18 Types of Content to Add to Your Marketing Mix
Identifying different types of content to add to your marketing mix is not about making sure you include “one of everything” to cover all your bases. Rather, what you are looking for is the types of content your target market responds to best. This may mean you do include a wide variety of content types in your overall marketing plan, or it may mean you strip down to the basics and hone in on the handful of types that deliver stellar results.
In this post, learn about some of the most effective types of marketing content in use today and how you can incorporate them into your own marketing strategy.
Marketing Content: A Job Description
Gone are the days when aspiring marketers generated content just for the sake of generating content. Google’s ongoing algorithm updates combined with millions of overstimulated sets of eyes has ensured that only the very best content gets noticed and shared today, whether offline or online.
So you want to be sure you know what your marketing content’s job description and that it is up for the challenge is before you put your content out there for mass consumption.
Here are various jobs your marketing content should be able to do for you:
- Inspire and uplift.
- Inform (knowledge).
- Educate (DIY, how-to).
- Generate discussion and/or debate.
Some pieces of effective content may be designed specifically to handle a single job. But some of the most effective marketing content can also handle several of these jobs simultaneously through a single piece of content.
A Resource List: 18 Effective Marketing Content Types
When you are starting the process of creating a detailed marketing plan, it can be helpful to have a master list of effective content types to work from.
Here is a general list of the most compelling marketing content types in use today:
- Blog posts.
- Infographics or gif-o-graphics (animated infographics).
- Lists (top 10, 5 best, et al).
- Resource link lists.
- How-to tutorials or guides.
- Memes, animation and cartoons.
- Powerpoint and PDF presentations.
- White papers.
- Research and case studies.
- Client or customer testimonials and reviews.
- Mobile apps.
- Online forums.
- Expert interviews.
Here again, it goes without saying that in addition to using each or any of these types of content alone, you can combine one or more types in any number of creative ways to maximize reach and response.
How to Know Your Content is Doing its Job
It may feel like a challenge to create content compelling enough to get noticed, but that is actually the easy part. After all, you know your company, your brand, your products and services, so you know what sets them apart from your competition.
But how do you know that, once released into a content-rich world, your content will be able to do its job to bring you new business?
Here is a checklist you should use with each piece of content before releasing it to the public:
– Is it findable? In other words, is it SEO (search engine optimization) optimized to come up when your target market conducts browser queries?
– Is it readable? This is particularly critical with infographics and text-based content. You want the graphics to be clear and the text to be broken up into easily digestible bits (bullet points, numbers, visual aids, et al).
– Is it understandable? Here, you want to be sure the content type is appropriate to the audience and the delivery vehicle and that it provides a fresh take on the topic at hand.
– Is it actionable? Does your content motivate and galvanize your target market to take action? You want to be sure your content is ready to ask, to instruct, to invite or even to order your target market to act.
– Is it shareable? If your content tugs at heart strings, provokes an “aha moment,” evokes a smile or laugh, brings up anger or a difference of opinion, is personalized and is easily shareable, it will likely get shared. You want to be sure to ask for shares and make it easy by including share buttons and links.
A Resource List: 9 Marketing Platforms
A marketing platform is just an avenue where you can release and disseminate your marketing content. Different platforms can disseminate different types of content more effectively.
For your use, here is a general list of 9 different types of marketing platforms:
- Websites (yours and others).
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+).
- Teleconferences and podcasts.
- Magazines and journals (both digital and print).
- Books (both digital and print).
These are just the most popular and enduring platforms and there are hundreds more, including industry-specific platforms that may only be relevant in your particular industry.
Matching Up Content Types with Marketing Platforms
Of course, the real test comes when you have created compelling content (content that meets all five of the requirements listed here) and you now have to match up which pieces of content to share through which marketing platforms.
Fortunately and unfortunately, this is not an exact science. But there are some general guidelines you can use to help you match the content you generate to the appropriate marketing platform.
Here are some examples of how to match content with platform:
Facebook. Still the number one social sharing platform in use today. Not only is the audience general, but they visit multiple times per day. Can accommodate all types of content with ease and often does.
Instagram. Photo-driven content only!!
Pinterest. DIY and how-to content with image leads is king here. The audience is predominantly women. New ads and buy buttons make it perfect for product demos.
Twitter. You get 144 characters plus an image plus hashtags – use for short bits of “breaking news” and highly shareable content only!
Google+. Attracts a predominantly young, single and IT-savvy male audience.
LinkedIn. Facebook for the business community. College-educated, slightly older and more sophisticated, accommodates longer pieces of content well.
The key to matching the right content to the right platform is to monitor your analytics continuously. The more you can learn about which content types your target market prefers, the more you can channel future content effectively in that direction.