Content comes in many forms. With little to no extra cost involved, it’s no wonder digital marketing has quickly taken over from more traditional forms of marketing. Gone are the days when reaching people depended on eye-watering advertising budgets. Whether you’re a multinational or a start-up, digital marketing content can help your business grow exponentially. But which type of content to choose?
Almost all content falls into one (or more) of these categories:
- Things you read – e.g. blogs or white papers
- Things you look at – e.g. images or infographics
- Things you watch – e.g. videos or webinars
- Things you do – e.g. quizzes or polls
A solid content marketing strategy will combine elements of all or most of the above. With attention spans on a downward slide, keeping things interesting is crucial. Here we take a look at 10 of the most effective types of content.
Blogs are a digital marketing staple. They’re the rice and potatoes of the content world. They’re also essential for SEO and for driving organic traffic to your website. Sites with blogs are far more likely to find themselves on page 1 of search engine results than those without. Thoroughly researched and well-written articles – combined with effective use of keywords – can make a world of difference between your business succeeding or not. Great blog content is one of the main reasons people keep coming back to a brand. Not only does it help you to build awareness but done right it can set you up as a thought leader in your field. It’s an excellent way to generate leads while building relationships with those you want to reach.
At the other end of the length spectrum, we have ebooks. While blogs tend to be short-form, ebooks are a much longer form of digital marketing content. This is where you can really go in-depth on a topic and address any questions or queries your audience may have on the subject. There’s less concern over keeping the reader’s attention than with blog posts. Anyone who is interested enough to sign up for your ebook in the first place is probably going to want to read it. And the sign up is one of the biggest benefits – asking for a name and email address in exchange for the download is fantastic lead generation. Ebooks can pay huge dividends in ROI terms, making them one of the most popular types of content.
3. White Papers
Not dissimilar to ebooks, white papers are also long-form content effective for lead generation. Neither white papers nor ebooks are a sales pitch, they are designed to be informative and helpful. White papers, however, are generally more detail-focused and often involve a lot more data, figures, graphs, and charts. They’re great for establishing you as a thought leader in your field and, again, people are usually happy to exchange their contact details for your useful information.
Videos are one of the most popular and effective forms of content around. The statistics speak for themselves. 53% of consumers – 66% for millennials – say they engage with brands after watching a video on social media. 72% would rather get information about a product or service through watching a video than reading text. And a huge 83% would think about sharing a video they had enjoyed. Needless to say, the impact video can have on your brand awareness and ROI is enormous. The type of video you’ll want to create depends on who you’re appealing to. Those already familiar with your brand or product may enjoy short, entertaining yet informative content. For less familiar prospects, product demonstrations and instructional guides can be extremely popular.
5. Social Media
As we saw above, shareable content is massively popular with consumers. And where are they sharing it? Social media. Keeping on top of your social media accounts is vital to your digital marketing strategy. This is now one of the main ways we interact. Reaching your target market has never been easier so make sure you’re making the most of it. If your prospects mainly use LinkedIn, then take time to craft thoughtful, useful posts for that demographic. If they’re more likely to be hanging out on Facebook, shorter, attention-catching statuses are better. And remember, it’s a portal for your other content. So from blogs to videos to product launch updates, share, share, share.
If you’ve got figures, data or statistics that you want to get across, then infographics are a great choice. They can transform complex information into something that is not only easy to understand but also attractive to the eye. People are more likely to remember numerical data from an infographic than they are from a piece of text or even a list. If you’ve never put an infographic together before, there are lots of helpful tools available to get you started.
7. Case Studies
Case studies, customer success stories, and testimonials are all part of the same family tree. They provide real-life examples of how your product or service has helped your customers. While providing information on the general uses for your product or brand is helpful, people almost always relate better to concrete examples. Pick the customers you use for your case studies carefully. Make sure they’re happy to take part and get some quotes to include in your study. Wherever possible, use results or statistics to illustrate the difference your business has made. Knowing that other people are satisfied with your brand often gives potential customers the push they need to buy.
A lot of companies treat their FAQ section as a permanent fixture. They draw up a list of questions, answer them, and then leave the page to gather dust. However, your FAQ section has potential you may never have dreamt of. 10 years ago, Marcus Sheridan was a partner in a failing swimming pool company. Today he’s a keynote speaker around the world and the pool company is a multi-million dollar success story. So how did he manage to turn it all around? By answering his customers’ questions. The good ones, the bad ones, and the ones he really didn’t want to answer at all. Dig deep into what your customers really want to know and then spend some serious time answering those questions. Do it consistently and continually, updating your content on a regular basis. If you stick at it, your FAQ section alone could well transform your business.
9. Interactive Content
Interactive content is another really popular digital marketing tool, mainly because it’s extremely compelling. Quizzes, polls, and surveys all make people want to take part and find out the results. They also give the sense that the content is tailored specifically for them. They’re high on the share list for social media too, which means they’re a great way to increase your exposure. If you’ve never created a poll or quiz before, there are tools out there designed to put them together for you.
The popularity of podcasts has gone through the roof in recent years. At last count, there were 750,000 podcasts with over 30 million episodes between them. They’re ideal for filling time during commutes or workouts and they tend to attract a loyal following. As digital marketing content goes, this is definitely a bigger investment. While you can pick up decent recording equipment for a reasonable price, you’ll need to invest time. Researching, recording, and editing are all part of the process and can be off-putting as a result. However, the ROI you could see may well make it worth your while. If you’ve got someone on your team who always fancied themselves a radio star, now might be the time to rope them in.
Best of the Rest
While these are 10 of the most popular types of content, there are many others to choose from. A few of our other favourites are:
How-To and Product User Guides
Helpful instructional blogs or videos to explain how to do or operate something step by step.
Carrying out Q&A sessions with relevant people in your field is both informative and entertaining.
Seminars via the web, these have a very interactive feel to them and are growing in popularity.
Which Type of Digital Marketing Content?
As a general rule of thumb, variety really is the spice of digital marketing. Keep your content fresh by mixing things up. If you’ve fallen into a rut with your blog posts, try putting out a video for a change. If you usually use bullet point lists (like the one in this article – it’s Friday, I’ll have a pie chart ready for next time) turn the information or data into an infographic instead. And always keep in mind who it’s for. Different target markets often respond better to one form over another. For example, research shows that different age groups prefer different mediums. The key is to really understand your audience and what they want. You can then create a good mix of tailored digital marketing content to keep them coming back for more.