It is highly unlikely that you have not yet heard of the term “Content Marketing”.
Likely, you have even formed your definition based on some form of understanding of what it is.
But if you do not know anything about it yet, you may just be too embarrassed to admit it.
Regardless, you are in the RIGHT place!
Content marketing is most easily defined as the marketing of information that is valuable and relevant to the audience.
Now, this is not a definition of the most successful entrepreneur, the most trending business, or even the most reputed content marketing agency like us!
Instead, this is the definition that is most suitable for “you and me” – the general consumers who act upon the content marketing strategies of companies that are competing for our attention… our time… and subsequently, our money.
The keyword in the definition is “valuable”. Consumers will do the following with information which is deemed to be of value or is relevant to them:
- Search for specific information of interest
- Seek out relevant information to learn more
- Constantly desire more of similar information in various forms.
One the other hand, there are types of information that others will avoid at all costs – they don’t like it, they don’t want to read about it, hear about it, or see it.
Now, there is no easy way of knowing what an individual consumer likes or dislikes until they are exposed to it, especially in this day and age, where the most unexpected things are considered relevant and start trending in a matter of minutes.
Knowing the definition and the explanation, you will not be necessarily satisfied as content marketing is a HUGE marketing strategy altogether, which is better understood through examples.
Five (5) Most Common Content Marketing Examples
No matter what the nature of the content is, the goal is always the same – provide value to the target audience by creating evergreen content!
The cost is translated to success based on your specific business type and its end goal.
Google recognizes the importance of providing people with exactly what they are looking for. After all, this is exactly what Google was made to do – bring people the information they want.
Google is the most effective and most reputed content marketer in the history of the internet. They supply every type of content right in front of the eyes of their users.
There are tons and tons of content available online in its various types – far too many to list and describe simply.
However, almost all the modern-day content marketing falls into the following five (5) common categories of content (so, we will cover the many types of content within each):
Blogs are messages which either tell a story or provides information about a specific topic. There are many forms of written blogs. The importance of blog content in this day and age of information and technology is simply – unparalleled.
We are all familiar with this term and its many variations such as personal blogs, business blogs, travel blogs, and of course, the most popular one today – vlogs (video blogs!).
But most blogs are all written content!
There is always a specific group of people who will find interest in a topic and will want to read about it online. Whether it is news about it, step by step instructions on it, the latest discoveries, tips, and tricks on it, etc. – it merely works for any and every topic!
Okay, let’s now speak about some of the essential types of written content which will fall under the category of blogs in the field of content marketing:
The importance of having a blog on your website to attract potential customers, improve your SEO efforts and the ranking of your website are not up for debate. It is the most cost-effective way of boosting organic traffic.
Finding the Latest News, Updates or Events
When you tell your target audience about the latest event or incident related to their topic of interest, that is, of course, a blog. There are tons of news sites available online which serve the all-important purpose of bringing all the latest news to their followers.
If you are targeting customers who are interested in sports, then you should be prepared to provide them with everything from Golf to Racing, from Basketball to Cricket, from Baseball to Boxing and everything in between.
However, if your target audience is Basketball followers, then be sure to cover every little news related to Basketball only. That will establish your authority for the specific target audience.
So, whether you simply state what has happened like a news article or write about an event with your spin or reaction of the game – that is primarily content marketing using Blogs.
Targeting, Teaching and Training Your Readers (TTT Formula)
The next blog type is trendy – “how-to” articles. You must have seen titles such as these on so many blogs, and you must have also searched using this term for something on Google.
“How to” articles or blogs are written content that is created to target, teach, train your targeted audience about the topic. So, whether they are looking for solutions from how to change a light bulb to how to install a headlight on their car, or from how to solve a math equation or how to design a website – you are teaching them how to get it done!
Target= Specific Group of People
Train= Create How-to Guidelines
So, the demand for these types of blogs from academics to instructional step by step guides is always of high value.
Cherry Picking the Best from The Rest (Listicles Content)
Another form of content marketing that falls under the category of blogs is listicles. These are articles that offer “the 7 best” or “top 10” etc.
These type of contents are also called as “Listicles Content”
In 2020, the market is saturated with products, services, and the respective providers. As a content marketing expert, you are providing your followers with the assistance of conducting thorough research of the market and cherry-picking only the best from the rest to make their decision making easier.
While you may seem like a bit of a preacher, or an advocate, this is a handy form of content marketing in the modern-day.
If a consumer is looking for the best printing service provider for their small business needs, then you must accumulate a list of the top 10 printers in the area, the quality of their prints and their prices compared to others.
In terms of intangible services, if they are looking for a new website, then provide them with the top 3 hosting service providers that they can consider discussing things such as the best support, downtime, speed, etc.
