.

competitive matrix template for a review tracker analysis.

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After reviewing those templates, it’s time to see what a competitive matrix looks like in action. Here are some examples below.

Competitive Matrix Examples

1. HubSpot

This is a public HubSpot competitive matrix comparing the overall pricing of our CRM versus Salesforce. It’s a standard matrix meant to help people see the difference between the CRMs at a glance.

HubSpot vs. Salesforce competitive matrix example.

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2. SugarSync

This is a great example of what a feature matrix might look like. SugarSync compares its feature offerings against the competition in an easy-to-understand visualization.

SugarSync competitive matrix example.

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3. 360iResearch

In this example, 360iResearch reports on survey management software. This is a competitor grid showing which companies have the best product satisfaction and business strategy.

360iResearch competitive matrix example.

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No competition, no progress.

Innately, competition feels unpleasant; however, that’s not all it has to be. It can lead to growth and make you look deeper into your business to find ways to improve. Competitive matrices are great tools to help you uncover how you’re different from your competitors. They show areas of improvement and where you excel. If you’re having trouble evaluating your company’s position in your industry, use this article and the above tools to help.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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The Ultimate Guide to Content Creation

Content creation is what happens behind the scenes. It’s how Google can offer the perfect answer to your problem. It’s the videos you watch on YouTube after a tough day.

Download Now: 150+ Content Creation Templates [Free Kit]

Content creation is also what helps people discover your business, brand, and products.

And that content helps you attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers. It brings new visitors to your site and ultimately generates revenue for your company.

In other words, if you’re not creating content, then you’re behind the curve.

Why is content creation 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 value for your company, as these content marketing stats show:

  • Almost 40% of marketers say content marketing is an essential part of their marketing strategy. 81% say their company sees content as a business strategy.
  • B2B marketers have data that says content marketing is a successful tool for nurturing leads (60%), generating revenue (51%), and building an audience of subscribers (47%).
  • And 10% of marketers who blog say it generates the biggest return on investment.

Content equals business growth. So, let’s get started with the types of content you can create and then review your content strategy.

Content Creation Ideas

1. Blogs

One type of content creation (the kind you’re consuming right now, actually) is blog posts. Blogs can educate, entertain, and inspire your audience through the written word. When someone types a query in Google, the posts that pop up are usually blog posts.

Content creation ideas example: Blogs;

Content Creation Ideas for Blogs

Blogging is worth the time and effort, and 56% of marketers say that blogging is their most effective content strategy.

But it can be tough to narrow your focus and start writing. In addition to opinion pieces and product announcement posts, these are some proven ideas for blog content creation.

Answer a Question

If you’re not sure which question to answer first, start with questions from beginners. These can create a foundation you can use to continue growing your blog.Content creation ideas example: Answer questions

Another way to use questions as a starting point is to think about the questions you had when you were a beginner. Even questions from your more recent experience can help someone else in your industry.

Once you’ve figured out the right questions, write a complete answer. You might want to skim over the details, but this is where you can add the most value for your readers.

People are often shy about asking questions because they don’t want to sound foolish. Anticipating and answering their questions can help you earn their trust. It can also improve your search engine results.

Compare and Contrast Solutions to a Problem

Another way that you can serve your readers is by helping them make a decision. There are answers online, but it can sometimes feel like there are too many answers.

If you are an expert in your niche, you can share your expert opinion and help out buyers who want to make an informed purchase at the same time.

As you choose what you’re going to compare, make sure that the products have more similarities than differences.

For example, you wouldn’t want to compare a project management tool with email marketing software.

When you’re writing compare and contrast blogs for a product or service, be as open and transparent as you can. List all the possible positives and negatives you can think of. Then, get into detail about how you came to those decisions.

Teach Something

Some of the most popular blogs are educational. If you want to use your blog as a teaching tool, there are a few things you’ll want to think about.

As you choose a topic, it’s smart to start small. So, instead of covering a broad topic, choose a niche topic that people in your industry might be asking about.

For example, instead of writing about website design basics, write about how to design the home page for an automotive dealership.

As you start writing how-to blogs, there are a few things to remember:

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs and create a clear structure. This will make your instructions easier to follow.
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms if you can, and use examples to make new information easier to understand.
  • Keep in mind that your directions should be easy for a beginner to follow, so don’t skip steps or offer shortcuts.

These tips should help your readers learn and bring you more traffic and interest in your educational content.

Daily, Monthly, or Weekly Series

Writing a series of posts can be useful for your readers, and it can help you grow your blog. A series will usually run for a set period of time. You can choose to publish the series every day or on a set day every week or month.

A series can generate content that you can easily repurpose for other channels. For example, if you run a blog about social media, you could turn a blog series about Instagram Reels into a podcast, ebook, or video.

This strategy makes it simple to fully explore a particular topic. It’s useful for building internal and external links, and for establishing you as a thought leader.

Quizzes and Surveys

Blog surveys are a great way to collect feedback from your audience. This can help with more than website traffic.

Responses from quizzes and surveys can also help you:

  • Figure out other types of content your audience likes
  • Choose which products to promote and sell
  • Grow your social media following
  • Go viral with interactive content
  • Anticipate customer service issues

For an effective quiz or survey, define your goals before you start creating. Keeping your quizzes short and offering incentives can improve response rates.

Curated Content for Target Audiences

While your blog could appeal to just about anyone, your goal is to connect with your ideal buyer personas.

Curated content will make your most important audience members feel important. This could mean that this audience turns into a group of promoters who share your content and encourage others to buy your products.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to create curated content that’s specifically for this audience. For example, say you’re selling sandals. You’ll want to write different content for people who wear sandals year-round and people who only wear sandals at certain times of the year.

To curate your content, start with detailed buyer personas and competitor research. Next, create clusters of content that are just for that specific buyer persona.

Curated content is also where you’ll want to highlight quotes and insights from industry leaders. This content shouldn’t just inform a targeted audience. It should make them feel like they are part of an exclusive group.

If you’re looking for help curating your content, check out this useful list of tools.

Celebrate Wins

Most blogs are evergreen. This means that once you publish a blog on the internet, it can be a resource for many years. This makes blogs a great place to celebrate wins.

Whether you’re calling out top-performing employees or thanking customers, you can use your blog to celebrate.

Remember to celebrate the little things. Then use images, videos, and design to make celebration posts feel extra special.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are like listening to the radio. But anyone can make and broadcast a podcast. This means that professional and beginner podcast hosts are competing for the same listening time.

But they also have a big audience, and 28% of Americans 12 years old and up listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.

Podcasts are extra interesting to listen to when the audience likes the host and wants to learn something from them. Keep reading for more podcast content creation ideas you might want to try.

Content creation ideas example: Podcast

Content Creation Ideas for Podcasts

Generally, a great podcast will center on a great idea and then expand on that topic with listener and expert feedback. Storytelling podcasts are popular, and so are educational podcasts.

If you are launching your first podcast, be sure to post with a consistent schedule. It’s also a good idea to follow the same structure for every episode.

Other than that, it’s about being your authentic self.

Thought Leadership

This type of podcast content centers on your professional experience. Be sure to include case studies and other real-life scenarios in this content.

Remember that your audience is listening in for different reasons and often have different levels of industry experience. So, offer insights for a range of listeners and share advice that you think your listeners could apply themselves.

Interview Influencers

If you want to add influencer interviews to your podcast, knowing who to interview comes first. Don’t just go for the biggest names. Instead, choose interesting guests who can offer value to your listeners.

Be sure to research your guests and ask original questions. For example, the success of the YouTube show “Hot Ones” comes in part from the well-researched questions its host asks each celebrity guest.

Other ways to get the most out of influencer interviews on your podcast include:

  • Asking for follower suggestions
  • Encouraging participation from your featured influencer’s followers
Discuss Trends

Trends are great content for a podcast. Whether you’re discussing a long-term trend or the latest fad, this is a smart context to show how your products are relevant to what’s new.

While many people listen to daily or weekly news podcasts, most podcasts are evergreen like a blog. Many podcast listeners will tune into a podcast years after the podcast was first released.

This means that you’ll want to tie trends to larger topics.

For example, Marketing Against the Grain covers trends like the creator economy on their podcast, but they talk about it as part of marketing as a whole. This strategy grounds what could be a fleeting trend into a topic with more staying power.

Contests and Giveaways

Contests give your podcast listeners a fun way to participate while also giving you a chance to grow your subscribers.

One way to launch a podcast contest is to post to social media about a prize or giveaway. Interactive contests where a listener can call in to be a part of the podcast are another option.

If you plan to offer a prize, make sure it’s unique and fitting for your unique audience.

3. Video

Whether you want to post videos on social media or YouTube, video marketing is a type of content creation that becomes more popular every year. Short-form and long-form videos both have their place in your content creation strategy. So, be sure to come up with ideas for both types of content.

Content Creation Ideas for Video

86% of video marketers say that video is effective for generating leads. This makes original video marketing an important strategy for anyone who is working on content creation.

Some solid video content ideas include behind-the-scenes or time-lapse videos. Let’s go over some other useful ideas for video content creation.

Animate Hard-To-Understand Ideas

Animation makes it easier to understand new or complex information. So, use video to show your viewers how your product works or to talk about the specific problem your product solves.

Choose scenarios that people can relate to that clearly connect to your product. Whether you choose to use digital animation or stop-motion, animation can bring a dry topic to life.

For example, tech products often solve problems that the average user doesn’t deal with every day, like a broken connection with an API.

But what about an animation of what happens when the wireless at home gets cut off? A video with this scenario could make that abstract idea easier for the average user to understand.

Repurpose Blog Content

Another quick video idea is to use the text from your most popular blog as a voiceover. Long blogs make great content for a video series.

You can also break up key points from blogs into bite-size videos for your social media posts.

Then, add your videos to your blog posts. This gives people who find your blog on search engines another alternative to get the information they’re looking for.

How-tos and Tutorials

How-to content is also very popular in video formats. To create a powerful instructional video, stick to short and specific steps. Don’t skip anything, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with extra information.

Use simple visual steps to help your viewers learn, and offer a clear call-to-action at the end.

It’s also a good idea to engage with the comments on these videos. This reassures your audience that you are available if they have more questions, and could help you come up with more video ideas.

Product Demos and Unusual Use Cases

Product demos can make it easier for potential customers to see how they can use your products. It’s also a chance for you to share some product design processes.

By sharing the problem you initially solved with your product, and how the solution changed through the process, you’re building a relationship with your viewers. This relationship builds trust and makes them more likely to engage with you and your products.

Show how your product works in an interesting way. For example, the “Will It Blend?” video series on YouTube was a winner for Blendtec because it didn’t just show the power of its blender.

They were inventive and asked for customer suggestions for each video. And the videos were blending objects you normally wouldn’t throw in a blender, like cell phones, golf balls, or glow sticks.

You can also personalize your video content. Video product demos are a great option for connecting individual customers to your products.

4. Graphics

In your blog posts, or in your social media posts, you might want to post original graphics. These can be infographics, photography, GIFs, memes, illustrations, or screenshots.

This type of content creation usually requires a graphic designer or a design tool to help you get the job done.

Content creation ideas example: Infographic

Image-based Content Creation Ideas

Photo and image-based posts are the content types businesses use most to increase audience engagement.

As you begin to create visual content, make sure you have a strong grasp of the basics. These include:

  • Choose the right subject to illustrate your idea
  • Think about composition
  • Use contrast and color
  • Keep it simple
Visual Storytelling

Visual content is great for quick storytelling. As you start to experiment with storytelling, remember to show, not tell.

For example, say you’re telling a story about meeting a tough sales goal. A picture of a sales rep talking on the phone won’t tell the story as well as an image of that same sales rep scaling a tall mountain.

Try to use setting, clothing, lighting, and motion to emphasize the action and drama of every scene in your images.

User-Generated Content

Fans of your products are often looking for ways to get involved. And there’s nothing like user-generated content to show your followers that you care about their opinions.

To get your users to create and share content for your brand, invite them to get involved. Try a custom hashtag or contest on social media to start. Email is also a great channel for collecting photos, quotes, and stories from your customers.

That said, don’t use content from users without asking for their permission. You also want to make sure you credit users for their contributions. Nothing can damage your relationship with a customer like using their images without consent.

Infographics

There is proof that data visualizations can decrease errors and improve learning and retention by as much as 80%.

If you want your content creation strategy to include infographics, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Choose the right data for your target audience
  • Choose the right graph or chart for your data
  • Do your research
  • Tell a simple visual story
  • Don’t add too much data
  • Make your main points easy to read and remember
Go Behind the Scenes

Sharing industry and product secrets is exciting and interesting for your readers. It’s also an interesting way to share information about how you make, package, and update your products.

To create visuals that take your audience behind the scenes, start with a plan. Whether you’re sharing photos from a tour of your manufacturing facility or documenting an average day on social media, make it cool.

Think about lighting, composition, and the little details. You don’t want a great product shot ruined by a big messy trash can or a warning sign in the background.

At the same time, make your images feel authentic. Don’t set up your photos in a space that feels too perfect to be real.

5. Content Offers

Another type of content is content offers. These are templates, whitepapers, worksheets, or ebooks that your visitors 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.

Content creation ideas example: Content offer

Content Creation Ideas for Content Offers

67% of companies use lead generation as the primary metric for content success.

This means that you should combine any content creation efforts with content offers to draw new leads. The best lead magnets solve a problem for your followers. Usually, they solve urgent issues and offer lasting value to your target audience.

To be immediately useful to your users, a content offer should be specific and quick to use. It should also offer value that reflects your high level of understanding and expertise.

This will keep your audience coming back for more and help you convert more leads into delighted customers. These are some content offer ideas for you to start with.

Ebooks or White Papers

Long-form written content creation is where many businesses start for content offers.

Ebooks and white papers can give your readers a deeper understanding of a topic. They can also help them solve an urgent problem.

While ebooks can be intense projects, you can also use existing content, like blogs, to build your ebooks. A great ebook template can also speed up the process.

Original Research

Data drives many businesses, but not every business has the time or the resources to put together the data they need. You can use your knowledge and network to put together research that your visitors can use.

To create high-quality research you’ll need:

  • Goals for your research
  • A process for sampling and analyzing your data
  • Questions
  • A process for managing the project

It’s important to figure out how much time and what resources you’ll need to complete the research. A market research template can make it easier for you to organize and compile your research.

Then, you’ll want to decide the best format and channels to present your research to create a stellar content offer.

Tools and Templates

A great content offer helps your audience solve a problem faster than they could figure it out on their own. This makes tools like calculators, swipe files, and checklists invaluable. It means that your templates can be useful for your fans both now and later.

And these useful lead magnets don’t just give you a chance to help out your community. They’re also excellent resources for leads and to create advocates for your brand.

If someone uses one of your templates regularly, they’re more likely to tell someone else about it. This makes content offers a great way to grow your following by word of mouth. And word of mouth is one of the most trusted sources for consumers. This makes this type of content offer a win-win.

While some templates and tools need you to have advanced coding or technical knowledge, most are simple to put together. You can easily create a template with tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs, tools most people use every day.

As you start building, keep in mind that creating something useful is more important than making it look perfect.

Kits and Workbooks

Once you’ve put together a few of the resources listed above, you might be ready to create a larger content offer.

Kits and workbook content offers usually include a range of different resources that work together. For example, say you’ve made a few different templates for social media captions on different platforms. You can put these together to create the ultimate social media caption kit.

To keep your leads from getting information overload, think about structure. It’s a good idea to break your kit or workbook into bite-sized pieces. You’ll also want to use graphics and other media to break up dense sections of text to keep things engaging.

A workbook or kit might also include:

  • Worksheets
  • A Q&A
  • Checklists
  • Schedules
  • Journal prompts

Content Planning and Strategy

You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, a sculpture without a sketch, or a company without a mission statement. So, there should be no content creation without a plan. Otherwise, you risk getting derailed from your objective.

A content strategy includes everything from brand and tone to how you will promote your content and eventually repurpose it. Let’s go over how to create your content plan, step-by-step.

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Set your content goals.

Similar to a traditional marketing campaign, your content strategy should be centered on your marketing goals (which should, in turn, be derived from your company goals).

Your goals could range from attracting more visitors to your site to generating more leads to anything in between — as long as they’re SMART goals. An example of this kind of goal would be to increase organic traffic to the blog by 25% in the next quarter.

Content creation strategy example: SMART goals

Once you determine that, each piece of content you create should be aligned with your goal and contribute to your desired outcome.

In sum, start with your goals, then create your content.

Create a buyer persona.

Building a content strategy is more than considering what type of content you want to create. You first need to know who you’re speaking to, how you want to speak to them, and where to find them.

Content creation strategy example: Buyer personas

The key to creating successful inbound content is to make each reader feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

The only way to do this is to get intimate with your visitors, leads, and customers — you need to know them like you know an old friend. You should be aware of their obstacles, their pain points, their challenges, and their fears. Similarly, you should understand their best possible outcome, their dream solution, and their biggest fantasies.

Always remember that you are marketing to humans that want to feel connected.

Ideally, you’d know and be able to speak directly to every individual that visits your website, but you can’t. The solution? Create a buyer persona.

Your buyer persona is the person that you want to reach with your content. This semi-fictional character serves as a representation of your target audience, i.e., the people who are most likely to benefit from your message and become customers.

Creating a buyer persona takes a bit of research, some guesswork, and tweaking. But the end result is a clear picture of the person you want to market to and someone who will happily consume your content.

Not sure where to start? Use Make My Persona to build out your buyer persona.

Rely on the buyer’s journey.

If you’ve ever had a headache, the first thing you likely did was try to figure out the cause. Perhaps you were dehydrated, or caffeine-depleted, or maybe you were sick. After you diagnosed the problem, you moved on to solutions — drink some water, grab an espresso, or take some medicine. Finally, you decide between solutions: Evian or tap water? Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee? Aleve or Tylenol? Hopefully, your headache then subsided and you were able to go about your day.

This is a representation of the buyer’s journey. Each of your prospects follows a path to a solution — that path involves awareness, consideration, and decision stages. But each of your prospects is in a different part of that journey, so it’s important to use your content to appeal to each stage.

Content creation strategy example: Buyer’s journey

By creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’re ensuring that no visitors fall through the cracks and that every individual that comes to your site feels like they are receiving relevant, useful information.

You also want to select a format for your content so that it’s tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey. A new visitor in the awareness stage won’t want a live demo of your product, but they would read a quick checklist or blog post that helps them better understand their problem. A prospect in the decision stage doesn’t need to know about all the possible solutions, they need a consultation or demo that shows them that your product is the right solution. Always meet your audience where they are.

Here’s a guide to the best content formats for each stage of the buyer’s journey:

Content creation strategy: Content examples for stages of the buyer journey

Perform a content audit.

Whether you’ve been creating content for a while without any clear direction or you’ve been following a strategy all along, every marketing department can benefit from a content audit. Just because you didn’t start out with a clearly defined strategy doesn’t mean that the content you already have won’t fit into one.

A content audit is simply taking inventory of the work you’ve already done, then organizing it to fit under your new content plan.

The process might involve some re-writing, or it could reveal gaps that need to be filled with content that appeals to your persona and their journey stage.

Here’s how you’d perform your content audit:

  1. Gather all of your content in a spreadsheet.
  2. Create columns for target keywords, buyer persona, buyer’s journey stage, format, and main topic, then fill these in for each content piece.
  3. Add columns for your key metrics, like page views, shares, engagement, etc.
  4. Finally, categorize each post (using highlights or another column) by those that are doing well, need improvement, should be rewritten, or can be merged with another post.

While a content audit may seem tedious, all the manual labor will be worth the increased traffic and leads. Plus, you’ll have a verified plan moving forward.

If this process seems a bit overwhelming, check out this post for some more guidance.

Choose the right format.

Remember that buyer persona you created? You’re creating content for them. That means you should be crafting content in a format that is most easily and enjoyably consumed by your prospects.

The format you choose might be a blog post, video, Slideshare, graphic, ebook, whitepaper, podcast, or whatever your creative mind can conceive. As long as it serves your persona, you’ll be in good shape.

Also, you don’t need to stick to one format for every piece of content that you create. But you should be able to create content — in whatever format — on a consistent cadence. What I mean is, a podcast series might be a great marketing tactic, but if you lack the resources (and patience) to stick to it, then a blog might be a better route.

Digital content creation is the process of choosing the format (usually digital), and then utilizing the right tools to publish and promote your content online.

Use these questions as a guide when choosing your content format:

  • What stage of the buyer’s journey is this for?
  • How easy is it for your audience to consume this content?
  • Where does your persona spend their time online?
  • What format can you create on a consistent basis?
  • Are you able to produce this content at a quality level that’s competitive?

Choose capable content creators.

At this point, you’re ready to start creating content, but first, you’ll need to build a team of content creators. To get started, categorize the type of content you want to create and the type of content creator it takes to produce that content. Below is an example list:

  • Blogs — Writer
  • Social media posts — Social media coordinator
  • Podcasts — Podcast host/producer
  • Graphics — Graphic designer
  • Webinars/Lead Magnets — Lead acquisition expert (content offer producer)
  • Videos — Videographer/editor

As you can see, there are many different types of content creators you’ll need to either outsource or hire to produce high-quality content that converts your audience from viewers to customers.

In many organizations, there is one person responsible for a lot of this content, and that is a content marketing strategist. While having one content marketing strategist might make sense, expecting one person to be able to produce all of that content doesn’t.

The best way to go about content creation is to collaborate with freelancers, use influencer marketing to increase your audience reach, and hire a content strategist (or several preferably) to help you organize your content creation.

Promote your content.

What good is it to create all this great content if no one sees it? In a perfect world, herds of people would flock to your site every time you published a new post. In reality — especially when you’re just starting out — you’ll need to entice people to consume your content and even shepherd them into your online space.

Hence why content promotion is just as important to your strategy as whatever content you create.

Your promotion plan should be guided by your persona. Where do they spend their time online? What time of day do they use a particular platform? How often do they want to see content from you? How do they like to consume content? What email subject lines get them to click?

Content promotion varies by medium, and there are specific rules to follow for each.

Social Media

While social media is a relationship-building tool, it can be used to promote content. It’s all about finding the right balance between self-promotion, sharing useful information, and entertainment. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are all great mediums to both create and share relevant content. The key is modifying that content to fit the platform.

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Email Marketing

Email is one of the best ways to reach your audience for any reason, especially to promote content. The reason is anyone on your email list has opted in to hear from you and you can guarantee that they’ll get your messages. Better yet, you can improve your open rates by sending relevant content to segmented lists, meaning they’ll be eager to read everything you send their way.

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Paid Promotion

Pay-per-click (PPC) helps you get your content in front of new audiences through targeted, paid advertisements. These ads can run on social media, search engines, or other websites. Once you define your buyer persona, you’ll want to go the paid route so as not to waste money targeting uninterested parties. Once you have your audience down, paid promotion can yield a great ROI.

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Syndication

Getting your content promoted through authoritative, third-party channels is a great way to build your audience. Syndication gets your brand in front of fresh eyes (and wallets) that you wouldn’t otherwise reach with your own efforts.

Repurpose your content.

When you repurpose content, you’re reusing something you spent a lot of time creating and transforming it in various formats so that it can be more widely consumed.

Think of it as recycling. You want to spend less time creating and more time getting your content in front of your audience. For example, that blog post that you wrote on marketing stats can also serve as a great infographic or even a video.

If you created something in one format, try to think of all the other ways that you could reuse that information that might be just as effective.

Creating a Content Plan

Content exists everywhere, but its success relies on your ability to adapt it to the medium on which it lives. One size does not fit all when it comes to posting on different mediums — or the platforms within those mediums, for that matter.

Social media content varies from blog content, which is different than website content. So, you need to know how to tailor your creation to reach your audience where they are.

Let’s dive into some guidelines for sharing content on various platforms.

Social Media Content

There is an art to creating content for social media. But it’s well worth your time since there are 3.96 billion users across social media platforms worldwide. Plus, someone who follows you on social media is like a warm lead — they already like you and are interested in what you have to say. So, you have an eager audience that’s ready to engage with your content.

Here are a few quick tips for creating content on some popular social channels.

1. Facebook

Facebook can be used to build micro-communities via Facebook Groups or to share to a mass audience on Facebook Pages. When it comes to sharing content, questions and videos reap the most engagement.

