7 Types of Content Guaranteed to Drive Engagement
Content is the bedrock of online marketing. Few modern businesses can survive without it. Yet, all too often, we create content for content's sake. We're churning out different types of content as if they were mass-produced widgets from some soul-destroying factory. We even turn to the dreaded "content mill" to pump out absolute cr*p to publish once a week, every week.
Why do so many churn out content with so little thought? The reason is simple: it's hard to think up content. Even more so to create content with value, substance, and flair. (I know; I do it every day!) We hit content writer's block; so, we produce schlock pieces to get anything out of the door.
The answer is to add structure to our content creation. Using the different types of content marketing, from evergreen content to infographics, we can craft content with purpose. These content types are tools in your arsenal. With each type of content marketing, you're trying to achieve a different goal – be it to generate awareness or seal the deal.
Types of Content Marketing
1. Blog posts
Blog posts are the bread and butter of content marketing. According to The State of Content Marketing Report 2019, blog posts compose 86% of all content marketing. It's not hard to see why.
Businesses can rapidly produce blog posts for a relatively low cost compared to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Indeed, businesses who blog receive 97% more backlinks and see 434% more indexed pages on search engines.
The problem is businesses often misunderstand how blogs work.
You shouldn't be praising your latest product or even "advertising" in the truest sense of the word. Rather, blogs are about two things: building awareness and developing authority. As a by-product, customers will return to purchase your product when needed.
It's a soft sell, not a hard sell.
Create blog posts about informative, helpful topics related to your brand. Consider how your blog posts provide value to your customers. You could produce evergreen content or ride a wave of interest in a story or trend related to your brand.
2. Longform content
Longform content is a subset of blog posts. Where blog posts are around 1,000 to 2,000 words, longform content is 5,000 words or more. It's a type of evergreen content created to inform potential customers over the long term.
We often call longform content "bedrock content." They're landmark pieces about critical topics related to your brand. You could publish such content as an eBook, though the purpose is to be readily available.
Just remember to format it methodically. The text should be broken into comprehensible sections with links to ease navigation.
You'll also want to use keywords throughout – as you would with any blog post – to ensure your longform guide ranks on Google.
3. Guest posts
Guest posts are an ingenious way to hook in new readers and customers. You can 'piggyback' on a guest's existing fame or use their expertise to develop your brand authority and reputation—a sort of trust by association.
Your guest could write about anything: a thought piece on the industry, insider tips, or customers' common mistakes. Alternatively, you could interview the industry expert, tapping into their opinions and knowledge on the subject.
You drive interest in your brand and products by harnessing their expertise and credentials. Plus, you can do the interview in either video or written format – it's a nice way to mix things up.
Oh, and don't forget to broadcast your guest post on all your social media platforms (and theirs).
Successful infographics achieve something few other content types do: they distil complex stats or facts into visually engaging pictures.
Scanning the best infographics can give you a complete overview of a topic. And yet, we rarely see them used as often as other types of content marketing.
It's a mistake; well-designed infographics can extend your business's reach far beyond your normal limits. They'll get shared, discussed, and will generate attention from inbound links.
Keep them simple, impactful, and informative. The best infographics convey their data in a clever and insightful way. Pair your infographics with blog posts or longform content to convey the broad strokes of your post.
It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep the old one. Yet, too much content marketing is dedicated to funnelling new customers into your business. Whatever happened to developing brand loyalty?
Of course, there is a type of content marketing laser-targeted on your existing customer base: emails and newsletters. Email content has by far the best ROI of all content – be it for B2B or B2C marketing.
Newsletters keep your customers aware of changes in your brand. You can advertise your most recent blog posts and personalise what they see. The best copywriting involves using a person's name – with an email, that's a breeze.
We can go one step further with personalisation.
Sending a gift card, present, or offer via email on someone's birthday builds brand loyalty. You can also send emails following up on a sale or advertising a new line of products related to a previous purchase.
Try not to spam customers, however. Emails should be simple, concise, and short – stick to the relevant information; cut the fat.
6. Case studies
If blog posts are at the top of your content funnel – appealing to new customers – case studies are bottom-of-funnel content: you're trying to get that sale.
Case studies are for convincing an already interested buyer why they should choose you and not another business. In a word, they're about trust. Buyers want to know if your products or services promise the quality they expect; they want to explore how your product/services work and see whether they can solve their problems.
According to the 2018 Content Preferences Survey Report, 79% of B2B buyers preferred case studies over other content types.
Generally speaking, case studies tend to work better for services than products and B2B rather than B2C interactions. As with services, a company and customer interact for a longer period. Use your case studies to showcase your results and explain what clients can expect.
7. Social media posts
No modern business is complete without a social media profile. Unlike other types of content marketing, social media plays by different rules. Rather than the passive audience, you'll cultivate other types of content marketing; you want to engage your social media following.
Fact: 40% of customers research new businesses and products using social media.
Creating posts that get shared, liked, commented on, and more drives further engagement. But, like email campaigns, it also keeps your existing followers energised by your brand.
Social media posts can differ wildly in style, type, and substance. You'll need to spy on your competitors and try out different posts to see what works. Variety attracts the biggest audience; a healthy mix of videos, images, memes, and blog post links can keep your accounts fresh and interesting.
Veer away from solely promoting your product – it's boring! Customers aren't interested in seeing endless ads and self-promotion. Like all content types, create value for your customers – they want brands to be honest, friendly, and helpful.
Content Types are Tools to Promote Your Brand and Drive Engagement
Different content types serve different purposes: like tools in a toolbox. Use blog posts, longform content, and infographics to hook in consumers, build brand awareness, and develop your reputation and authority.
Emails, social media posts, and case studies, me
anwhile, can hammer home your brand's benefits, converting potential customers into actual customers.
Reach out to Impeccable Writing for advice on developing your content strategy – book a free consultation today.