Content marketing: 16 content types you should try
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What kind of content should you include in your marketing mix?
In this article, I collected the most popular content types you can use, and how can you use them for best results.
These content types are just the most important and those that are used in marketing (not PR or channels).
This content is just a piece of the whole marketing machine – the best blog post can be buried in the Google search results, and never get any traffic if you don’t promote it.
For content marketing, you need a strategy and need to build it up.
I hopefully break down the myth that content marketing is all about copywriting. Copywriting is only part of the marketing.
Let’s see the pieces:
Not every blog post can be an article, but every article can be a blog post. You can use your articles in your blog, guest-blogging, or PR articles.
Usually longer blog posts (500-2000 words) perform best when there is enough time to talk about the subject in details.
You can build expertise with a blog. Someone with 40-50 articles can be an expert. And if you are, please communicate it.
If you imagine a product ladder, blog posts are at the bottom, because they are easy and quick to write. At the top of the ladder are the ebooks. It takes more effort to produce a well-written ebook with quality design. But it’s worth it.
Publishing an ebook can build expertise, educate customers, and gives extra value to your community.
However, I don’t recommend using an ebook as a lead magnet.
Even if it’s only 40 pages – it’s too much for a lead magnet.
Leads want something that consumed quickly, is easy to apply, and focuses on a specific area.
However, you can use it as a Tripwire offer (even if it’s free), because people will show you their serious interest by investing time to read the longer ebook.
Ebooks are also good for branding and using as references when you are talking about yourself as an expert.
Data tells about the features of your product or services, but stories sell. Case studies basically change your product description to a story.
Also, it’s a reference. And with numbers and details, your story will be more authentic.
In a case study, you can show how and what kind of strategies helped solve a customer’s problem. This allows the prospects to see themselves in their shoes, and think that their problem can be solved as well.
Case studies are story teller references.
Another upside is that it’s 100% unique. No one else has written it before.
While writing an article, you can’t be sure that somebody hasn’t written about it before you (and odds are that they did). In a case study, you write your product’s story – nobody could write about it before.
More familiar content, because an email inbox is a more “private” place. That’s why newsletters are ideal to build and maintain a relationship between your brand and the reader.
You can send “news” about your company or your industry. Also, you can send notes about a local event, so your subscribers are up-to-date. Or share what has changed in the industry.
You also can send your readers to your blog post – getting traffic to your blog and great information to your reader. Win-win!
Most important: you can create exclusive content just for subscribers or a promotion that gives a reason why subscribing is beneficial.
I also have exclusive content that only my subscribers, or a segment of my subscribers, receive.
This is content between a picture and a blog post, with the benefits of both.
Understanding a picture is much quicker than reading and understanding a block of copy. You can make the most boring topics visually pretty and lovable with an infographic.
This content type is not one that everybody uses, so it’s like a breath of fresh air.
This is a publication that cover a specific topic – usually with resources.
Usually B2B companies use it, and they are in PDF format, about 8-20 pages long.
They are good for educating customers, and also build reputation and expertise. If there is something only you know, write a white paper, so everybody will realize that you are an expert in this field, with unique knowledge.
They are usually used for lead generation, as a lead magnet, and writers promote an offer at the end of the white paper to assist conversion.
White papers basically are long, detailed articles, where you demonstrate your product’s benefits in a way that the customer doesn’t perceive as salesy.
Two birds with one stone: you will gain knowledge about the new trends and industry subjects, and also build expertise in your customers’ eyes.
Statistics attract shares and likes like a magnet, and also create engagement and back links if people refer to it from their own sites.
You don’t have to do years of massive research involving thousands of people. It’s good if you start with a short questionnaire.
You can use your market research data to target the right people in the right media, with the right message.
Everybody has some curiosity inside (especially if it’s about them), and quizzes are good for this: you can learn something about yourself.
Quizzes also can go viral,and generate a lot of shares and comments.
Make your customer’s life easier with a helpful mobile app. If it’s good and interesting, people will use it.
If they use it, you have a great marketing channel on their own phone that you can use to reach them and communicate with them.
It can build loyalty, because the users can send feedback and questions that you can answer.
You can reward users with exclusive discounts or offers, making some sales with it.
Easy to consume and builds reputation. You can encourage your customers to listen to you while they are travelling or doing house work.
It’s another marketing channel you can take advantage of – there are platforms specifically to share podcasts.
Ideally you embed the podcast in your blog, and talk about resources, books, links, videos and articles you refer to in your podcast.
It gives a voice to your brand while building it.
It’s not expensive anymore to create a video.
Of course, it takes more effort prepping, shooting, and editing, but you can do it yourself.
Some people like to consume videos, not text – so it’s good to serve those too.
There are many web software applications that make your life easier.
An SEO expert likes a website that gives him data about a backlink web, or keyword density, or on-site data. Or automate something you otherwise do manually.
Create a software that helps your audience, so they will actively use it.
Imagine this blog post as a webinar.
I would create slides for it, and I tell the story in front of a webcam in the corner of the slides.
It would be more interesting, engaging, and more creative.
You can put out evergreen webinars, too, that can be recorded and watched after they were presented, so you re-use the content several times.
Checklists are a type of worksheet that provide a list of things to do in a step-by-step process in order to achieve some type of desired outcome. These are great content assets for small businesses because they are easy to create and promote, yet still provide a significant value for the target audience.
After you’ve created a checklist on a relevant topic, you can share your checklists on social media or even incorporate them into a blog post. The more you share and repurpose your checklist content, the more value your business gets out of the investment.
GIFs and Memes
It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is sharing one of their favorite memes. These types of content have become extremely popular among consumers and have solidified their importance in popular culture. Not to mention, memes and GIFs are some of the most shareable types of content marketing on the web today.
If you aren’t familiar with memes, they typically feature images that have gone viral online or screenshots from films, along with a caption that says something entertaining, insightful, or relatable.
Like memes, GIFs are also a fun way to communicate and resonate with the general public. GIFs are animated image files that can be shared on a variety of different platforms, including social media and email.