2. Instagram

Instagram is best for sharing high-quality imagery and short videos with brief captions. Hashtags work well on this platform as long as they’re relevant to your account and business. Instagram Stories has introduced a new way to engage with your followers, from quick polls to questions to real-time videos.

3. YouTube

YouTube has 1.3 billion users and counting. Users frequent this platform to watch content ranging from DIY videos to parodies. Some of the most successful content on this platform are how-to guides, vlogs, product reviews, and educational videos.

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4. TikTok

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms of our time. It’s best known for fun, short-form videos. It can be used to engage with your Millennial or Gen Z audience.

5. Twitter

Twitter best practices include short messages, supporting images, relevant hashtags, and retweets. And, of course, replies go a long way to win over your audience.

Website Content

Website content should focus on three things: your persona, your target keywords, and your solution.

Like your blog content, the copy on your website needs to guide visitors to your solution in a cohesive and natural way.

Think of web content like a map to your product.

Be careful not to turn visitors away through social media feeds and other distracting elements. Once you’ve attracted a potential customer, you must do everything you can to keep them there, and that’s the key function of your website content.

Blog Content

The purpose of blog content is to support your business by attracting strangers and bringing in qualified leads.

Blog content is a free resource that’s not often directly tied to sales, but don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted blog to ultimately generate revenue for your business.

Research shows that companies that blog more get more traffic and more leads than those that don’t.

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The Content Creation Process

We, marketers, are busy. We don’t have time to waste on inefficient systems. That’s why we create processes for everything we do. We devise a system, roll it out, tweak it until it works, then repeat that system over and over to generate the results we want.

Think about every marketing campaign you’ve ever done — webinars, autoresponders, surveys. Each of them had a process. Content creation is no different.

Follow these steps to create content, remove the guesswork, and allow for more creative mental space.

The content creation process

1. SEO Research

Creating your buyer persona likely gave you some ideas about what topics to write about and what questions your audience might have, which is a great start.

Now, you need to confirm if those ideas can apply on a bigger scale to a larger audience. Sure, it would be great to write a blog post directed toward a single person, but, boy, would it be a waste of energy.

SEO research — a.k.a. keyword research — will show you the search volume of a specific keyword phrase and whether it’s worth the investment of creating a piece of content around it.

A good way to go about keyword research is to write down some questions that your persona might have based on their obstacles and goals.

Then, perform some keyword research around those queries to see if enough people are searching for them.

Content creation process: Keyword research

A good approach is to target keywords that are attainable, meaning that they have a monthly search volume (MSV) and keyword difficulty that corresponds to your domain authority.

Trying to target high volume (read: highly competitive) keywords when you’ve just started blogging won’t pan out too well for you.

Before we go any further, let’s detour into a quick-and-dirty SEO explanation:

One important factor that helps you to rank in search engines is domain authority. You gain domain authority by how many external sites link back to your content.

In order for this to happen, you need to have a pretty large library of content that is valuable enough to cite.

That means, the longer you write high-quality content, the higher your domain authority and the easier it is to rank for highly competitive keywords that will put you on the first page of Google.

If you’re not quite there yet, the best thing to do is to target long-tail, low-volume keywords with minimal keyword difficulty (<50) — we’re talking 200-1000 MSV. This will give you the best chance at ranking for keywords and getting your content in front of more people.

SEO lesson concluded. Back to our scheduled programming.

There are a few ways you could perform your keyword research:

  • Use keyword research tools, like SEMRush or Moz Keyword Explorer.
  • Type your keyword into a search engine and take note of the auto-filled queries.
  • Check out the related searches section on search engine results pages (SERPs).

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2. Ideation

Now that you’ve determined which keywords to target, it’s time to brainstorm some content ideas.

HubSpot research shows that the best way to organize content is through topic clusters, meaning you create a long-form, comprehensive pillar page based on a keyword that then links to content you’ve created on related subtopics (think blog posts).

Content creation process: Topic clusters

To illustrate the point, it looks something like this. The topic cluster model makes brainstorming because it gives you a structure to follow.

You can use your main keyword to create a pillar piece that covers that topic in-depth, like … say a guide to content creation. Then, you can create shorter pieces of content like:

  • Infographics
  • Blog posts
  • Templates

These will help your audience dive deeper into the topic and target long-tail keywords.

If you’re stumped for ideas, you might want to consider looking for inspiration from books you’ve read, industry studies, your competitor’s sites, or related searches on SERPs.

Once you have all of your ideas down, you can develop your editorial calendar and start creating.

3. Writing

Your specific content creation strength might be videos or graphics or podcasts, but writing is the foundation of most content generation. Whatever content you make, the creation process follows some pretty similar guidelines.

Let’s go over some helpful tips for great content creation.

Write to your persona.

Use their voice, their euphemisms, even their humor to construct a piece that resonates.

Tell your audience why your content is important to them.

Use titles, meta descriptions, and other teasers to compel your audience to read your content. Put the benefit of your content right in the title to let them know why they should read it.

Create something unique.

Don’t just regurgitate the information that’s already out there. Infuse a unique style or cite new research to emphasize your points.

Stick to one idea.

Then, use your content to reinforce it. Don’t confuse your reader by going on tangents or trying to explain multiple semi-related topics in a single piece.

Stay true to your voice.

Don’t try to impress your audience with eloquent prose or an expansive vocabulary if they don’t speak that way.

Be clear and concise.

You want your audience to relate to you and derive value from your content. So, don’t ask them to sift through jargon or confusing metaphors.

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4. Editing

The way you edit your (or others’) work is a very subjective process. You may want to edit as you go, or you might wait a few days and review the work with fresh eyes. You might care a great deal about grammar, or you might aim for a more colloquial piece.

Either way, there are a few things that you should definitely look out for as you refine your content, like active voice, clear language, short sentences, and plenty of whitespace. Consider having a colleague or manager review your work, too.

Some tools that will help you cut down on your editing time are Grammarly and Hemingway Editor.

5. Uploading

Now that your content is ready, you’ll need to put it somewhere that people can access it. A content management system (CMS) is software that hosts digital content and allows you to display it on your website (or anywhere else on the web).

Content creation process: CMS upload

The benefit to a CMS is that it connects all of your content and stores it in one place. So, you can easily link to a landing page in your blog article or insert a content offer in an email.

Not only that, but you can analyze the results of all the content you created for a specific campaign (which can help with content audits). A CMS saves you from having a disjointed content marketing system.

For example, CMS Hub is home to our blog, where you get access to all of our great content and useful free offers.

6. Publishing

Publishing content is as simple as clicking a button. So, why include a section on it? Well, because it’s not always that simple.

You can publish your content immediately after uploading, or you can maximize its impact by waiting for an optimal time. If you’re just starting out, then clicking publish right away probably won’t impact your audience too much.

But if you have committed to a regular publishing schedule, like delivering a new post every Wednesday, your audience will expect to see posts published on Wednesdays.

Something else to keep in mind is to publish according to trends or time-sensitive events. For example, if you create content about national holidays or current events, then you’ll want to publish those at specific times.

A CMS will allow you to schedule posts for a future date and specific time, so you can click, schedule, and forget.

7. Promoting Content

Finally, it’s time to promote the content you’ve created. You can do this through various mediums including social media, email marketing, and even pay-per-click advertising.

To promote your content, think about what channels your audience is on. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube? Wherever it might be, it’s important to meet them where they’re at and promote your content on that medium.

Additionally, collaborating with influencers or other brands will help you promote your content and reach more people.

Analyzing Your Content

The final, and arguably most important step in content creation is analyzing your content. Without data, you can’t know what’s working or how to improve it.

There are several data points you could track when analyzing your content, so use your goals as a guide to set some parameters. Whatever you want to accomplish with your content will help you choose your metrics. (Remember that initial goal we talked about?)

What you analyze is completely up to you, but here are some ideas for metrics to track:

Page Views

The number of users that visit your content. For blog posts this page views, but for any type of content, there is usually a “views” metric that will let you know how many times your content has been viewed and by how many unique users.

Organic Traffic

The amount of traffic that comes from search engines. This is unpaid traffic that you get from ranking high on Google or other search engines.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page. This is an important metric to track because it can let you know that people are interested in clicking your posts, but then the content is immediately unsatisfying.

Conversion Rates

The percent of visitors that engage with a CTA — whether it’s a content offer, or filling out a form.

Engagement Rates

The number of people that interact with your content through likes, shares, comments, or in other ways.

Audience Growth

The new subscribers or leads that are generated from a piece of content.

Time On Page

The amount of time a user is on your page, whether it’s a blog post, or a video (for video content this might be average watch time). It’s important to keep track of where users drop off. Do they stay on the page long enough to read the post or consume the content?

Paid Campaigns

The amount of traffic that comes in from paid campaigns. If you sponsor posts on social media or pay for search engine ads, it’s important to track how much traffic comes from those campaigns.

If you need more tips on analyzing your content, check out this free HubSpot Academy course.

Content Creation Tools

While a CMS will help you manage your content, it won’t help you create it. That’s where content creation tools come in handy. These are especially useful if you’re artistically impaired, like me, or if you don’t have the capacity to hire help. From GIFs to infographics, these content creation tools will help you look like a professional, regardless of what kind of content you’re making.

1. Make My Persona

MakeMyPersona is HubSpot’s own nifty tool that will walk you through the process of creating your buyer persona. You can generate a document to reference throughout your content creation process.

2. Blog Ideas Generator

This free tool from HubSpot can give you a full year of blog post ideas in just a few seconds. All you need to do is add a few nouns to get smart and relevant ideas for your blog. This is super helpful, especially if you get stuck while putting together your editorial calendar.

3. Canva

Canva will help you create beautiful designs for any platform, from social ads to Facebook cover photos to infographics. The software features aesthetically pleasing templates that you can customize with colors, images, and text … for free.

4. Giphy

Giphy The GIF has replaced emojis as a completely normal form of communication, and, therefore, an acceptable way to present content. Giphy allows you to search millions of pre-created GIFs in their database or even create your own.

5. Vidyard

Vidyard is a video hosting platform that was made for marketers. The software allows you to customize your video by adding overlays, text, or CTA buttons, split test, transcription, and it also has SEO features.

6. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is a leading survey creation platform. Why might you need such a thing? Because a good marketer knows that customer feedback is critical to an effective marketing campaign.

7. Anchor

Anchor is a podcasting tool for beginners. It’s free, allows you to record and store unlimited episodes, and you can easily upload to any third-party platform.

This is far from an exhaustive list of all the great content creation tools out there — this list of content marketing tools is even better!

Content Creation Examples

Now that you’ve got a strong foundation for your content planning, strategy, creation, and analysis, it’s time to get inspired. These are some of our favorite examples of great content.

1. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy offers free online training, teaching marketing, sales, and customer service. It offers a range of valuable certifications and its teachers are leading experts in their fields.

Many courses are short and self-paced, giving users a chance to learn topics in less than 30 minutes.

Content creation example: HubSpot Academy

Why HubSpot Academy is great content creation: If you’re new to marketing, HubSpot’s training is the top industry standard. These courses are also free, which makes them accessible for anyone who wants to learn.

Not every student will become a customer, but every student can experience the impact of these lessons. This means that every student has the potential to become a vocal advocate for the HubSpot brand.

2. Whiteboard Friday, Moz

For 10+ years, Moz has created content for Whiteboard Fridays. Rand Fishkin started this series, and members of the Moz team continue to teach weekly sessions about SEO and marketing.

In this video and blog series, an actual whiteboard takes center stage. The whiteboard features an outline of that Friday’s topic, and then the host breaks the topic down in more detail.

Content creation example: Whiteboard Friday

Why Whiteboard Fridays are great content creation: This series uses a simple and consistent visual tool to draw the audience in. They use that format to teach valuable ideas that a wide range of people can use.

This series also lends itself to many different formats. The whiteboard outline can become an infographic, the video narration can be broadcast as a podcast, and the transcript from the video can become a blog for people who’d rather read than watch.

3. Home Buying Stories, NerdWallet

Whether you’re in Seattle, Des Moines, or Madison, it can be tough to buy a home. Besides the initial investment, homebuyers have a range of personal and financial questions they need to process.

This blog series interviews first-time homebuyers in different cities. Each post asks the same questions, but also offers a unique window into the challenge of buying a home. They cover the surprises, challenges, and gifts that come with this intense process.

Content creation example: NerdWallet

Why Home Buying Stories are great content creation: Besides offering useful content with a personal touch, this series is an excellent strategy for growing traffic. The series offers a range of ideas to solve a common problem.

Content creation example: News example for home buying stories

At the same time, it’s a topic that’s a regular feature in local news, which means this content is often shared with new audiences.

4. Creative Routines, InfoWeTrust

This attractive infographic uses research to show the habits and schedules of creative thinkers from the past. It’s a stunning example of how an infographic can make data easier to understand and use.

Content creation example: Creative routines

Why Creative Routines is great content creation: Besides showing the value of InfoWeTrust’s services, this content teaches us something. It makes data that could be difficult to understand easy to consume and remember.

It’s also super shareable. People shared this infographic in the press, on blogs, and on social media. This kind of mass appeal is how brands go viral.

5. Trending Quizzes, BuzzFeed

Raise your hand if you’ve taken a Buzzfeed quiz. Quizzes are interactive, so they get your audience involved. They’re also games, and gamification is more popular than ever.

Past quizzes from this dynamic brand include:

  • Correctly Answering These 11 Logic Questions Means You Have A High IQ
  • If You’ve Read Over 28 Of These Books From Back In The Day, You’re A Proper Bookworm
  • If You Did 23/31 Things On This List As A Teen, You Were Definitely A Rebel

Each quiz is unique and appeals to a different buyer persona. At the same time, these quizzes are fun, quick, and easy to share.

Content creation example: Buzzfeed Quizzes

Why Buzzfeed quizzes are great content creation: They created design templates that made it easy for people to create and share their own quizzes. Not everyone is great with Photoshop, and these templates made quizzes great to look at. By appealing to both the mind and the eye, they broadened the appeal of their quizzes.

But what’s most important is that people talk about quizzes. When someone takes a quiz, Buzzfeed makes it easy to share the results, which continues to expand that conversation.

Start Creating

Content creation is an iterative process that pays off tremendously with your audience. Once you have the content creation process down, you’ll be able to generate creative work that not only delights your audience but also grows your business.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

content templates

The Ultimate Guide to Content Creation

Content creation is what happens behind the scenes. It’s how Google can offer the perfect answer to your problem. It’s the videos you watch on YouTube after a tough day.

Download Now: 150+ Content Creation Templates [Free Kit]

Content creation is also what helps people discover your business, brand, and products.

And that content helps you attract, engage, and delight prospects and customers. It brings new visitors to your site and ultimately generates revenue for your company.

In other words, if you’re not creating content, then you’re behind the curve.

Why is content creation 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 value for your company, as these content marketing stats show:

  • Almost 40% of marketers say content marketing is an essential part of their marketing strategy. 81% say their company sees content as a business strategy.
  • B2B marketers have data that says content marketing is a successful tool for nurturing leads (60%), generating revenue (51%), and building an audience of subscribers (47%).
  • And 10% of marketers who blog say it generates the biggest return on investment.

Content equals business growth. So, let’s get started with the types of content you can create and then review your content strategy.

Content Creation Ideas

1. Blogs

One type of content creation (the kind you’re consuming right now, actually) is blog posts. Blogs can educate, entertain, and inspire your audience through the written word. When someone types a query in Google, the posts that pop up are usually blog posts.

Content creation ideas example: Blogs;

Content Creation Ideas for Blogs

Blogging is worth the time and effort, and 56% of marketers say that blogging is their most effective content strategy.

But it can be tough to narrow your focus and start writing. In addition to opinion pieces and product announcement posts, these are some proven ideas for blog content creation.

Answer a Question

If you’re not sure which question to answer first, start with questions from beginners. These can create a foundation you can use to continue growing your blog.Content creation ideas example: Answer questions

Another way to use questions as a starting point is to think about the questions you had when you were a beginner. Even questions from your more recent experience can help someone else in your industry.

Once you’ve figured out the right questions, write a complete answer. You might want to skim over the details, but this is where you can add the most value for your readers.

People are often shy about asking questions because they don’t want to sound foolish. Anticipating and answering their questions can help you earn their trust. It can also improve your search engine results.

Compare and Contrast Solutions to a Problem

Another way that you can serve your readers is by helping them make a decision. There are answers online, but it can sometimes feel like there are too many answers.

If you are an expert in your niche, you can share your expert opinion and help out buyers who want to make an informed purchase at the same time.

As you choose what you’re going to compare, make sure that the products have more similarities than differences.

For example, you wouldn’t want to compare a project management tool with email marketing software.

When you’re writing compare and contrast blogs for a product or service, be as open and transparent as you can. List all the possible positives and negatives you can think of. Then, get into detail about how you came to those decisions.

Teach Something

Some of the most popular blogs are educational. If you want to use your blog as a teaching tool, there are a few things you’ll want to think about.

As you choose a topic, it’s smart to start small. So, instead of covering a broad topic, choose a niche topic that people in your industry might be asking about.

For example, instead of writing about website design basics, write about how to design the home page for an automotive dealership.

As you start writing how-to blogs, there are a few things to remember:

  • Use short sentences and paragraphs and create a clear structure. This will make your instructions easier to follow.
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms if you can, and use examples to make new information easier to understand.
  • Keep in mind that your directions should be easy for a beginner to follow, so don’t skip steps or offer shortcuts.

These tips should help your readers learn and bring you more traffic and interest in your educational content.

Daily, Monthly, or Weekly Series

Writing a series of posts can be useful for your readers, and it can help you grow your blog. A series will usually run for a set period of time. You can choose to publish the series every day or on a set day every week or month.

A series can generate content that you can easily repurpose for other channels. For example, if you run a blog about social media, you could turn a blog series about Instagram Reels into a podcast, ebook, or video.

This strategy makes it simple to fully explore a particular topic. It’s useful for building internal and external links, and for establishing you as a thought leader.

Quizzes and Surveys

Blog surveys are a great way to collect feedback from your audience. This can help with more than website traffic.

Responses from quizzes and surveys can also help you:

  • Figure out other types of content your audience likes
  • Choose which products to promote and sell
  • Grow your social media following
  • Go viral with interactive content
  • Anticipate customer service issues

For an effective quiz or survey, define your goals before you start creating. Keeping your quizzes short and offering incentives can improve response rates.

Curated Content for Target Audiences

While your blog could appeal to just about anyone, your goal is to connect with your ideal buyer personas.

Curated content will make your most important audience members feel important. This could mean that this audience turns into a group of promoters who share your content and encourage others to buy your products.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to create curated content that’s specifically for this audience. For example, say you’re selling sandals. You’ll want to write different content for people who wear sandals year-round and people who only wear sandals at certain times of the year.

To curate your content, start with detailed buyer personas and competitor research. Next, create clusters of content that are just for that specific buyer persona.

Curated content is also where you’ll want to highlight quotes and insights from industry leaders. This content shouldn’t just inform a targeted audience. It should make them feel like they are part of an exclusive group.

If you’re looking for help curating your content, check out this useful list of tools.

Celebrate Wins

Most blogs are evergreen. This means that once you publish a blog on the internet, it can be a resource for many years. This makes blogs a great place to celebrate wins.

Whether you’re calling out top-performing employees or thanking customers, you can use your blog to celebrate.

Remember to celebrate the little things. Then use images, videos, and design to make celebration posts feel extra special.

2. Podcasts

Podcasts are like listening to the radio. But anyone can make and broadcast a podcast. This means that professional and beginner podcast hosts are competing for the same listening time.

But they also have a big audience, and 28% of Americans 12 years old and up listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.

Podcasts are extra interesting to listen to when the audience likes the host and wants to learn something from them. Keep reading for more podcast content creation ideas you might want to try.

Content creation ideas example: Podcast

Content Creation Ideas for Podcasts

Generally, a great podcast will center on a great idea and then expand on that topic with listener and expert feedback. Storytelling podcasts are popular, and so are educational podcasts.

If you are launching your first podcast, be sure to post with a consistent schedule. It’s also a good idea to follow the same structure for every episode.

Other than that, it’s about being your authentic self.

Thought Leadership

This type of podcast content centers on your professional experience. Be sure to include case studies and other real-life scenarios in this content.

Remember that your audience is listening in for different reasons and often have different levels of industry experience. So, offer insights for a range of listeners and share advice that you think your listeners could apply themselves.

Interview Influencers

If you want to add influencer interviews to your podcast, knowing who to interview comes first. Don’t just go for the biggest names. Instead, choose interesting guests who can offer value to your listeners.

Be sure to research your guests and ask original questions. For example, the success of the YouTube show “Hot Ones” comes in part from the well-researched questions its host asks each celebrity guest.

Other ways to get the most out of influencer interviews on your podcast include:

  • Asking for follower suggestions
  • Encouraging participation from your featured influencer’s followers
Discuss Trends

Trends are great content for a podcast. Whether you’re discussing a long-term trend or the latest fad, this is a smart context to show how your products are relevant to what’s new.

While many people listen to daily or weekly news podcasts, most podcasts are evergreen like a blog. Many podcast listeners will tune into a podcast years after the podcast was first released.

This means that you’ll want to tie trends to larger topics.

For example, Marketing Against the Grain covers trends like the creator economy on their podcast, but they talk about it as part of marketing as a whole. This strategy grounds what could be a fleeting trend into a topic with more staying power.

Contests and Giveaways

Contests give your podcast listeners a fun way to participate while also giving you a chance to grow your subscribers.

One way to launch a podcast contest is to post to social media about a prize or giveaway. Interactive contests where a listener can call in to be a part of the podcast are another option.

If you plan to offer a prize, make sure it’s unique and fitting for your unique audience.

3. Video

Whether you want to post videos on social media or YouTube, video marketing is a type of content creation that becomes more popular every year. Short-form and long-form videos both have their place in your content creation strategy. So, be sure to come up with ideas for both types of content.

Content Creation Ideas for Video

86% of video marketers say that video is effective for generating leads. This makes original video marketing an important strategy for anyone who is working on content creation.

Some solid video content ideas include behind-the-scenes or time-lapse videos. Let’s go over some other useful ideas for video content creation.

Animate Hard-To-Understand Ideas

Animation makes it easier to understand new or complex information. So, use video to show your viewers how your product works or to talk about the specific problem your product solves.

Choose scenarios that people can relate to that clearly connect to your product. Whether you choose to use digital animation or stop-motion, animation can bring a dry topic to life.

For example, tech products often solve problems that the average user doesn’t deal with every day, like a broken connection with an API.

But what about an animation of what happens when the wireless at home gets cut off? A video with this scenario could make that abstract idea easier for the average user to understand.

Repurpose Blog Content

Another quick video idea is to use the text from your most popular blog as a voiceover. Long blogs make great content for a video series.

You can also break up key points from blogs into bite-size videos for your social media posts.

Then, add your videos to your blog posts. This gives people who find your blog on search engines another alternative to get the information they’re looking for.

How-tos and Tutorials

How-to content is also very popular in video formats. To create a powerful instructional video, stick to short and specific steps. Don’t skip anything, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with extra information.

Use simple visual steps to help your viewers learn, and offer a clear call-to-action at the end.

It’s also a good idea to engage with the comments on these videos. This reassures your audience that you are available if they have more questions, and could help you come up with more video ideas.

Product Demos and Unusual Use Cases

Product demos can make it easier for potential customers to see how they can use your products. It’s also a chance for you to share some product design processes.

By sharing the problem you initially solved with your product, and how the solution changed through the process, you’re building a relationship with your viewers. This relationship builds trust and makes them more likely to engage with you and your products.

Show how your product works in an interesting way. For example, the “Will It Blend?” video series on YouTube was a winner for Blendtec because it didn’t just show the power of its blender.

They were inventive and asked for customer suggestions for each video. And the videos were blending objects you normally wouldn’t throw in a blender, like cell phones, golf balls, or glow sticks.

You can also personalize your video content. Video product demos are a great option for connecting individual customers to your products.

4. Graphics

In your blog posts, or in your social media posts, you might want to post original graphics. These can be infographics, photography, GIFs, memes, illustrations, or screenshots.

This type of content creation usually requires a graphic designer or a design tool to help you get the job done.

Content creation ideas example: Infographic

Image-based Content Creation Ideas

Photo and image-based posts are the content types businesses use most to increase audience engagement.

