What's in this article?
Content is forever.
Unlike ads, which only last as long as you pay for them to last, a great piece of content continues to snowball to generate more traffic, more followers, and more leads for you or your client’s business.
However, to play the content marketing game properly, you’ll need a steady stream of high-quality content within an overall content marketing strategy.
Everybody knows by now that companies need to be blogging to attract their target audience. But let’s take a look at some underused content marketing formats that don’t get as much love.
Remember, your content’s quality is just as important as the number of pieces you’re releasing.
How Many Content Marketing Formats Are There for Online Marketing?
Any piece of helpful advice given online that can be easily shared or distributed counts as a form of content marketing.
There are hundreds of forms of content marketing pieces you can create.
Let’s look at some other obvious, and perhaps not so obvious examples of content:
- Publishing blogs regularly that are keyword optimized to catch internet search traffic
- Giving advice in forums on Quora and Reddit
- Posting updates on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Interacting with or posting comments on social media posts.
- Adding lead paths or downloadable content grades to your website and landing pages.
- Creating downloadable case studies or blog posts
- Creating helpful infographics that can be shared online, especially Pinterest
- Hosting webinars or virtual events
- Creating themed templates
- Hosting a podcast
- Uploading Facebook or YouTube videos
- Creating GIFs or memes
Which Top 10 Types of Content Marketing Formats Will Help Me Connect With My Audience?
Everybody knows content marketing and blogs are synonymous. Or are they?
Blogging is actually only a subcategory of the overall content marketing umbrella.
Besides written content, there’s a whole world of visual content and audio content out there looking to find people on different channels.
While there are hundreds of different types of content marketing pieces out there, I’ve narrowed down my top 10 list. In each example, I’ll try to explain where the content is the most popular with specific audiences or industries.
The ubiquitous blog. Still considered by many to be the king of content marketing.
When people search for answers on Google, it’s most likely the blog posts that will make them click on a website.
Compared to many forms of content on this list, a good old blog post doesn’t hide behind a download gate. They don’t need to, because they’re meant to be free and accessible to everybody who wants to read them.
Once you have readers on your website, then you can use other content types to collect their lead info, but more on that later.
Blog content benefits are numerous:
- Brings in Google search traffic
- Improves SEO and adds rich keywords to a website
- Improves Google’s search engines ranking and score
- Establishes credibility and authority
- Makes a website look active, and therefore, still in business
- Keeps people on the website for longer
- Reach a broader audience with unique blog content
Pro tip: Don’t forget to add images or embed videos into your blog posts. And make sure to rename jpegs to match the keywords you’re targeting. You never know who might find your content in an image search, compared to text search.
As we mentioned, there are many types of content marketing. And it doesn’t take as much to create videos a you may think. Video is one of the most popular content formats.
I mention this a lot, but YouTube is a search engine, not just a video-sharing site. And it’s second only to Google in terms of search volume.
Depending on your client’s field and industry, it might make more sense to focus on producing more high-quality videos than writing blog posts.
This is especially true for visual or audio-oriented brands where you really just want your audience to see what you’re talking about.
Curious what types of videos to produce? Here’s a list of the most popular types of videos currently on YouTube:
- Product reviews or open box reviews where you can take the product out of the box and explain it
- How-to tutorial videos on how to use a product or understand a particular service
- Reaction videos to popular videos. This can be helpful to establish yourself as an authority, particularly if you’re speaking out about a competitor’s video.
- Interviews with top experts, influencers, or celebrities
- Top Lists or Listicle based videos
- Live Q&A sessions (webinars)
Also, don’t forget to optimize your YouTube videos searchability. Include important keywords in the title name and description below the video. Be sure to add a website link and consider creating themed playlists to make viewing your videos easier.
Great YouTube videos can command thousands of views, even a million views for those who are lucky and talented enough to produce outstanding visual content.
In the early research phase, many B2B professionals look for case studies to help them evaluate their list of growing potential vendors.
Case studies provide that critical form of “social proof” that your clients need to trust your company. They can be blog posts, slide-based presentations, or downloadable PDFs.
Generally, a case study needs to explain a brief background on the client, their challenges, your company’s solution, quantifiable results, and a brief testimonial from your client.
Generally, eBooks are considerably longer than the average blog post. If a blog post is 1,000 words, an eBook is at least twice that, if not more. Sometimes eBooks are full-length books, although they don’t need to be.
Compared to blog posts, eBooks can be designed to look more like real books, with attractive stylings, such as text boxes, pull quotes, tables, graphics, and sidebars.
Like many forms of content on this list, eBooks make a great lead magnet for people to download while they’re in their research phase.
Guides, Workbooks, Playbooks, and Frameworks
Like eBooks, these forms of interactive content are generally much longer than a blog post.
