While content marketing essentially remains the same as it has always been, marketers have amassed more data over the years and are now able to make better predictions, craft better strategies, and deliver steadier, more long-lasting results.
In pursuit of this endeavour, we have discovered there are certain content types that are practically a must in any well-rounded online marketing strategy. Here they are, in no particular order:
Long Form Content
Long-form content is a staple for any brand. It should provide value to your readers and target a topic that is of interest to them and that you can use to truly demonstrate your expertise and experience.
This best mattress guide is a good example of long-form content. It clearly displays that it was written by an expert, it uses a language that is easy to understand by anyone, and it delves deep into all the different products it lists.
It’s also broken up by images very well and formatted so that it’s easy to skim through. Readers can just glance at the section that is of interest to them and not waste time elsewhere.
Compelling Landing Pages
The other staple element of a good content strategy is a great landing page, which:
- is written for a specific audience
- details a specific product or service
- most importantly, focuses on benefits as opposed to features
Great example: AdThrive’s explanation of why their service is better than some of the others in the same niche.
It’s short and very much to the point. It speaks directly to the reader and uses a variety of strong words that have been carefully chosen to achieve the desired effect. Note also how the page uses compelling visuals, ie lots of smiling faces.
Case studies are a content format that boosts your credibility and trust, and that can go a very long way in boosting your conversion rates as well. If you are not able to clearly name the client you’ve worked with, you can at least always describe the nature of their business and detail the results you have helped them achieve.
Ninja Outreach has numerous case studies that can serve as an example of how to write one well. They are formatted as interviews, so they allow their users to tell their success stories in their own words. They also always come with a user photo and screenshots from the actual campaign. This helps make them more relatable and demonstrates the power of their service.
While not all brands will be able to create it, interactive content can be a great way to boost user engagement, time on page, and the overall value of your website. It can come in the form of a quiz, a questionnaire, a calculator, and even an interactive infographic can work well.
This word finder for Scrabble is a good example to look at. It’s fun and easy to use, and it helps users solve a particular problem (i.e., find a word) and become better at a game they like to play.
Your interactive content can either provide entertainment (think of all those “which character from X are you” quizzes) or provide value (like a quiz that helps users choose a product). You don’t have to aim for both.
When it comes to your blog posts, aim to create some that are very information-heavy. Think of them as ultimate guides on a subject, resources that will give readers all the data they need about a subject, whether it’s very complex or essentially super simple.
These types of posts can often rank very well, can be promoted both via socials and email, and are loved by users.
Look at this post on the cost of keeping cats. It gives you lots of information, and even if the prices don’t apply to you (i.e., if you live in another country), you can still use the list of costs to calculate your own.
Note that you do need to do a lot of research for these posts and double-check all of your claims, as you don’t want to become known for a mistake.
Question and Answer Style Post
If you are looking to make a post rank well, creating a question-and-answer style article is a great way to do it. Most of the queries people enter into search engines are questions, so if you are able to find as many questions on a topic as you can (the alphabet soup method is great for that), you can create a compelling post that will quickly become an authority on the subject.
Look at this list of stock market holidays. It answers many questions, and perhaps more importantly, it provides the answer to the main question at the top of the page. At the same time, it also capitalizes on all the different ways that the same question can be phrased and offers more insight and details below.
Something Outside the Box
Finally, aim to also create something that is perhaps not what most users would expect from your brand. This is something that will help you reach a new audience among interested parties that may not naturally search for your brand.
Here’s an example: this post on AI-generated images and dogs (what a pairing!) will appeal to dog lovers among people who are fascinated by the latest developments in AI and who may not necessarily read blogs about dogs.
Think of a similar connection (or even adopt this same idea and use AI to create some images of your own), and blog about something that is still on-brand but with a slight twist.
With the help of these seven content types, you can achieve most of your content marketing goals, be they driving more traffic, boosting engagement, or increasing conversion rates.
Before you start creating any of them, carefully consider which would deliver the most results to your specific audience, and start from there.