As you begin to create visual content, make sure you have a strong grasp of the basics. These include:

  • Choose the right subject to illustrate your idea
  • Think about composition
  • Use contrast and color
  • Keep it simple
Visual Storytelling

Visual content is great for quick storytelling. As you start to experiment with storytelling, remember to show, not tell.

For example, say you’re telling a story about meeting a tough sales goal. A picture of a sales rep talking on the phone won’t tell the story as well as an image of that same sales rep scaling a tall mountain.

Try to use setting, clothing, lighting, and motion to emphasize the action and drama of every scene in your images.

User-Generated Content

Fans of your products are often looking for ways to get involved. And there’s nothing like user-generated content to show your followers that you care about their opinions.

To get your users to create and share content for your brand, invite them to get involved. Try a custom hashtag or contest on social media to start. Email is also a great channel for collecting photos, quotes, and stories from your customers.

That said, don’t use content from users without asking for their permission. You also want to make sure you credit users for their contributions. Nothing can damage your relationship with a customer like using their images without consent.

Infographics

There is proof that data visualizations can decrease errors and improve learning and retention by as much as 80%.

If you want your content creation strategy to include infographics, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Choose the right data for your target audience
  • Choose the right graph or chart for your data
  • Do your research
  • Tell a simple visual story
  • Don’t add too much data
  • Make your main points easy to read and remember
Go Behind the Scenes

Sharing industry and product secrets is exciting and interesting for your readers. It’s also an interesting way to share information about how you make, package, and update your products.

To create visuals that take your audience behind the scenes, start with a plan. Whether you’re sharing photos from a tour of your manufacturing facility or documenting an average day on social media, make it cool.

Think about lighting, composition, and the little details. You don’t want a great product shot ruined by a big messy trash can or a warning sign in the background.

At the same time, make your images feel authentic. Don’t set up your photos in a space that feels too perfect to be real.

5. Content Offers

Another type of content is content offers. These are templates, whitepapers, worksheets, or ebooks that your visitors 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.

Content creation ideas example: Content offer

Content Creation Ideas for Content Offers

67% of companies use lead generation as the primary metric for content success.

This means that you should combine any content creation efforts with content offers to draw new leads. The best lead magnets solve a problem for your followers. Usually, they solve urgent issues and offer lasting value to your target audience.

To be immediately useful to your users, a content offer should be specific and quick to use. It should also offer value that reflects your high level of understanding and expertise.

This will keep your audience coming back for more and help you convert more leads into delighted customers. These are some content offer ideas for you to start with.

Ebooks or White Papers

Long-form written content creation is where many businesses start for content offers.

Ebooks and white papers can give your readers a deeper understanding of a topic. They can also help them solve an urgent problem.

While ebooks can be intense projects, you can also use existing content, like blogs, to build your ebooks. A great ebook template can also speed up the process.

Original Research

Data drives many businesses, but not every business has the time or the resources to put together the data they need. You can use your knowledge and network to put together research that your visitors can use.

To create high-quality research you’ll need:

  • Goals for your research
  • A process for sampling and analyzing your data
  • Questions
  • A process for managing the project

It’s important to figure out how much time and what resources you’ll need to complete the research. A market research template can make it easier for you to organize and compile your research.

Then, you’ll want to decide the best format and channels to present your research to create a stellar content offer.

Tools and Templates

A great content offer helps your audience solve a problem faster than they could figure it out on their own. This makes tools like calculators, swipe files, and checklists invaluable. It means that your templates can be useful for your fans both now and later.

And these useful lead magnets don’t just give you a chance to help out your community. They’re also excellent resources for leads and to create advocates for your brand.

If someone uses one of your templates regularly, they’re more likely to tell someone else about it. This makes content offers a great way to grow your following by word of mouth. And word of mouth is one of the most trusted sources for consumers. This makes this type of content offer a win-win.

While some templates and tools need you to have advanced coding or technical knowledge, most are simple to put together. You can easily create a template with tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs, tools most people use every day.

As you start building, keep in mind that creating something useful is more important than making it look perfect.

Kits and Workbooks

Once you’ve put together a few of the resources listed above, you might be ready to create a larger content offer.

Kits and workbook content offers usually include a range of different resources that work together. For example, say you’ve made a few different templates for social media captions on different platforms. You can put these together to create the ultimate social media caption kit.

To keep your leads from getting information overload, think about structure. It’s a good idea to break your kit or workbook into bite-sized pieces. You’ll also want to use graphics and other media to break up dense sections of text to keep things engaging.

A workbook or kit might also include:

  • Worksheets
  • A Q&A
  • Checklists
  • Schedules
  • Journal prompts

Content Planning and Strategy

You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, a sculpture without a sketch, or a company without a mission statement. So, there should be no content creation without a plan. Otherwise, you risk getting derailed from your objective.

A content strategy includes everything from brand and tone to how you will promote your content and eventually repurpose it. Let’s go over how to create your content plan, step-by-step.

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Set your content goals.

Similar to a traditional marketing campaign, your content strategy should be centered on your marketing goals (which should, in turn, be derived from your company goals).

Your goals could range from attracting more visitors to your site to generating more leads to anything in between — as long as they’re SMART goals. An example of this kind of goal would be to increase organic traffic to the blog by 25% in the next quarter.

Content creation strategy example: SMART goals

Once you determine that, each piece of content you create should be aligned with your goal and contribute to your desired outcome.

In sum, start with your goals, then create your content.

Create a buyer persona.

Building a content strategy is more than considering what type of content you want to create. You first need to know who you’re speaking to, how you want to speak to them, and where to find them.

Content creation strategy example: Buyer personas

The key to creating successful inbound content is to make each reader feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

The only way to do this is to get intimate with your visitors, leads, and customers — you need to know them like you know an old friend. You should be aware of their obstacles, their pain points, their challenges, and their fears. Similarly, you should understand their best possible outcome, their dream solution, and their biggest fantasies.

Always remember that you are marketing to humans that want to feel connected.

Ideally, you’d know and be able to speak directly to every individual that visits your website, but you can’t. The solution? Create a buyer persona.

Your buyer persona is the person that you want to reach with your content. This semi-fictional character serves as a representation of your target audience, i.e., the people who are most likely to benefit from your message and become customers.

Creating a buyer persona takes a bit of research, some guesswork, and tweaking. But the end result is a clear picture of the person you want to market to and someone who will happily consume your content.

Not sure where to start? Use Make My Persona to build out your buyer persona.

Rely on the buyer’s journey.

If you’ve ever had a headache, the first thing you likely did was try to figure out the cause. Perhaps you were dehydrated, or caffeine-depleted, or maybe you were sick. After you diagnosed the problem, you moved on to solutions — drink some water, grab an espresso, or take some medicine. Finally, you decide between solutions: Evian or tap water? Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee? Aleve or Tylenol? Hopefully, your headache then subsided and you were able to go about your day.

This is a representation of the buyer’s journey. Each of your prospects follows a path to a solution — that path involves awareness, consideration, and decision stages. But each of your prospects is in a different part of that journey, so it’s important to use your content to appeal to each stage.

Content creation strategy example: Buyer’s journey

By creating content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’re ensuring that no visitors fall through the cracks and that every individual that comes to your site feels like they are receiving relevant, useful information.

You also want to select a format for your content so that it’s tailored to each stage of the buyer’s journey. A new visitor in the awareness stage won’t want a live demo of your product, but they would read a quick checklist or blog post that helps them better understand their problem. A prospect in the decision stage doesn’t need to know about all the possible solutions, they need a consultation or demo that shows them that your product is the right solution. Always meet your audience where they are.

Here’s a guide to the best content formats for each stage of the buyer’s journey:

Content creation strategy: Content examples for stages of the buyer journey

Perform a content audit.

Whether you’ve been creating content for a while without any clear direction or you’ve been following a strategy all along, every marketing department can benefit from a content audit. Just because you didn’t start out with a clearly defined strategy doesn’t mean that the content you already have won’t fit into one.

A content audit is simply taking inventory of the work you’ve already done, then organizing it to fit under your new content plan.

The process might involve some re-writing, or it could reveal gaps that need to be filled with content that appeals to your persona and their journey stage.

Here’s how you’d perform your content audit:

  1. Gather all of your content in a spreadsheet.
  2. Create columns for target keywords, buyer persona, buyer’s journey stage, format, and main topic, then fill these in for each content piece.
  3. Add columns for your key metrics, like page views, shares, engagement, etc.
  4. Finally, categorize each post (using highlights or another column) by those that are doing well, need improvement, should be rewritten, or can be merged with another post.

While a content audit may seem tedious, all the manual labor will be worth the increased traffic and leads. Plus, you’ll have a verified plan moving forward.

If this process seems a bit overwhelming, check out this post for some more guidance.

Choose the right format.

Remember that buyer persona you created? You’re creating content for them. That means you should be crafting content in a format that is most easily and enjoyably consumed by your prospects.

The format you choose might be a blog post, video, Slideshare, graphic, ebook, whitepaper, podcast, or whatever your creative mind can conceive. As long as it serves your persona, you’ll be in good shape.

Also, you don’t need to stick to one format for every piece of content that you create. But you should be able to create content — in whatever format — on a consistent cadence. What I mean is, a podcast series might be a great marketing tactic, but if you lack the resources (and patience) to stick to it, then a blog might be a better route.

Digital content creation is the process of choosing the format (usually digital), and then utilizing the right tools to publish and promote your content online.

Use these questions as a guide when choosing your content format:

  • What stage of the buyer’s journey is this for?
  • How easy is it for your audience to consume this content?
  • Where does your persona spend their time online?
  • What format can you create on a consistent basis?
  • Are you able to produce this content at a quality level that’s competitive?

Choose capable content creators.

At this point, you’re ready to start creating content, but first, you’ll need to build a team of content creators. To get started, categorize the type of content you want to create and the type of content creator it takes to produce that content. Below is an example list:

  • Blogs — Writer
  • Social media posts — Social media coordinator
  • Podcasts — Podcast host/producer
  • Graphics — Graphic designer
  • Webinars/Lead Magnets — Lead acquisition expert (content offer producer)
  • Videos — Videographer/editor

As you can see, there are many different types of content creators you’ll need to either outsource or hire to produce high-quality content that converts your audience from viewers to customers.

In many organizations, there is one person responsible for a lot of this content, and that is a content marketing strategist. While having one content marketing strategist might make sense, expecting one person to be able to produce all of that content doesn’t.

The best way to go about content creation is to collaborate with freelancers, use influencer marketing to increase your audience reach, and hire a content strategist (or several preferably) to help you organize your content creation.

Promote your content.

What good is it to create all this great content if no one sees it? In a perfect world, herds of people would flock to your site every time you published a new post. In reality — especially when you’re just starting out — you’ll need to entice people to consume your content and even shepherd them into your online space.

Hence why content promotion is just as important to your strategy as whatever content you create.

Your promotion plan should be guided by your persona. Where do they spend their time online? What time of day do they use a particular platform? How often do they want to see content from you? How do they like to consume content? What email subject lines get them to click?

Content promotion varies by medium, and there are specific rules to follow for each.

Social Media

While social media is a relationship-building tool, it can be used to promote content. It’s all about finding the right balance between self-promotion, sharing useful information, and entertainment. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are all great mediums to both create and share relevant content. The key is modifying that content to fit the platform.

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Email Marketing

Email is one of the best ways to reach your audience for any reason, especially to promote content. The reason is anyone on your email list has opted in to hear from you and you can guarantee that they’ll get your messages. Better yet, you can improve your open rates by sending relevant content to segmented lists, meaning they’ll be eager to read everything you send their way.

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Paid Promotion

Pay-per-click (PPC) helps you get your content in front of new audiences through targeted, paid advertisements. These ads can run on social media, search engines, or other websites. Once you define your buyer persona, you’ll want to go the paid route so as not to waste money targeting uninterested parties. Once you have your audience down, paid promotion can yield a great ROI.

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Syndication

Getting your content promoted through authoritative, third-party channels is a great way to build your audience. Syndication gets your brand in front of fresh eyes (and wallets) that you wouldn’t otherwise reach with your own efforts.

Repurpose your content.

When you repurpose content, you’re reusing something you spent a lot of time creating and transforming it in various formats so that it can be more widely consumed.

Think of it as recycling. You want to spend less time creating and more time getting your content in front of your audience. For example, that blog post that you wrote on marketing stats can also serve as a great infographic or even a video.

If you created something in one format, try to think of all the other ways that you could reuse that information that might be just as effective.

Creating a Content Plan

Content exists everywhere, but its success relies on your ability to adapt it to the medium on which it lives. One size does not fit all when it comes to posting on different mediums — or the platforms within those mediums, for that matter.

Social media content varies from blog content, which is different than website content. So, you need to know how to tailor your creation to reach your audience where they are.

Let’s dive into some guidelines for sharing content on various platforms.

Social Media Content

There is an art to creating content for social media. But it’s well worth your time since there are 3.96 billion users across social media platforms worldwide. Plus, someone who follows you on social media is like a warm lead — they already like you and are interested in what you have to say. So, you have an eager audience that’s ready to engage with your content.

Here are a few quick tips for creating content on some popular social channels.

1. Facebook

Facebook can be used to build micro-communities via Facebook Groups or to share to a mass audience on Facebook Pages. When it comes to sharing content, questions and videos reap the most engagement.

2. Instagram

Instagram is best for sharing high-quality imagery and short videos with brief captions. Hashtags work well on this platform as long as they’re relevant to your account and business. Instagram Stories has introduced a new way to engage with your followers, from quick polls to questions to real-time videos.

3. YouTube

YouTube has 1.3 billion users and counting. Users frequent this platform to watch content ranging from DIY videos to parodies. Some of the most successful content on this platform are how-to guides, vlogs, product reviews, and educational videos.

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4. TikTok

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms of our time. It’s best known for fun, short-form videos. It can be used to engage with your Millennial or Gen Z audience.

5. Twitter

Twitter best practices include short messages, supporting images, relevant hashtags, and retweets. And, of course, replies go a long way to win over your audience.

Website Content

Website content should focus on three things: your persona, your target keywords, and your solution.

Like your blog content, the copy on your website needs to guide visitors to your solution in a cohesive and natural way.

Think of web content like a map to your product.

Be careful not to turn visitors away through social media feeds and other distracting elements. Once you’ve attracted a potential customer, you must do everything you can to keep them there, and that’s the key function of your website content.

Blog Content

The purpose of blog content is to support your business by attracting strangers and bringing in qualified leads.

Blog content is a free resource that’s not often directly tied to sales, but don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted blog to ultimately generate revenue for your business.

Research shows that companies that blog more get more traffic and more leads than those that don’t.

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The Content Creation Process

We, marketers, are busy. We don’t have time to waste on inefficient systems. That’s why we create processes for everything we do. We devise a system, roll it out, tweak it until it works, then repeat that system over and over to generate the results we want.

Think about every marketing campaign you’ve ever done — webinars, autoresponders, surveys. Each of them had a process. Content creation is no different.

Follow these steps to create content, remove the guesswork, and allow for more creative mental space.

The content creation process

1. SEO Research

Creating your buyer persona likely gave you some ideas about what topics to write about and what questions your audience might have, which is a great start.

Now, you need to confirm if those ideas can apply on a bigger scale to a larger audience. Sure, it would be great to write a blog post directed toward a single person, but, boy, would it be a waste of energy.

SEO research — a.k.a. keyword research — will show you the search volume of a specific keyword phrase and whether it’s worth the investment of creating a piece of content around it.

A good way to go about keyword research is to write down some questions that your persona might have based on their obstacles and goals.

Then, perform some keyword research around those queries to see if enough people are searching for them.

Content creation process: Keyword research

A good approach is to target keywords that are attainable, meaning that they have a monthly search volume (MSV) and keyword difficulty that corresponds to your domain authority.

Trying to target high volume (read: highly competitive) keywords when you’ve just started blogging won’t pan out too well for you.

Before we go any further, let’s detour into a quick-and-dirty SEO explanation:

One important factor that helps you to rank in search engines is domain authority. You gain domain authority by how many external sites link back to your content.

In order for this to happen, you need to have a pretty large library of content that is valuable enough to cite.

That means, the longer you write high-quality content, the higher your domain authority and the easier it is to rank for highly competitive keywords that will put you on the first page of Google.

If you’re not quite there yet, the best thing to do is to target long-tail, low-volume keywords with minimal keyword difficulty (<50) — we’re talking 200-1000 MSV. This will give you the best chance at ranking for keywords and getting your content in front of more people.

SEO lesson concluded. Back to our scheduled programming.

There are a few ways you could perform your keyword research:

  • Use keyword research tools, like SEMRush or Moz Keyword Explorer.
  • Type your keyword into a search engine and take note of the auto-filled queries.
  • Check out the related searches section on search engine results pages (SERPs).

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2. Ideation

Now that you’ve determined which keywords to target, it’s time to brainstorm some content ideas.

HubSpot research shows that the best way to organize content is through topic clusters, meaning you create a long-form, comprehensive pillar page based on a keyword that then links to content you’ve created on related subtopics (think blog posts).

Content creation process: Topic clusters

To illustrate the point, it looks something like this. The topic cluster model makes brainstorming because it gives you a structure to follow.

You can use your main keyword to create a pillar piece that covers that topic in-depth, like … say a guide to content creation. Then, you can create shorter pieces of content like:

  • Infographics
  • Blog posts
  • Templates

These will help your audience dive deeper into the topic and target long-tail keywords.

If you’re stumped for ideas, you might want to consider looking for inspiration from books you’ve read, industry studies, your competitor’s sites, or related searches on SERPs.

Once you have all of your ideas down, you can develop your editorial calendar and start creating.

3. Writing

Your specific content creation strength might be videos or graphics or podcasts, but writing is the foundation of most content generation. Whatever content you make, the creation process follows some pretty similar guidelines.

Let’s go over some helpful tips for great content creation.

Write to your persona.

Use their voice, their euphemisms, even their humor to construct a piece that resonates.

Tell your audience why your content is important to them.

Use titles, meta descriptions, and other teasers to compel your audience to read your content. Put the benefit of your content right in the title to let them know why they should read it.

Create something unique.

Don’t just regurgitate the information that’s already out there. Infuse a unique style or cite new research to emphasize your points.

Stick to one idea.

Then, use your content to reinforce it. Don’t confuse your reader by going on tangents or trying to explain multiple semi-related topics in a single piece.

Stay true to your voice.

Don’t try to impress your audience with eloquent prose or an expansive vocabulary if they don’t speak that way.

Be clear and concise.

You want your audience to relate to you and derive value from your content. So, don’t ask them to sift through jargon or confusing metaphors.

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4. Editing

The way you edit your (or others’) work is a very subjective process. You may want to edit as you go, or you might wait a few days and review the work with fresh eyes. You might care a great deal about grammar, or you might aim for a more colloquial piece.

Either way, there are a few things that you should definitely look out for as you refine your content, like active voice, clear language, short sentences, and plenty of whitespace. Consider having a colleague or manager review your work, too.

Some tools that will help you cut down on your editing time are Grammarly and Hemingway Editor.

5. Uploading

Now that your content is ready, you’ll need to put it somewhere that people can access it. A content management system (CMS) is software that hosts digital content and allows you to display it on your website (or anywhere else on the web).

Content creation process: CMS upload

The benefit to a CMS is that it connects all of your content and stores it in one place. So, you can easily link to a landing page in your blog article or insert a content offer in an email.

Not only that, but you can analyze the results of all the content you created for a specific campaign (which can help with content audits). A CMS saves you from having a disjointed content marketing system.

For example, CMS Hub is home to our blog, where you get access to all of our great content and useful free offers.

6. Publishing

Publishing content is as simple as clicking a button. So, why include a section on it? Well, because it’s not always that simple.

You can publish your content immediately after uploading, or you can maximize its impact by waiting for an optimal time. If you’re just starting out, then clicking publish right away probably won’t impact your audience too much.

But if you have committed to a regular publishing schedule, like delivering a new post every Wednesday, your audience will expect to see posts published on Wednesdays.

Something else to keep in mind is to publish according to trends or time-sensitive events. For example, if you create content about national holidays or current events, then you’ll want to publish those at specific times.

A CMS will allow you to schedule posts for a future date and specific time, so you can click, schedule, and forget.

7. Promoting Content

Finally, it’s time to promote the content you’ve created. You can do this through various mediums including social media, email marketing, and even pay-per-click advertising.

To promote your content, think about what channels your audience is on. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube? Wherever it might be, it’s important to meet them where they’re at and promote your content on that medium.

Additionally, collaborating with influencers or other brands will help you promote your content and reach more people.

Analyzing Your Content

The final, and arguably most important step in content creation is analyzing your content. Without data, you can’t know what’s working or how to improve it.

There are several data points you could track when analyzing your content, so use your goals as a guide to set some parameters. Whatever you want to accomplish with your content will help you choose your metrics. (Remember that initial goal we talked about?)

What you analyze is completely up to you, but here are some ideas for metrics to track:

Page Views

The number of users that visit your content. For blog posts this page views, but for any type of content, there is usually a “views” metric that will let you know how many times your content has been viewed and by how many unique users.

Organic Traffic

The amount of traffic that comes from search engines. This is unpaid traffic that you get from ranking high on Google or other search engines.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting only one page. This is an important metric to track because it can let you know that people are interested in clicking your posts, but then the content is immediately unsatisfying.

Conversion Rates

The percent of visitors that engage with a CTA — whether it’s a content offer, or filling out a form.

Engagement Rates

The number of people that interact with your content through likes, shares, comments, or in other ways.

Audience Growth

The new subscribers or leads that are generated from a piece of content.

Time On Page

The amount of time a user is on your page, whether it’s a blog post, or a video (for video content this might be average watch time). It’s important to keep track of where users drop off. Do they stay on the page long enough to read the post or consume the content?

Paid Campaigns

The amount of traffic that comes in from paid campaigns. If you sponsor posts on social media or pay for search engine ads, it’s important to track how much traffic comes from those campaigns.

If you need more tips on analyzing your content, check out this free HubSpot Academy course.

Content Creation Tools

While a CMS will help you manage your content, it won’t help you create it. That’s where content creation tools come in handy. These are especially useful if you’re artistically impaired, like me, or if you don’t have the capacity to hire help. From GIFs to infographics, these content creation tools will help you look like a professional, regardless of what kind of content you’re making.

1. Make My Persona

MakeMyPersona is HubSpot’s own nifty tool that will walk you through the process of creating your buyer persona. You can generate a document to reference throughout your content creation process.

2. Blog Ideas Generator

This free tool from HubSpot can give you a full year of blog post ideas in just a few seconds. All you need to do is add a few nouns to get smart and relevant ideas for your blog. This is super helpful, especially if you get stuck while putting together your editorial calendar.

3. Canva

Canva will help you create beautiful designs for any platform, from social ads to Facebook cover photos to infographics. The software features aesthetically pleasing templates that you can customize with colors, images, and text … for free.

4. Giphy

Giphy The GIF has replaced emojis as a completely normal form of communication, and, therefore, an acceptable way to present content. Giphy allows you to search millions of pre-created GIFs in their database or even create your own.

5. Vidyard

Vidyard is a video hosting platform that was made for marketers. The software allows you to customize your video by adding overlays, text, or CTA buttons, split test, transcription, and it also has SEO features.

6. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is a leading survey creation platform. Why might you need such a thing? Because a good marketer knows that customer feedback is critical to an effective marketing campaign.

7. Anchor

Anchor is a podcasting tool for beginners. It’s free, allows you to record and store unlimited episodes, and you can easily upload to any third-party platform.

This is far from an exhaustive list of all the great content creation tools out there — this list of content marketing tools is even better!

Content Creation Examples

Now that you’ve got a strong foundation for your content planning, strategy, creation, and analysis, it’s time to get inspired. These are some of our favorite examples of great content.

1. HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy offers free online training, teaching marketing, sales, and customer service. It offers a range of valuable certifications and its teachers are leading experts in their fields.

Many courses are short and self-paced, giving users a chance to learn topics in less than 30 minutes.

Content creation example: HubSpot Academy

Why HubSpot Academy is great content creation: If you’re new to marketing, HubSpot’s training is the top industry standard. These courses are also free, which makes them accessible for anyone who wants to learn.

Not every student will become a customer, but every student can experience the impact of these lessons. This means that every student has the potential to become a vocal advocate for the HubSpot brand.