Longer guides and workbooks can have their own individual landing page that sits on a website, or these pieces can be added to existing blogs as “content upgrades.”
Don’t be overwhelmed by creating long form content. A simple how to guide with valuable information and educational content can be compiled from your previous blog posts, maybe even with some extended discussion of the topic.
Most likely these guides are too long to sit down and read in one sitting, which is why they’re downloaded instead.
Their main purpose is nudging your web visitor to submit their contact info in exchange for downloading a free and helpful guide.
Once you’ve reached this point, you can subscribe your new lead to your newsletter, so they can continue their customer journey.
Depending on who your client is and what they’re selling, you should consider hiring a popular online influencer to promote a product.
Personally speaking, much of the new music gear I buy is because my favorite influencers use their products.
I trust my favorite influencers, and when they promote products, I listen. I’m not the only one. 80% of consumers have bought a product because it was recommended by their influencer. Many of these consumers use Instagram to follow their influencers.
However, when it comes to advertising legal services, the American Bar Association prohibits lawyers from paying people to recommend a lawyer’s services. So do not hire influencers to promote legal services. However, other products and services are encouraged.
Be sure to read Facebook’s advertising policies regarding Facebook and Instagram ads. There are a ton of products and services that aren’t allowed on their platform. Most are obvious, others are not, so do your research first.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts as a content marketing format should not be forgotten. A popular Facebook post can reach thousands of people or get shared hundreds of times.
And the funny thing is, Facebook posts take much less time to create than an eBook or a blog post!
Facebook Videos also do surprisingly well to connect with your audience. If producing an elaborate YouTube video is too difficult or expensive, experiment with filming a quick video on your cell phone and posting to social media sites.
This can be helpful for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and sales-related fields where a friendly face and human touch work faster than written words.
Don’t feel like you need to master all social media. For professional marketing, stick to LinkedIn. To target younger audiences, use Instagram. If you created a beautiful infographic, upload it to Pinterest.
Research which social media sites correspond to your target audience, and then try your hand on those platforms to see what works.
Email Marketing Campaigns
I think we often forget that emails are a form of content marketing. It seems like everything we do is to attract people to websites to fill out their contact info.
But once you have the lead, you still need to nurture it to make the most out of it.
Depending on the services offered, people may need months to do their own research before they’re ready to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment. This is especially true for marketing mortgages or loan products.
Emails are the perfect vehicle to embed with other forms of content. Have a new blog post? Send it out to a segmented audience list who’s shown interest in the topic.
Have highlight videos from an in-person or virtual event? Send it out to the appropriate email segment list.
In digital marketing, you know that everything can be tracked. But with email marketing platforms, they make it extremely easy to see email open rates, click-through rates, and to create different audience segments.
Unlike other forms of content, emails can be automated, which is a beautiful thing.
Testimonials, Reviews, and User-Generated Content
Testimonials aren’t a form of content. Wrong!
Just because you haven’t written the content, doesn’t mean it’s not content. Other brands put people to work for them. Think of custom hashtags or social media contests.
Testimonials, as well as customer reviews, are a form of user-generated content that provides social proof to your audience that you’re legit, and not a bot.
Every website needs some form of social proof. Testimonials from happy clients are reassuring and keep your readers on your website longer. Without them, people may assume your company is inexperienced, or plain shady.
1. Don’t post fake reviews! I can see through it, you can see through it, and your readers will see through it too. Fake reviews are a huge problem right now.
2. If you’re advertising a lawyer’s legal services, you cannot pay people to recommend or post reviews. This is a huge no-no in the legal world.
Infographics are for playing the Google image search game. Have you ever seen those really long infographic images? The ones that scroll far down the page? I can’t tell you how many of those I’ve clicked on in an image search, mostly because I was intrigued by its size.
However, infographics don’t need to be needlessly large, but they do need to be eye-grabbing.
I’ve downloaded tons of infographics from websites or from Google searches. In my case, they were audio engineering infographics dealing with audio frequencies and charts. I’ve even emailed these charts to my friends who produce music.
Depending on your client, certain topics may be too difficult to communicate through words. In those cases, graphics and words are more helpful, and shareable, than a typical blog post.
Kaleidico — A Lead Generation Agency and Content Marketing Studio
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency for law firms, mortgage lenders, and financial tech companies.
Our full-service digital marketing agency features SEO specialists, PPC professionals, account managers, content strategists, web designers and developers, email marketers, graphic designers, content writers, and editors.
Our proven framework starts with an initial Discovery session with you, where we can learn more about your industry and audience. From there, we will run SEO research and analysis, including competitive research.
Then we’ll formulate a content marketing strategy to attract more web visitors to your website, where we can then optimize the website to drive more lead conversions to your business.
Ready to start developing more high-quality content for your company and clients?
Contact us to schedule your Discovery session and learn how our content studio can help your business generate more leads.