When businesses think of incorporating content into their marketing strategies, they often assume it means writing a few blog posts. While blog posts are one of the most effective types of content you can create, there are less obvious formats that can be overlooked.
The type of content your business chooses to create completely depends on your target audience and offering. If you sell a service, case studies and video testimonials are a great way to promote its value to customers. If you sell a product, ‘how-to’ demonstrations and instruction guides help users get the most out of your offering.
Here are 10 types of content you could include in your marketing strategy:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Social media
1. Blog posts
Blog posts communicate knowledge and expertise to users. They inform users about a topic, entertain them with an anecdote or educate them about a practice. When creating blog posts, the user must gain something by the end of it. Posts need to be valuable for the user to form a positive association and attachment to your brand.
The length of the post isn’t important to the user as long as their search query or question has been answered. Blog posts are also great for search engine optimisation. They increase your organic traffic by bringing visitors to your website. You can organise blog posts into topic clusters and pillar pages if you have content that links together. It allows users to find all relevant content in one place which search engines value when ranking your website.
Ebooks are a downloadable content type that businesses offer to users wanting in-depth information. Ebooks are split into subtopics with visuals informing the user while keeping them engaged. Ebooks communicate expertise and knowledge in your specialist area. By giving users quality, long-form content they’re more likely to view your business as an information leader in your industry. If a user has found your ebook valuable, they may visit your website to consume more content and engage with your offering.
You should use creative graphics, imagery, headings, subheadings, numbered lists, bullet points and testimonials in ebooks. Ebooks can also be used to gather user data. You can determine who has downloaded your content and whether they’ve taken any further action. You can follow up with marketing communications to encourage them back to your website.
Video is an opportunity to tell a compelling story about your brand. This short-form content type makes it easy for customers to understand your company’s offering and what you can do for them. Videos use motion graphics, animation, illustration or talking heads to engage audiences. Videos must have a purpose and action you want the audience to take after watching. Will they learn something? Will it make them smile? Will it motivate them to act?
Brands create videos to promote new product specifications in a visually exciting way. Interviews with industry professionals give users expert insight into the market. Video tours of galleries give international audiences the chance to view art they don’t have access to. You can share videos on your homepage, landing page, social media, email campaigns and blog posts to get your message in front of your audience as much as possible.
Infographics communicate facts, figures, statistics and data in a visually compelling way. Infographics use icons, colour and imagery to grab the audiences’ attention. You don’t need a graphic design department to create infographics, as complicated as they look. You can use free templates like Canva to create engaging infographics.
Users like content that’s quick to consume and easy to understand, that’s why infographics are so effective. You can share them on your blog posts to summarise the content you’ve discussed in a concise, creative way. You can share them in email campaigns and on social media to drive traffic to your website if users want to learn more.
5. Case studies
Case studies work on the same principle as word of mouth. Users like to hear other users’ experiences with a brand, product or service. Case studies give your audience a detailed look into why an existing customer chose and enjoyed your offering. It provides real-life use cases for potential customers to understand if the offering would be effective for their own business.
Case studies can be testimonials on your homepage, landing pages or social media. They can be videos physically showing the experience a customer had. A case studies section on your website enables users to find an existing customer in a similar situation to their brand. If they can see the success a similar business has had, they’re more likely to engage with your offering.
Audio content is perfect for users on the go. A lot of users listen to podcasts while driving, on the train, in a taxi or on the bus. Podcasts are audio-only content and usually form part of a series that users can subscribe to. Podcasts allow users to feel like they’re having a conversation with your brand in a more relaxed environment.
Brand podcasts usually cover the industry and service the business is in, often featuring industry professionals as guest speakers. For example, the boltcast, Growing with Purpose, covers the topic of business growth and speaks to entrepreneurs, motivational speakers and growth experts to give listeners expert insight and new learnings.
Newsletters, articles, event invites and webinar promotions are forms of email marketing that place your brand directly in front of your audience. Emails land straight in your audience’s inbox and encourage them to engage with your brand. Enticing copy, subject lines, content and visuals contribute to the effectiveness of email marketing.
Including imagery, gifs, videos and personalisation tactics will ensure your email content is engaging. Ensure you direct your audience to the next stage of the buyer’s journey using calls to action in your emails. Link through to your landing pages, social media, podcast, webinar, event, ebook or blog so they can continue engaging with your brand.
Whitepapers are another type of long-form content but shouldn’t be mistaken for ebooks. Where an ebook might communicate topic processes and overviews, whitepapers focus specifically on data and statistics. Whitepapers should be just as visually appealing as ebooks to keep the user engaged. Graphs, charts and figures should be easy to digest with colours and imagery.
Whitepapers are usually used by B2B businesses who have a lot of industry knowledge that needs to be shared. The formal content type is much longer than ebooks and blog posts and allows businesses to go into more detail about a topic. They can generate leads just as ebooks do by asking users to download the whitepaper.
Webinars engage users visually and audibly while teaching them about a subject your business is expert in. Webinars are essentially online seminars held by businesses that users can sign up to attend. They involve a speaker or speakers chatting to the audience using visual aids like a presentation or infographic to explain the subject matter.
Webinar participants can ask the speaker questions throughout the live webinar via a forum. It allows the audience to give feedback, query something the speaker has said or ask them to expand on a topic. These interactions create a personal experience and connection between the brand and audience which is vital for building positive customer relationships.
10. Social media
Social media is a short-form content type that must engage users instantly. Social media, depending on the channel, limits the number of characters you can use to grab the audience’s attention. Social posts have to be concise and to the point, while being entertaining and informative. Images, infographics, gifs, videos and emojis keep social posts engaging and shareable.
Calls to action and links are important so you can drive website traffic. Social media gets your brand out to audiences that may not have otherwise discovered your offering. You can interact with your audience by commenting, sharing and liking their posts. It’s also a great opportunity to manage customer expectations and feedback.
The content you choose to create is down to the value you want to provide to your audience. Do you want to entertain, engage, educate or inform? Think about how your target audience consumes content. If they don’t like reading long-form content, don’t produce whitepapers or blog posts, stick to social media and videos. You must know your audience to deliver a valuable content offering. Always think quality over quantity. You don’t need to create every type of content out there for the sake of it. Choose which are most suitable for your business, offering and audience and focus on topics that will be the most important to users.