The Content Marketing Institute says that,
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content…
…to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
And when they say “profitable customer action”, they’re referring to the fact that content marketing generates…
…over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less.
So how do you get started with content marketing? We just heard the definition, but what does that really look like?
Today, we’re answering that by giving you the top content marketing types and ideas that you can try to help you get started in growing your business.
In this post, we’re giving you 19 content marketing types that you can take and run with.
Let’s get started!
19 Content Marketing Types For Your Business
This is probably one of the most popular content marketing types so we wanted to knock it out of the way upfront.
Social media posts are the organic posts you see across the top social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Between all of the different platforms, billions of people get on social media and browse daily, multiple times a day.
And they’re not just browsing, they’re purchasing.
73% of consumers have been impacted by a brand’s social media presence when making a purchase decision.
So social media is a great opportunity to extend your reach and put your brand and content in front of targeted eyeballs.
But remember, in the case of content marketing, we’re not talking about putting out social media posts that sell sell sell.
Looking back at the definition, we want to create valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
So this could mean the post itself contains how-tos, helpful tips…
…or it links out to other helpful content that we’ll talk about later on down this content marketing types list.
But the point is that you provide value upfront, which will lay the foundation for brand recall and ultimately purchases.
These are posts on Pinterest.
Now you may be wondering why we didn’t group these in with social media feed posts, because these do show up in the Pinterest users’ newsfeed.
But Pinterest is more like a hybrid search engine and social media platform than it is just purely social media.
You can optimize your Pins by keywords so that users can find them easily.
So for example, let’s say you’re a grocer, and you’re putting out holiday recipes as valuable content for your audience…
…with the implication being that they can purchase all of the ingredients they need for the said recipe at your grocery store.
You can optimize your Pins by keywords like “how to make pumpkin bread” or “pumpkin bread recipe”.
So that when people type that into Pinterest, your Pins and therefore brand, are the first to appear.
Next on our list of content marketing types – Stories – is most popular on Instagram.
But you can post Stories on just about any platform now including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.
Stories can be images or videos, and the details about how long they can be and how long they last vary per platform.
But in general, they are temporary pieces of content; they are not permanently posted on your page.
Different platforms offer different features you can use on Stories such as polls, question boxes, and more.
But overall, you can use Stories as a means to encourage engagement and do what’s called content stacking.
This means if you just posted a new video on YouTube, you can alert people of that in your YouTube Stories.
The same thing goes with Instagram posts, and so on.
You just want to show people how your content provides value to them in your Stories to get the click.
This is more of an umbrella category that encompasses a lot of ways you could produce video.
Like traditional YouTube videos, TikToks, Instagram Reels, IGTV, Live streams, YouTube Shorts, and more.
But the point is that video is an effective marketing tool and there are plenty of ways you can produce it.
And when we say effective, we mean profitable.
64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
Those who incorporate video into their campaigns experience a 34% higher conversion rate than those who don’t, and the list goes on.
It’s important to note that these stats apply to both B2C and B2B companies as well.
So if you haven’t tried video content yet, you may want to add that to your to-do list.
“A podcast is a series of episodes. These episodes are audio files that are likely stored with a podcast hosting company.
Listeners can subscribe to them, which makes it easy to get notified (via your favorite podcast app) when new episodes come out.”
Podcasts can be about anything. They can be recreational or educational, serious or fun, and so on.
Podcast Insights said,
“It’s all of your favorite blogs, shows, and topics (some you didn’t even know you’d enjoy!) wrapped up in a huge hub of recordings (Apple Podcasts, etc)…
…that you can explore, download and listen to on your own time.
In the car, at work, at home, working out, anywhere. If you can Google it, there’s probably a Podcast about it!”
So in the case of using them as one of the content marketing types for your business, you just want to ensure you’re providing value to your audience.
And if you’re already using the video content type, you can do what we do and just turn your videos into podcasts.
We made a post on how to start a podcast if you’re interested because this route allows you to work smarter not harder.
Podcasts were cited by 64% of B2B respondents as a valuable content format in the early stage of the buying journey.
It only falls short of infographics, which we’ll talk about next.
But in general, podcasts are another way to find your target market within the millions of podcast listeners out there and provide value to them.
An infographic is “a visual presentation of information in the form of a chart, graph, or other image accompanied by minimal text…
…intended to give an easily understood overview, often of a complex subject.”
An organized visual is usually received better by people than a large chunk of text.
So if you have a complicated service or topic that you want to break down for your audience, this content type may be the way to go.
7. Online course
What better way to provide value to your audience than directly via an online training course?
Like the one we offer for small businesses looking to grow, for example.
In fact, we actually have a new social media ads training course that you can check out next.
You can offer a training course no matter whether you’re B2B or B2C…
… just so long as the course is teaching your audience something that they want to learn how to do and it’s related to what you offer.
8. Case study
A case study usually highlights some of your best work.
For us, this means we highlight some of the results we’ve achieved for our clients via online marketing.
So think about a customer or client that you’ve had that represents your target audience well…
…and also represents the type of results or outcome you can achieve for them via your products or services.
And then, put that together in the form of a case study for your audience to look through.
You can also add the customer’s testimonial to your case study for further proof and validation.
This will allow your target market to build trust in your brand while simultaneously receiving value.
Similar to the social media stories we mentioned earlier, emails can be used for content stacking, or they can be used to provide value on their own.
In email marketing, there are generally 2 types of emails: automated or newsletter type emails.
An automated email could be a welcome email, for example, that automatically sends to anyone who subscribes to your email list.
Whereas a newsletter email would be something that is manually typed up and sent every week.
They’re dynamic and custom to the times or current events.
