Best Content Marketing Formats and How to Use Them

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When your company has a great understanding of its marketplace and has developed one or more buyer personas, the next usual step in the content marketing process is to determine the best content marketing formats and delivery channels for communicating with targeted prospects.

Best Content Marketing Formats and Their Benefits

The following is an overview of some of the most common content marketing formats, along with insight on which stages of the buyer journey where each format makes sense:

Blogs

A company blog is typically attached to its website, and it includes articles on various topics of interest to targeted market segments or personas. As it is the best platform to consistently deliver fresh, diverse content, blogs play a crucial role in a long-term content strategy. This role is discussed in more depth shortly.

Case Studies

Case studies are stories about how a business has successfully delivered a solution to satisfy the needs of a given customer. A good case study analyzes the situation of the prospect that led to the buyer journey, and then outlines how the business worked with the person to evaluate needs, identify and implement the best solution. It also points to the benefits achieved by the customer after implementation. The goal is to demonstrate for prospective customers how their needs would be addressed in a similar situation.

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing

Whitepapers

More lengthy and in-depth than a blog, a whitepaper allows a brand to establish itself more as a thought leader, while also giving targeted prospects perspective on important factors to consider during the evaluation step of the buyer journey.

eBooks

Similar to whitepapers, eBooks allow for more in-depth content on particular topics. They allow you to expand beyond the information you can provide in a typical blog post. Whitepapers and eBooks are routinely offered as download options for people who consume blog content and want more. You also have flexible to distribute eBooks through off-site delivery platforms to expand your reach.

Videos

Video content continues to increase in consumption; it is one of the most common content types consumed on mobile devices. With videos, you can tell more intricate stories, bring them to life, optimize emotional appeals, establish credibility, and provide testimonials and demonstrations that support the value of your solutions.

Social Media

In general, digital marketing places heavy emphasis on engagement. Among the content channels, social media offers the more effective methods for interacting directly with the marketplace. You can share your content, provide concise insights, participate in industry and brand-related conversations, and combat negative news and comments. A brand’s approach to leveraging social media for addressing negative views is critical to online reputation management.

Podcasts

Like video content, live-streaming and audio podcasts allow for more thorough explanation of benefits and enhanced storytelling relative to traditional communication forms. You can develop weekly, bi-weekly or monthly podcasts that relate to the interests of your audience, and establish your brand’s industry credibility.

Webinars

A Webinar allows you to train your audience on a relevant topic or tool, including product tutorials. In addition to strengthening your industry authority, Webinars allow you to build rapport with the audience by assisting in their needs.

Photography/Images

Whether a standalone piece in a social media post, or a feature embedded within other types of content, photos, images and infographics amplify content value by delivering appealing visualization.

Conclusions

Your business may not need to utilize all of these common content marketing formats to engage your audience. The ideal content types for your company depend on your capabilities, content features and audience preferences. Choose the best content marketing formats as you build a thoughtful strategy.

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About the Author: Neil Kokemuller

Neil Kokemuller is a veteran college marketing professor with an MBA. He has also been a freelance business and marketing content writer and website creator since 2008.

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