2. Whiteboard Friday, Moz

For 10+ years, Moz has created content for Whiteboard Fridays. Rand Fishkin started this series, and members of the Moz team continue to teach weekly sessions about SEO and marketing.

In this video and blog series, an actual whiteboard takes center stage. The whiteboard features an outline of that Friday’s topic, and then the host breaks the topic down in more detail.

Content creation example: Whiteboard Friday

Why Whiteboard Fridays are great content creation: This series uses a simple and consistent visual tool to draw the audience in. They use that format to teach valuable ideas that a wide range of people can use.

This series also lends itself to many different formats. The whiteboard outline can become an infographic, the video narration can be broadcast as a podcast, and the transcript from the video can become a blog for people who’d rather read than watch.

3. Home Buying Stories, NerdWallet

Whether you’re in Seattle, Des Moines, or Madison, it can be tough to buy a home. Besides the initial investment, homebuyers have a range of personal and financial questions they need to process.

This blog series interviews first-time homebuyers in different cities. Each post asks the same questions, but also offers a unique window into the challenge of buying a home. They cover the surprises, challenges, and gifts that come with this intense process.

Content creation example: NerdWallet

Why Home Buying Stories are great content creation: Besides offering useful content with a personal touch, this series is an excellent strategy for growing traffic. The series offers a range of ideas to solve a common problem.

Content creation example: News example for home buying stories

At the same time, it’s a topic that’s a regular feature in local news, which means this content is often shared with new audiences.

4. Creative Routines, InfoWeTrust

This attractive infographic uses research to show the habits and schedules of creative thinkers from the past. It’s a stunning example of how an infographic can make data easier to understand and use.

Content creation example: Creative routines

Why Creative Routines is great content creation: Besides showing the value of InfoWeTrust’s services, this content teaches us something. It makes data that could be difficult to understand easy to consume and remember.

It’s also super shareable. People shared this infographic in the press, on blogs, and on social media. This kind of mass appeal is how brands go viral.

5. Trending Quizzes, BuzzFeed

Raise your hand if you’ve taken a Buzzfeed quiz. Quizzes are interactive, so they get your audience involved. They’re also games, and gamification is more popular than ever.

Past quizzes from this dynamic brand include:

  • Correctly Answering These 11 Logic Questions Means You Have A High IQ
  • If You’ve Read Over 28 Of These Books From Back In The Day, You’re A Proper Bookworm
  • If You Did 23/31 Things On This List As A Teen, You Were Definitely A Rebel

Each quiz is unique and appeals to a different buyer persona. At the same time, these quizzes are fun, quick, and easy to share.

Content creation example: Buzzfeed Quizzes

Why Buzzfeed quizzes are great content creation: They created design templates that made it easy for people to create and share their own quizzes. Not everyone is great with Photoshop, and these templates made quizzes great to look at. By appealing to both the mind and the eye, they broadened the appeal of their quizzes.

But what’s most important is that people talk about quizzes. When someone takes a quiz, Buzzfeed makes it easy to share the results, which continues to expand that conversation.

Start Creating

Content creation is an iterative process that pays off tremendously with your audience. Once you have the content creation process down, you’ll be able to generate creative work that not only delights your audience but also grows your business.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

content templates

The 17 Best Resume Templates for Every Type of Professional

While an eye-catching resume alone probably won’t land you your dream gig, it doesn’t hurt to put a little extra effort into how you present yourself on paper, so we’ve scoured the web for some of the best resume templates to help you stand out in a sea of Times New Roman and crowded copy.

The right resume design speaks to your skills and personality and can propel your application to the top of the stack. But finding a cool design that also fits your professional identity can be a major hassle. Applying for jobs is already hard enough.

→ Download Now: 12 Resume Templates [Free Download]

Best Resume Templates12 customizable resumes templates free download

Download 12 free, editable resume templates.

Best for Creatives

These templates emphasize the design, color, and typography skills that creatives need to show.

1. Resume Template with a Photo Background

This template from Polish designer Patryk Korycki is perfect for photographers, graphic designers, and other creatives looking to showcase a sample of their best work. It uses simple graphics to show language fluency and skill proficiency and images to represent an applicant’s interests. The template can be downloaded here for free.

Best Resume Template: photo background resume

2. Modern and Distinctive Resume Template

This design from freelancer Mohamd Hgag is an elegant take on traditional resumes. The floral illustration adds a playful element, while the two-column layout keeps everything from looking too busy or crowded. You can download this resume design here for free.

This template includes a unique font, social media handles, and space for an image so creative job seekers can personalize their resumes with a headshot or logo.Best Resume Template: modern and distinctive resume

3. Vibrant and Visual Resume Template

Alessia Curcio, a Copenhagen-based designer, gives us a perfect example of how to incorporate kaleidoscopic color without going over the top. Infographic-inspired elements help clearly display work experience and skills with minimal text.

The colorful header, footer, and accented experience slider add a bright, creative flair to this infographic resume template. This template is perfect for graphic designers, art directors, artists, and other professionals searching for positions in visual arts.

Download Curcio’s free template here.Best Resume Template: vibrant and visual resume

4. Infographic Style Resume Template

Created by digital art director and freelance designer Fernando Báez, this unique, infographic-inspired resume template helps you organize your work experience and skills into a minimal visual layout.

Báez’s template uses bold graphics to draw attention to important metrics such as years of work experience. This eye-catching template also includes a section for hobbies and interests, which sets it apart from most resume templates. This template is ideal for designers and programmers.

Báez has made the template available for free download here.

Best Resume Template: infographic style resume

Best for Freelancers

These templates emphasize the headshot photo for freelancers who might not meet their employers in person and need substantial text space and a visual to offer something memorable.

5. Resume Template with a Simple Color Accent

Adding color to a resume might seem intimidating at first, especially if you’re applying to a more traditional workplace. However, a few sophisticated pops of color can add some interest without compromising professionalism.

This template from designer Eduardo Ogawa uses bright accents to spice up the traditional layout. In addition, the template includes space for a headshot and a section for passions, letting freelancers add a unique personal touch to their resumes that sets them apart from others in their fields.

You can download it for free here.

Best Resume Template: accent color resume

6. Bold Classic Resume Template

If you’re looking for a more traditional resume template that still makes a bold impression, check out this creation from Finnish designer Mats-Peter Forss. The template includes space for a headshot and is available for free download here.

This resume template adds a personal touch without distracting from the content by including a bold black-and-white headshot. It is a good fit for freelance designers and programmers.

Best Resume Template: Bold classic resume

7. Resume Template with Pops of Primary Colors

Proof that color can be professional, this template boasts a compact, sophisticated layout and bright, colorful accents. It also has room for a substantial summary. Designer David Gómez uses this resume template himself, and he’s been generous enough to share it for free download here.

This colorful resume template is great for freelancers, who can customize it with their headshot and personal brand colors.

Best Resume Template: bold pops of color resume

Best for Recent Graduates

These templates make great use of empty space through eye-catching designs that help these candidates make a splash in their industry. They’re perfect for students who are still building experience.

8. Graphic and Adventurous Resume Template

This is not a resume template for wallflowers. Instead, it takes advantage of empty space with bold colors and an asymmetrical design that will easily draw any hiring manager’s attention.

This template is perfect for recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs as designers or artists.

The folks at Createer whipped up this daring design as part of a free resume template pack, which you can check out here.

Best Resume Template: graphic and adventurous

9. Resume Template with an Unexpected Format

If you really want to stand out in a crowded applicant pool, this resume is definitely for you.

This template uses fun icons and geometric shapes to help it stand out in the stack. It’s ideal for recent graduates. The graphics take up space and make the minimal amount of text seem to fill the page.

Graphic designer and freelance photographer Paolo Pettigiani created this bold template for his own professional use but has made it available for free download here.

Best Resume Template: unexpected format

10. Center-Aligned Resume Template

If you want to mix up your resume format without going too crazy, try a center-aligned layout, like this clean, modern design by Zohan Habib. The custom icons and colored border add a nice creative touch.

This template’s center-aligned layout helps draw your eyes down the page, making it a great choice for recent graduates who don’t have much experience. In addition, with a center-aligned layout, small amounts of text seem to fill the page and leave minimal white space.

This template is available for free download here.

Best Resume Template: Center-aligned resume

Best for Executive/Upper-Level Professionals

These templates offer ample real estate for candidates to express their deep experience in the plain but formal manner that many employers expect.

11. Black and White Resume Template

Running low on colored ink? Check out this minimal black and white template from editorial designer Bro Luthfi. The simple design is anything but boring, and the custom icons add a fun, personalized element that is sure to stand out.

This template is suited for job seekers in upper-level positions in industries such as graphic design and art direction.

You can download the free template here.

Best Resume Template: black and white resume

12. Clean and Modern Resume Template

Your resume is your first impression with a potential employer, and this template design from the team at GoaShape is modern without being too edgy.

This two-page template uses a headshot and graphics to differentiate it from other upper-level resumes. It’s ideal for professionals in creative industries.

The template pack includes a two-page resume layout and cover letter design and can be downloaded for free here.

Best Resume Template: clean and modern resume

13. Simple Professional Resume Template

The team at Career Reload serves up a simple resume template for more advanced professionals.

This sleek two-column template’s header and contact information icons give the resume a subtle pop of color that helps set it apart in the applicant pile.

Download the template for free here.

Best Resume Template: Simple professional

Best for People Changing Careers

These templates help job seekers who are changing industries organize their experience by skill rather than employer. In addition, the sections can be customized for candidates who need to show how their background can transfer.

14. Resume Template with an Organized Use of Space

When you’re trying to crunch years of work experience and a laundry list of skills onto a single sheet of paper, things tend to get crowded quickly. This template from Resume Genius invites you to simplify.

This template saves space by placing the contact information, education, and skills in a column to the right of the work experience. This allows the work experience to take up the entire length of the page.

This template is ideal for older professionals who have a lot of employment history.

Download the template here.

Best Resume Template: Minimalist resume

15. Playful and Professional Resume Template

Italian designer Martina Cavalieri created this resume template with 16 custom icons to highlight your interests and skills.

This template’s bold two-toned border and custom icons that indicate skills and interests add just enough color to its modern layout to help your resume stand out in the pile.

This resume template is perfect for job seekers who want to add a fun, colorful element to their resumes while keeping them professional.

Cavalieri offers this template for free download here.

Best Resume Template: Playful and Professional Resume

Best for Hardcore Marketers

We couldn’t help ourselves. Although every template in this blog post can work for marketers, the templates below are perfect for those who love to brand themselves.

16. Heavy Header Resume Template

“Hey, you!” That’s what I think of when I see this flashy yet classy template. Made by designer Mike Bradshaw, the resume features a variety of sections without seeming too cluttered.

This template is great for marketers who want to make a bold statement. The template’s design evokes the image of a leaflet and is sure to grab a hiring manager’s attention.

Long names might look overwhelming with this header, but it certainly does a good job conveying a breadth of information. Download it for free here.

Best Resume Template: Heavy Header Resume

17. Managerial Resume Template

This last resume was designed by the company, LiveCareer. This classic resume is great for professionals in all industries.

While LiveCareer suggests that this template appeals to people searching for managerial positions, we think it’s perfect for job seekers at all professional levels.

You can customize this template with your initials and brand colors to add a professional yet personal element to your resume that will catch the eye of hiring managers as they leaf through piles of resumes.

Build a resume with this template for free here.

Best Resume Template: Managerial Resume

Stand Out From the Crowd

A professional resume template tailored to your industry and level of experience can go a long way. Download one of our resume templates and fill out your information. Then, customize it to fit your style. You’ll be one step closer to landing your dream gig.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October, 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process

Job vacancies can cost a company an average of $500 per day.

Companies can save money, improve the quality of their hires, eliminate communication gaps, and increase accountability during the recruitment process by implementing a full-cycle recruitment strategy.

Free Download: 6 Customizable Company Profile Templates

The full-cycle recruitment process is managed by a single full-cycle recruiter or full-cycle recruiting agency.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process

full cycle recruitment process

The full-cycle recruiting process includes six stages: preparing, sourcing, screening, selecting, hiring, and onboarding.

Preparing

The first stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the preparing stage. A recruiter will begin this stage by working with a hiring manager to identify a hiring need and create a persona — a fictionalized profile of your company’s ideal candidate.

During the next step of the preparing stage, the recruiter and hiring manager will determine how much compensation a candidate will be offered. This information will be used to create a job posting that includes an overview of the role, responsibilities, salary range, benefits, and information about the company.

Sourcing

After creating a persona and job posting, a recruiter will use word-of-mouth, internal recruiting, employee referrals, social media, job boards, or career websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find jobseekers that fit the ideal candidate persona.

Screening

After finding potential candidates, a recruiter will carefully review applicants’ resumes and cover letters with the help of HR software. Then, the recruiter will perform a phone screen or on-demand interview.

For most talent acquisition leaders, resume screening is the most time-consuming and challenging part of recruitment.

Selecting

After screening and shortlisting candidates, the recruiter will determine which candidate is the best fit for the role by conducting face-to-face or virtual interviews.

A recruiter will ask candidates in-depth questions to learn more about their professional background and qualifications during a face-to-face interview. The recruiter may also have candidates complete writing assignments or a series of tasks to prove they are a good choice for the position.

Once the recruiter selects the best candidate, they will check the candidate’s references or order a background check.

Hiring

The hiring stage is the most important of the process.

After choosing the best candidate for the role, the recruiter will contact the candidate with an official job offer and may have to negotiate the terms of the offer. The candidate may feel more comfortable receiving a job offer from the full-cycle recruiter rather than the hiring manager because the recruiter has been the candidate’s primary contact throughout the hiring process.

Onboarding

The final stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the onboarding stage. During the onboarding stage of the process, a hire is integrated into the company. The full-cycle recruiter will familiarize the new hire with the company culture and team members using a welcoming orientation or introductory path.

1. Identify the ideal candidate for the role.

A candidate persona is a description of your ideal applicant. Creating a candidate persona will help your recruiter choose the best applicant for the role by honing in on the criteria that your ideal candidate should meet.

To create a persona, start by asking yourself questions about your ideal candidate to identify their skills, qualifications, experience, education, and background. For example, what industry do they currently work in? Do they hold the role that you are hiring for? What are their professional goals? What work environment do they thrive in?

Once you have answered the questions, interview managers at your business who would oversee your ideal candidate and ask about the skills that would help employees thrive in the role. Use the managers’ recommendations to help craft your ideal candidate’s persona.

2. Find potential candidates.

Create advertisements that target jobseekers who fit your ideal candidate persona. Post the advertisements to social media websites and job boards such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to reach potential candidates searching for new positions.

You can also use promotions and transfers to recruit existing employees who may qualify for the position. Internal recruiting can help your company reduce onboarding time, boost morale, and save time and money.

3. Review candidates’ resumes and cover letters.

Use applicant tracking software (ATS) to scan applicants’ resumes and cover letters for criteria that matches your ideal candidate persona, such as education, years of experience, and previous job titles.

If you are reviewing resumes and cover letters manually, scan each resume for keywords that match the open position. Next, separate them into 3 categories: resumes that do not meet the criteria for the position, resumes that meet some of the criteria, and resumes that meet all of the criteria. Double-check the resumes in each category.

Place the candidates that are closest to your company’s ideal candidate persona on a shortlist.

4. Conduct face-to-face or virtual interviews with shortlisted candidates.

Interviewing shortlisted candidates can help you find the best fit for the job. By interviewing candidates, you can learn more about their experiences and qualifications, their potential to fit into your company culture, and their soft skills, such as how they perform under pressure.

Conducting standardized interviews can also help you view candidates objectively and prevent bias in the hiring process.

5. Contact the best candidate with an official job offer.

After conducting interviews, extend an official job offer to the best candidate. Indeed recommends contacting the candidate by phone the same day as their final interview or within one day of making your decision.

Benefits of Full-Cycle Recruiting

Full-cycle recruiting improves the efficiency of the hiring process in five key ways:

Faster Hiring

The full-cycle recruiting process reduces time-to-hire, making the recruitment process more efficient. Time-to-hire is a measure of the time between when a candidate enters the pipeline and when they are officially hired. A shortened time-to-hire reduces the risk of a company losing out on highly qualified candidates that may be simultaneously interviewing at other companies.

Streamlined Strategy

Using a full-cycle recruiting strategy streamlines the recruitment process. It eliminates delays caused by communication gaps because the process is handled by a single recruiter or agency that can construct a simple strategy and follow it through to the end.

Improved Quality of Hire

Quality of hire measures the value a new hire contributes to a company’s overall success. Improving the quality of hire increases employee engagement, improves job satisfaction and productivity levels, and decreases turnover costs.

A full-cycle recruiter implements a more personalized and thorough process than a traditional recruiter. As a result, full-cycle recruiting improves the quality of hire by precisely identifying the best candidate for a position.

Increased Accountability

Because one person manages the entire full-cycle recruiting process, all of the successes and failures of the process are their responsibility. The recruiter benefits from this responsibility because they can’t lose a candidate due to someone else’s mistakes.

Improved Communication

In full-cycle recruiting, candidates remain in communication with a single person throughout the hiring process. Therefore, the process alleviates any possible concerns a candidate may have about delays caused by miscommunication between hiring personnel.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process Results

A well-executed full-cycle recruiting process will result in an employee who feels prepared on their first day. This is all thanks to a full-cycle recruiter who guided them through the recruitment process, maintained communication, and provided necessary information about the job position and the company.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

How Video Can Humanize Your Brand in 2022 & Other Insights from Wistia’s CEO

One of the main things we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to how people consume content is that they want to be entertained in different ways.

Consumers want the convenience of being able to consume content where they spend the most time, and on their own terms. If your brand doesn’t give consumers this option, then you’re missing out on a big fraction of your audience — that’s where the powerful tool of video comes into play.

In our recent 2022 State of Video Report, we found that people were watching more videos than ever before in 2020 as many spent extended periods of time at home due to the pandemic. But even more shockingly, as the world opened up and employment rates rose, consumers watched even more video content.

With all this talk about video, you may be wondering a few things: What length should my video be? How do I create videos that stick? And where should I promote my videos?

In other words: What’s the best video marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond? 

HubSpot Blog Research surveyed 518 video marketers in the U.S., Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and the U.K. to find out about their goals and strategies going into 2022. Let’s dive into what you need to know so you can make your next, or first, video strategy a success.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

What is the optimal length of a marketing video?

Short and sweet is generally a safe strategy — especially if your company is just starting to use video. According to 36% of video marketers, the optimal length of a marketing video is one to three minutes.

optimal marketing video length according to HubSpot research

If you’re new to video, starting with short-form videos will help you get a feel for what resonates with your audience and where you can add the most value.

Consumers are inundated with videos, so it’s critical to create meaningful content that can be consumable within a few minutes. Shorter videos are great for establishing an initial connection where you can introduce your brand or product. For instance, a snappy video showcasing a product feature can build interest and anticipation before a product launch.

We know that time, resources, and cost are three major barriers to creating videos.

The solution? Shorter videos — they are less time-consuming, perfect for various platforms (like social media), and typically cheaper to produce.

Short-form videos lead in usage (58%), ROI, lead generation, and engagement. So, if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, then shorter videos are the way to go. In fact, 83% say the optimal length is under 60 seconds.optimal length of short-form video hubspot research

Believe it or not, longer videos are also on the rise. With more brands planning to create original branded series, product-specific demos, case studies, and customer stories this year, it’s important to find what works best for your company and audience.

What people are willing to watch is correlated to how connected they are to your brand or video topic. Don’t underestimate how much time someone will spend with your brand.

People who want to learn more about your company or product will do so through long-form video content, such as a webinar.

Yes, shorter videos will be the most leveraged form of video this year, but don’t take creating long-form video content completely off the table.

Which social media channels should your content live on?

Most B2B marketers often don’t take a video-first approach when it comes to their social media strategy.

But here’s why you should.

Social media is the top channel used to share marketing videos (76%) and has the biggest ROI by far. Incorporating video into your social media strategy differentiates your brand and can bring your brand’s story to life in ways that other content can’t.

So, what social platform(s) should you use? Begin by identifying your business and marketing goals. Once you have those set, nail down your strategy by figuring out how video will meet those goals. This will help give your video strategy a framework and determine which social media channel can tell your story.

For example, while Instagram is the top social media platform for ROI, engagement, and lead generation for marketing videos, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your brand. Figuring out what social platforms to use depends on whether your brand is B2B or B2C, and what type of video you want to create.

Customer stories or case studies might do really well on a landing page, whereas company culture videos would do really well on LinkedIn.

For B2B, LinkedIn and Twitter – my personal favorite social channels – are good places to start. You may gradually incorporate other platforms into your social media strategy, but if you aren’t engaging on LinkedIn and Twitter, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

If you’re B2C, you should be on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Do video marketers create videos in-house or with an agency? 

Have I convinced you yet that your brand needs to start using video? If your answer is yes, you may be wondering if you should try and create videos yourself or hire an agency.

While nearly half (49%) of video marketers create videos both in-house and with an agency, it can be tough to figure out what route you should take.

do marketers create videos in-house according to hubspot research

If you’re thinking about doing video in-house, you need to figure out what types of video and how many you want to create for your business.

Maybe you want a video that answers frequently asked questions or one to onboard new users. These types of videos don’t always need the flashiness of a branded series. Doing videos in-house can help save you money and empower your team to get involved. And, there are certainly many DIY resources to help you create video in-house.

You may even have employees who have video experience and can help pitch in. HubSpot’s report found that 69% of video marketers own their video equipment.

do marketers rent video equipment or own according to hubspotAdditionally, we found that most companies use their own in-house video experts to create video content on a weekly or monthly basis. Other companies rely on a mix of talent, calling on freelance help and video production agencies to fill in the gaps.

Agencies that specialize in marketing videos are certainly worthwhile if you are looking to create an array of public-facing video content. Zeroing in on an area of your business where video can make a big splash will help the agency tailor a video strategy that meets your goals.

I suspect that companies are going to invest more of their time in creating in-house videos in the coming years — but most of these videos will be created by people whose job isn’t strictly focused on video.

Whether it’s someone on your design team creating a product tutorial or your CEO leading a webinar, there will be an uptick in businesses that leverage internal resources to create their video content. The good thing is that there is countless video editing software that your company can use.

According to HubSpot’s Blog Research, Adobe Premiere Pro (36%) and iMovie (18%) are the most popular video editing software, but you’ll definitely want to explore all your options.    

best video editing software according to hubspot research

Thinking about doing more in-house video content? Make sure you have the right amount of people helping with your video content.

The majority of marketers (45%) have two to five people on dedicated video marketing teams; with another 37% reporting six to 10 on a dedicated video marketing team, and 15% reporting 10 or more employees on a video marketing team.

While this is dependent on your business and where you are in your video journey, it’s important that you have a solid in-house team that can handle the amount of video that you intend to put out there.

How do you create better videos? 

The most important factors for creating an effective marketing video are effectively promoting your video (36%), capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds (36%), and keeping your videos short/concise (33%).

All marketers want their videos to be successful — but what your audience takes away from your video content is perhaps the most important.

most effective factors for creating video content according to hubspot

As an example, let’s say your video isn’t getting enough clicks. You need to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes and figure out why they didn’t engage with your video. More times than not, they aren’t getting what they expected.

To solve for this, you’ll want to ensure your video thumbnail is encouraging people to click your video. Your thumbnail offers a first impression of your video, so make sure you use it to tell potential viewers what your video is about.

Interest wanes as viewers get distracted or realize the video isn’t for them. The best way to grab the attention of viewers is to hook them the moment the video starts. For example, the John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum trailer tells viewers the title of the movie within the first few seconds rather than saving it to the end.  

You also need to approach video creation similar to how a journalist writes a news article — where the first line is the entire crux of the story — rather than approaching a video as a movie. It’s often better to put what consumers need to know upfront.

Once you’ve created a dynamic video that grabs viewers’ attention, it’s time to start thinking about promotion. While the most effective video promotion strategy is promoting on social media (63%), there are other effective, and fun, ways to get the most out of your video.

future of video according to wistia cofounder

Placing videos in unexpected places

Ever click a link and wind up on a 404 error page? This can be frustrating for the consumer, but use this as an opportunity for your brand. Making your 404 pages friendly and helpful to avoid deterring potential customers can go a long way. Add videos to these pages to help guide viewers back to the main page and highlight your products in a non-intrusive way.

