Content marketing has well and truly taken the world by storm.
When done effectively, content marketing can connect you with your audience, build a long-standing relationship based on trust, and simultaneously boost both sales and customer retention.
But there’s no one size fits all approach to this type of marketing. In fact, there are a lot of different types – and picking the correct one can be the key to defining the success of your overarching content strategy.
In this blog, we’ll look at the different types of content marketing, and why you should be using them.
Let’s begin with the basics. Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves planning, creating, publishing and sharing content across a selection of chosen channels, like social media or a website.
The content posted doesn’t necessarily promote a brand – at least not explicitly – but is intended to inspire interest in its products or services. Content is also not always sales-focused: in fact, a lot of it won’t ask customers to convert at all.
In its simplest explanation, content marketing provides value without any expectation. It provides something to its consumer – entertainment, education or inspiration – without asking for a sale in return.
Instead, content builds a rapport with its reader, which can in turn lead to conversions later down the line, though its goals can also include things like brand awareness, brand loyalty, and customer retention.
Like there’s no one size fits all approach when it comes to strategy, there isn’t one for content itself, either. There are a few different types of content marketing, and choosing the correct one for your brand will be a key component of your success.
As for what those types are, it’s pretty much anything that you can think of. Content is everywhere: the podcasts you listen to when you’re bored, the featured snippets you read on Google that tell you whether it’s safe or not to eat slightly-out-of-date fruit, the Instagram stories posted by wannabe Love Island contestants.
It’s all content, but the intention and the audience are exceptionally different. So getting it right is crucial.
If you’re trying to sell software to the CEO of a global law firm, an influencer’s sponsored Instagram story probably isn’t the way to go about it. Similarly, trying to promote beauty products with a target audience of female Gen Zers, on a podcast with a demographic that consists of mainly millennial men, you might have missed the mark.
In order to choose the right kind of content marketing for your audience, you need to know your audience. It’s important to develop an accurate buyer persona which understands where your target buyers are, but their pains, their problems, why they actually need your products
It’s not just about understanding your audience though; it’s also about what stage of the buyer journey they are. It’s important to create content for each stage to nudge them further through the sales funnel. Some content is about building awareness while others are designed to nurture existing relationships.
It's also about what will work best practically. Look at the analytics from your previous content campaigns to see what has resonated best in the past.
Now, as for the specific types of content you could use, here are 3 of our favourites.
Social media is one of the most popular types of content marketing, and it’s only getting closer to achieving its goals of ultimate world domination. In fact, 80% of business executives now think it’s very important or essential to invest additional resources in social media marketing.
There are plenty of different social media networks out there, from Facebook to TikTok, so there’s a platform for everyone. Different networks tend to be preferred by different demographics, so it’s a good way of targeting a particular audience. Plus, different platforms suit different businesses too – LinkedIn is a haven for B2B, whereas Instagram and TikTok are often beneficial for B2C.
Across the range of platforms on offer, brands can create a wide variety of different content, which can be optimised to suit each network’s algorithm for increased reach. Social media is versatile, and makes it easy to create a variety of short form content, from reels and TikTok videos to informative text posts.
Unlike a lot of other content mediums, social media is free to use. Any brand can create a free profile and begin to build an organic following on any platform – though many businesses find more success with paid social than organic. Platforms like TikTok however make it very possible to succeed on social media without a budget.
Plus, with more than half – 58.4% – of the global population now actively using social, brands have pretty much limitless opportunities to connect with, entice, and engage with prospective and existing customers.
Because it is so popularly used, social media pretty much guarantees you access to your audience – that is, as long as your content appeals to them.
Video content is one of the rising stars of the marketing world. Favoured by social algorithms and consumers alike, video can have incredibly powerful results if you invest the time, energy and budget it requires.
Video marketing can boost sales and conversions, improve ROI, and most importantly, is extremely effective for building relationships with its viewers. Video is also one of the most useful content formats for repurposing and streamlining content production; one video can be used on a website, on your socials, and even distributed across email campaigns.
Examples of video content marketing include social – TikToks, Instagram reels and YouTube videos – as well as things like webinars, product videos and educational or explainer videos.
According to Wyzowl, 73% of consumers say they prefer to learn about a brand’s products or services via video. They’re also twice as likely to share video content with friends than are other formats, which makes distribution and reach – two of the biggest challenges in content – simple.
Social algorithms favour video, so by combining your social and video marketing strategies, you can kill two birds with one stone and easily bolster your social performance, without having to invest in additional content creation.
Blogs are a brilliant way of combining content marketing and SEO effectively, and they’re also an exceptionally powerful form of inbound content.
SEO is a powerful marketing tool, which is why 69% of marketers actively invest time into it. Blogging is a way to boost your SEO that doesn’t involve a lot of technical knowledge or great difficulty.
It’s also cheap – especially when compared to other visibility-driven marketing tactics, like paid search or ads. What’s more, if you do it right and create genuinely insightful content, you have the potential to create evergreen content which improves in value over time.
Not only do blogs improve your search engine rankings – and can be a major part of your backlink or keyword strategies – they also drive more traffic to your website. A big part of content marketing is visibility, and strategic blogging is a great way to get your site in front of the right eyeballs.
As we mentioned before, content marketing is all about providing value. While this can be achieved by memes or TikToks, a blog is a brilliant way to showcase your knowledge, answering your prospect’s burning questions and offering a solution to your problem with your services. In doing so, you’ll also build credibility with the reader – by being genuinely useful, you’re increasing trust and loyalty.
Here at ITK, we’re no strangers to any of the major types of content marketing. We’re well-versed in all of the major platforms, know how to whisper to the algorithms, and take care to perfectly blend creativity with strategic thinking to generate the best results for your brand.
Want to learn more? Click here to find out more about our content marketing services, or give us a quick call to discuss your needs.