In a previous blog post, we guided you through the principles and process of knowing and understanding your target audience when it comes to creating content. We start with the audience because without them there is no purpose for content marketing. Knowing and understanding your audience lays the foundation for everything moving forward. Knowing and understanding the different kinds of content is the first layer of bricks, so to speak, on top of that foundation.
Note that there are distinct types of content intended to accomplish a variety of different goals. One kind of content might be ideal for reaching your target audience with a sales message while being completely ineffective for communicating company news. Another form of content would achieve very impressive SEO results not possible with other forms of content.
Below we link to articles describing in detail the nine different types of content currently used by online marketers. Some of these tools are also used for marketing offline, which is completely appropriate. Reading each one will hopefully give you a better understanding of each form of content including what it is, the purpose behind it, and the general style that dictates its presentation.
Blog Posts and Informational Articles
Some content creation experts consider blog posts and informational articles to be two separate forms of content. They technically are, but we have combined them into a single form for the purposes of this course because their differences are so subtle that they often overlap. Read the article here (1427 words, 6-minute read).
Hard news has become somewhat of a lost art in the highly politicised world in which we now live. What used to be hard news is now more opinion than anything else, and the whole concept of ‘fake news’ is making even the most avid consumer of news somewhat cynical. Nonetheless, hard news is a form of content you should be able to use to your advantage. Read the article here (1324 words, 5-minute read).
Advertising and Marketing Copy
Advertising and marketing copy should put ideas in the minds of your customers, ideas that convert them from casual browsers to paying customers. How you present the ideas makes all the difference in the world. Read the article here (1393 words, 6-minute read).
Somewhere in that murky area between blog posts and informational articles is a form of content marketing known as the guest post. As a web surfer, you have been exposed to countless guest posts whether you know it or not. They are now as prolific as blog posts and informational articles, with the only difference being where they appear. Read the article here (1657 words, 7-minute read).
A press release is a specific kind of content that presents important, newsworthy information to a core group of interested parties. Think of it as hard news targeted to a much smaller group than a publication like the New York Times would target. Where the Times may have a general circulation numbering in the millions, a given press release may be intended to target only thousands. Read the article here (2006 words, 8-minute read).
What makes the infographic so powerful is its combination of hard data and graphical presentation. As you will discover by going through this article, creating an effective infographic requires two skills: writing and graphic design. Infographics can be created by a single individual possessing both skills or a team of individuals with separate skills. Read the article here (1801 words, 7-minute read).
White Papers and Case Studies
Despite white papers and case studies being two distinctly different kinds of content, we have combined them in a single article because they both require the same kind of highly technical analytical thinking. The concepts you learn in this article are considered advanced concepts for content creators. Read the article here (2311 words, 9-minute read).
Social Media Content
Saying that social media dominates online conversations is like saying that football is the most popular sport in the world. Everybody knows it. The question for you as a content creator is this: what are you going to do about it? Read the article here (1742 words, 7-minute read).
Video Content, Newsletters, Brochures & Ebooks
We have covered the most utilised forms of marketing content through the first eight articles listed above. This article functions as a ‘catch-all’ for the remaining content forms. Each of these forms of content may be used more or less frequently, depending on the organisation using them. Read the article here (2395 words, 10-minute read).