Creative looping videos or videos of team mascots can help customers feel connected to your brand. If you’ve ever found yourself on a 404 error page on the Wistia site, chances are you have seen our team mascot Lenny:

wistia 401 page leading to a videoEmail signatures are another great place to add videos. Adding video to your employees’ email signature can really make your brand memorable and can capture the attention of new customers. A personalized video connecting them to your brand in an email signature can really go a long way in building trust and loyalty.

What type of videos will brands start making in the future?

Video content showcasing your products/services is the most leveraged type of content and has the highest ROI, according to 66% of those who use it. Content that reflects your brand’s values is the second most leveraged type of video content. With this in mind, you need to figure out how you want to portray your brand within the content.

Do you want it to be relatable? Would adding a nostalgic element to your video add value? Asking yourself these questions will help kickstart the video process. Trendy, funny, and interactive content all have high ROI and can boost engagement.

Nostalgic content and user-generated content (UGC) consistently rank in the least popular types of video content, though nostalgic content will still see 19% of video marketers using it for the first time this year, compared to 3% for UGC.

Let’s face it, millennials are becoming the decision-makers. Marketers need to focus on incorporating emotional elements into the content they produce. Topics that harken back to millennial youth, like Saturday morning cartoons, is a great way to instill nostalgia and emotionally connect with viewers.

future of video according to wistia ceo

What comes next?

Once you make a video and feel confident, you have the power to make more. As companies invest in video, I predict they’ll put out more short, authentic, niche, and relatable content. Why? Because this type of content is what consumers crave. Video helps to humanize your brand and makes consumers feel like they can relate to you.

Brands need to figure out how to not only educate, but also entertain. With so many brands competing for viewers’ attention, it’s up to you to keep people coming back to your brand. With the right video strategy, you’ll be able to achieve strong, lasting relationships with your audience.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

What is Employee Engagement? [+11 Data-Backed Benefits and Strategies]

If you’re playing along with buzzword bingo, you’ve heard the term “employee engagement.” But it would be a mistake to dismiss it as just a buzzword. Ignoring engagement costs the global economy 8.1 trillion dollars each year, according to a study by Gallup.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. Improving employee engagement can boost profitability, improve customer satisfaction, and even make for a safer workplace.

Design and document a culture code for your business with the help of this  free template. 

Read on to learn what employee engagement is and what factors affect it. Then discover 11 strategies for improving employee engagement at your workplace.

Engagement means that employees:

  • Know what they contribute toward their team’s success.
  • Work toward their company’s goals and values.
  • Are connected to and supported in their role.
  • Look for ways to learn and grow in their role.

Employee engagement isn’t the same as job satisfaction or employee happiness. Although those ideas are a part of the equation, employee engagement speaks to motivation. An engaged employee invests time, energy, and talent to benefit their team and company.

As Kayla Marchetti – engagement manager for Seismic – puts it, “I want any individual who joins us to feel passionate about our mission and work, to feel a sense of belonging, and to know they have opportunities to grow and develop their career here.”

On the inside, engagement embodies feelings like purpose, trust, and autonomy. On the outside, it looks like a collection of behaviors and attitudes. Let’s take a look at some examples to better understand what these behaviors look like.

Examples of different levels of employee engagement

Employee Engagement Examples

Employee engagement isn’t a switch that gets turned on or off. It exists on a spectrum from highly engaged, to non-engaged, to actively disengaged. Most employees will fall somewhere in between, and their level of engagement can change over time.

Here are some examples of how engagement can show up. For each example, we’ll also highlight a stat showing how many employees fall within that engagement group, as per the Gallup study we noted in the introduction:

36% of US workers were highly engaged in 2021

Highly Engaged [36% of U.S. workers in 2021]

  • Enthusiastic about their work
  • Helps out co-workers
  • Gives extra effort when needed
  • Seeks out new responsibilities and learning opportunities

49% of US employees were non-engaged in 2021

Non-Engaged [49% of U.S. workers in 2021]

  • Relatively satisfied with their job, but not committed
  • Will do what they need to, but not more
  • May have a 9-to-5 attitude
  • Could be at risk of accepting a new job opportunity

15% of US employees were disengaged in 2021

Disengaged [15% of U.S. workers in 2021]

  • Complains to co-workers (and possibly customers, too)
  • May damage company culture and office morale
  • Unwilling to join in social activities
  • Likely looking for a new job

It may be tempting to think of these behaviors as personality traits, but they may say more about your company culture instead. Even star employees can become disengaged if they don’t have clear expectations and the resources to do their job well.

Why is employee engagement important?

“You can have the best services and best team, but if you don’t have engaged and enthused employees it won’t matter,” says Maryanne McWhirter, Sr. Inbound Marketing and Sales Consultant for LeadG2.

There’s no aspect of your business that isn’t affected by employee engagement. Your employees are the engine that makes your business function. And when those employees feel invested and respected, that engine performs at its best.

“The experience an employee has at your company soon translates to employee sentiment, which drives company culture over time. Company culture impacts your employer and consumer brand in a big way, so if we want happy, engaged customers who stay loyal, we have to implement that same strategy with our employees first.” ~ Leanne Poirier, Manager of Internal Communications at ZoomInfo

That’s why decades of data from Gallup show the following benefits of employee engagement:

Why is employee engagement important?

1. 10% Higher Customer Loyalty

From sales to service, highly-engaged employees deliver a great customer experience.

Again, Kayla from Seismic tells us “When we do [employee engagement] well, we can attract, develop, and retain the best talent, which means our customers are more likely to be well-served.”

2. 23% Higher Profitability

It makes sense that higher customer loyalty would lead to increased sales and reduced service costs. But highly-engaged employees also reduce costs associated with turnover, absenteeism, and injury.

3. 18% Boost in Productivity

When employees feel connected to their work, they work harder. They’re also more likely to go above and beyond their daily tasks. Engaged employees are more likely to suggest new ideas and innovate new processes.

4. Up to 43% Less Turnover

Highly-engaged employees feel recognized and rewarded. They understand their growth potential and see development opportunities ahead.

On the flip side, the Gallup study also shows that 74% of disengaged employees were actively looking for new employment.

5. 64% Fewer Workplace Accidents

It’s easy to get complacent about routine tasks, which can lead to carelessness. But when employees are engaged they focus on the work they’re doing. They’re also more aware of their surroundings, and more likely to follow safety rules.

6. 81% Lower Absenteeism

Whether because of increased drive or decreased burnout, engaged employees are more likely to show up.

This doesn’t mean normal sick-days or personal time. Absenteeism refers to habitual and intentional unscheduled absences. The kind that, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), reduces productivity by 36.6% as co-workers take on added work.

How to Measure Employee Engagement

Measuring employee engagement can be difficult because it’s a subjective experience. To get a full picture, you need to pay attention to both the quantitative and qualitative signs.

    • Seek ongoing feedback. Individual conversations are one of the most powerful ways to discover engagement levels. Ask if your employees feel valued. If they understand their growth potential. If they have the resources they need to do their job.
  • Find your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). Your eNPS is a great way to get a snapshot of employee sentiment. This is especially helpful when you also give your employees a chance to say why they gave the score they did.
  • Watch your rates of absenteeism and turnover. Spikes in these metrics are common symptoms of low engagement, and a sure sign something has gone wrong.
  • Do exit interviews/stay interviews. Exit interviews can be a good source of candid and honest feedback. Just be sure these interviews aren’t the first time you’re asking these kinds of questions.

How to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement should be thought of as an ongoing process, like developing your company culture. Engagement isn’t about ping-pong tables and casual Fridays. There are no quick fixes, so think about the full picture instead.

Marchetti of Seismic, tells us, “Our goal is to create an environment that supports and encourages our people to do their best work every day.”

With that in mind, here are some strategies to consider for improving employee engagement:

1. Start with a plan.

Poirier from Zoominfo suggests, “Taking the time to ask questions like ‘Who is our typical employee? What does their work-life balance look like? What challenges do they face? What do they need and what do they want?’ We know good marketing strategies lead to increased revenue; employee experience works the same way. When companies treat their employees with the same thought and care they do with customers, everybody wins.”

2. Communicate clear expectations.

Engaged employees understand their tasks, responsibilities, and goals. More than that, they understand how those things fit into the wider company goals. That understanding can only come from leadership.

This means holding goal-setting meetings, performance reviews, one-on-ones, and regular, ongoing feedback.

3. Provide the knowledge and tools they need to do their job.

This may seem like common sense to some, but many times employees are only given enough information or resources to do the next task. Sharing knowledge and access empowers employees to contribute beyond their to-do list.

4. Give them trust and autonomy.

Trust and autonomy go hand-in-hand. When employees feel trusted enough to work autonomously, they feel like their skills and contributions are valued. This fosters a sense of responsibility and satisfaction toward their work.

5. Offer ongoing training and development opportunities.

Developing new skills encourages employees to think of their role in terms of a career. Investing in new skill training encourages them to think of that career within your organization.

Workplace training programs help to engage and retain employees. This can take the form of an education stipend, internal training programs, peer-to-peer training, lunch-and-learns, and more.

6. Provide a clear growth path.

Having a roadmap for career growth helps create a sense of purpose at work. Managers should have regular discussions about career goals and development with their employees.

This is especially true for younger generations. A study published in the Journal of Leadership in Organizations found that 91% of Millennials valued discussion about career progression as early as during recruitment.

7. Be transparent about compensation.

According to PayScale’s survey of over 500,000 employees, pay fairness and transparency were more important than market value.

Put another way: believing their pay was determined fairly had a greater impact on employee engagement than being paid more.

8. Start employee recognition programs.

Everyone wants to be recognized when they do good work. Whether it’s a few kind words or a small perk, public recognition can go a long way toward boosting engagement.

Design a program that highlights behaviors that align with your company values. This not only encourages those behaviors but helps to show that your values aren’t just a slogan.

Pro Tip: Rewards can be difficult to coordinate with remote employees. Third-party vendors make it easier to distribute incentives. We like personalized swag from companies like Reachdesk that give a human touch to your gifting. Or virtual gift cards from services like Rybbon, because cash is always a welcome bonus.

9. Start peer recognition programs.

Peer recognition programs are a great way to create a sense of community and collaboration. They also help to celebrate successes that may otherwise go unseen by management.

One lightweight solution is to make an outlet for public kudos. Matthew Stibbe, CEO of Articulate Marketing suggests, “Set up a ‘validation channel’ in Slack or Teams and encourage your colleagues to use it to recognise great work across the business. Peer and manager recognition can be very motivating.”

You can also give your employees the power of perks. At HubSpot, each employee has a quarterly opportunity to nominate a teammate that’s helped them in some way. The nominated employee gets a monetary bonus and the knowledge that their help was valued.

10. Create social outlets.

62% of employees with one to five work friends would reject an outside offer, according to SHRM’s Workforce study. Creating a sense of community and belonging is a powerful driver of engagement.

It’s even more important for remote employees who may not have daily positive interactions with co-workers.

“In the remote world we’re living in, a great way to create the employee experience is through building a virtual community and destination for the employee base. Company intranets are often outdated and overlooked, but when given the right resources, they’re an exceptional tool for employee connection and helping your employee engagement program reach its potential,” adds Leane Poirier from ZoomInfo.

Here are a few ideas for virtual socialization to get you started:

  • Shared virtual activities. Think wine-and-design, book clubs, or even Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Optional drop-in “water cooler” meetings. No talking about work allowed.
  • Slack channels dedicated to shared interests. HubSpot has hundreds of Slack channels, for everything from pet pictures to true crime podcasts.

Just be sure to make these activities optional. Nothing ruins the mood like mandatory fun.

11. Seek ongoing feedback.

Communication should be a two-way street. Listening to your employees– and then acting on that feedback– makes them more likely to contribute.

Upward reviews, employee surveys, and feedback discussions should be regular features. Be receptive to, and transparent about, the feedback you receive.

Again, be sure to act on it. Few things destroy employee engagement faster than making them feel ignored.

12. Prove It.

Any company can say they live their values, but can they prove it? Outside frameworks like B corp certification or ‘Investors in People’ accreditation show where your priorities are.

Stibbe from Articulate Marketing points out, “The best people want to work in companies that reflect their own values and priorities. If you want to engage employees, you need to show them what you believe in. Words matter. Commitment is important. But in our experience, externally-audited standards such as B Corp and Investors in People are essential to set objective standards and demonstrate our progress towards them. It’s not just words. It’s proof.”

Getting Engaged.

There’s a lot to consider here, but you don’t have to do it all on day one. Choose a few strategies and commit to taking action. Be upfront with your employees about your engagement goals, and then share the progress you’re making.

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

15 of the Best Public Relations Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Journalists crave juicy stories and viral marketing campaigns, but standing out in a sea of conventional pitches is one of the biggest challenges for any public relations professional.

When you need a dose of inspiration, it can be helpful to explore the most compelling PR plays in recent years. To save you some time, we curated a list of the absolute best of the best to get the creativity flowing for your next campaign.

Download Now: Free Press Release Template

Read on to get inspired by some of the best minds in public relations.

1. Spotify: Wrapped

public relations example: Spotify Wrapped

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Spotify’s Wrapped campaign has quickly turned into a viral, end-of-year event. Since 2016, the streaming app has provided each user with a “wrap up” of their listening habits which are delivered in colorful, eye-catching graphics. Naturally, you can share your stats on different platforms, like Instagram and TikTok.

Spotify’s Wrapped is not just another marketing campaign— it’s a viral, multi-platform, FOMO-inducing social campaign. It’s highly personal, relevant, and shareable. It’s this winning combination that its rivals, namely Apple and YouTube, haven’t been able to recreate.

2. Subway: Eat Fresh Refresh

For the longest time, Subway has rolled out countless marketing campaigns featuring its trusty tagline, Eat Fresh! But now, in light of changes to both its brand and menu, a new campaign has emerged, fittingly titled “Eat Fresh Refresh.” The campaign includes many sports stars, like Steph Curry and Serena Williams, who lend their humor to promote Subway’s new meal options.

In one commercial, Tom Brady pulls a loaf of bread from an oversized perfume bottle. “Smells so good, you can almost taste it,” he narrates. It’s a humorous take on the moody, often confusing perfume ads – while highlighting Subway’s new ingredients and options.

3. HostelWorld: Even Divas are Believers

Traveling the world can give you some of the best experiences of your life, but it can also thrust you into situations that you’ll want to scrub from your memory, like staying the night in a hostel. There are countless hostel horror stories online and hundreds of videos that mock their hospitality scattered throughout social media — so needless to say, they don’t have the best reputation.

But HostelWorld, a hostel booking website, decided to team up with Mariah Carey to freshen up their image and showcase the pleasant reality of staying in a modern day hostel. Together, they blasted through affordable accommodation stereotypes by spotlighting the lesser known luxuries of hostels like having access to the same facilities as more expensive accommodations, but at a cheaper price, and being able to connect with other fellow travelers.

HostelWorld’s message is simple: if hostels are nice enough for divas like Mariah Carey, then they’re nice enough for everyone..

4. Lego: Rebuild the World

According to Lego, rebuilding the world starts with a single (lego) brick. It’s a powerful message for those rebuilding their lives following several tumultuous years — and one delivered by a company that believes in building, experimenting, and breaking the rules. 

This campaign is not only well-timed, but it effectively presents its products in such a way that goes beyond their basic functionality.

5. Dove: #TheSelfieTalk

When it comes to creating positive brand associations, Dove is in a class of its own. For example, its #TheSelfieTalk campaign takes a poignant look at the pressure young girls feel to look “perfect” — and the lengths they take to appear this way online.

It’s one of many campaigns by Dove that explores how the beauty industry impacts women’s self-esteem and body image. As a result, the brand is often associated with positivity, self love, and confidence.

6. Ikea: #StayHome

During periods of lockdowns, Ikea wanted customers to see their homes from a new perspective. Enter the #StayHome campaign, a love letter to our homes, and all the life moments that happen there. It reframes the idea that our home is a place we’re trapped in, to a place of warmth, shelter, and growth. It’s a message of hope that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

7. Stabilo Boss: Highlight the Remarkable

There have been remarkable women throughout history that might not have been celebrated as they should have been. Stabilo Boss — the company that sells highlighter pens — started a campaign to highlight these women and their incredible accomplishments. 

stabilo-square

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Stabilo took famous black-and-white photos from historical moments and drew a yellow highlight line to showcase the woman in the photo that made it all happen. The Boss PR campaign highlighted women like Katharine Johnson, the NASA mathematician responsible for the calculations that sent Apollo 11 to the moon. Other examples include Nobel Prize winner Lise Meitner and First Lady Edith Wilson.

The campaign blew up on social media and went on to win multiple awards.

8. Logitech: BS Detection Spoof

Hours after April Fools Day, almost every marketing publication rounds up the best spoofs, pranks, and stunts that distracted everyone at work that day. One of the funniest spoofs that earned a spot in all the major roundups this year was Logitech’s fake Business Speak Detection product video. By giving their product a punny, yet subtly accurate name, the video pokes fun at most businesses’ obsession and overuse of buzzwords. But it also has the feel of a real product overview, which makes it even more hilarious.

9. Old Spice: Paper Blazer Ad

public relations example: old spice

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When Fragrance brands advertise in magazines, they usually show off their aromas by drenching an ad with their latest cologne or perfume. But Old Spice realized people usually don’t enjoy unexpectedly pungent scents violating their nostrils when they’re flipping through their favorite magazine.

So, in typical Old Spice fashion, they gently ribbed other fragrance brands by inserting a paper blazer doused in their new cologne, Captain, in their print ad in GQ magazine. Then they wrote about how these paper blazers can help men attract attention not only with trendy style, but also with masculine smell. The only drawback of the blazer is that it’ll turn into papier-mâché on you in the rain.

Humor and cleverness is one of the best ways to appeal to your audience and gain earned media attention, and it seems like Old Spice can leverage them both on any marketing channel.

10. Star Wars: Passing the Box-Office Baton to The Avengers

Avengers: Infinity War recently shattered Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ record for the biggest opening weekend ever by grossing over $250 million. LucasFilm, the studio that created and produced Star Wars, wasn’t bitter though.

Instead, they were proud of their friends over at Marvel Studios, and sent them a heartwarming congratulatory tweet. By applauding them for their incredible accomplishment, and not sulking about their broken record, Star Wars earned the respect of movie lovers everywhere — not to mention some media coverage for the gesture.

11. Johnnie Walker: Jane Walker

public relations example: jane walker

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To promote gender equality and honor the many achievements of women throughout history, Johnnie Walker launched a female version of its whisky on International Women’s Day called Jane Walker. The limited-edition bottle featured a woman on their iconic logo, instead of a man, which connected the brand to individuals who also support their commitment to social progress.

In March 2018, Johnnie Walker released 250,000 bottles of Jane Walker, and for every bottle sold, they donated $1 to organizations that empower women. This tangible impact helped their campaign gain even more support and publicity.

12. AirBnB & BBC Earth: Night at Blue Planet II

Blue Planet II is considered the greatest nature series of all time, with its first episode attracting over 14 million viewers and earning the title of Britain’s highest rated TV show in 2017. Watching the show can almost place you into the habitat they’re filming, but BBC Earth wanted to take things to the next level for their biggest fans: they offered them a chance to experience what it’s like to be a researcher and filmmaker for Blue Planet II.

To do so, they teamed up with AirBnB to run a contest for their members, and two lucky winners got to spend three days and two nights in the Bahamas on the research and exploration vessel used in the show’s filming. During their expedition, they lived with and discussed work with researchers and dove deep into the Atlantic Ocean in a submarine with filmmakers to observe some of nature’s most unique underwater wildlife. By offering a once in a lifetime opportunity, BBC Earth could get more people to watch their hit show, and AirBnB could build their brand affinity.

13. SpaceX & Tesla: SpaceX Sends a Tesla into Outer Space

Everyone knows Elon Musk wants to send humans to Mars. So when SpaceX launched their newest rocket, Falcon Heavy, into space, it made some headlines. But when the Falcon Heavy suddenly shot a cherry-red Tesla Roadster blasting David Bowie’s 1971 hit “Life on Mars?” into orbit, it was being called the greatest automotive PR stunt in history.

The car will now float between Earth and Mars for millions of years, and serve as reminder for current and future generations to always reach for the stars. The success of both launches also improved SpaceX and Falcon Heavy’s reputation. Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket on earth, so it’s realistic to say it can launch heavy satellites and future space stations into orbit, shuttle cargo to Mars, and even transport humans to the moon. And that’s exactly what Elon Musk needs the public to think if he wants to accomplish his ambitious goals.

14. State Street Global Advisors: Fearless Girl

On the morning of International Women’s Day, the world woke up to find a four-foot high statue of a girl across from the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in New York. She is standing tall and brave, hands on her hips, in a dress and high top converse. 

Fearless Girl, as she is called, was commissioned by the investment management firm State Street Global Advisors as a part of their campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards. By standing up to Charging Bull, she is standing up for gender diversity on Wall Street. 

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Some argue that the girl’s defiance toward the bull — and male-dominated corporate boardrooms more generally — is controversial. There has been lots of pushback to the statue, but in general, this PR campaign received widespread support for the women’s movement and diversity in the workplace and remains outside the New York Stock Exchange.

15. ALS Association: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

A few years ago, videos of people dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads flooded social media, now known as the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral sensation of 2.4 million videos was a way to raise awareness of a neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The idea was to raise money for the ALS Association and research on the disease. 

The viral challenged raised more than $115 million dollars, with almost $80 million going towards research. The campaign was a massive success — awareness and funding for ALS has skyrocketed, all thanks to millions of people giving themselves brain freeze.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Video Marketing Report [Data from 500+ Video Marketers]

More than ever, social media channels are putting video content front and center on their feeds, as audiences increasingly turn to TikTok, Reels, and live videos to be entertained, discover products, and even learn about exciting new brands.

And for marketers, leveraging video not only offers the highest ROI of any media format, but it plays a key role in helping marketers exceed their goals.

To learn more about the top strategies and opportunities in video marketing today, we surveyed over 500 professionals that specialize in this field. Immediately, the effectiveness of video marketing became obvious.

video marketing effectiveness graphic

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

But where in the world of video marketing should you focus your efforts first? To help you determine your next steps, we gained insights from video marketers about all sorts of topics and tactics including:

Let’s dive in.

Video Marketing Survey Findings

Video Marketing Benchmarks

If no one sees your video, was it even worth making?

We first asked video marketers how many views their videos get on average. Here’s what we found:

  • 38% of marketing videos average less than 10K views
  • 16% average under 1,000 views
  • 16% average over 100K views

But views aren’t the only metric marketers track. There’s a long list of data points you could be keeping your eyes on, so let’s take a look at which are the best measure of your video’s performance.

The Most Prioritized Video Marketing Metrics

Once you begin to get views, you’ll also want to build on your strategy by looking at and improving on a few other metrics.

Among video marketers, video engagement, conversion rate, and click-through rate are among a handful of other KPIs marketers look at, with engagement rate being prioritized by 60% of marketers, and conversion and click-through rates being a focus of 56% and 52% of marketers respectively.

most important video marketing metrics

Below, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the importance of each major metric.

1. Engagement Rate

According to 60% of video marketers, engagement is the most important metric to watch. After all, when a video sees high engagement, that means it is resonating with your audience enough to make them want to drop a like, write a comment, or share it with their friends.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate comes in at #2 and can be a great indicator of how successful your video is at getting viewers to take the desired action.

3. Click-through Rate Speaks to Your Thumbnail and Title/Caption

Click-through rate (CTR) comes in at #4 and can tell you how effective your thumbnail is at getting people to watch the video in the first place. Before watching a video, your audience is also seeing the title or caption attached to it, which your CTR will also reflect.

4. Follower and Subscriber Growth

If you are gaining followers/subscribers from a video, that means it’s resonating with viewers and they want to see more from your brand. 

If one of your videos grows your following more than usual, try to think about what set this video apart from the rest and replicate it. Also, check your analytics for helpful information on how these new subscribers/followers found your video. How can you keep providing them with valuable content?

5. Average View Time

Average view duration is key to understanding which parts of your video are highly engaging and which sections needed more work or should have been cut out entirely. While the overall average can offer useful insights when comparing similar-length videos, if possible, check the percentage of viewers watching at key moments throughout the video.

