Let’s address a common misconception about content marketing. Despite the term being bandied about by nearly everyone, people always seem to think of blogs and social media posts as the only types of content they can use to win customers. That’s just not true.
Content marketing is a crucial tool in every brand’s arsenal. After all, according to Hubspot, more than 70% of marketers are actively investing in this field in 2020.1 And with many businesses’ physical avatars badly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, using content is one of the strongest ways to reach customers and keep them updated about your services at a time when they cannot visit your store or office.
What are the different types of content marketing?
First, let’s understand one thing: content marketing is a way of using any kind of content to market your brand. Therefore, there are as many types of content marketing as there are types of content.
We are not going to divide types by channel. That’s the simplest way, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Instead, we’re going to divide it into 5 broad categories based on the nature of the content.
1. Text-based content marketing
Let’s get this out of the way. Some of the most popular forms of content marketing involve written text, sometimes in multiple languages. This can be blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, and so on. Essentially, anything where you are using the written word to talk to customers about your brand and your services/products falls into this category.
2. Video-based content marketing
Another extremely popular method, video content is highly effective when you want to give your customers an immersive, visually stimulating experience. This includes everything from explainer videos and brand videos to 2D and 3D animations, live interviews, tutorials, even webinars. Exactly what kind of videos you choose for your brand depends on your industry as well as the services you offer.
3. Knowledge-based content marketing
This one’s a little bit different. While blogs, posts and videos can definitely be used to share knowledge, there are certain types of content that take this to a different level altogether. We’re talking whitepapers, case studies, industry analyses and reports. These types of content are usually information-heavy, and can run into tens or even hundreds of pages. They have to be produced in a very professional way and to the highest standards of research, with every data point checked and verified by publicly available sources.
4. Design-based content marketing
This type involves a more graphical representation of content. It can be in the form of infographics (a combination of text, numbers and graphics) or something purely design-based and out of the box. It’s not just for fashion brands or interior design studios, although they are the most common examples that come to mind when you think of design-based content marketing. Often, graphic design can be used to beautifully illustrate concepts in a way that mere words cannot, irrespective of your industry.
5. Events and training/tutorial content marketing
People think only certain kinds of companies hold events or conduct training sessions. The truth is that this is a great way for anyone to showcase their products or services and gain a loyal customer following. You don’t have to hold a mega conference or conduct a massive seminar. A live session at your office, a how-to video on your website, or some free training material on how to use your app or product are all useful ways of engaging your customer base. All you need to do is shift your perspective to consider what your brand can offer in this space. Of course, you may need to use one of the above types of content marketing to promote your event or session, and to give some takeaways or freebies to your attendees.
Now that you know the various types of content marketing, your next step should be to choose which one (or more than one) works best for your brand and your industry. If you’re not sure, put on your thinking cap and explore all the different options. Once you find one or a combination that works well, expand on it, and you’ll soon see your customer base grow rapidly.
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1. Hubspot, Not Another State of Marketing Report