Content is the foundation of any Inbound Marketing Strategy. Utilizing different types of content marketing is key to driving inbound traffic and leads to your website. For Social Media Marketing, content comes first. If you don’t incorporate relevant content that your audience wants to read or watch, your social media strategy will fold. Public Relations strategies will address issues that readers care about, and PPC campaigns that want to be successful will need strong content to back it up. Even for SEO, search engines reward businesses that are publishing great quality, consistent content.

What is Content Marketing?

Essentially, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The word “content” is a very broad term that can mean anything ranging from written content like educational blog posts, videos dealing with past clients or products, to photos and graphic design.

That being said, there are many ways that your company or organization can implement different types of content marketing into your inbound, content marketing strategy.

What are the different types of Content Marketing?

Content type #1: Infographics

An infographic is the presentation of information or data in a visual way.

Infographics get shared and viewed more than most other content types. They are a great way to get your information to your audience in a visual format. Infographics are liked and shared on social media up to three times more often than other content.

How to pull it off

  • Find a graphic designer that specializes in infographics. If you have it in your budget, you can use a service like Visual.ly.
  • Prices for infographics typically start around $1,000.

When to use infographics

  • Use Infographics when you are trying to communicate almost any idea or concept. Data, research, statistics, and findings are communicated well through visuals.

What to keep in mind

  • Infographics can be expensive. Don’t be surprised if the asking price is around $1,000.
  • Infographics have to be good. With everyone creating them now, quality matters to break through the noise.
  • Consider gifographics. Gifographics are animated infographics using gifs instead of standard images. They could be helpful for setting your infographics apart.

Content type #2: Meme

Memes are an easy type of content to digest and are enjoyed by nearly everyone. Especially if they are funny. If you can make people laugh, you have made something very sharable that people may let their friends know about through social media.

How to pull it off

  • Memes require little to no graphic design chops. Check out Meme Generator and Quick Meme to get started on making memes.
  • When a funny idea strikes you that your audience will enjoy – meme it!

What to keep in mind

  • Memes are adaptable. The great thing about memes is that they can be adapted for use in any niche.
  • Memes can be low value, so don’t overuse them. When misused, they can devalue the message or brand that you’re trying to promote.
  • Memes aren’t the best for blog posts, but are perfect for social media.

Content type #3: Videos

Video content converts better than nearly any other type of content marketing. There are so many ways that you can implement videos into a content strategy for blogs, social media, and more. Whether you are making a how-to video for your DIY savvy audience, showing off your latest funny commercial, or wowing your viewers with incredible visuals, videos can be helpful for any company’s marketing strategy.

How to pull it off

  • Videos need to be planned out well. Make sure that you have a script and on-screen text that clearly communicates your message.
  • YouTube and Vimeo are a must. Both of these platforms will gather social signals for SEO and video search.

What to keep in mind

  • Quality video content is expensive but worth it. Video crews aren’t cheap.
  • 2-3 minutes is long enough for a video. They don’t have to be super long.

Content type #4: Guides

A guide is a detailed, longer piece of content that aims to walk your audience through intricate processes. These are a great place and type of content to incorporate infographics!

How to pull it off

  • In order to write a solid guide, you will need three things: a writer, a designer, and a concept that your target audience is wanting to read about (i.e. a problem that they’re having or questions that they need answering).
  • The writer and the designer will need to cooperate to communicate the idea in a coherent and attractive way.

What to keep in mind

  • Like eBooks, guides can be great incentive to collect emails from your website visitors.
  • Readability and presentation go hand-in-hand. Mark sure you hire writers and designers who know what they’re doing.

Content type #5: Book reviews

Book reviews are used to discuss a book, as well as your opinion on it. This is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader in your field.

How to pull it off

I think that having a solid format for your book reviews will set you up for success. Below is a sample format:

  • Introduce the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Introduce the author: 1-5 sentences.
  • Summarize the book’s major points: 1-3 sentences per point.
  • Share what you liked in the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Share what you didn’t like about the book: 1-5 sentences.
  • Recommend it (or not) to your readers: 1-3 sentences.

You can also place a CTA under the article (i.e. an Amazon link to the book).

What to keep in mind

  • Before you get started, it is important to ask yourself: Do I have an audience full of book readers? If the answer is no, I would recommend investing your time and efforts elsewhere.

Content type #6: Opinion post (a.k.a. “Rant”)

People love controversy. While opinion blog posts are not necessarily educational or well researched, you can get a lot of exposure by expressing controversial opinions.

How to pull it off

  • Every once in awhile (don’t over-do this), write your opinion on a hot-button issue. This could be changed in the market, a critique of someone famous, or harmful policies.
  • By addressing topics with a lot of popularity and traffic, you will do better in search engines and on social media.

What to keep in mind

  • Do not do this every day. You could overwhelm or annoy your audience.
  • Use tact. Don’t insult people on the other side. By insulting people who don’t share your viewpoint, you will quickly divide your audience in half.

Content type #7: Product reviews

Just like a book review, product reviews can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. By providing positive and negative feedback on the various products in your industry, you may gain industry-wide respect.

How to pull it off

Here’s a pattern for the product review that is very similar to how a book review should be written:

  • Introduce the product
  • Introduce the producer
  • Describe the product
  • Share what you like
  • Share what you don’t like
  • Provide your recommendation

What to keep in mind

  • Consider doing a recorded review for video or podcast, while also providing the transcript of the review on your blog. That way you give your audience options.