For example, if a high percentage of viewers stick around through the introduction, you successfully hooked them. However, if you see a huge dropoff halfway through, the video may have been too long.

Speaking of video length, we also asked video marketers how long a marketing video should be. Let’s take a look at what they told us.

How Long Should a Marketing Video Be?

A whopping 96% of marketers agree that the optimal length of a marketing video is under 10 minutes.

the optimal length for marketing videosBeyond that, opinions start to differ, with the largest chunk of them (36%) saying videos should be between 1-3 minutes, while 27% think the sweet spot is between 4-6 minutes. Another 16% say the optimal video length is under 60 seconds. On the other hand 15% advocate for videos between 7-9 minutes long.

At the end of the day, the length of your video will largely depend on which type of video best suits your goals. So let’s dive into video marketers’ top goals in 2022.

Video Marketing Goals

The top three video marketing goals include increasing revenue (focused on by 33% of respondents(, raising brand awareness and advertising products/services (with 32% of marketers focusing on each).

More than one-fourth of marketers are also focused on improving customers’ understanding of products/services, while 23% want to improve customer service and retention with video.

top video marketing goals in 2022

As I mentioned at the very start, our survey shows video marketing is highly effective for reaching all of these goals, so let’s dive into some of the strategies video marketers are using to succeed.

Video Marketing Strategies

The Top Tactics for Creating Effective Videos

The most important factors for creating effective marketing videos are effectively promoting your video, capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds, and keeping your videos short/concise.

most important video content factors

Why Video Promotion Is Key

It can be tempting to dedicate all of your time to crafting the “perfect” video with slick edits, high production value, and an irresistible thumbnail. While these things are important, they lose their power without effective video promotion.  

In fact, in a recent trends survey, we found that 78% of consumers say it is more important for marketing videos to be authentic and relatable than polished and high-quality. That doesn’t mean you should neglect video/audio quality, but it isn’t going to make or break a video’s success.

whats most important when watching videos

On the other hand, ineffectively promoting your video can cause your video to flop, so let’s take a look at a few strategies video marketers use to make sure that doesn’t happen.

How to Promote a Marketing Video

The most effective video promotion strategies are sharing them on social media, adding videos to your website/blog, running paid ads for your videos, optimizing your title/description for search, and integrating videos into your email campaigns.

top video promotion strategies

Whichever channels you choose for video promotion, remember that simply sharing a video isn’t enough. Effective video promotion begins before a video is even complete and continues long after a video is published.

For example, if your video is going live on YouTube in the next 24 hours, hop on Instagram and start a countdown on your story. Share the thumbnail and title 3-5 hours before the video drops to generate more interest. Prepare a teaser to hook viewers in and share that on social media as soon as your video releases.

Once the video is out, you can run an interactive poll related to your video on social media to engage your core audience and pique the interest of those who haven’t seen it yet. You can also set up an email campaign to go out announcing your video a few hours later, or add a banner to your website linking to the video.

Lastly, make sure to continue promoting when the opportunity arises. For example, if you see a Reddit or Twitter thread related to the topic of your video and think your content could add value to the conversation, drop it in the comment section.

Now that you’re up to speed on video marketing goals and strategies, let’s take a look at which video formats are most effective.

Top Video Formats

The top video three video formats are short-form, long-form, and live videos. In this section, we’ll take a deep dive into each of these, looking at which has the best ROI, how long each type of video should be, and a few relevant benchmarks.

1. Short-form Video

Of all the video formats, short-form has the highest ROI and is also #1 for lead generation and engagement.

top video formats

The use of short-form video will grow significantly in 2022, with 36% of video marketers planning to invest more in it than any other format, and 45% planning to use it for the first time this year.

If you’re one of those marketers, you may be wondering how long a short-form video should be. The consensus among video marketers is that a short-form video is under 60 seconds, with the biggest chunk (33%) saying the optimal length is 31-60 seconds.

optimal short form video length

When it comes to the percentage of time a video is watched, nearly all short-form videos are watched for over 40% of their duration, which isn’t surprising due to their quick runtime. 59% of them are watched for 41-80% of their length, and 30% have an average watch percentage over 81%.

The average watch percentage for these videos can even exceed 100% as your audience replays them over and over.

Lastly, when looking at click-through rates, nearly half of short-form marketing videos also have a CTR between 5-8%.

2. Long-Form Video

Long-form videos, defined in this survey as videos over three minutes, come in 2nd to short-form for ROI, lead generation, and engagement.

most engaging video formats

Long-form video will also see significant growth in 2022 as 18% of video marketers plan to invest more in it than any other format, and 36% of will use it for the first time this year.

The biggest chunk of video marketers (36%) say the ideal length for long-form videos is 3-6 minutes, though many also advocate for videos up to 20 minutes long.

Looking at the average watch percentage, 38% of long-form marketing videos fall between 41-60%, while one in four sees an average watch percentage of 61-80%. Another 22% fall between 21 to 40%.

When it comes to CTR, the biggest chunk (57%) of long-form marketing videos are between 5-8%, which is similar to the CTR for short-form videos.average marketing video ctr

3. Live Videos/Live Streams Metrics And Benchmarks

Live videos or streams are used by 32% of video marketers and come in #4 for ROI and #3 for engagement. And, use of live videos/live streams will also grow in 2022, with 35% of video marketers planning on leveraging it for the first time.

what video formats are marketers leveraging

The optimal length of a live video/live stream is between 4-9 minutes, according to 51% of video marketers. Another 22% prefer to go live for 1-3 minutes, while around one in five recommends a longer time frame of 10-30 minutes.

When it comes to the average percentage of a video watched, over 60% of live videos/live streams fall are viewed for 41% to 80% of their duration.

The Top Video Marketing Channels

1. Social Media

Social media is used for video sharing by 76% of video marketers and has the biggest ROI of any video marketing channel, by far. It is also the most effective channel for generating leads from marketing videos.

which channels offer the biggest roi for video marketingUse of social media for sharing marketing videos will grow significantly in 2022, with, 61% of all video marketers planning to invest more in sharing videos on social media than any other channel this year. Additionally, almost 2 in 3 of those who never used social media for sharing videos plan to do so for the first time this year.

2. Blog/Website Pages

A blog or website is used by 55% of video marketers to share their videos, has the 2nd highest ROI, and is the 2nd most effective at generating leads.

which video marketing channels drive the most leads

Use of a blog or website for sharing marketing videos will also grow in 2022, with 59% of video marketers planning to try it for the first time, and 18% of all video marketers investing in using their blog/website for sharing marketing videos over any other channel.

best video marketing channels

3. Email

Email is used by 44% of video marketers to share their videos and nearly tied with blog or website for ROI.

40% of video marketers plan to share videos through email for the first time in 2022, and 11% plan to invest more in sharing videos through email than through any other channel this year.

While all these channels can be effective for sharing marketing videos, social media is the clear winner. So let’s dive into which social media apps are most effective for video sharing.

The Best Social Media Channels for Sharing Videos

1. Instagram

Instagram is the top social media platform for ROI, engagement, and lead generation for sharing marketing videos and will see significant investment from video marketers in 2022.

most roi generating social channels

Use of Instagram by video marketers will grow significantly in 2022, as 24% of them will invest more into sharing videos on Instagram than on any other platform. Additionally, 42% of those who don’t use Instagram for sharing videos will do so for the first time this year.

which social channels will video marketers invest in

2. YouTube

While YouTube comes in at #2 behind Instagram for ROI and lead generation, it is the most used app for video sharing, with 70% of video marketers leveraging it.

social media platforms for sharing video

YouTube will also see the most investment from video marketers in 2022, with 27% investing more into sharing videos on YouTube than any other platform. On top of that, over half of those who don’t use YouTube for sharing videos will do so for the first time in 2022.

3. Facebook

Facebook is used by 60% of video marketers when sharing marketing videos (tied at #2 for usage with Instagram), though it comes in 4th for ROI, engagement, and lead generation.

video marketing and social media leads

35% will invest in sharing videos on Facebook for the first time in 2022 and 16% of video marketers will invest more in sharing videos on Facebook than on any other platform this year.

4. TikTok

While TikTok has the 3rd highest ROI and comes in 2nd for engagement, only 35% of video marketers currently share videos on the app, and just 20% plan to start for the first time in 2022.

social media platforms and sharing videos

Which social media channels have low video performance?

Reddit, Tumblr, Twitch, Snapchat, and Pinterest are consistently the worst channels for sharing marketing videos and will see the least investment from video marketers in 2022.

Another consideration when sharing videos on social media is whether you will pay for ads or share your content organically. Let’s take a look at which video marketers are using.

Should you use paid or organic video posts on social media?

55% of video marketers leverage a mix of organic and paid content when posting videos on social media, while 24% use organic only, and 21% use paid only.

paid vs organic video marketing

Now that we’ve looked at how marketers are sharing their videos on social media, let’s compare two of the most common platforms for hosting videos – YouTube and Vimeo.

Hosting Videos on YouTube vs. Vimeo

We asked video marketers who use both YouTube and Vimeo to compare the two, and not only do 78% of them say YouTube is more effective for reaching their overall business goals, but YouTube is far superior in every category.

youtube vs vimeo

Vimeo comes close to being as effective as YouTube for privacy options, storage, video/audio quality, and video player customization, but still lags behind or is considered about the same as YouTube.

What are the Top Content Types for Marketing Videos?

1. Content Showcasing Your Products and Services

Content showcasing products/services is the most leveraged type of video content and has the highest ROI of any content type, with 66% of participants reporting high returns. It is also the most effective at generating leads and gets the 2nd most engagement of all content types we asked about.

video content with the best ROI

Product and service content will also see the most investment of any video content type this year, with 17% planning to invest in it more than any other, while 36% plan to leverage it for the first time in 2022.

2. Content That Reflects Your Brands Values

Content that reflects a brand’s values is the second most leveraged type of video content and the 2nd most effective for generating leads and engagement.

3. Trendy Content

People generally don’t want to watch videos that feel out of date or out of touch, but they’re drawn to videos that discuss topics that they’re currently intreested in, like trends or news related to their industry or hobbies. This is likely why “trendy content” has the second-highest ROI and gets the most engagement.

video content types with the most roi and engagement4. Relatable Content

Relatable content will see the most new investment in 2022, with 40% planning to leverage it for the first time, while 12% will invest more in it than any other content type.

content types video marketers will begin testing

5. Funny and Interactive Content

Both funny and interactive content have high ROI and will be leveraged by 29% and 27% of video marketers for the first time in 2022, respectively.

Next, let’s look at the different styles of videos you can use, and which are most effective.

Top Video Styles

1. Live-Action (Videos Featuring Real Footage)

Live-action videos are leveraged most often, have the biggest ROI, are the most effective for lead generation, and get the most engagement.

Use of live-action video will grow significantly in 2022, as 55% plan to use it for the first time ever and 48% of all video marketers will invest more in live-action than any other video style.

Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 12.01.14 PM2. Animated Videos

Animated videos are used by one in two video marketers, have the second-highest ROI, and are the 2nd most effective for lead generation and engagement.

49% of video marketers will also leverage animated videos for the first time this year, and 30% will invest in them more than any other video style.

3. Screen-Capture or Screen Recording

Screen-capture videos are used by 43% of video marketers, the least of the three video styles. Screen-capture has the lowest ROI, by far, and is much less effective for generating leads and engagement.

top video content styles

However, screen-recorded videos will see more use in 2022, with 52% planning to leverage them for the first time and 21% planning to invest more in them than any other video style

Now that you know the top formats, styles, and content types for marketing videos, as well as where to share them, we can dive into our research on how to create viral videos.

Viral Videos

Getting one of your videos to go viral might seem like a pipe dream, but it isn’t as out of reach as you might think.

63% of video marketers have created a viral video – so let’s take a look at exactly how they did it so your next video can blow up too.

How to Make a Video Go Viral

The most effective strategies for creating a viral video are making retable content, keeping videos short/concise, and capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds.

top factors for viral video

Let’s dig a little deeper into these top three strategies and how you can use them.

1. Making Relatable Content Means More Engagement

Making relatable content is key to getting viewers to engage with your video. Whether they comment on your video or share it with a friend, the algorithm takes notice and boosts your video to more viewers, increasing its chances to go viral.

2. Shorter Is Better

Keeping videos short is also crucial to virality. According to 47% of video marketers, short-form videos are the most likely to go viral.

which videos are more likely to go viral

But how long is a short-form video exactly? Our video marketing trends report found that the consensus among video marketers is under 60 seconds, with the biggest chunk (33%) saying the optimal length is 31-60 seconds.

3. Capture Attention Immediately

Capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds is the third most effective way to make a video go viral.

This could be as simple as starting a video with a colorful animation, an intriguing question, showing text on-screen, or even with physical movements like hand motions or jumping out of your chair to set a video off.

Now that you know the top strategies to make a video go viral, let’s take a look at which platforms you should use.

Which Platform are Videos Most Likely to Go Viral On?

YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are the platforms that video marketers say are most likely to have a video go viral.

Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 12.03.25 PMIf you have a social media presence on any of those three, they can be powerful for scoring a viral video. But if you’re not leveraging them yet, it might be time to finally give TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts a shot.

Which Type of Video Content is Most Likely to Go Viral?

Funny, trendy, and relatable videos that reflect a brand’s values are most likely to go viral.

viral video content by typeCombine these top content types by creating a funny, relatable, and on-trend video for the best chance of going viral.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at the different video styles and which is most effective for a viral video.

Which Style of Video Content is Most Likely to Go Viral?

Live-action videos are most likely to go viral according to 49% of video marketers, but animation is also effective for 31% of respondents.

If you can, use both. Keep viewers engaged by switching back and forth between your live-action shot and animation with a voiceover.

Video Marketing Benefits & Challenges

Video Marketing Benefits

The biggest benefits of creating marketing videos are that they help customers understand a product/service, get more engagement than other marketing content, and lead to more sales/conversions than other marketing content.

video marketing benefits

While this seems perfectly in line with video marketers’ goals, those benefits also come with a few challenges.

Video Marketing Challenges

The biggest challenges video marketers face are a lack of time to create video content, difficulty creating an effective video strategy, and inadequate budget to create video content.

biggest video marketing challenges

The great news is that video marketing is simpler than ever, with 57% of video marketers describing video marketing as easy.

video content creation experience

On top of that, 46% of those who started making videos in the past year did so because creating marketing videos became less time-consuming, and 38% said they started because videos became easier to make in-house. 1 in 2  also started making marketing videos in response to the pandemic.

why creators started creating videos

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been making videos for a while, budgeting can be a stressful part of the process. To help you navigate your video marketing budget, let’s take a look at how other marketers are budgeting for their videos.

Video Marketing Budgets

81% of video marketers have a dedicated budget for video marketing. Here’s what those budgets look like:

  • 20% of companies spend over $100K on video marketing per quarter
  • Around 1 in 4 spend under $20K
  • 42% spend between $20K-$100K

We also asked video marketers how their budget changed from 2021 to 2022, and found that 52% of video marketers saw a budget increase in 2022, while 46% saw no change. Just 2% saw a decrease.

Marketers who saw an increase in their video budget generally received a substantial boost in their budget, with 41% of video marketers getting an increase of over 51%.

2022 video marketing budget increase

You may also be wondering what percentage of total marketing budgets goes towards video marketing, so let’s take a look at that too.

what percentage of total marketing budgets go to video?

It turns out that 44% of companies spend 31-60% of their total marketing budget on video marketing.

How Much Does Creating a Marketing Video Cost?

91% of marketers’ companies spend under $50,000 to create a marketing video, and over half spend under $10,000.how much does it cost to create a marketing video

With the total cost of making a marketing video in mind, let’s look into how much video marketers are spending on each step in the video creation process.

video marketing spend allotments

Production takes up 24% of the average video marketer’s budget, followed by pre-production and post-production tied at 20%. Another 18% is spent on talent and video promotion/distribution.

We also asked video marketers which part of the video creation process is most expensive, and 65% of them say production is the costliest step.

the most expensive part of video creationLastly, let’s talk about how long it takes to create a marketing video and which parts are most time-consuming.

How Long Does it Take to Create a Marketing Video?

86% of marketing videos are created in 3 weeks or less, and 40% are made in under a week.

how long does it take to create a marketing video

The most time-consuming part of the video creation process is pre-production (coming up with ideas, writing script, casting, etc.), according to 38% of those who make marketing videos in-house.

what parts of video creation are most time consumingMore Insights From the HubSpot Blog

Whether you’re just getting started with video marketing or a seasoned video professional, keeping up with the latest trends and marketing strategies is key.

While video marketing is currently one of the top marketing strategies, there are a few others that have even better ROI – luckily, you can incorporate most of them into your video marketing strategy for even better results.

If you’re ready to take your video marketing strategy to the next level, check our Marketing Trends and Social Media Trends research from earlier this year!

Just getting started with video? You can also download our free Video Marketing Starter Pack below.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

5 Social Media Tips Every Small Business Needs [+ Free Tools]

POV: You’re new in the market and you’re wondering just how your small business can stand out among the millions of brands currently on social media.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use social media for small businesses and which (free) software you should have in your toolbox.

Why social media is important for small businesses?

The biggest benefit to using social media is that it’s a low-cost strategy to increase your brand awareness.

While you, of course, have to invest time and resources in building out your content, you can create high-quality content with a reliable phone and a few tools at your disposal.

In addition, with social media, you have the potential to reach your target audience for a fraction of what you would pay in targeted ads.

For instance, you may spend $100 developing creative assets for a video that ends up reaching 100,000 users. To reach those same users with an ad, you will likely have to invest much more money.

In addition, social media allows you to:

  • Drive more traffic to your website and generate leads.
  • Promote products and services.
  • Build a community.
  • Connect with and learn from your target audience.

When you get down to it, the way you use social media as a small business isn’t much different from how you’d use it as a mid to large-size business. In both cases, you’re sharing, engaging, monitoring, and optimizing.

The key difference is that a small business is likely focused on growth while an established brand may prioritize expansion.

Social Media Tips for Small Business

1. Be consistent.

The best thing you can do as a small business when starting out on social media is to be consistent.

Too often, brands get discouraged if they don’t see results within a few weeks. The truth is social media growth can be slow but like most things, if you remain consistent, you will generate results.

This means posting high-quality content on a regular basis (at least once a week). You do this for a few reasons.

@thecraftghan Acrylic baby milestone signs in ‘Linen’
#acrylicsignstoronto
#makeitwithme
#tiktoktoronto
#shopsmall
#smallbiz
#cricutprojects
#babymilestones
♬ TO THE MOON – Jnr Choi & Sam Tompkins

The first is that when a user does land on your profile, you want them to get a clear picture of your brand. If you have little to no content, users will quickly lose interest and leave. The same is true for scattered posts.

Social media is an opportunity to tell a story. When you prioritize consistency and cohesiveness, users will know what to expect from your page, what your voice is, and what you offer. And that’s how you’ll attract your target audience.

2. Diversify your content.

On social media, there’s so much room to be creative and experiment. Too often, brands find one strategy that works and stick to that.

While there’s a lot of truth to the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” social media is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today, as these platforms implement new features and user behavior changes.

With this in mind, play around with content formats whenever possible. For instance, on TikTok, you can only post videos. However, on Facebook, you have the option of going live, posting images, conducting polls, and more.

Here are some formats you should leverage:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Illustrations
  • Stop-motion
  • Live streams
  • Polls

With content, the limit truly does not exist.

Our social media report revealed that small businesses get the best ROI from creating educational and relatable content. Meanwhile, mid-size and large businesses report better results with funny and interactive content.

which social media content types have the biggest ROI

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This data point makes sense for many reasons. Larger brands have likely already built a strong following and know what their audience likes. That’s why they’re able to do interactive polls and be creative with their content.

Small businesses, on the other hand, still have a lot to prove. They want to add value to their audience and grow a following, and the easiest way to do that? Make content that educates and/or resonates.

This isn’t to say that small businesses should stick to these two types of content. In fact, they should experiment with all content to narrow down what their audience likes. However, this can serve as a strong starting point.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • How-tos
  • Customer spotlights
  • Industry facts and updates
  • Behind the scenes
  • Trends (viral sounds and dances)
  • Product highlights
  • Q&As

3. Focus on quality instead of quantity.

This applies not only to the content you post but also to which platforms you post.

From a content perspective, while it is encouraged that you post often on social media, there’s a caveat. Everything you post should add value.

If it doesn’t meet that criteria, consider another strategy, such as reposting brand-related content from a non-competitor or sharing user-generated content (UGC).

In fact, 33% of small businesses surveyed (those with 1-25 employees) report getting the best ROI on social media from leveraging UGC.

Now onto the platforms.

If you’re a small business with limited time and resources, you may not able to manage an account on every single social platform. And that’s OK.

It’s much more valuable to focus on one to three platforms that have your target audience’s demographics and go from there.

According to our 2022 social media marketing research, small businesses are prioritizing Facebook and YouTube in 2022 (even though they report that Facebook and Instagram generate the highest quality leads).

However, if your audience is Gen-Z, you may choose to focus your efforts on TikTok and grow your audience there.

4. Find trends.

This is another piece of advice that relates to both content and platform.

Our research found that many small businesses are exploring live audio chat rooms and short-form videos for the first time – two of the biggest trends of the last two years.

Yes, trying out a new platform demands a lot more than trying out a new format or type of content.

social-media-trends-bar-graph (15)

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For a while, brands were wary of TikTok. They saw it as a non-serious platform meant to entertain Gen-Z. Now, brands realize that it’s another highly valuable network that can broaden their reach and increase their brand awareness.

This is all to say that you don’t have to jump on every trend when it first appears, that’s not the recommendation here. Instead, you want to monitor them and their evolution. Because while some trends die off, others turn into staples.

Social Media Tools for Small Business

1. Google Analytics for Analytics

When asked about the tools they use to track social media metrics, 75% of small businesses said Google Analytics.

social media tools for small business: snapshot of google analytics

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The platform allows you to track the impact of your social media accounts on your traffic, specifically:

  • How many visitors are coming from social media
  • How long their sessions are
  • Which landing pages are getting shared most on social media
  • Conversion rates from social media compared to other channels
  • Which social campaigns are generating traffic and conversions

There are both free and paid versions of the app – the free version offers so many features that as a small business, there is little need for the upgrade.

2. Canva for Graphic Design

Don’t have money to hire a graphic designer? Don’t fret – Canva to the rescue.

social media for small business: canva homepage

This graphic design platform offers thousands of free social media templates that you can use to build a consistent visual identity.

You can also find stock images and videos that are free to use for commercial and non-commercial use.

Note: While Canva is incredible for creating branded templates, avoid using it for logos, as you may struggle to find unique designs.

3. Asana for Content Planning

Asana is a project management tool that makes social media planning easy.

With the free version, you can:

  • Integrate it with 100+ tools, including Slack, Google Calendar, Adobe, Canva, MailChimp.
  • Create unlimited projects and tasks.
  • Tag social platforms, content, and more for easy sorting.
  • Have up to 15 users to facilitate collaboration.

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With all of these features, you can map out your content for the month and create tasks to track your progress. This makes scheduling a piece of cake and allows others to get a clear understanding of your plans.

Growing your social media presence as a small business is an exciting time. Use these tools to get you on track and remember, slow and steady always wins the race.

free social media content calendar

130 Instagram Influencers You Need To Know About in 2022

In 2021, marketers that used influencer marketing said the trend resulted in the highest ROI. In fact, marketers have seen such success from influencer marketing that 86% plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investments in the trend in 2022. 

But, if you’ve never used an influencer before, the task can seem daunting — who’s truly the best advocate for your brand?