“A webinar (a combination of the words “web” and “seminar”) is a video workshop, lecture, or presentation hosted online using webinar software.
Often business-related, these sessions can be used to share knowledge, ideas, and updates with people around the world.
Webinars can also be leveraged to build and nurture relationships, build authority around a brand, or demonstrate a product.”
So as you can see, webinars are a little similar to the e-courses we talked about earlier…
…except webinars are often free and range a little more in topic or discussion.
An eBook is exactly what it sounds like: an online book, often a PDF.
No matter what your industry is, you can usually make an eBook answering these types of questions for your audience:
How to [blank], how to use [blank], top hacks for [blank], 5 secrets to [blank], are some great examples.
And depending on what you’re answering for your audience, you can add different qualifiers to your how-to.
Like how to do XYZ faster, or cheaper or better, or more effectively.
You just want your eBook to be directly tied to 2 things: what you offer, and the pain point or goal that your audience has.
12. Free tool
The next one on our list of content marketing types is going to look different for every industry and business, so we’ll give a few examples.
As a B2B company that helps business owners grow their company via online marketing…
…we offer a free marketing budget calculator, which is a tool that helps you determine how much you need to spend to achieve your marketing goals.
A lot of fitness-related businesses offer a calorie calculator or something similar where you enter in your weight and how much you want to lose.
And, it shows you how many calories you can consume a day to achieve that goal.
We’ve seen paint companies, whose main audience is homeowners, offer a tool where you can upload a picture of your room…
…and change the paint color in the photo on the computer to see what it would look like in different colors before buying the paint to test.
No matter what industry your business is in, you can offer a free tool that is automated.
And therefore, does not take continuous effort on your part that gives value to your audience.
“A listicle is a short form of writing that uses a list as its thematic structure, but is fleshed out with sufficient copy to be published as an article.”
One of the most popular websites to use this content type a lot is Buzzfeed.
People love lists and are more likely to read them than large chunks of texts.
The reason is because lists are skimmable and easier to consume, which our brains like.
So if you have a lot of valuable content but are having a hard time getting your audience to consume it, this might be a good content type to try.
14. Instagram Guide
If you saw our new Instagram updates for 2021 post, you’ve seen us talk about these.
An Instagram Guide is a curated list of products, places, or posts.
Let’s take a look at this small business’s Instagram page as an example.
She is an artist who sells calendars, greeting cards, hanging art, coffee mugs, a children’s book, and more.
Here is the Guide icon, and as we scroll down we can see she has a bunch of product lists for Dog mom gifts, Coworker Gifts, Gifts for the Coffee Lover, etc.
So she’s using product lists for her Guides.
But remember you can also do a places guide or posts guide.
So depending on how your business relates to any of those 3 categories, you can make valuable guides for your Instagram followers.
Specifically, in this case, we’re referring to a social media giveaway.
With this type of content, you usually ask for people to follow you, like your post, and comment and tag a friend for a chance to win XYZ.
We always recommend that the item you’re giving away…
…be related to your product or service so that you attract qualified people to enter your giveaway.
For example, if you own a restaurant, you could give away a free drink.
If you own a spa, you could give away a complimentary manicure with your service.
But if you just give away a vague gift like a $50 Amazon gift card, you’re going to get a lot of unfollows as soon as the giveaway is over.
That is because you’re going to get people entering who don’t really care about your business, they just wanted the Amazon gift card.
16. Guest post
Writing a guest post is when you write content on someone else’s website…
…in hopes that it sends some of their website traffic back your way to your own website.
So you usually want to write a guest post for a site that you can safely assume attracts the same target audience as you.
If they feel like they gained value from your post, the idea is they will navigate to your site to learn more.
These are typically conducted on social media, but content marketing types like this warrants engagement from your audience.
Usually, these challenges involve a campaign hashtag.
It encourages users to post their own content tagging you and using the challenge hashtag.
Dawn launched a challenge alongside a giveaway this past year.
This article describing the challenge reads,
“International Bird Rescue’s long-term partner, Dawn dish soap, has launched a Minecraft lovers contest…
…where players can compete to design the most creative wildlife environment for a chance to win prizes worth up to $30,000.
During this #DawnSavesWildlife Challenge, for each Minecraft game submission,
Dawn will donate $5 to its California-based nonprofit partners: International Bird Rescue and The Marine Mammal Center.”
So this is doing a few things.
It’s raising brand awareness and engagement and encouraging audience participation while simultaneously promoting its brand values.
And in 2021, a brand’s values matter to people.
13% of consumers said they would pay 31-50% more for your products or services…
…if they were under the impression that your business is making a positive impact on the world.
18. Text messages or SMS marketing
Similar to how you conduct your email marketing…
…you can conduct a condensed version via text messages, which is said to have 10-15% higher click-through rates than email marketing.
86% of small business owners who utilize text messaging say it offers higher engagement than email communication.
In a world of instant gratification, where attention spans are shrinking instead of growing…
…offering value in bite-sized nuggets like text messages may be the way to go.
Last on our list of content marketing types is where exactly you are at right now.
When it comes to content marketing, blog writing is probably the king.
It helps with SEO while simultaneously providing endless value to your website visitors.
Your blog can also help cross-promote some of the other content marketing types we’ve listed.
For instance, you can have a pop-up opt-in to your email list or SMS list.
You can see we have our free tool listed on our blog as well as our training online course and so on.
If you don’t already have a blog, we would highly recommend you to start one as soon as possible for both SEO value and brand awareness and recall.
So those are our 19 content marketing types for you to get started with!
If you need help with any of these, get in touch with our content marketing firm today and we’ll help you out!