Content type #8: How-to Posts

How-to guides are incredibly effective. People are constantly using Google to figure out how to solve their problems. Find problems that your target audience are having and use how to guides to answer their questions. This type of content marketing can drive traffic and leads to your website.

How to pull it off

Identify the problem that your audience is having, and then walk them through the solution:

  • Introduce the problem
  • Introduce the solution
  • Discuss each step of the solution
  • Summarize the discussion
  • Provide a conclusion

What to keep in mind

  • Be thorough and use plenty of visuals to communicate your process to your audience.

Content type #9: Lists

Lists are an extremely popular type of written content that people have consumed for centuries. If you scroll through Facebook, chances are you will see an article that starts with something along the lines of “10 ways to…”, “5 steps for…”, etc. If you can segment your advice for your audience into a list format, you will have a better chance of it being read and shared.

How to pull it off

  • Choose a topic that is relevant to your audience’s needs and pain-points.
  • Introduce your topic, list your points with a description for each one, and conclude.
  • Remember, people typically skim through his kind of content. Be detailed, but don’t write a novel about each point.

What to keep in mind

  • Be detailed.
  • Don’t be afraid of long lists.

Content type #10: Link pages

Link pages are a useful type of content for many reasons. First, you are providing your audience with helpful outside resources that you have aggregated into one place (i.e. your blog). Secondly, you spread link juice to other websites that provide your website with more domain authority and help your website rank higher on search engines.

How to pull it off

  • Simply put, a link page is a list of links. Provide an interesting title, list out your pages, hyperlink it, and you’re done!

What to keep in mind

  • Don’t forget to provide helpful descriptions to each link you provide!

Content type #11: Ebook

I love ebooks. If they are addressing issues that matter to your audience, they become the perfect incentive and content type for building email lists. You can do this by requiring their email address be submitted into a subscription field before they are able to download the book. They are often in PDF format so that they are easily downloadable. By creating relevant ebooks, you can share your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader in your field.

How to pull it off

  • 10,000 words would be an optimal goal for an eBook. Imagine the length of this article times five.
  • Organize your thoughts into chapters.

What to keep in mind

  • Make sure that you have an excellent title. Take the time to try out different titles and to consult some of your customers.
  • Use well-made graphics to communicate your message and to liven up your book. Your book will be super high quality and your audience will thank you.
  • Create a PDF and HTML version of the eBook. The HTML version can be outfitted with additional audio and video resources.

Content type #12: Case Study

Case studies explain how your products and services helped your client. A great content type for providing examples to leads on how your business could impact their lives. You want to tell your audience what you do, how you do it, and your results.

How to pull it off

To create a case study, follow this model:

  • Write a summary of the study and a preview of the outcome.
  • Lay out the problems that the client was having and how you were able to overcome them.
  • What was your solution? Write it out step-by-step.
  • Discuss your results and why they were successful for your client.
  • Conclusion and a CTA (call to action).

What to keep in mind

  • While case studies are great marketing tools, try to not oversell it! Your results should speak for themselves.
  • You are telling a story. Organize it like one!

Content type #13: Podcast

Podcasts are my favorite type of content. They are simple to make, they bolster your authority in your field, and they’re easily consumable by your audience. People listen to podcasts while they’re on their morning commute, or lifting in the gym. This is a great way to get your message out to the masses.

How to pull it off

  • With the right program and a microphone, you can easily record a podcast. Apple has a sweet guide!

What to keep in mind

      • Consider posting the transcript of the podcast for SEO value.
      • Discuss your topics also on your blog.

Content type #14: Interview

A great way to bring more traffic to your site is to interview prevalent thought leaders in your industry and to post them onto your site. You can do this by transcribing the interview for your audience to read, recording it on a podcast, or shooting it for a YouTube video.

How to pull it off

Invite the interviewee to talk at a time of their convenience and follow this format:

      • Introduce the interviewee. Be excited. Build up the anticipation!
      • Ask a question. Let the interviewee answer. Repeat until the interview is over.
      • Ask additional questions as you deem appropriate.
      • Conclusion. Be sure to thank the interviewee and provide a call to action for your audience.

What to keep in mind

          • Provide a written summary if your interview was recorded for audio/video.

Content type #15: Research and original data

Numbers hold a lot of value for people in highly technical fields. Sharing your research with others is a great way to drive traffic, build trust, and establish your authority.

How to pull it off

          • Find a good topic that your audience will care about and invest the time and effort into understanding it.
          • Present your data in an engaging way. Share concrete numbers, percentages, and other details that engage a user’s interest.

What to keep in mind

          • Conducting a professional research study can be an expensive task. Try and evaluate the cost before diving in.
          • Take the research that you do for yourself anyways and turn it into a blog post as a “study”. This will provide you with more content while also continuing to establish you as an expert.
          • Communicate your research as an infographic. This will provide your research with a chance to be shared more by people who may not have come across it otherwise.

Conclusion

Content Marketing is a super broad concept that can be classified in many ways. While it may not be practical or necessary for your business or organization to use all 15 of the different types of content laid out here, you will surely find some very helpful types of content marketing and techniques that will take your online marketing game to another level!

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