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What Are Types of Content Marketing?

Date published: December 18, 2023
Last updated: February 20, 2024

As marketers develop their website content marketing strategy, it can be challenging to know what kind of content they should use. The issue isn’t coming up with enough ideas so much as choosing from the plethora of options available.

As you flesh out your content marketing strategy, you want to consider all of the different forms of content out there. Only then can you effectively choose which ones fit into your marketing plans.

Let’s take a look at the different types of content marketing available and how you can use them to reach your target audience, educate them, and ultimately encourage them to take action.

What Is Content Marketing in Digital Marketing?

Before considering individual types of content, it’s important to remember the purpose of content marketing in the first place. Too often, marketers focus on content creation and have content strategy take a back seat. 

However, you always want to start by thinking of how your content factors into your larger digital marketing strategy. At Relevance, we consider a strong growth marketing strategy to focus on three areas: authority, credibility, and visibility.

Content marketing helps with all three of these things. Its biggest contribution is in the area of authority. Quality on-site content shows your audience that you know what you’re talking about and are a thought leader in your industry or niche.

Content also helps establish credibility through digital PR efforts, such as a guest post. On-site, informational content can enhance SEO, too, by helping with keywords, link-building, and technical SEO strategies.

What Are Examples of Educational Content?

As AI becomes a bigger factor, the quality of a brand’s content is coming into the spotlight. Strong SEO is no longer enough. You have to create great content that genuinely educates, offers unique insights, and provides value for the reader. 

The good news is that Google has provided guidance on how to make good content that will rank. To do this, the search engine has established its E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, trustworthiness) guidelines. A content strategy example that follows E-E-A-T could be a company blog post that provides insightful information from a certified professional on your staff.

Google's E-E-A-T guidelines outlining how to create different types of effective content marketing

For those comfortable with digging deeper, the search engine giant also provides Helpful Content Updates. These aid in generating “helpful, reliable, people-first content.”

What Are Types of Content Marketing?

There are many different elements of a content strategy. Each content type below provides its own value as part of your larger content marketing strategy. Let’s consider each one and how it can help you achieve your marketing goals.

Onsite Content

This is the “big one.” Your onsite content is the content that lives right on your own website. It doesn’t require a social media outlet, third-party publication, or even an email service. This content is fully in your control.

Onsite content can take on many different forms, each of which is helpful in its own way:

  • Blog posts; provide both short- and long-form blog content that can be newsy, opinionated, and filled with thought-leadership concepts.
  • Resources; such as “how-to” posts, supplemental information, and technical guides can provide easy-access self-service support for your existing customers.
  • Case studies; are powerful testimonials that summarize and demonstrate past success for future customers.
  • Infographics; condense large amounts of information into short-hand, easy-to-understand visual images.
  • Sales pages; provide bottom-of-funnel product and service pitches that seek to close sales. 

Onsite content is one of your best long-term forms of content marketing. It can be intensive and expensive to set up. However, once created, content that lives on your site can continue to deliver traffic and provide CTAs in perpetuity with minimal maintenance.

Gated Content

While much of your on-site content is free, there are certain kinds of content that you only want to give people when they’ve taken a specific action. This is called “gated content.” This includes things like:

  • Whitepapers; that provide long-form, in-depth content for serious consumers with a pre-existing base of basic knowledge.
  • Ebooks; that dig deeper into brand-related topics and demonstrate strong, intimate knowledge of your industry.
  • Demos; that provide interactive, hands-on experiences with your products or services.

An example of gated content in action could be receiving an ebook after signing up for a newsletter or submitting a request for a demo. These are important in-depth marketing steps that help move people who are already considering making a purchase toward the bottom of the sales funnel.

Other Forms of Content Marketing

On-site and gated content are two major content options that every brand should consider. But they aren’t alone. Here are several other forms of content that you should consider. Some of these are variations of on-site content, while others are off-site. In either case, each contributes its own value to a larger content marketing strategy.

  • Guest posts; are content that you contribute to a third-party site, such as a news outlet or industry publication. These are excellent forms of digital PR outreach and can build brand credibility.
  • Social media; includes anything from memes and quotes to lengthy LinkedIn posts that are as long as a blog post. Social media posts help build brand awareness and cultivate branded communities.
  • Email marketing; is a unique form of content that you can send directly to an audience that has opted in to hear what you have to say. It is a great way to make confident calls to action, from suggesting reading a blog to encouraging someone to make a purchase.
  • Video content; is a well-rounded and engaging form of visual content that presents information in a manner that strongly resonates with consumers.
  • Podcasting; is also popular and is an effective way to audibly present branded messages filled with insightful information.
  • Ads; are a classic form of content that typically conveys bottom-of-funnel calls to action, such as taking advantage of a sale or purchasing a new product.
  • User-generated content; is a powerful form of interactive content that invites your audience to collaborate with you by providing their own feedback, opinions, and advice in relation to your products and services.

From onsite and gated content to the smorgasbord of different formats that content can take, there are many ways you can tailor valuable content to meet the current needs of your brand.

Using the Right Types of Content Marketing

As you consider the different elements of content strategy that you want to use, keep this list in mind. To create effective content marketing, you need to analyze your customers, marketing goals, resources, and so on. Then, consider what kind of content fits into that framework. 

Should you invest in content marketing blogs to inform site visitors and lead them down your sales funnel? Do you need social media marketing content for off-site lead generation or to help you retain existing customers? 

As you identify the different components of content marketing that you need, assemble them into a content creation plan. If the whole thing gets too confusing, this can be a good time to work with a reputable content marketing agency like Relevance to keep your content educational, effective, and up to date. They can help you generate high-quality, effective content that can build your brand’s authority in the eyes of the world, your industry, and especially, your target audience.

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