Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, and distributing highly relevant content that your target audience is actively looking for.
You might be thinking that content marketing came to life with the rise of digital marketing. But in reality, the content has been around for thousands of years.
Some experts refer to Benjamin Franklin’s publishing the first version of his annual Poor Richards Almanack as one of the first intended content marketing.
Franklin obviously wanted to promote his new printing house, and he found a great indirect way to do so.
However, in my opinion, excellent content is often unintentional. It illustrates someone’s passion for anything we can imagine.
When a person or a business is genuinely passionate, that passion often translates into content, and it will spread far better than any intentional marketing.
Inscriptions, to me, are an excellent example of the first content marketing!
Most nations carved their traditions and stories into big stones, and that piece of content “promoted” them for thousands of years.
That’s how they passed their culture to new generations. Just imagine how powerful a piece of content they created.
Below is a beautiful Orkhon inscription dating back to the 8th century.
At its core, content marketing has close ties with storytelling. People are unique so are their stories.
That’s why when people tell their or their brand’s story, they start creating something exceptional.
At the same time, people or brands would go through a similar path in their journey.
So stories help people or brands to learn vital lessons without even going through the same troubles.
Types of Content Marketing
As you can see from the chart above, we could create a dozen of different content. But let’s face it, our sources are often limited.
So the best approach is finding out what type of content your persona likes the most and sticking with that content type.
To put things into perspective, let’s review a few content marketing types that every marketer must master.
According to HubSpot (they have been nailing content marketing for years in such a challenging niche), there are six types of content:
1. Social Media Content
Social media management is a key aspect of digital marketing, and you have to create channel-specific social media content to excel.
It mainly features posts and stories that can adequately address B2C and B2B marketing purposes.
You could also stream live sessions, which is a great way to connect your business with potential buyers.
I know a lot of marketers are looking for an all-in-one success recipe for social media content marketing.
Unfortunately, in my experience, there is none. Social media content strategy will greatly differ from business to business.
The best approach is to try out a few content types, measure the audience response and draw out the social media content strategy later on.
2. Infographic Content
This is a highly visual graphic content type, and the name is self-explanatory, where we try to inform our audience around a specific subject.
Sometimes as marketers, we feel like it’s hard to explain certain concepts by writing them, especially if the audience is not an expert on the topic.
This is where an infographic comes really handy. Using an infographic within a blog post greatly improves the overall quality of a blog.
Don’t hesitate to use infographics from different sources but also note that infographics are backlink magnets.
A well-prepared infographic might get you incredible backlinks, so why not leverage that to your advantage!
3. Blog Content
Blogging is a vital aspect of inbound marketing. Even so, to some marketers, blogging is equal to content marketing.
To me, blogging is underestimated, and often, people ask the wrong question about blogs: “Anyone will read it”?
Sure, it’s important how much time your audience might spend on your blog post but more importantly, blog posts increase your search engine visibility.
Even if they are not clicked, your blog posts might be making impressions, which means free branding on search engines.
Especially if you carefully optimize your SEO titles.
I’m a blog content writer and launched at least a dozen blogs in my career, including multilingual ones.
My experience is it’s simple but very effective.
Learn how to do it and actively use it in your content strategy.
4. Podcast Content
If video content is like the new TV in our lives today, the podcast is the radio.
Podcasting can be described as voice marketing and has grown massively in recent years.
The biggest advantage of this content type for a consumer is that it only addresses our hearing senses.
Therefore, we could have much more freedom when consuming this kind of content.
For example, I love listening to 10-15 minutes podcasts around a specific topic when driving to work or washing the dishes.
This content type works mostly on B2B, but also personal brands can greatly take advantage of it.
B2C companies might also leverage this type of content if they think outside the box.
5. Video Content
Video content plays a huge role in content marketing today, thanks to a community such as YouTube.
Facebook and Instagram also have been pushing hard by introducing new products such as live, stories, and finally reels.
TikTok is also massively popular, especially among Generation Z, and continues to grow.
Simply put, people love videos.
Videos stimulate more senses, so marketers can deliver their messages much easier in a video than, let’s say, in a blog or a podcast.
Videos also get a lot of engagement. Some of YouTube video’s comment section looks identical to a discussion forum.
Today, it’s not that complicated to start creating video content.
There a wide range of tools for beginners, such as mobile phones, gimbals, BlueTooth mics, graphic and video editing software.
Due to all these factors, marketers must learn how to create basic videos to reach their core audiences.
Not to forget using Webinars, which are more advanced versions of the video content.
6. Ad Content
Now let’s put everything together, and we might end up getting ourselves some ad content.
Digital advertising is another vital channel in digital marketing, and it usually includes a copy and a creative.
Ad copy is a text, and you could have a few different tactics to engage your audience.
You could leverage bullet points, ask a question or even be funny.
The key is keeping the ad copy short, though.
By doing so, you could assure that your post looks like an organic post in the news feed.
Since we are spending money to make impressions, it’s crucial to use the highest quality possible with our ad creative.
Use high-quality photos with bright colors that can easily draw attention.
Because first, you draw attention, and later you deliver your message.
Come up with a few alternatives, mix & match a few different versions and see which ones perform better.
How to Succeed in Content Marketing
Earlier, I told you that there is no one for all recipes for content marketing.
Nevertheless, there is a simple strategy that’s related to the buyer’s journey that never fails.
If you start creating content around the different stages of the buyer’s journey:
awareness, consideration, and decision;
You will start creating brand awareness, get huge engagement, and finally hit your sales targets.
This simple trick is neglected 90% of the time, even by guru marketers.
Most marketers would focus their content effort more towards the decision stage.
That means they are focusing on their products and services to get sales immediately.
Some marketers would also go one step further and start creating content for the consideration stage, such as webinars.
The ultimate marketer, on the other hand, will hit the awareness stage much harder and create content for all three stages.
This strategy works like a charm because it’s mathematical.
Since there are always more people in your target market in the awareness stage than the other two stages, investing in the awareness stage will always have a bigger impact.
I hope you enjoyed that life-saving content marketing tip, and you could always check out this agency to take your content efforts a step further.