What Your Customers Say About You (UGC Content)
Regardless of which industry you are providing a service in, what your customers are saying about you is the most effective form of marketing – period!
This is known as User Generated Content (UGC). So, anything from a client review, testimonial, a tweet, like, share, or detailed documentation of service. Essentially, they all fall under the blog category in content marketing if it is presented in such a way.
So, user-generated content in the form of testimonials, customer reviews are an excellent way of getting not just the best constructive criticisms but also, provide a glimpse of why your service is the best choice to your potential customers. Take a look at the above coffee image!
As you can see, no matter what type of written content it is, it falls under blogs if marketed according to a tried and tested content marketing plan in 2020.
When working on any type of a blog or written content, use the following tips:
- Always optimize your content as per your SEO targets
- Use the umbrella model to group your blog topics suited to your target audience
- Keep your content as focused and as relevant to the product/service or item as possible
- Launch a campaign under a #Hashtag and let your user know to participate in it to get a price!
You may be thinking, “What… books!?!”
Well, believe it or not, this ancient method has still not lost its touch – not in the sense of the traditional books and neither in the digital age.
A lot of us may be thinking of books like any other consumer product as the product itself. But in the content marketing industry, a book is a crucial marketing tool!
By definition, a book is not ONLY a book in the content marketing industry. The many different types of content which fall within the content marketing category of books include the likes of eBooks, magazines, case studies, documentaries, reports, whitepapers, and more.
All these forms of content are at the very least useful for establishing credibility based on publications. Then, of course, depending on how your target audience accepts it, you can measure the other benefits.
Just imagine your introduction to building rapport with potential clients or as a speaker “Author of the book…”, “author in the magazine…”, etc.
Ever wonder what an eBook is?
Well, think of it not as a novel, but more like an extra-long blog. They are not aimed at praising your product or service and trying to lure in customers. But they are a source of valuable information for those who are looking to know more about the specific topic.
Think of the blog as a movie trailer on YouTube and an eBook being a full-length feature film. So, only your specific target audience will go the lengths necessary to download an eBook.
It is an excellent content marketing strategy to offer your audience a free eBook which will cover all the details of what they need to know and establish your credibility to them at the same time.
As a result, this can be used as a marketing tool for increasing your reach for other paid services.
4) Case Studies
You may be familiar with this term, as it has been used in marketing for many years. The best way to tell potential customers is to show them how you or your company, product, or service has helped other businesses.
Case studies are an excellent way of showing anyone how a problem was resolved from the beginning steps to the very end. A complete journey of a company that faces challenges, what actions were taken as solutions, and the outcome.
The primary appeal for case studies is that the entire problem-solving journey is not just in theory, but these real-life practical examples.
As a result, you can efficiently market not just your problem-solving product or service, but real-life results immediately back it. You can conduct case studies on businesses or problems which are most relatable to your target audience for maximum impact.
An often-misunderstood concept is that of the content form of Whitepapers.
While many confuse it with case studies, documentaries, reports, or eBooks, it is unique to each of these content types.
Whitepapers are created with a completely different objective than the other forms of content. They are unique as the target audience is an investment company or any other type of investor.
The objective is to present the financial ROIs of industry, product, service, or company to bring in more investment. In the age of startups and online businesses, this is a critical form of content marketing.
So, let’s have a quick recap to look at the unique purpose or meaning of these types of content:
- eBooks – long-form content which is longer than blogs but shorter than novels which give valuable information about a topic to readers
- Case Studies – real-life examples of a problem, the steps to resolve it and the outcome to convince readers of the effectiveness of a solution
- Documentaries – a documentation of a specific perspective or point of view aimed at making the readers reflect and come to their conclusions
- Reports – a collection of data which are translated to information for readers to agree or come to the predetermined end of the author
- Whitepaper – a combination of financial and logistical data, market research, etc. presented in a way for readers to recognize the scope for economic benefits to lure investments
As you will agree, all these forms of content may fall under the category of Books in the content marketing industry; they are all unique and built for their purpose.
Content is often misunderstood as just text – while the bulk of content available online is textual (there is a shift to video content now, anyway) there are tons of other forms of content such as images, audio, video, etc.
Now, we venture into the world of infographics – a type of content where there is a delicate balance between text and imagery.
So, it is not fully texting like blogs, and it is not an image either, rather a hybrid merge of the two.
Infographics are generally long in shape and present information in the form of graphs, charts, numbers, and truly little information in the form of phrases. They are designed to get across information that is highly reliant on data for affirmation.
This is an excellent way to present complicated information visually.
For example, if you think of a step by step blog which covers in details the steps to replace the sim in your phone and the same blog in an infographic, you will soon realize the effectiveness of infographic content.
The pure fact being, it is easier to understand anything when visuals support it.
