The Different Types of Content

The first thing people usually ask when they hear that I am a content marketer is, “So you, like, blog for companies?”

And I do. Regular blog posts are the bread and butter of content marketing. But if that’s all that I did, I wouldn’t be very good at my job. The definition of content becomes very wide and vague when it enters the world wide web. Anything from infographics to mobile apps fall into the same content bucket and it’s our job to select the right type of content, for the right type of persona, at the right step in the sales cycle.

Mapping Your Content to Your Sales Cycle

No matter what your specific goals are for content marketing, one thing that every brand should think about is aligning appropriate content formats to their sales cycle. Think of it in terms of educating your potential customers: in the beginning when they are showing initial interest in your service or product, it makes sense t o deliver valuable information as a checklist or infographic, while when your audience is just about ready to convert, you should seal the deal with a juicy case study or customer testimonials.

Before you unleash your full creative power in creating custom content, take a moment to consider where it would land on your sales (education) cycle, and make sure that you aren’t just focused on one phase of the process.

Blog Posts

Perhaps the easiest way to reinforce your brand and feed the content beast, blog posts are a must for every content marketer that should be produced on a regular basis. Write engaging pieces for your niche to maximize your reach and keep your audience coming back for more.

Building a large collection of blog posts will also help in SEO.

Videos

Where words and images fall short, videos are an amazing way to show off your product and communicate other aspects of your business. Introduce yourself with a flashy overview video on your homepage, explain your product with a more in-depth demo video, or even produce case studies and interviews as a series of videos.

Podcasts

A relatively new form of content marketing, podcasts are now proving to be a worthwhile format to invest in if your target audience can be reached through this medium. Build your brand’s voice and let your customers know who you are by offering candid insight, tips, and opinions about your field.

Webinars / Teleseminars

Establish yourself as a thought leader by organizing and hosting webinars and teleseminars. Provide free help and support for those who are looking to learn more about a specific topic in your wheelhouse. The required registration process is also an effective lead-gen tool for your business.

Interviews

Incorporate and leverage third-party opinions by hosting interviews with known influencers in your industry. Publishing interviews will require very little effort on your part as the meat of the content will be handed to you. You’ll also broaden your reach since, more often than not, your interviewee will share your post with their own audience!

Powerpoint / Slideshare Presentations

With the recent popularity in platforms like SlideShare, multi-slide presentations that are both informative and well-designed are being digested by a huge portion of online users. Create valuable and creative presentations for your niche and take advantage of an entire social network that you might have missed.

Tutorials and Guides

Provide value for your audience with step-by-step tutorials and guides that address a common pain point. When done right, these helpful pieces of content are a great collector of backlinks, boosting your SEO and maximizing your reach.

Case studies

Highlight how your business helps out existing customers by creating engaging case studies. Directly explain how your product or service provides a solution to common pain points and make it relatable by showing real use cases. Case studies are an excellent way to inject social proof to what you’re selling.

Infographics

We remember 20% of what we read, and 80% of what we see. Infographics and other uses of effective images result in more engagement and shares than a standard text post. Business who market with infographics gain on average 12% more traffic than those who don’t. Focus on producing well-designed infographics that are jammed with a ton of information and insight.

White papers, original research

For B2B marketing, white papers and detailed reports based on original research is especially useful to convert prospects into customers. It underlines your authority on the subject while providing deep insight into the issues they are looking to solve.

Newsletters

Provide value for your audience with step-by-step tutorials and guides that address a common pain point. When done right, these helpful pieces of content are a great collector of backlinks, boosting your SEO and maximizing your reach.

E-books

Packed with a ton of information, eBooks are an excellent form of branded content that will give you immediate and long-term results. Choose a topic that will stay relevant for a long period of time and provide a resource section on your website where they can be easily found. Demonstrate your knowledge and expertise on your subject while gather leads and email addresses by using eBooks as a gated asset.