Here, we’ve cultivated a list of the most popular influencers in every industry — just click on one of the links below and take a look at the top influencers that can help you take your business to the next level: 

Download Now: Free Instagram for Business Kit + Templates

Top Food Influencers on Instagram

  1. Jamie Oliver (9.1M followers)
  2. ladyironchef (620k followers)
  3. Megan Gilmore (188k followers)
  4. Ashrod (104k followers)
  5. David Chang (1.7M followers)
  6. Ida Frosk (299k followers)
  7. Lindsey Silverman Love (101k followers)
  8. Nick N. (60.5k followers)
  9. Molly Tavoletti (50.1k followers)
  10. Russ Crandall (39.1k followers)
  11. Dennis the Prescott (616k followers)
  12. The Pasta Queen (1.5M followers)
  13. Thalia Ho (121k followers)
  14. Molly Yeh (810k followers)
  15. C.R Tan (59.4k followers)
  16. Michaela Vais (1.2M followers)
  17. Nicole Cogan (212k followers)
  18. Minimalist Baker (2.1M followers)
  19. Yumna Jawad (3.4M followers)

Top Travel Influencers on Instagram

  1. Annette White (100k followers)
  2. Matthew Karsten (140k followers)
  3. The Points Guy (668k followers)
  4. The Blonde Abroad (520k followers)
  5. Eric Stoen (330k followers)
  6. Kate McCulley (99k followers)
  7. The Planet D (203k followers)
  8. Andrew Evans (59.9k followers)
  9. Jack Morris (2.6M followers)
  10. Lauren Bullen (2.1M followers)
  11. The Bucket List Family (2.6M followers)
  12. Fat Girls Traveling (55K followers)
  13. Tara Milk Tea (1.3M followers)

Top Fashion & Style Influencers on Instagram

  1. Alexa Chung (5.2M followers)
  2. Julia Berolzheimer (1.3M followers)
  3. Johnny Cirillo (719K followers)
  4. Chiara Ferragni (27.2M followers)
  5. Jenn Im (1.7M followers)
  6. Ada Oguntodu (65.1k followers)
  7. Emma Hill (826k followers)
  8. Gregory DelliCarpini Jr. (141k followers)
  9. Nicolette Mason (216k followers)
  10. Majawyh (382k followers)
  11. Garance Doré (693k followers)
  12. Ines de la Fressange (477k followers)
  13. Madelynn Furlong (202k followers)
  14. Giovanna Engelbert (1.4M followers)
  15. Mariano Di Vaio (6.8M followers)
  16. Aimee Song (6.5M followers)
  17. Danielle Bernstein (2.9M followers)
  18. Gabi Gregg (910k followers)

Top Photography Influencers on Instagram

  1. Benjamin Lowy (218k followers)
  2. Michael Yamashita (1.8M followers)
  3. Stacy Kranitz (101k followers)
  4. Jimmy Chin (3.2M followers)
  5. Gueorgui Pinkhassov (161k followers)
  6. Dustin Giallanza (5.2k followers)
  7. Lindsey Childs (31.4k followers)
  8. Edith W. Young (24.9k followers)
  9. Alyssa Rose (9.6k followers)
  10. Donjay (106k followers)
  11. Jeff Rose (80.1k followers)
  12. Pei Ketron (728k followers)
  13. Paul Nicklen (7.3M followers)
  14. Jack Harries (1.3M followers)
  15. İlhan Eroğlu (852k followers)

Top Lifestyle Influencers on Instagram

  1. Jannid Olsson Delér (1.2 million followers)
  2. Oliver Proudlock (691k followers)
  3. Jeremy Jacobowitz (434k followers)
  4. Jay Caesar (327k followers)
  5. Jessie Chanes (329k followers)
  6. Laura Noltemeyer (251k followers)
  7. Adorian Deck (44.9k followers)
  8. Hind Deer (547k followers)
  9. Gloria Morales (146k followers)
  10. Kennedy Cymone (1.6M followers)
  11. Sydney Leroux Dwyer (1.1M followers)
  12. Joanna Stevens Gaines (13.6M followers)
  13. Lilly Singh (11.6M followers)
  14. Rosanna Pansino (4.4M followers)

Top Design Influencers on Instagram

  1. Marie Kondo (4M followers)
  2. Ashley Stark Kenner (1.2M followers)
  3. Casa Chicks (275k followers)
  4. Paulina Jamborowicz (195k followers)
  5. Kasia Będzińska (218k followers)
  6. Jenni Kayne (500k followers)
  7. Will Taylor (344k followers)
  8. Studio McGee (3.3M followers)
  9. Mandi Gubler (207k followers)
  10. Natalie Myers (51.6k followers)
  11. Grace Bonney (840k followers)
  12. Saudah Saleem (25.3k followers)
  13. Niña Williams (196k followers)

Top Beauty Influencers on Instagram

  1. Michelle Phan (1.9M followers)
  2. Shaaanxo (1.3M followers)
  3. Jeffree Star (13.7M followers)
  4. Kandee Johnson (2M followers)
  5. Manny Gutierrez (4M followers)
  6. Naomi Giannopoulos (6.2M followers)
  7. Samantha Ravndahl (2.1M followers)
  8. Huda Kattan (50.5M followers)
  9. Wayne Goss (703k followers)
  10. Zoe Sugg (9.3M followers)
  11. James Charles (22.9M followers)
  12. Shayla Mitchell (2.9M followers)

Top Sport & Fitness Influencers on Instagram

  1. Massy Arias (2.7M followers)
  2. Eddie Hall (3.3M followers)
  3. Ty Haney (92.6k followers)
  4. Hannah Bronfman (893k followers)
  5. Kenneth Gallarzo (331k followers)
  6. Elisabeth Akinwale (113k followers)
  7. Laura Large (75k followers)
  8. Akin Akman (82.3k followers)
  9. Sjana Elise Earp (1.4M followers)
  10. Cassey Ho (2.3M followers)
  11. Kayla Itsines (14.5M followers)
  12. Jen Selter (13.4M followers)
  13. Simeon Panda (8.1M followers)

1. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver, a world-renowned chef and restaurateur, is Instagram famous for his approachable and delicious-looking cuisine. His page reflects a mix of food pictures, recipes, and photos of his family and personal life. His love of beautiful food and teaching others to cook is clearly evident, which must be one of the many reasons why he has nearly seven million followers.

top instagram influencers: jamie oliver

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2. David Chang 

Celebrity chef David Chang is best known for his world-famous restaurants and big personality. Chang was a judge on Top Chef and created his own Netflix show called Ugly Delicious, both of which elevated his popularity and likely led to his huge followership on Instagram. Most of his feed is filled with food videos that will make you drool.

3. Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen

Travel bloggers Jack Morris (@jackmorris) and Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust)
have dream jobs — the couple travels to some of the most beautiful places around the world and documents their trips on Instagram. They have developed a unique and recognizable Instagram aesthetic that their combined 4.8 million Instagram followers love, using the same few filters and posting the most striking travel destinations.

4. The Bucket List Family

The Gee family, better known as the Bucket List Family, travel around the world with their three kids and post videos and images of their trips to YouTube and Instagram. They are constantly sharing pictures and stories of their adventures in exotic places. This nomad lifestyle is enjoyed by their 2.6 million followers.

 

5. Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni is an Italian fashion influencer who started her blog The Blonde Salad to share tips, photos, and clothing lines. Ferragni has been recognized as one of the most influential people of her generation, listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the Bloglovin’ Award Blogger of the Year.

6. Alexa Chung

Model and fashion designer Alexa Chung is Instagram famous for her elegant yet charming style and photos. After her modeling career, she collaborated with many brands like Mulberry and Madewell to create her own collection, making a name for herself in the fashion world. Today, she shares artistic yet fun photos with her 5.2 million Instagram followers.

top instagram influencers: alexa chung

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7. Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin is an award-winning professional photographer who captures high-intensity shots of climbing expeditions and natural panoramas. He has won multiple awards for his work, and his 3.2 million Instagram followers recognize him for his talent.

top instagram influencers: jimmychin

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8. Jannid Olsson Delér

Jannid Olsson Delér is a lifestyle and fashion blogger that gathered a huge social media following for her photos of outfits, vacations, and her overall aspirational life. Her 1.2 million followers look to her for travel and fashion inspirations.

top instagram influencers: jannid

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9. Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge is a design blog authored by Grace Bonney, an influencer recognized by the New York Times, Forbes, and other major publications for her impact on the creative community. Her Instagram posts reflect her elegant yet approachable creative advice, and nearly a million users follow her account for her bright and charismatic feed.

10. Huda Kattan

Huda Kattan took the beauty world by storm — her Instagram began with makeup tutorials and reviews and turned into a cosmetics empire. Huda now has 1.3 million Instagram followers and a company valued at $1.2 billion. Her homepage is filled with makeup videos and snaps of her luxury lifestyle.

11. Zoe Sugg

Zoe Sugg runs a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog and has nearly 10 million followers on Instagram. She also has an incredibly successful YouTube channel and has written best-selling books on the experience of viral bloggers. Her feed consists mostly of food, her pug, selfies, and trendy outfits.

12. Sjana Elise Earp

Sjana Elise Earp is  a lifestyle influencer who keeps her Instagram feed full of beautiful photos of her travels. She actively promotes yoga and healthy living to her 1.4 million followers, becoming an advocate for an exercise program called SWEAT.

top instagram influencers: sjanaelise

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13. Massy Arias

Personal trainer Massy Arias is known for her fitness videos and healthy lifestyle. Her feed aims to inspire her 2.6 million followers to keep training and never give up on their health. Arias has capitalized on fitness trends on Instagram and proven to both herself and her followers that exercise can improve all areas of your life. 

 

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Top B2B vs. B2C Video Marketing Trends You Should Know [2022 Data]

Both B2B and B2C brands recognize the power of video marketing. In fact, HubSpot Blog Research found that 88% of brands surveyed have a team dedicated to creating video content.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

But how do B2B and B2C brands differ as it relates to strategy, goals, and performance? We surveyed 550 global marketers to find out. Read on to learn about the key trends we discovered.

B2C and B2B brands balance creating content in-house with relying on outside agencies.

We asked 500+ global video marketers, “Does the primary company you do video marketing for creating content in-house, through an outside agency, or both?

37% said in-house, 14% said an outside agency while 49% said both. When breaking it down between B2C and B2B brands, there was only a 1% to 3% difference.

B2B vs. B2C Video Marketing

Although there is an argument to be made for both cases, 33% of marketers (both B2B and B2C) surveyed say the ROI is the same in both cases.

However, when asked about the quality of the videos, more B2B brands believed creating video content through an outside agency resulted in better marketing videos.

Meanwhile, 59% of B2C brands believe creating marketing videos in-house is faster and more efficient, compared to only 48% of B2B marketers.

75% of B2C brands also believe marketing videos created through an outside agency are higher quality and more professional, an 18% increase from B2B brands.

Pro-tip: If you want to create high-quality videos in-house, consider tools like Vidyard, Vimeo, and Wistia. They can help you produce and measure high-impact videos that convert.

B2C brands focus on brand awareness while B2C brands advertise products.

When asked “What are the primary goals of your company’s video marketing strategy?” B2C brands focused on increasing brand awareness/reaching new audiences while B2B brands prioritized advertising their products/services.

Where we saw the biggest gap in strategy is in:

  • Growing an online community – Only 15% of B2C marketers listed this as a primary goal compared to 25% of B2B marketers.
  • Fostering a relationship with customers – This is a priority for 22% of B2C marketers compared to only 13% of B2B marketers.
  • Establishing thought leadership – 15% of B2B marketers consider this a primary goal compared to only 9% of B2C marketers.

B2C brands tend to spend more on video.

Although B2B and B2B brands follow the same strategy when it comes to equipment (69% own their equipment instead of renting), B2C brands have allocated more.

B2B vs. B2C Quarterly Video Marketing Budgets in 2022

When looking at quarterly video marketing budgets, 24% of B2C brands spend between $100K to over $1M compared to 19% of B2B brands.

The same is true when you look at the average cost per video. 29% of B2C brands will spend over $30K compared to 20% of B2B brands.

B2B vs. B2C video marketing: average cost per video in 2022

B2B brands publish more videos than B2C brands.

According to HubSpot Blog Research, most B2B brands (33% surveyed) publish five to seven videos a month while most B2B brands (32%) put out two to four.

This could be because 33% of B2C marketers note a lack of content ideas as the biggest challenge they face when creating video content, 11% more than B2B brands.

When analyzing the average publishing cadence across both aisles, here’s the breakdown.

  • Two to four videos (31%)
  • Five to seven videos (26%)
  • Eight to ten videos (22%)

One interesting piece of data though is that when you look at brands that publish between eight to 30+ videos a month, B2C marketers outpace B2B by 8%.

While B2B brands tend to publish more generally, when you dig into brands with a higher publishing cadence, B2C brands post more.

B2C brands report more success with short-form videos.

We asked marketers, “Which video format has the biggest ROI?” 39% said short-form videos, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. So, both B2B and B2C brands have a lot of success with this content format.

However, there’s an 11% gap to note – 44% of B2C brands reported the biggest ROI with this format compared to only 33% of B2B brands.

B2B vs. B2C video marketing: short-form video in 2022

In addition, our research found that more B2C brands report that short-form video:

  • Is the most effective for generating leads, 8% more than B2B brands.
  • Gets the most engagement, 14% more than B2B brands.
  • Generates a high (81-100%) watch time percentage, 8% more than B2B brands.
  • Gets a high (over 10%) clickthrough rate, 7% more than B2B brands.

There you have it – whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, video marketing is an essential part of any marketing strategy.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

Branded Mission: How to Leverage TikTok’s New Ad Solution to Boost Brand Awareness

TikTok has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. In fact, the platform generated an estimated 1.9 billion in revenue in 2020 alone.

And the popularity of the app is due to its creators. Which makes TikTok’s new advertising solution — which is solely focused on crowdsourcing the best content from its creators — an incredible opportunity for brands.

Here, let’s dive into what Branded Mission is, and how you can use it to boost your brand awareness and sales.

Free Ebook: The Marketer's Guide to TikTok for Business [Download Now]

What is Branded Mission?

Branded Mission is TikTok’s new advertising solution, and the idea is pretty simple: Branded Mission enables brands to select their advertising requirements, and then creators can submit original videos that meet those requirements. The brand then accepts their favorite video, and amplifies it through boosted ad traffic.

It’s a win-win: Creators have the opportunity to reach new audiences with boosted content, and brands can leverage high-quality content that aligns with their goals straight from the TikTok community.

As TikTok’s Newsroom states: “This new form of two-way engagement between brands and creators enables the TikTok community to have a creative hand in the ads that are a part of a brand campaign and helps brands discover emerging creators broadly across TikTok.”

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Essentially, Branded Mission creates easier opportunities for brands to work with TikTok influencers. Rather than sourcing and conducting the influencer outreach themselves, marketers can simply post their requests and wait for creators to pitch their suggestions.

Among other things, major benefits of Branded Mission include:

  • The chance for brands to discover new and influential creators on TikTok — and the ones most aligned with their brand messaging.
  • An opportunity for brands to receive authentic, relevant content related to their campaigns from creators who have a proven track record of success on TikTok.
  • Increased brand exposure to new communities by crowdsourcing from the TikTok ecosystem.

As ASOS’ team puts it, “We were blown away by the the creators’ incredible transformations for the #ASOSAlterEgo challenge. The Branded Mission allowed us to recognize this talent and reward creators with eyes on their content in a way that hasn’t been possible in this space before. A win-win which clearly impacted the campaign’s results.”

How to Use TikTok’s Branded Mission Tool

It’s important to note: Branded Mission is in beta testing and available to select brands and marketers across more than a dozen markets around the world, but will become available in additional markets starting in late 2022.

1. Advertisers select requirements for a Branded Mission.

For starters, advertisers will need to check off the requirements for their Branded Mission. This includes pairing the Branded Mission with a Branded Hashtag Challenge or Branded Effect, as well as other more specific requests like “lip sync with music” or “change your outfit”.

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2. Creators can accept by submitting videos.

A creator must be over 18-years-old and have a minimum of 1,000 followers to be eligible. Each eligible creator can submit up to three videos.

3. The top-performing videos will be included in a shortlist for advertisers to select their favorite.

TikTok’s algorithm will highlight the videos with the highest engagement potential — that are also deemed brand-safe — and those videos will be added to a shortlist for advertisers to select from.

4. The winning video becomes a media campaign.

Once the advertisers have chosen their favorite video, the video becomes a media campaign and is featured as an in-feed advertisement. The creator(s) whose video is selected receives a cash payout and boosted traffic. The rest of the creators will see their submissions as organic TikTok videos in the For You page.

Ultimately, Branded Mission is an exciting opportunity for brands to discover top-talent on TikTok and leverage creators’ expertise to reach new audiences. But time will tell how brands leverage the tool.

If you’re unsure whether TikTok advertising is for you, take a look at TikTok Ads Guide: How They Work + Cost and Review Process [+ Examples].

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How Brands are Investing in Video Marketing On a Budget [2022 Data]

According to 2022 HubSpot Blog Research, 31% of video marketers surveyed say their biggest challenge is having an inadequate budget to create video content.

→ Access Now: Video Marketing Starter Pack [Free Kit]

In this article, we’ll cover what it costs to run a video marketing campaign and what brands are investing in the most this year.

How much are marketers spending on video marketing?

This year, we wanted to learn more about how marketers approach video marketing, including the strategies they leverage, the returns they get, and the amount they invest.

We surveyed over 500+ global marketers and here’s what we discovered.

Firstly, the data suggests that video marketing is a top content format for brands – with 31% of marketers surveyed allocating 21 to 40% of their total marketing budget to video.

Another 30% allocate 41 to 60% of their total budget to video marketing.

Video is so important that 52% of marketers say their budget increased in 2022. However, the increase is more present in B2B brands.

Now, when it comes to quarterly budgets, here’s the breakdown:

hubspot blog research 2022: quarterly video marketing budget

  • Many brands have a conservative budget with 15% of respondents allocating only $1K and $10K.
  • 11% of marketers surveyed budget $10K and 20K.
  • The most popular budget bracket is between $20K and $60K, followed by 26% of marketers surveyed.
  • On the higher end, 16% of marketers surveyed say they allocate $80K to 100K while 20% invest between $100K and $200K.
  • Only a small percentage of companies surveyed (10%) budget over $200K.

Now that you know how much marketers are investing in video marketing, let’s break down how they’re spending it.

What are video marketers spending their budget on?

When asked, “Which part of the video creation process is most expensive?” 65% of marketers surveyed answered production.

Video Marketing on a Budget in 2022: production takes up 24% of the average marketer's budget

Production is the process of filming your content and setting up the equipment needed to capture the footage, such as lighting, audio, and props.

According to marketers surveyed, production takes up 24% of the average video marketer’s budget.

Pre-production (ideation, scripting, casting) and post-production (editing and exporting) are tied as the second-highest cost. Then it’s tied again between the cost of video production and distribution and on-camera talent.

On average, 91% of marketers surveyed say they spend under $50,000 to create a marketing video.

91% of marketers companies spend under $50K to create a marketing video

Most (53%) say they spend under $10,000 and 16% spend under $1,000. Only a small percentage of respondents say they spend over $100K.

Video Marketing Techniques to Use on a Budget

1. Weigh your options.

According to our video marketing data, 69% of video marketers surveyed own production equipment while 10 percent rent, and the remaining group does both.

There’s an argument to be made for both.

On one end, creating videos in-house can be cheaper. However, outside agencies can provide higher-quality content.

In fact, most smaller brands (those with 200 employees or less) believe creating video content through an outside agency offers a better ROI than doing so in-house.

However, across all business sizes, roughly a third of respondents say the ROI is about the same either way.

With that said, it’s important to weigh your options and assess when and what you should rent versus own.

Upon first look, it might seem like renting is the smarter (and more affordable) option. However, most marketers surveyed (58%) say creating content in-house is cheaper.

To make this decision, consider the type of content you’ll be producing and the equipment you’ll need.

This is key in determining what is more cost-efficient.

If you’re a makeup brand for instance, you can probably produce great content sitting in front of a camera simply showcasing your products in action with good lighting. However, if you’re a travel and hospitality brand, you’ll likely need props, on-camera talent, location, and many more elements to fulfill your vision. In this case, it may be cheaper to outsource.

2. Separate need-to-haves from must-haves.

When it comes to video equipment, there will always be bigger and better out there.

If there’s one area you should focus on, it’s lighting.

Many believe that having the best camera does the trick but the truth is, lighting is what makes or breaks the quality of a video.

Lighting sets the tone and mood of a video, two elements you need to maintain your audience’s attention in a video.

Sound is another area to splurge on – specifically your mics. This will enhance the quality of your video, especially if you have to settle for low-end cameras.

As for everything else, (the camera, the lens, the accessories), these are great add-ons but if you’re on a budget, you can make do with low to mid-range options while still getting a high-quality result.

3. Leverage user-generated content.

According to HubSpot Blog Research, the number one challenge video marketers face is a lack of time to create video content.

Well, who said you had to create your content from scratch? You’re likely sitting on a pile of content from your customers right now.

If you have a strong social media presence, you likely have a bank of user-generated content ranging from images to videos and text. You can leverage all of these for campaigns and use them to supplement your own content.

For instance, ahead of the official Fenty Beauty perfume launch, its founder and musician Rihanna posted what seemed to be an ad.

It was a video compilation of various celebrities and influencers mentioning how good she smells – “like heaven” was a phrase heard multiple times.

Without ever having to produce their own video, the brand leveraged UGC to build anticipation surrounding this launch.

4. Hire student and amateur talent.

When it comes to on-camera talent, this is where brands often struggle to think of alternatives.

They usually opt for an in-house creator just to save money, even though their role may not focus on this area at all. Or they contract talent, which can be costly.

Here’s a third option: Reach out to students and amateur actors.

In some cases, money isn’t the main motivator. It can often be exposure, gaining experience, or building up a portfolio. However, paid opportunities will always generate more interest and can get you more experienced talent.

5. Use free editing software.

When you think of video editing, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Adobe.

It’s the go-to software for production professionals. However, it’s complex and isn’t affordable. If you own an Apple device like the Macbook or iPad, you will have free video editing software already available.

While it doesn’t have as many features and offers limited functionality, it works well for simple editing and you can always find workarounds on platforms like YouTube.

Some free editing software comes with free music or you can find online websites that offer royalty-free music.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of video marketing because you think you don’t have the funds, hopefully, these five techniques will change your mind.

Video marketing is an important part of content creation and can drive sales so don’t let money prevent you from staying in the game.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 

 

5 Tips for Small Business Owners on Finding & Reaching the Right Audience Within Year One of Launch

Having a digital presence is critical for any business looking to reach new audiences.

SEO, social media, and paid search are three powerful opportunities to get your products or services in front of more customers. But when you’re first starting out as a business owner, expanding your digital reach can feel overwhelming — where to even begin?

In celebration of Google’s International Small Business Week, which is anchored on the UN’s micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises day, we’ve created a resource for micro-businesses that might not have a digital presence yet.

Here, let’s dive into tips from four small business owners on how they initially found online audiences after launching their businesses, so you can ensure you’re leveraging the right digital tools to expand your own reach.

Plus, hear from HubSpot’s Director of Advertising on getting the most out of Google Ads as a new business owner. 

Learn More About HubSpot's Integration with Google Ads

How to Find & Reach Your Target Audience, According to Small Business Owners

1. Have some broad assumptions about your target audience, and then narrow down.

When you’re first creating a digital presence, you’ll want to start by focusing on some broad, easy-to-identify categories of your target market.

Your team can begin by identifying demographic segmentation for your customer persona. This includes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income

You might add geographic segmentation on top of this if you’re only intending on marketing to a specific location.

Along with general customer persona information, you’ll also want to answer the following question: My business helps people who have X pain point. In other words, what challenge is your business solving?

Understanding your customers’ pain points can help you craft a better narrative of who they are — which will help you target your digital strategies effectively.

2. Analyze competitors’ target audiences to see if your product or service will appeal to similar audiences. 

When finding your audience online, it’s important not to get overwhelmed by spreading your net too wide.

More than likely, your product or service exists in some capacity in the market already. So take a look at what your competitors are doing to get inspiration for your own digital strategy.

For instance, if you see most of your competitors creating ads for YouTube, it could be a sign that YouTube has proven to be an effective strategy in your industry.

3. Implement SEO strategies to create a website presence. 

Once you feel confident about your target audience, it’s time to leverage SEO to increase your website ranking and begin pulling in traffic from search engines.

You’ll want to start by creating an official business website. Make sure the page is SEO-optimized for search: Among other factors, this includes optimized images, responsive pages, and fast loading time.

Next, create a free Google My Business profile to ensure you can capture traffic from Google search and maps. This is especially helpful for foot traffic — for instance, if you own a restaurant, Google My Business can ensure you show up when someone in your local area searches “dinner places near me”.

One other tip? Create a strong content strategy. Content is the fuel that will ultimately drive your SEO machine.

