In this post I will cover the 10 types of content a marketer has under his belt to plan and execute his content marketing strategy.
Without further due, let’s jump straight to it.
The white paper explains your methodology behind the solution to the problem you want to solve. Commonly these are in-depth pieces of work based on research and facts. Written in a professional and more serious tone, a white paper can range between 6 and 50 pages.
They are often used to gather leads such as email subscribers. You can offer previews of the white paper and the prospect will get the full document following the confirmation of their subscription.
Some best practices for writing white papers are to use charts and illustrations, branded colors, and fonts.
Shorter in length, ebooks can include more types of media. Compared to a white paper that focuses on the theory behind the solution, an ebook is about practical, easy-to-follow actionable steps. Offering free Ebooks is a good tactic to build trust and affinity with your audience.
Best practices for writing eBooks
- Be concise and straight to the point in your writing and rely on actionable steps, rather than on information.
- Where needed add the necessary media to better illustrate the point.
- Use branded colors, layouts, fonts, and familiar writing style.
- Share them on social media channels where the audience can engage with them.
Generally smaller in length than eBooks, online articles are pieces of content focused on a specific topic or theme. They provide objective information written in an impersonal tone. Their purpose is to convey an idea in an unbiased manner such as in a news article or case study. An online article can range between 1500-5000 words.
Best practices for writing articles
- Have perfect grammar and use expert’s opinions and reviews.
- Write in a professional style and refrain from using your own opinion on the matter.
- Where relevant, use charts and graphics to better illustrate the ideas you are trying to make.
Generally no longer than 1500-2000 words, blog posts are… well, your blog posts. You can use whatever type of media, information and language style.
Do you want to be funny, satirical, judgmental? If articles are meant to be impersonal, blog posts are all about being personal. Use your own opinions and thoughts on the matter based on your own expertise or experience.
Best practices for blog posts
- Be authentic and consistent.
- Develop your own writing style and try to stick with it.
- Don’t try to become perfect at it – be natural, be yourself.
- Use images, GIFs and other media forms to convey the message.
- Create content based on Google search queries to increase your brand visibility and build affinity with your audience.
The cherry on the cake, videos deserve their own blog post. This content format has become the most used type of content by consumers and most wanted by marketers.
Like an octopus, the video format has stretched into many subformats. Long or short videos, video stories, live video, or 360 videos are some examples.
We have high production quality videos that get no attention and we have videos made on spot with a phone that went viral. It’s a really exciting format.
Best practices for making videos
- Your video should be about them, not about you.
- The production value is not important as long as the video is educational, entertaining, or both.
Depending on what channel you post there are some considerations to be aware of.
- If you post it on Youtube, the long format will do it.
- On Facebook you need to hook your audience in the first 5 seconds.
- On Instagram it’s about videos on the spot, like behind the scenes videos.
Webinars are a great way to create affinity with your audience. Webinars are the virtual alternative of seminars. It is just that anyone can do it, be it a lecturer or not.
Just like in a live seminar, attendants can engage and ask questions. Webinars are usually focused on one topic. The hosts can use PowerPoint slides images, animations and videos to better illustrate their points.
To host yourself a webinar you need a software such as webinar jam along with a good internet connection.
Best practices for hosting a webinar
- All types of questions will be asked during a live webinar. If you ever host one is important to be highly prepared yourself or have an expert accompanying you.
- Send a follow-up email for the audience to ask questions after the webinar.
- Email them the files used in the webinar (PowerPoint slides, infographics, etc.).
- Choose topics that the audience is interested in knowing more. (such as FAQ).
Widely popular, podcasts are still in their infancy and it seems they are here to stay.
Its live format distribution wherein no cutting is involved and the fact that you can listen to podcasts while doing something else (driving cooking, commuting) makes podcasts a widely consumed content format.
Podcasts usually offer first-person background information about personalities or about a topic. They are distributed in an episodic format and you can listen to them live or access the recording on dedicated podcasts streaming platforms such as Google Podcasts.
Best podcasts practices
- Podcasts can be about anything – about slime, about cooking or about the financial markets.
- Have a website dedicated to the podcast.
- Be authentic.
- Create a memorable podcast name.
- Be consistent with the publishing schedule.
- Bring value to the listener.
- Check this extensive post from improvepodcast.com about best practices for podcasting.
Infographics are meant to compress larger pieces of information in one single image. They require some creative work and some design skills, but your audience will love these information-packed illustrations.
A good content plan should include infographics. They have a high shareability factor so they are a great away to raise awareness about your brand.
The main challenge in creating your own infographics is what information to put in it. If you are not sure what you should extract from the big data you have, just ask yourself this question: does it brings value to the audience?
Best practices for infographics
- Must bring value to the audience.
- Make it easy to read with big font and contrasting colors.
- Where possible, use visuals instead of text to express the idea.
- Include images, numbers, statistics, charts.
- Add references to external sources and social media links in the footer area.
Templates and Checklists
Templates and checklists are highly appreciated pieces of content. If you have a really good template or checklist it may very well end up on the desks of the employees of a company.
They are a great way to build trust and authority in your niche. They prove that you are capable of making easy what is complicated
Behind an outstanding template or checklist, there may be months or years of experience. Templates and checklists are not necessarily always made for experts. You can make a big checklist for how to make a professional website from start to finish, but you can also make a checklist for how to get 6-pack abs. So whenever possible don’t hesitate to take advantage of this valuable content type.
Although in the early stages, we got a glimpse into how interactive content looks like. Facebook Canvas, interactive videos, and polls are the most common today.
On the horizon, however, interactive content looks like the next big trend. Infographics, ebooks, white papers, and even email are making their way into the dynamic world of interactive content.
You can find here a more extensive and detailed post that does more justice explaining this dynamic and interesting content type.
There are many types of content to take advantage of. How do you know what will work best for your audience? By performing audience research you can better understand that.
But to have that winning edge it’s important to test and create content of all types and formats. Your audience is not static, she is evolving. For your content strategy to remain relevant you need to regularly test different content types and formats.