Social Media Platforms
Now, the present form of the infographic is not limited to the long visual or charts of the last decade; instead, think about social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. These platforms are prime examples of the use of infographics in modern-day content marketing.
A blog followed up by an infographic content to be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. is likely to double the reach and conversion of active readers for that blog. The actual value of information is easier to understand for many people visually before they can be convinced to read long lines of text about it.
I am sure you are familiar with this term (regardless of HOW you pronounce it lol) is an excellent example of an infographic content which has adapted to meet the demands of the modern-day.
The use of a picture and a quick phrase is used effectively to highlight an event or topic with a pinch of salt or humor as deemed necessary. There are tools that are enjoying the benefits of offering an easy to make a platform for not just memes, but also GIFs, etc.
As can be seen from the evolution of the infographic content of the past and the present, content marketing was and continues to be extremely useful.
The rise of video as the content is relatively new, although you may have a tough time thinking back to the time when we didn’t rely so much on videos.
While the different forms of textual content are targeted at specific groups of audience, the mix-up of images and text is derived from targeting other audiences to be lured into reading the more significant pieces; videos are a whole different ball game!
Videos are simply all about engagement—your target audience, whoever, wherever, and whatever age they maybe will become a viewer instantly.
Platforms such as Facebook use autoplay videos so that users don’t even have to press play to view a video. As a result, a viewer who may not have been interested in pushing the game ends up watching a video.
The effectiveness of video is proven, which is why the specifications which were unique to textual content such as mention the topic in the first three words, is now used in videos – make the 1st 3 seconds of video intriguing.
There are examples of those who are doing it well and others not so well, but regardless of the impact of video in the content marketing industry is vast.
Every single form of content that we have discussed so far, just imagine that as a video and you will immediately be more likely to see the video then read the content. The classic statement that comes to mind is “I’d rather see the movie than read the book”.
Finally, it is audio content – Podcasts!
We have covered the light readers, heavy readers, photographic memories, the watchers, and we will end with the listeners.
The modern-day version of radio listeners is podcasts. These are the audience who love to listen to a voice informing them, teaching them, or entertaining them and not necessarily worried about putting a face to the sound. Another example of this is audiobooks, which are also experiencing a massive rise in demand.
This is not just for the core or niche audience who just love to listen, but also for the busy modern-day consumers who are always consumed with one thing or the other.
As a result, it is the need of the hour to take multitasking to the next level. These are people who would rather not waste time listening to music instead make more productive use of their time. Whether during a walk, jog, or during a drive, people make the most of that time listening to audiobooks or podcasts.
What Should You Use?
When it comes to the uses of content marketing types, strategies, or campaigns today, it is certainly not an easy decision to make. It is tough to choose one while so many effective alternatives exist.
This is why more prominent companies are always venturing into a new medium or platform to reach their target audience. Or just to boost their grasp on the market they already dominate.
Depending on the type of your business, you are not limited to any BRAND or form of content marketing. It is just about making it relatable to your target audience. You need to be able to get the perfect marketing mix so that your platforms can mix it up by posting gifs, blog posts, commercials, tweets, videos, etc.
At the end of the day, whichever form of content marketing best represents your business to your target audience is what you should be using – don’t forget to mix it up for your audience.
Why Content Marketing?
Before we end, it is essential to remind you why you should opt for content marketing in 2020 and beyond.
The following are the steps of marketing which are achieved seamlessly today using a planned, proper content marketing strategy:
Your audience or potential is made aware through the various platforms that there is a product, service, or solution to their problem. If your target audience is not aware of the solution or even the problem they have, they will never consider a solution.
Once a potential customer recognizes a problem and is looking for a solution, they will want to learn more about it. If you do not cover the problem and solution in detail, you will lose out on establishing your expertise on the specific topic.
The client will then investigate different providers of the same solution to find out which is best suited to them. As a result, you will need to be visible to them at the platform, which they approve to be reliable.
And finally, at the very end, the client will buy from you. If you make your product or service available for them to buy within the content, they will be more than likely to buy from you.
Final Thoughts on The Different Types of Content Marketing to Know
We end our blog here today with our observation that most of the companies today are not making the most of content marketing… yet!
Most of the big-name companies are still heavily invested in traditional advertising and marketing, which has been working for them and continues to work for them. But for newer and smaller companies, the ultimate focus is on efficiency.
As a result, you have an advantage, only if you jump on the bandwagon at the right time. The right time is now, not yesterday and not tomorrow… but today!
Let us know what content marketing is according to you and what it means for your business. Also, give us a quick shoutout of the types of content marketing that you use and any that you want us to cover in our next blog.
That’s it for today, see you next time with some more valuable content marketing tips, tricks, and tools for making your content marketing strategy successful!