Chandler Bolt, CEO of SelfPublishing.com and Self Publishing School, told me, “It was a long-term play, but our business really started to take off when we created our blog, launched our podcast, and focused on creating useful content that solved aspiring authors’ problems. Our formula is simple — create the best content on the internet for any topic we write on, and then get as many backlinks as possible for that post.”

chandler bolt on small business best practices

Now, Self Publishing School consistently ranks for keywords related to writing or publishing. A strong SEO strategy ultimately led to tremendous growth for the company and helped them reach the audiences that mattered most.

If your business struggles to find search terms that align well with your products or services, consider how you might partner with more well-established brands to solve for their customers’ pain points, and vice versa. This enables you to access high-intent prospects without relying on SEO alone.

Scott Rogerson, CEO of UpContent, told me, “We continue to build upon content partnerships, and add new ones, to support our customers in addressing pain across their digital channels. It was because of this early approach that we were able to quickly assess which use cases were most valuable and within which industries they were most common. This has now formed the foundation upon which our SEO, social media, and digital advertising strategy are built.”

4. Explore the social channels that are most popular with your target audience.

HubSpot’s Blog Research found 57% of consumers discover products most often on social media  — and 23% of 18-24 year olds prefer to purchase products directly through social media.

Which means social media is an undeniably powerful opportunity to increase sales.

Plus, social media has a huge audience — over 3.6 billion people use it worldwide. So, regardless of your marketing goals, it’s imperative you create a digital presence on at least one of the social platforms.

If you’re new to the social media world, you’ll want to start by identifying which channels you want to go after first. To do this, you’ll need to determine where your target audience spends their time.

The three top social media channels in terms of monthly active users are Facebook (2.9 billion MAU), YouTube (2.2 billion MAU), and Instagram (2 billion MAU). It’s a good idea to start with a channel with a large potential reach, and then narrow down from there.

Social media can also help you listen to your prospects and customers and learn from them to grow better. As Impulse Creative’s Senior Growth Marketer, Molly Rigatti, puts it, “We’ve found that creating a space where people can ask their questions is much more effective than trying to start conversations by telling businesses what they need to succeed.”

Rigatti says, “We listen. We listen to our customers’ wants and needs. We listen to diagnose their real problems rather than to prescribe the easiest sale.”

If you’re still unsure how to build your social media presence, take a look at 21 Ways To Build Your Social Media Presence, Like HubSpot Marketers.

5. Leverage Google Ads to increase your reach.

While paid advertising can feel daunting with a limited budget, you can leverage powerful targeting capabilities for a relatively low cost with Google Ads.

To uncover some tips for getting the most out of Google Ads with limited resources, I spoke to HubSpot’s Director of Advertising, Rex Gelb.

When it comes to an effective keyword strategy for startups and small businesses, Gelb told me, “My recommendation would be to start with the keywords that best relate to your core products or services, and branch out from there.”

For instance, let’s say you sell a niche product within a larger category — such as soccer cleats for kids.

“To start,” Gelb says, “I’d bid on exactly that: ‘Soccer cleats for kids’. If that’s going well and you have the budget, then maybe you try bidding on ‘Soccer cleats’ next, and if that works, ‘cleats’ after that.”

Gelb adds, “Broadening your targeting like this means you’ll get some irrelevant clicks and have some wasted ad spend, but you’ll also get more scale and it’s possible you’ll find that even with the higher customer acquisition cost, you’re still generating a positive ROI.”

Google Ads is an undeniably powerful tool for reaching new customers. In fact, for users who are ready to buy, paid ads on Google get 65% of the clicks.

However, like any effective long-term marketing strategy, Google Ads takes work. As Gelb puts it, “A lot of businesses are looking for ‘tips and tricks’ to try and beat the system, but I’d say 70-80% of Google Ads is using tried-and-true best practices.”

So … what are these best practices? Gelb advises, “Pick keywords that make sense for your business, write ads that are highly relevant to those keywords, pick the correct campaign objective based on your business goals, monitor the search term report, and test, test, test. If you do those things (and read up a bit on match types if you’re not familiar with them), you’re going to be most of the way there.”

rex gelb on small business google ad strategies

Ultimately, creating a digital presence takes time, but it’s worth it. With the right SEO, social, and paid strategies, you’ll begin to see your website and social platforms working for you by pulling in new traffic and leads daily.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you’re in luck — HubSpot now offers an integration with Google Ads which enables you to grow your pipeline of qualified leads at scale and increase conversions by connecting your HubSpot and Google Ads accounts. Best of all, we’re now offering an exclusive HubSpot offer to Google customers for 20% off your first year of HubSpot, then 10% off in perpetuity. 

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14 YouTube Description Templates That Have Helped Our Videos Go Viral

As the second-largest search engine, with over 2 billion users per month, YouTube is an undeniably powerful channel for your marketing efforts. Despite its popularity, many business startup owners opt to use Facebook over YouTube as their channel, especially for uploading video content.

This is a mistake. YouTube is a powerful search engine that can help your business reach more people. Its strategy relies on optimizing videos to increase the chances of discoverability.

One of the most important tactics for optimizing your YouTube channel is to create engaging YouTube descriptions.

→ Download Now: 7 YouTube Video Description Templates [Free Prompts]

youtube channel description example

A YouTube channel description is similar to the About Page of a website. It appears under the “About” tab of your channel’s YouTube page.

The YouTube channel description conveys to potential viewers what your content will cover, including the issues you tackle and the communities you serve. The goal is to turn a one-time viewer into a subscriber and consumer of your content. You’ll be able to add this when setting up your YouTube channel.

As a YouTube creator, your primary goal is to attract viewers and turn them into subscribers, often using your channel description. With that in mind, be sure to use keywords that your intended audience would use to search for your content.

YouTube Video Descriptions

Every YouTube video includes a description that can be found under the viewport of the video.

Additionally, every video needs a unique description to increase the likelihood of your video being found when someone is searching for a particular topic.

A YouTube content creator’s video description attracts and converts an audience. Therefore, it’s crucial that you optimize your video descriptions for SEO.

If you’re unsure how to start crafting compelling YouTube descriptions, keep reading. We’ll explore various tactics you can employ and provide templates to ensure you have everything you need to excel on YouTube.

1. Use YouTube description templates. [Free Prompts]

HubSpot compiled seven YouTube video description templates to help your business provide context to your viewers, rank better in search, organize your team, and link to relevant web pages on your site.

HubSpot's 7 YouTube Video Description TemplatesDownload These Templates for Free

2. Explain your content.

To explore the best tactics for writing YouTube descriptions, I spoke with Eric Peters, a Senior Growth Product Manager on HubSpot’s Academy team. He said, “[YouTube descriptions] are one of the primary ways YouTube knows what your video is about. Include links, additional resources, links to other videos and playlists, etc. Make sure the description box is easy to read.”

Peters explained that your YouTube video description and closed captioning should incorporate keywords into your description. It also helps with accessibility for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Hence, adding closed captioning to your videos is an absolute must for accessibility.

For instance, take a look at one of HubSpot Academy’s YouTube video descriptions:

Transcript for a YouTube Video Description

A YouTube description differs from a web page meta description. In a YouTube description, content creators explain what your entire video is about and even link to external resources.

Peters told me, “You get 5,000 characters total, so make use of it. YouTube creators use asterisks or all-caps to differentiate titles from body copy because it’s all plain text. Consider writing up a text version of the key points from the video, or even copying the transcription of the video and paste it into the description.”

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA).

Your YouTube description is a fantastic opportunity to ask viewers to continue to engage with your channel or find additional resources that will help them learn more about a topic of interest.

For instance, let’s say you create a brief “How to Add Filters to Instagram” YouTube video, but you also have an in-depth “How to Use Instagram for Marketing” blog post. Why not link it in the description? Most likely, anyone watching your Instagram video on YouTube would be equally grateful for the opportunity to learn more through a blog post.

Perhaps you simply want to ask viewers to subscribe, turn on notifications, or share your content with their networks. These are all acceptable CTA’s for your description.

You must format your description to ensure you put the most important information first. Peters advises, “The first 200 characters are above the ‘more’ fold on the description box, so if you want your CTA/link to be seen by most people, keep it within the first 200 characters.”

Collapsed YouTube Video Description With Show More Box Highlighted

After the first 200 characters, your text will be cut off, and viewers will need to click “Show more” to see the rest. Therefore, you must make your first 200 characters count.

4. Add your personality.

A YouTube description should be fun and demonstrate your brand’s personality with a unique voice. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, this is an opportunity for you to instill creativity and humor into your content.

Brian Dean’s YouTube channel is a great example of this. His YouTube descriptions often mirror the way he speaks. The descriptions are candid and casual, and he makes it feel like he’s writing to a friend.

Brian Dean YouTube Video Description

To learn more about using YouTube for marketing purposes, consider checking out HubSpot Academy’s comprehensive YouTube Marketing course.

5. Use timestamps to make videos scannable.

Including timestamps in your video description can make your video more user-friendly and help your content rank well on search engines.

YouTube video timestamps appear within search results, improving user retention by directing users to the most relevant portions of videos from SERPs.

Users can search for keywords that appear in your video’s description and click on a thumbnail on the SERP to view the portion of your video that answers their search query.

youtube description examples: timestamps

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YouTube Channel Descriptions

Every YouTube channel description should allude to a specific niche or central theme. You want to tell your audience what they will learn from your channel. This will give them a reason to tune in to your channel, subscribe to it, and continue learning from you and your videos. Additionally, when you add your niche to your YouTube description, your audience can more easily find you in a sea of potentially similar creators.

YouTube Channel Description Examples

1. Wes McDowell

youtube channel description example: wes mcdowell

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Wes McDowell’s YouTube channel targets viewers in the digital marketing niche. The channel description mentions the channel’s mission: teaching small businesses owners digital marketing strategies they can use to grow their businesses. The description also lists topics the channel will feature in its videos, invites viewers to subscribe, and describes the benefits of subscribing to the channel.

Why We Love It

This YouTube channel description is clear and direct. It details what viewers will get when they come to the channel. This description also describes the marketing strategies and techniques viewers will learn. Clarity goes a long way to make a channel easily searchable and rankable on YouTube.

2. Yoga With Adriene

youtube channel description example: yoga adriene

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Yoga With Adriene’s YouTube channel description highlights one of the channel’s main values: inclusion. The channel description mentions that everyone is invited to participate and learn more about yoga through her videos, regardless of their skill level. The description also recommends videos that beginners can watch to become familiar with the content.

Why We Love It

This channel description is an excellent example of how a company’s mission can be useful for video content. The description gives subscribers a glimpse into Yoga with Adriene’s values, creating a connection with the viewer. This angle is helpful for ranking on YouTube because it’s aligned with morals and values that subscribers can easily identify with.

3. Wild Wonderful Off-Grid

youtube channel description example: wild wonderful off-grid

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Wild Wonderful Off-Grid’s YouTube channel description positions the channel within a niche by using the keywords “off-grid,” “self-reliant,” and “building our own home” to appeal to viewers who are interested in living off-the-grid. The description also invites viewers to visit their online store and social media profiles.

Why We Love It

This YouTube channel description establishes a niche, describes the channel’s content, provides background information about the creators, and encourages subscribers and viewers to participate further in their brand. The description also directs their audience to other aspects of their business, such as their store and social media platforms, which fosters value for their subscribers.

4. The Pals

youtube channel description example: the pals

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The Pals’ YouTube channel description introduces the channel’s creators, lists the video games the channel will highlight, and provides each creator’s personal YouTube channel and Roblox username.

Why We Love It

This YouTube channel description focuses on the entertainment the channel provides. The description targets subscribers looking for gaming knowledge and mentions the creators’ personal journeys to set the channel apart from others in the same niche and genre.

5. Florian Gadsby

youtube channel description example: florian gadsby

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Florian Gadsby’s YouTube channel description introduces the channel’s creator and lists the topics that viewers can expect to see when they subscribe. It also links to the creator’s social media and newsletter, and provides information about the creator’s online store, including its restocking schedule.

Why We Love It

This YouTube channel description takes a personal approach to the channel’s subject matter. The description gives visitors clarity about the channel’s content and artistic focus. It also encourages viewers to interact with the creator on their social media platforms to learn more about them and view more of their content.

6. SciShow

youtube channel description example: scishow

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SciShow’s YouTube channel description introduces the channel’s creators and hints at the topics that viewers can expect to see every week. The description also outlines the channel’s posting schedule and mentions other YouTube channels associated with the brand.

Why We Love It

This YouTube channel description tells its viewers when they will see uploads. This is a good strategy to ensure users visit the channel right at the time when they’re expecting to see new content. If views go up on a page, the YouTube algorithm is more likely to boost your channel to a wider audience.

7. Unbox Therapy

youtube channel description example: unbox therapy

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Unbox Therapy’s YouTube channel description states the channel’s tagline, gives an overview of the channel’s content, and provides a contact email for business inquiries.

Why We Love It

This simple channel description piques viewers’ interest with a captivating tagline and a straightforward explanation of the channel’s content. It also includes an email that allows viewers to contact the creators to inquire about the business and ask professional questions about the channel.

YouTube Channel Description Templates

Now that we’ve covered the basics, take a look at a few templates you can use to craft a compelling YouTube description.

1. Be clear and concise.

You might create a playful, easy-going channel ‘About Me’ description, like this one:

Hi, I’m [Name]. This is my channel about increasing your sales, effectively targeting your audience, and growing an email list that you can use to grow your business.

If you’re a marketer who wants to learn marketing strategies to get [result, i.e., more traffic to your site], subscribe to my channel.

My channel publishes videos that focus on storytelling content that connects X, shows you how to infuse your authenticity in your brand, and gives you a marketing strategy that feels organic. If that sounds like it could be helpful for you, please join me!

2. Connect with subscribers.

Alternatively, you can craft a YouTube description that describes what your company does from a third-person point of view, like this one:

[Company] is the worldwide leader in X, Y, and Z. Since [year], [Company] has been on a mission to [insert company vision or purpose here].

To learn more about [Company], its values, and its [company offering], subscribe to our channel to stay informed.

3. Create a niche.

When you write your YouTube channel description, you’ll want to use keywords that define and represent your channel’s niche. Incorporating niche keywords in your channel description helps viewers identify your niche and what content you produce.

[Name] and [Name] have nuanced discussions about dating, their lifestyle, and relationships. They discuss current topics that affect modern dating and how to maneuver relationship patterns. You can purchase [Name] and [Name]’s [product] to learn more about improving your knowledge of relationships.

4. Show your journey.

You may want to create a channel description that asks viewers to join you on a journey that you document on your YouTube channel. For instance, if your YouTube channel focuses on streaming video game content, you may invite your subscribers to watch you as you attempt to win the game. Therefore, mentioning a goal for your channel can help you gain new subscribers eager to come along for the ride as you pursue a goal.

This channel gives everything you need to know about gaming, including the latest equipment reviews, new game reviews, and once-a-week live streams. Watch as I, [name], try to beat my high score in the latest release of [insert game name here].

5. Be more personal.

An effective channel uses a lot of personal touches with its viewers to gain subscribers because the content is authentic and offers emotional appeal. This type of description implies that you want to create a sense of community with your channel.

This is a personal journey of how I became a painter. Learn about what paints I purchase, the tools I use, and the techniques I learned during school. Art is my passion, and I express my love for [insert passion] through it.

6. Create anticipation for new content.

A content creator needs to build excitement for the next video — a sense of urgency and anticipation for their audience. A YouTuber can create giveaways, conduct polls, and invite special guests to participate in the videos to maintain the channel’s success.

This channel gives pop culture commentary through a [political ideology] political lens. We make commentary on books and current events. We also upload a new video every Wednesday and Friday.

YouTube Video Descriptions

A helpful video description can spike your audience’s interest and result in longer watch times, better view counts, and even new subscribers. Plus, it can help with YouTube SEO, allowing YouTube’s algorithm to understand your content and suggest it to new users, further boosting your YouTube metrics.

YouTube Video Description Examples

1. “5 Best Coding Languages for Beginners 2021” by nicole . young

youtube video description example:  nicole young

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The description of nicole . young’s YouTube video, “5 Best Coding Languages for Beginners 2021,” hooks the viewer by posing a question that will be answered in the video. The video description also includes a benefit that the viewer will gain from watching the video.

Why We Love It

In this video description, the creator summarizes the video’s title and specifies the target audience. The text will help audiences (and YouTube) understand the video’s content. This creator understands that the channel description is prime real estate for contact information, social media handles, and calls to action, persuading viewers to stick around.

“How to Write Counterpoint – Music Composition” by Music Matters

youtube video description example:  music matters

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The description of Music Matters’s YouTube video, “How to Write Counterpoint – Music Composition,” uses keywords such as “writing counterpoint,” “music composition lesson,” and “understanding counterpoint” to appeal to audiences that are interested in learning the music composition technique. The description also includes timestamps that viewers can use to skip to the portion of the video that addresses the specific topic they want to learn about.

Why We Love It

This YouTube video description uses keywords to appeal to a niche audience. The specificity makes it easily searchable on YouTube. Using keywords to make each video search-friendly will drive traffic to your video’s specific content.

“How to Create a 90 Day Plan for your Business (+ Free Workbook)” by Anna Clark

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The description of Anna Clark’s YouTube video, “How to Create a 90 Day Plan for your Business (+ Free Workbook),” includes links to the creator’s website, courses, newsletter, and social media accounts, and a workbook that viewers can download and complete as they watch the video.

Why We Love It

It’s good to involve your viewers in other aspects of your business. The interaction and engagement you earn will help you rank against other active channels. Directing your viewers to other resources for your business will also help your YouTube channel drive traffic to your website, increasing your authority in your business niche.

“How To Create An Email Sales Funnel” by Wishpond

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The description of Wishpond’s YouTube video, “How To Create An Email Sales Funnel,” hooks the viewer by stating that the video is the fourth installment in a series and linking to the previous video. The video description also includes an incentive for viewers to learn more about the company.

Why We Love It

This description segments the video as a section of a larger series. If subscribers learn that you provide similar content on your channel, they will be more inclined to watch your other videos. The description also lets viewers know there’s a free demo of the service. If you sell other products or services in your business, be sure to link them in the description.

“How to Outline Your Novel – Part 2” by Writing with Jenna Moreci

youtube video description example:  jenna moreci

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The description of Writing with Jenna Moreci’s YouTube video, “How to Outline Your Novel – Part 2,” hooks the viewer by stating that the video is the second installment in a series and linking to the previous video. The video description also includes an incentive for viewers to learn more about the creator’s products.

Why We Love It

This video description is great because it lets viewers know what’s coming next. Inserting a “new segment” in your YouTube series allows viewers to anticipate your next video.

“Microgreens Growing: Materials and Beginner’s Guide” by Epic Gardening

youtube video description example:  epic gardening

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The description of Epic Gardening’s YouTube video, “Microgreens Growing: Materials and Beginner’s Guide,” invites novice gardeners to learn about growing microgreens. The video description tells viewers about the creator’s past experience with microgreens, lists the supplies that the creator mentions in the video, and lists ways that viewers can support the creator beyond watching their video.

Why We Love It

The creator provides a list of products used in the video. The viewers can conduct further research into the products or purchase them immediately through the links.

“Budgeting for Beginners – How to Make a Budget From Scratch 2021” by Debt Free Millennials

youtube video description example:  debt free millenials

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Debt Free Millennials’ YouTube video, “Budgeting for Beginners – How to Make a Budget From Scratch 2021,” teaches viewers to create a budget. The description gives viewers an overview of the topics covered in the video and invites them to sign up for products and services through affiliated links. It also includes links to the creator’s Instagram, Facebook group, and website so that viewers can connect with the creator through different social platforms.

Why We Love It

The creator has created a sense of community and togetherness. If you include your social media links in your YouTube video description, subscribers will follow you on multiple platforms to remain engaged with your content. The content creator invites them to return for new videos and share their own experiences on social media.

YouTube Video Description Templates

A YouTube video description is descriptive text that includes but is not limited to keywords, themes, and special concepts/guests that the content creator wants their viewers to know. The YouTube video description increases visibility through SEO, views, and subscriptions. In each video description, the content creator will encourage their viewers to “Like,” “Share,” and “Subscribe” to their content. An effective video description will be persuasive and informative, and prompt the audience to tune in regularly.

1. Make it search-friendly.

We have all done it: Having parts of an idea and hoping Google will fill in the blanks by completing the search with the rest of our thought. As a content creator, you need to own each of the video’s related tags, including misspellings, to help refine the content under your channel. The YouTube videos need to be centered around keywords, maximizing your SEO for Google and YouTube searches.

Listen to how our CEO explains the difference between X and Y, and learn best practices for implementing your own strategy.

Learn more about X and Y in our course: [course link].

2. Lead viewers to other resources.

You can use a YouTube channel description like this one to help new viewers connect with you on your other channels and social media platforms:

Hi there! New to [name of channel]? If so, here’s what you need to know: I like [interests related to channel] a LOT, so I use this channel to explore X, Y, and Z, to help you [desired result for viewer].

Where else you can find me:

INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/[accountname]

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/[accountname]

LIFESTYLE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/[accountname]

Join our growing community for new videos every Tuesday and Friday!

BUSINESS INQUIRIES

Please contact [PR representative] at [email or phone number].

3. Incorporate keywords.

YouTube increases visibility within keyword searches and relevant content. As a result, videos should have buzzwords in video and channel descriptions.

If you want to craft a description that explains what your video is about and incorporates a keyword description, try this:

Hey there! This lesson is part of a free online course. Take the full course here: www.company.com/course1.

Some people are unsure what X is — at its most basic, X is [brief definition of keyword]. In this video, you’ll learn how to X, Y, and Z, to ensure you’re able to grow your brand online.

In addition, we’ll explain how you can avoid doing A. Sometimes, A is all it takes to lose a customer.

4. Tease a new initiative.

A new video is upcoming, and you need to send a teaser to your audience that will create buzz leading up to the release of the new content. A video teaser can be uploaded to YouTube Shorts to increase anticipation.

Join the “musical nerds” on a mission to improve our musical understanding. We upload every Wednesday and Thursday. We will have Q & A sessions to answer all of your beginner questions on Wednesdays, starting next week.

5. Be transparent.

Authenticity sells. Viewers know when you aren’t being transparent with them. YouTubers should be willing to build trust and engage within the community.

What’s up, guys? In this video, we’ll talk about an everyday makeup look you can do in 10 minutes. I’m not an early riser, but just like anyone, I still want to look good for the day. I’ll list the products I used in this video.

Please subscribe if you are feeling my vibe. I post content weekly, and you can always find me on Insta! I’ll drop my social media handles below.

**All opinions are my own. This video isn’t sponsored. I’m sent products for my consideration, and I earn a small percentage from sales through affiliated links. Clicking on affiliated links doesn’t cost you anything.**

6. Maintain engagement.

A video description contains keywords and time stamps for content created. It will help maintain engagement and show the chronological order of things, especially if viewers are looking for a particular video for a specific date. A strong YouTube description avoids clickbait to reel in users.

Hi, everyone! We’re the Science Kidz! Today we are experimenting to find out which popcorn brand leaves behind the least number of kernels. Will it be Orville Redenbacher’s or Act II?

Every week, we do a new experiment as part of our initiative to highlight STEM careers in Savannah, Georgia. If you have an experiment you want to see The Science Kidz try, leave a comment below. You never know — we could pick yours!

Follow me on Instagram for more experiment ideas, and tag us in some of the experiments you do with your friends!

7. Help viewership with paid sponsorships.

Content creators with paid sponsorships, or paid product placements in their videos, will influence brands and generate income for themselves. If “#ad” appears in your video description, you can bet mentioning the product or brand will prompt the audience to try it. Offering it at a discount price may also incentivize potential clients.

Hey, y’all! Today, we’ll be rebuilding a 454 Chevy Big Block motor. We’ll be adding 200 horses to bring the motor up to 680 horsepower. I hope y’all are ready to dive into business with Motor Boyz.

This episode is sponsored by Husky tools, and we’ll be using their latest impact and driver tools to rebuild the 454. We would like to thank Anderson Auto for donating the 1972 C10 to be our frame once the motor is rebuilt and completed.

Download these YouTube description templates, and help your video go viral.

These must-have YouTube video and channel description templates can help you reduce the time it takes to upload and optimize your YouTube videos, getting them out to your audience quickly and with less effort. Be sure to customize the text to enhance the reading experience because you want to be as helpful as possible for your audience.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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