Content marketing is the fuel for all marketing. If you don’t have a good content strategy in place, the rest of your marketing will fall flat.
The content you produce helps your brand connect with your audience on a deeper level, building trust and forging lasting relationships.
Use content marketing to solve problems, entertain, or otherwise add value for your audience members to keep them coming back for more.
Give away your content generously. While some people shudder at the thought of giving away free content for fear it’ll cut into the bottom line, the opposite is actually true.
By giving away your content, you generate goodwill. This goodwill paints a positive picture of your brand in people’s minds, making them more likely to convert, and more likely to stick around.
With all this in mind, content marketing success isn’t as simple as creating a bunch of articles and clicking “publish.” People consume content in different ways and forms, and you need to keep this in mind as you execute your content strategy.
Variety is the spice of life, as they say. It’s also the spice of content marketing.
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Why vary the types of content you produce?
If you only produce blog articles, you miss out on all the people who prefer a video, infographic, or other type of content. You may kill it creating content for your blog, but you’ll only appease the readers who want text-only content.
The biggest reason to create multiple types of content is to expand your reach. This will help you connect with more people within your audience, as you’ll be able to meet the content needs of a wider group.
So, what types of content should you produce?
That’s a great question. Fortunately, we have tons of answers. Let’s take a look at five of the top content types you should be creating to connect more deeply with your audience. We’ve added some examples to help you visualize each better.
One of the most important types of content you need in your content marketing strategy is educational content. This type of content is designed to teach your audience something new. It can be in the form of blog posts, infographics, e-books, or even video tutorials. The goal of educational content is to help your audience learn something that they can use to improve their lives or businesses.
This is a great example of educational content from IBM. It’s a white paper about artificial intelligence. This is an area in which IBM is on the cutting edge, but many others are trying to catch up with everything that’s been going on with AI. This white paper aims to educate.
Another important type of content you need in your strategy is entertaining content. This type of content is designed to entertain your audience and keep them engaged. It can be in the form of funny blog posts, videos, or even games. The goal of entertaining content is to keep your audience coming back for more.
Musician Matthew Dear, back in 2014, recorded thousands of sounds from GE (General Electric) machines. The result took something that typically might be looked at as super boring and turned it into an engaging, entertaining piece of content.
Inspirational content is another important type of content you need in your strategy. This type of content is designed to inspire your audience and motivate them to take action. It can be in the form of stories, quotes, or even videos. The goal of inspirational content is to get your audience to take action towards their goals.
Feeding America, a non-profit with the goal of ending hunger in the United States, offers plenty of inspiration on their website. The following video appears just below the fold on the non-profit’s homepage. It details the mission of the brand and inspires site visitors to donate.
Newsjacking content is a type of content that capitalizes on current events or trends. This type of content is timely and relevant, and it can be in the form of blog posts, articles, or even social media posts. The goal of newsjacking content is to get your audience talking about your brand and sharing your content with their friends and followers.
One of the best examples of newsjacking I can think of is Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark” Tweet that the team slapped together and quickly published when the lights went out at the Super Bowl in 2013. The tweet went viral, and it still holds legendary status to this day.
User-generated content (UGC) is a type of content that is created by your users or customers. This type of content can be in the form of reviews, testimonials, articles, videos, social media posts, or another type of content. The goal of UGC is to build trust and credibility with your audience by showcasing that others are talking about your brand (in a good way).
A great example of this is Loughborough University’s golden ticket campaign. The university sent out golden tickets to the latest class of admitted students. This prompted many of the students to share social media posts of themselves holding the ticket with the hashtag #LBORO or #LboroFamily.
Get Started Rocking Your Content Marketing
Now that you understand why you need to vary your content types, and you have some clear examples of how some of the top types of content at work, you can get started rocking your content marketing campaigns.
Think about how you can create content that educates, entertains, and inspires. Keep tabs on the latest trends and news stories, and then leverage this by creating timely, relevant content.
Don’t hesitate to let your users (your audience) create content for you. User-generated content is extremely powerful and builds social proof. Use it to your advantage.
What are you waiting for?
Start creating your content strategy, and make sure you vary the types of content you create and publish to connect with your audience on a deeper level.