It is not enough to simply create content; you have to create content that is useful for your audience to gain their trust.
That might sound fairly easy, but the truth is that choosing the right types of content in digital marketing is far more of an art than a science. What we know has worked for one brand or audience may fall completely flat for another.
What Are the Types of Content Marketing Formats?
Content is, arguably, anything you create that doesn’t contain an overt sales message; it is really that simple. But it is also fairly vague, so we broke it down into the most common categories you are likely to encounter. Those are:
- Blog content
- Social media.
Let’s explore each of these and see how to get the best results from them.
1. Blog Content Marketing
By and large, blogs still account for the vast majority of content marketing out there (86 percent according to The State of Content Marketing Report 2019: Global Report), and for good reason.
We know that businesses that use blogs receive 97 percent more links to their websites and, in turn, have 434 percent more indexed pages for the SERPs. This is why it is pretty much a no-brainer since blogging can also be extremely cost-effective for small businesses on a tight budget.
Blog posts are most effective when used strictly for good, like most types of content marketing. Rather than blogging about how your newest product will change lives, you should be writing about topics related to your products or services.
You literally won’t need to push your products when you establish your company as a leading industry expert, whether locally or internationally. Add genuine impact by adding something new and valuable, above and beyond what the many, many generic blogs out there offer.
After all, your readers want to know what you know and how you can help solve their problem, not what everyone else has already said. Definitely forget leaning hard into keywords, the user experience is far more valuable today.
2. Infographic Content Marketing
Of the many different forms of content marketing, infographics are one that can really throw a big curveball for digital marketers. It is a shame because a good infographic can get a lot of attention in the form of shares and inbound links.
Of course, you can’t use an infographic for everything, nor should you. But choosing the right time and graphic can elevate this content format to the sublime.
Successful infographics are simple, impactful, and meaningful. The point of them is to take a lot of complicated information from a study or survey and break it down into the most important points.
They can be used to punctuate written blogs or as standalone content for both blogging platforms and social media - just remember to keep it simple and impactful filled with strong data points.
Here is an example of a small infographic in a social post promoting a piece of content.
3. Podcast Content Marketing
High-quality podcasts have been extremely lucrative for some digital marketers, though they are far from a universal solution for your content needs. Once you have the right equipment, they can be simple to produce and, if distributed through a podcast network, can have massive reach. It is still important to plan a podcast ahead of time, though, and not just try to wing it — that path only leads to tears.
Use your professionally composed podcast to bring more awareness to your brand from difficult to penetrate markets with specialty niches, and also as a way to showcase your brand’s personality in a very big way.
Even if you are using a podcast network, you can also still incorporate those podcasts into your business’ website and social media efforts as extra content to share with your audience. And as Lisa Buyer points out here, “Podcast content can be the epicenter of evergreen content, ready to be sliced, diced, and repurposed.”
4. Video Content Marketing
Video content can be expensive to produce, as well as time-consuming, but it is hot and in demand among many consumers. Although many prefer written content, those that want video are still wanting to see even more than they can get their hands on right now.
A well-produced video spot shows a whole different side of your business (much like a podcast does) and can give you a better way to create content that demonstrates how to do something or how something works.
Consider videos for more than just blogging; they are also great for teaching someone how to replumb their own sink trap using your product or show potential customers how you manufacture your golf clubs, from start to finish.
Don’t forget to create captions for your videos and include a text introduction to help humans better navigate their way to what they really want to see. You can then use this content almost anywhere, from your main website to your blog, your social media page, or even in email campaigns.
Check out the Video Marketing Crash Course
5. Social Media Content Marketing
Of the many forms of content marketing, social media is one that is often treated alone because it follows a slightly different set of rules. Unlike other digital marketing content listed above, social media marketing is all about getting people to look AND respond directly. You want engagement that is palpable.
It can take some effort to find both the type of content and medium that really resonates with your social media followers, but if you are already producing other types of content for your marketing, the good news is that you can easily repurpose them for social media, too.
By watching your social media analytics, you will be able to figure out pretty quickly if your audience is the type that prefers videos or blogs, serious posts from your CEO, or funny posts from your staff writers. Plus, you will be able to gauge how much traffic social media is generating to your site.
- Want to track your social campaigns? You can also get on your competitors and find a better strategy. Try the Semrush Social Media Platform for free today,
The Ultimate Trick for Content Marketing
The biggest hack for success with content marketing, really, is to put your all into it and know what your audience needs. The more you feel it, the better that is going to translate to your audience and help address what they are looking for.
You may need to experiment a bit in your marketing efforts to figure out what types of content are going to best speak to your customers, but it is not hard to see your success when you have access to analytics data.
A package like Semrush’s Content Marketing Platform can help you not only build a content plan but optimize the content you create for your audience and follow its performance all the way through shares and mentions.
Some Content Marketing Resources: