The purpose of the different types of content marketing is to create valuable and relevant content for a brand or company’s audiences. The end goal is to provide value and drive interest in the brand or company and its products or services.
It’s often customized and personalized to specific individuals or audiences, in contrast to traditional marketing which targets broader audiences through print ads, telemarketing, billboards, and TV ads.
Investing in content marketing is clearly worth it for brands — it generates three times more leads per dollar spent than traditional marketing. This is in part due to more segmented audiences, increased use of online devices to consume content, increased apathy towards ads online, increased use of the internet to research products and brands, and more.
There are various types of content marketing (and content marketing platforms) that marketers can use to engage customers directly and build relationships to encourage repeat customers and brand loyalty.
Elements of content marketing, such as editorial calendars, content audits, and inbound marketing tactics can help brands draw more customers, keep existing customers engaged, and boost brand loyalty.
11 Best Types of Content Marketing
Having a good grasp of how and when to use content marketing or traditional marketing is essential for allocating marketing budget to specific tactics. There are endless content marketing tactics and content formats you can allocate budget to or add to your content marketing strategy, with more being created as content marketing and digital technologies evolve.
Here’s our list of the best types of content marketing to use when creating quality content.
1. Social Media
There is no way to address today’s marketing without taking social media content into account. The number of social media users grows by the day in all age brackets, on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more. With such a large variety of potential audiences, the one that you are targeting is bound to have some individuals using social media.
It’s a great place to grow a loyal audience that will share and promote your content (if it’s valuable enough!). There’s also the potential for likes and shares to go beyond the original target audience and reach others who may not know the brand, increasing brand awareness.
Another social media marketing tactic is cultivating and working with influencers, so they can promote your brand and your products through their own content.
Podcasts are convenient for listeners because they are portable, allowing listeners to stay informed on the go, while driving, out for a walk, or even in the gym. Good ones are informative, diverse, and are relevant to your industry or current events.
Using the lens of industry trends or current events, you can showcase your business, demonstrate thought leadership, and create brand awareness. Getting into podcasting can be pricey due to equipment costs, but growing a loyal following can lead to a big payoff.
3. Live video
Live video is a great way to catch people's attention on social media. This might include a webinar, a company or product announcement, product demos, Q&As, presentations, or live streaming of an event, depending on your video marketing strategy. There are various tools for this type of content marketing, including Instagram Live, YouTube, and webinar tools and hosting platforms.
Livestreaming enables companies to connect with buyers in real-time, and it gives companies the ability to show off their employees, mission, and values, so viewers can connect with the brand on a human level, rather than as a company.
Livestreams are often not scripted (and if they are, it’s a very loose script), so the video content feels natural and easy. Depending on the format, people can interact with the video content by asking questions or responding to prompts.
4. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Users of a product or service can be great sources of content and feedback around your offerings, especially if they had a positive experience. There are a number of ways to collect user-generated content, such as surveys and questionnaires, listening to users on social media, and creating forums or knowledge bases for users to post on.
Brands might use UGC in a variety of ways, such as posting testimonials on their website or social media, featuring user content in blog posts and other website content, and more. By posting user-generated content, the company highlights its positive relationship with its customers, and that customer input is appreciated.
5. Visual Data
Visual data is a great way to engage audiences, and it helps present your brand as a thought-leader in your industry. It also helps audiences read and digest stats, facts, and numbers that might otherwise be tedious to read.
Visual content is becoming so crucial that it's developing within its own area of marketing, known as visual content marketing.
Virtually all pieces of content have some visual component, but visual data—charts, graphs, interactive maps are highly sought-after and add a lot of value to audiences. Create visual content that tells clear, compelling stories through data and use them to form the basis for other marketing tactics such as social media, press, sale of eBooks, case studies, white papers, and more.
Blogs are ubiquitous these days and are used for everything from offering advice and answering questions, to publishing original and insightful research. Blog posts are often created by the marketing team and may be supplemented with guest posts from guest bloggers.
Blogs are also a primary means for businesses to implement an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy for Google and other search engines by writing posts that will rank for particular keywords that they know their target audience is searching for.
Fresh, quality blog content with relevant and valuable information brings in an engaged audience and a growing customer base. Weekly or monthly blog posts can be promoted through email marketing, social media posts, and other means as part of a brand storytelling strategy.
Infographics often work hand in hand with visual data, employing the tactic to create a full story using data, images, graphs, charts, and text. Infographics work great as lead magnets and as part of lead generation campaigns.
You can also slice and dice them to use in social media posts, blog posts, and other marketing campaigns. Your brand or company will appear more credible, reputable, and trustworthy.
8. Case Studies
Case studies are a way to provide valuable information about your product or service in a detailed context to build trust between you and a prospective buyer. Potential buyers get to see what working with your brand or using your product or service will be like, and they can hear about positive and real-life outcomes and experiences that other customers have had.
If your case study is good enough, it's also a viable way to get backlinks to your site, and it can form the basis for future press releases.
Another great tactic for lead generation is eBooks. eBooks are a type of long-form content that offers readers valuable and relevant information, rather than trying to sell a product or service.
You can offer your eBook to potential customers through landing pages in exchange for their email address or some other type of contact information. Often, this involves adding the potential customer to your email list.
The content of your eBook should be as valuable and high-quality as possible to ensure that customers feel justified in providing their contact information.
Checklists are another tactic commonly used as a lead magnet, as well as in blog posts. They offer valuable step-by-step instructions that help users solve issues, building trust, and creating an image of your brand as helpful and as a thought-leader.
Brands use these to reach new audiences by offering a downloadable PDF checklist in exchange for contact information. Checklists that might be considered less valuable or that takes less effort to produce might be released on social media or within a blog post.
Memes are everywhere — some are good, some are great, and some aren’t relevant for your audience. The three main things to think about when using a meme in your marketing are:
- Relevance to your audience
- Timing in relation to current events and social media climate
- The cultural and social context in relation to your audience
Done well, memes can boost your traffic and engagement, as well as act as a shorthand for you to join a variety of conversations.
A word of caution: memes are often very culturally-specific and often reference a specific moment in time or on the internet. Before you post a meme, consider whether your target audience has the context that the meme requires. Also, consider current events and news stories — does the meme make light of serious issues or social movements? If so, avoid posting.
Different types of content marketing will continue to evolve as companies become more competitive and profit margins get smaller. New marketing tactics will emerge as digital technologies continue to evolve at a fast pace.
Marketing teams need to assess their content marketing strategy and tactics so they remain adaptable to the changing landscape and changing audience needs.
It’s also important to focus your marketing efforts on the forms of content that fit your content creation workflow, business goals, and the resources you have at your disposal. If you don’t create great content, your efforts won’t have a high return on investment. Marketing planning software is one way to organize your tactics, strategies, and content types to maximize your return on investment.
Find ways to keep up with digital marketing and content marketing trends and set your own trends and standards. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and join the waitlist for our ECM community, launching soon!
Looking into Marketing Software for your business? Read: What Is Marketing Software? 15 Types & What They Do