The list of effective content types is long and getting longer. And no doubt, this self-described “online marketing super freak” could create long lists of best practices to master each one. Each has their own nuances.
But for this post, I had other plans.
My intention was to create a short list of effective content types—I settled on 15—and deliver a short 5-pack of best practices for each.
Read ‘em all. Ponder the ones that interest you most. Or skim away. My hope is you’ll pick up at least a few cool, new ideas.
A business blog is a practical starting point for most content marketing programs. It acts as its cornerstone, and becomes the hub for written blog posts and a variety of other content types.
“When should I replace my brake pads?” is obviously a question Bridgestone expects customers to ask and so they created this blog post as a response.
eBooks take many forms and provide an attractive lead magnet for building email lists. A well researched, written and presented eBook will help establish authority, foster loyalty, and support the sales teams’ outreach efforts.
This OptinMonster eBook, featuring a list of ways to convert abandoning website visitors to subscribers, is offered via an exit-intent popup and perfectly aligns with one of their areas of expertise.
Infographics have proven a great format for delivering complex, data-rich material and even storytelling. Great infographics tend to earn a lot of social media shares and are often republished.
I helped create this infographic for Alexa, which dives deep into the subject of marketing intelligence and features many research findings. Pictured here is the header of the graphic to help illustrate the point I make above.
Video, in its many forms and styles, has proven to increase engagement in every way. Thanks to the near ubiquitous reach of the smartphone, it’s easier to create, distribute and consume video.
Cookbook author Jamie Oliver offers an immense collection of instruction videos via his website and YouTube channel.
Podcasts are the ultimate content format for the multi-tasking consumer. They’re easy to create and present the potential to forge a trusted bond with listeners.
The Content Jam (formerly Content Matters) podcast comes from yours truly and Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina. We rely on a two-person conversation format, where we focus on a specific content marketing topic in each episode. The program is offered via iTunes, most popular podcast apps and sites, and on via our blogs.
Marketers consistently rate webinars as one of their most effective content marketing tactics. They can be created to satisfy the information needs of prospects and customers at every stage in the buyer journey.
A well-planned and promoted webinar can draw a crowd, capture leads, and provide a great forum for delivering any type of useful advice. Note the ‘Watch Now” button on the page above. This company archives webinar and promotes them after-the-fact.
Email marketing takes an enormous number of forms, however, an email newsletter is a staple of most content marketers. Newsletters give marketers the ability to distribute content, news and updates to nurture leads and serve existing customers.
My friends in the digital marketing agency business at Vertical Measures do a spectacular job of promoting various content types via a weekly email newsletter. The example above features an eBook, webinar, blog posts, and workshops.
Customer stories (or case studies, as they are often called) are a powerful form of content that delivers the proof and credibility prospects value greatly.
Vidyo, a company in the cloud video conferencing service business, creates many customer success stories and presents them as part of a series of industry-specific solutions pages.
Contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways give brands highly effective mechanisms to reach prospects, generate interest, promote sharing, and gather user-generated content.
Intriguing contests can be used to engage prospects in nearly every product category and are often promoted via Facebook and Instagram.
Quizzes and assessments can work wonders for both consumer and business-to-business brands. The brands that create them are able to gather useful customer insights, conduct research, gather contacts, and respond with helpful content and relevant offers.
An interesting lead magnet to be sure: relationship coach Laura Doyle offers a free self-assessment for evaluating your dating skills. On the quiz’s landing page she tells visitors they will receive in-depth results that reveal what’s keeping them from attracting the relationship they dream of.
A checklist is a series of actionable tasks that help the reader to implement a particular strategy. They are incredibly valuable lead magnets because they are so helpful to readers. Bloggers often offer them as bonuses (often called “content upgrades”).
Atop the homepage of Top Dog Social Media, my friend Melodie Dodaro, offers a 21-point checklist to succeed with social selling.
A course or academy is a checklist on steroids. Your brand distributes a significant amount of advice in a sequence of lessons.
ConvertedU by Leadpages offers a “home for conversion marketing certification and education.” I clicked through to check out the free email list building course and found it offers 9 video and 12 PDFs.
FAQs are usually web pages, but easily repurposed as guides, hubs, email courses, etc.
FAQs can be web pages, posts, eBooks, or what have you. I love this approach form BigCommerce. They’ve dialed the FAQ idea up to 11 by creating a micro-site featuring a glossary and collection of FAQs for eight categories related to their industry.
Comparisons are a fitting and useful form of content for latter stages of the sales funnels as they can deliver vital information prospective buyers seek to make informed decisions.
|“When you compare yourself to competitors, start with table stakes features. Having a few checks in both columns helps visitors see that you’re making fair comparisons. And if they haven’t heard of you, it shows them that you have what they’re looking for (before you move on to your differentiators).” – Benyamin Elias, Content Marketing Manager, ActiveCampaign|
The social media post is a big one and a small one. It’s small because social media posts generally have ultra-short half-lives. Big because paid promotion should be part of your content amplification plan to connect with customers online—especially millennials.
Hey, that’s me. (Why not?) I followed Andy’s advice to try posting brief videos on LinkedIn. The strategy helped increase engagement for Orbit Media and me too. I believe the more you experiment on social media—with channels, formats and content—the more you learn and grow.
I’m done, but I’m listening. Feel free to expand in any way you like, add tips or ask questions.
Infographics for me is the best way to provide content. It is vivid, simple and beautiful. Most of the problems I had with podcasts. My decision was the professional essay writing service, but you should definitely read more about such resources before choosing the right one. The same webinars were much easier for me, while podcasts are associated with audio books where errors look unforgivable. E-mail marketing remains neutral to me even though it is one of the most common and popular. I can only say that in this case the rule about brevity and conciseness is more relevant than ever.
In my opinion, the best type of content today is media content. Nowadays people mostly prefer to watch a video, listen to a podcast or briefly check out an infographic. Personally, I try to create media content for my blog on a regular basis. It is also more convenient to share some videos or infographic in social media.
The bigger question is – how do you scale?
Mr. Parrot, I’d attempt an answer if I understood. How do you scale what?
Thanks for the great tips! Mastering the social media post could be a whole blog post of its own with a tip for each social media channel.
You’re welcome. And yes, tips for each social media channel could be a great post.
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What are your thoughts?