What Are the Types of Content in Content Marketing?

Date published: December 18, 2023
Last updated: March 7, 2024

21st-century marketers have a buffet of content options to choose from. Every time a marketer engages in the content marketing process, they have to choose what kind of content they want to develop to achieve their current goals.

This can be tricky, as various kinds of content tend to serve different purposes. They can also require different skill sets and tools.

This makes understanding each content type is an essential step in the content creation process. Let’s break down why content is important in the digital marketing world. We’ll also explore what content options are out there and the many ways they can help a content marketer reach their target audience.

Why Is Content Important in Digital Marketing?

Content is a powerful, multi-functional digital marketing tool. Technically, marketers have always worked with content.

However, marketing in the technological age has given birth to a myriad of unique types of content in digital marketing. Blog posts, emails, podcasts, videos, infographics — the list goes on.

Marketers can use these to develop intricate content marketing strategies. These can provide a roadmap that guides them through the vast and overwhelming online marketing world.

From the consumer perspective, content is important because it helps with every stage of the customer journey. Content can help bring brand awareness to a brand and its offerings. It can inform users, encourage sales, and even provide customer support after the point of purchase.

While content is powerful, once again, it’s only effective if a marketer is using the right content marketing type for each situation.

What Are the Types of Content in Content Marketing?

There are many different types of content. Some of these, like blog posts or video content, were already listed above. Other content marketing examples include social media, guest posts, ebooks, demos, case studies, email marketing, landing pages, and user-generated content.

While understanding each individual option is important, it’s also essential to understand the function that each of these plays in a larger content strategy. Below is a list of several overarching categories that content covers. The same kind of content format can function in multiple categories, such as a blog post serving as an educational and self-help marketing asset.

Marketers should be well aware of these categories whenever they go to create content. That way, they can ensure they are using the best content types and formats to reach their intended consumer audience.

  • Educational blog content provides information and value to your end user. This includes a lot of written content, like blog posts and instructional PDFs. It can also consist of audio and video content items, like infographics, how-to videos, webinars, and podcasts.
  • Community-building content helps develop engagement and trust with your target audience. It often consists of interactive content, such as social media posts and email marketing.
  • Gated content uses lead capture forms to collect willingly provided consumer information. In exchange, those individuals gain access to subscriber-only whitepapers, ebooks, videos, emails, product demos, and other unique assets.
  • Outreach content helps brands reach a potential customer. It can consist of email blasts, social media through influencers, guest posts, and other third-party-driven content activities.
  • SEO content helps a search engine find a brand’s content and connect it to users with related queries. You can optimize any piece of content, but blog posts (which permanently live on company websites) are most often given the SEO treatment.
  • Paid content is content that you promote as an ad. A company pays a certain fee, usually for each click. They can apply this pay-per-click (PPC) format to various content types, such as blog posts, or visual content such as graphics or videos.
  • Off-site content lives on third-party websites as a way to promote a brand outside of its own online assets. This includes sending emails directly to inboxes, writing guest posts for industry publications, and posting social content.
  • Self-help content is similar to educational content. However, in this case, you craft it to answer user questions. This informational content often helps existing customers without the need to reach out to a customer service representative.
  • User-generated content comes from consumers. It serves as social proof, and often consists of social posts, feedback, and reviews and can serve as an excellent testimony to both a brand’s products and customer experience.

The variety of content available doesn’t just boil down to different formats and lengths. Each type of valuable content serves a distinct purpose in the content marketing process, and managers should always be aware of the kind of content they need for each project.

Being Purposeful With Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content strategy is a complex and nuanced field of business. As time goes on, it only promises to become more complicated, too.

As you craft everything from short social posts to lengthy videos and whitepapers, remember to be deliberate. Create a content marketing campaign to back up your decisions and an accompanying framework to keep track of your content marketing resources and guide the creation process.

If things get too overwhelming, you can also invest in a content marketing partner to help guide you through the process and breathe life and purpose into every piece of content that you generate.

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