101 Tips to Help You Master 20 Types of Marketing Content | Feldman Creative

Mastering one type of marketing content is a bitch. Mastering 20? Hmm. Words escape me (and I don’t believe that’s ever happened).

Okay, I suppose I’m not proposing your marketing content must include 20, or 10, or even 5 different types-certainly not from the get-go. But I am proposing you select a few and get started with some intellectual ammo to help you strike your target.

In this post, I want to share with you 20 popular and effective types of content marketing formats and a simple set of 5 tips per that you can put to work to set yourself apart from the gads of lazy, me-too’ers creating the crap that’s making the web such a noisy place for your potential customers.

1. Blog

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.

2. Infographic

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.

3. Video

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 instructional videos via his website and YouTube channel.

4. Podcast

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.

5. eBook

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.

Relevance.com offers a variety of eBooks as lead magnets and promotes them across their site in a sidebar.

6. Webinar

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.

GetResponse serves prospects and customers a steady diet of expert-led webinars and archives them in their resource library to be viewed at any time.

7. Guest blog posts

Writing guest blog posts for publishers whose audience aligns with yours is an ideal way to increase your content’s reach and expose your brand to new audiences. It gives you the opportunity to create links to your website or other media. And you’re likely to benefit from additional promotion from those that publish your work.

Ouch! Does this person thing my name is “there?” Grammar issues. Misspellings. Complete vagueness. Shamefully self-serving. Red stamp.

8. Email newsletter

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.

9. Social media post

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.

10. Success story

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.

Uscreen.tv does a nice job of creating customer success stories and organizing them to help prospects quickly find the ones most relevant to their work.

11. Contest

Contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways give brands highly effective mechanisms to reach prospects, generate interest, promote sharing, and gather user-generated content.

Great stuff from Dove: the “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” contest on Facebook. They ran a fill-in-the-blank contest with photos. They asked their fans to tell them why their friend represents Real Beauty. The winners become the next faces of Dove.

12. Quiz

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.

13. Checklist

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”).

14. Course or academy

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.

15. FAQ collection

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.

16. Comparison

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.

17. Presentations

Presentations, that is, slideshows, seldom make it onto the shortlists of cool content. They should. Creating and publishing presentations is an excellent way to showcase your expertise both verbally and visually. Plus, they’re wonderfully flexible and portable. You can distribute them any which way, easily embed them in your pages and posts, and customize them quickly to meet the needs of a specific audience.

Note how this presentation, which has 1.4-million views to date, uses a dramatic but simple image to introduce an idea.

18. Coupons

Sure, buyers seek advice-otherwise content marketing wouldn’t be the runaway train it’s become. However, the modern shopper is on a quest to save, so one thing buyers love as much, or more, is a good deal.

For most businesses, it takes a compelling offer to motivate a prospective shopper to try a product for the first time. And research claims 80% say a coupon helps influence them to purchase a brand they typically don’t.

19. Research reports

While few companies are stepping on the brakes for content development, most are struggling with the sobering reality that it’s become much harder to shares, backlinks, or any form of engagement. The anecdote is to create important content bound to attract attention.

Original research puts marketers in the rarefied air of upper echelon content creators (and research proves it).

Despite the clunky cover design, the “State of Marketing” report published by Salesforce each year is a proven traffic magnet. It will be linked to and referenced thousands of times.

20. Online guides

Bold and beefy online guides have become the Grand Poobah of content marketing. While they can be presented in blog post-like fashion, they’re bigger and better than an article. Think of an online guide as a piece that falls between a how-to article and a course.

  • As your first go-round with this form of content, zoom-in on the thing your product or service helps customers achieve. Does it help people sell… create… save… secure… build… relax…? The answer is to become your first guide. A big one, of course, is the buying guide. Your guide can simply help customers make the smartest choices to satisfy their needs.
  • Strive to create the clearest, best organized, most thorough, most actionable heap of advice on the topic in existence.
  • Help readers and viewers navigate the content with a table of content that offers links to jump forward to specific sections.
  • Sprinkle various forms of media throughout your guide (images, GIFs, video, audio, slides, tables, etc.) to break-up the monotony of reading long passages.
  • Plan to promote your guide as if it were a product or service. Becoming the source of your industry’s most useful piece of content could put you on the map.

REI is clearly a company that believes in the value of offering its customers buying guides. Choose any “expert advice” for any category on their site and you can count on finding a buying guide for the purchase you plan to make.

Tip #101

Hire professionals to make your marketing content shine. You’re far more likely to realize your content marketing goals when you work with expert content strategists, writers, designers and promoters.

BTW, I want to thank Orbit Media Studios for being good sports about letting me repurpose some of my best content here. Some of the tips and examples offered in this post originally appeared on the Orbit blog in an article titled, Best Practices for Mastering 15 Effective Content Types.

Interested in helping yourself to a boatload of more great advice about all things content marketing? Click the image here to open our “Content Marketing Roadmap” hub.

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