Content Marketing 101: Creating Advanced Content

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April 17, 2013
Adam Marquardt Adam Marquardt

Creating advanced content is one of the fastest ways to establish authority in your industry. However, very few businesses tend to offer high level content and those that do typically have infrequent posting schedules.

Advanced content gives you the opportunity to go deeper into your subjects, giving prospects not only what they were originally looking for, but also a more comprehensive look at the subject at hand. Your advanced content should be more valuable information than what they can typically find from other blogs or information sources.

Advanced content marketing provides the push that interested prospects need to turn into customers, and eventually brand advocates. In a nutshell, it is creating great educational content without the sales aspect.

Advanced Content vs. Basic Content

Advanced content requires more time and research to produce than basic content marketing assets (e.g. blog posts, short articles, etc). If you are going to put in the time, be sure that you can see a return on your investment. Focus on topics that are of interest to your target market and that are highly relevant to your business.

The ROI from advanced content comes from the generation of high quality sales leads. If you require a form submission in order to access your valuable resources, you are able to collect leads that are more than likely interested in your products, or services. Many of the people who access your content piece are engaged in the buying process and are looking for more information. Being the provider of valuable info allows the prospect to gain confidence in your company and gives you the opportunity to stay in contact with them in the future.

Advanced content includes outputs such as:

  • White papers and authority eBooks
  • High-impact research presentations
  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • Coaching, trainings and “how-to” videos

How to Create Advanced Content

Generally, businesses prefer writing basic content because it can attract more traffic and engagement. The problem with this is that your prospects can find similar content all over the Internet and there is typically no direct lead generation aspect to basic content.

Creating an advanced content marketing piece requires you to understand the needs of your target customers. You need to determine at what stage of the buying cycle the prospects are in and the information required to move to the next step. Here are some guidelines to follow when creating advanced content:

Determine the subject

In most cases, the content subject will need to be highly defined. You can get ideas on the subjects to cover by checking questions asked by your prospects on your blog, questions arising from webinars, and so on. Your content subject should be guided by your prospects’ needs.

Create a list of possible subjects for each of your product, or service categories. Narrow down to the subjects that may help a prospect get ready to buy and create a detail outline.

Be detailed

A detailed outline will help you to stay on topic and provide all relevant information. Your topics should be more complex in nature so that you can provide in-depth coverage or more “technical” content than what you typically cover in basic content. Remember that these prospects are looking for something uniquely informative.

Your content should hit the nail on the head and provide advanced educational information that your prospects are looking for. This is not the time to start defining primary industry jargon. Instead, it is the point where you connect metrics and strategies to educate, or to prove a point. Cut the fluff and provide a detailed explanation of your subject.

Provide evidence

Advanced content can establish you as an industry thought leader if you provide evidence to back your arguments. You want your audience to believe what you are saying and thus you have to provide proof. Include facts from case studies, quotes from reputable industry players and any other authoritative resources that provide value to the piece.

Remember that this does not mean that the piece should not be from your prospective, or in your voice. Use these elements to further prove your positions, not in place of your positions.

State your sources

When providing evidence, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Provide links to the industry reports, studies, or other content that you found any supporting information.

Readers need to know that you are giving them facts. Providing sources allows them to conduct further research and will encourage them to trust you when making their purchasing decisions.

Make Impactful Advanced Content

People have different learning preferences. Some people prefer watching instructional videos while others prefer reading step-by-step guide eBooks. Others respond best to interactive media while some get the most out of graphical presentations.

If you have an advanced piece of content in one medium, you can usually achieve greater reach by repurposing and presenting it in another medium. For example, you can create a webinar that covers a white paper topic, or a video that illustrates an eBooks contents.

Keep in mind that you can also increase exposure by create basic content out of advanced content. Try creating a series of high quality blog posts out of one of your advanced pieces. Include a call to action that leads to at the end of each post that leads to the advanced content piece. If people found value in the post, there is a good chance that they will download the advanced piece.

Advanced content marketing is the rocket fuel of lead generation initiatives. This content is crucial for lead generation as it speaks to users that are very interested in your offerings and that may be preparing to buy.