Updated: Apr 4
Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In simpler terms, this is what you need to do to get people to know about your brand and the industry you operate in, as a whole.
“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” - Joe Chernov
This approach to marketing makes the consumer feel smart by providing them with value and information to make smart decisions themselves. This is also a good way to stay on top of their minds through thorough branding and content delivery so that when they do need a particular product or service, they think of your brand.
In this guide, we'll explore the different types of content marketing, look at some examples of how leading companies are doing it, and explain how to create a successful content marketing strategy, to begin with.
Types of Content Marketing
Given the nature of content marketing, which primarily aims at providing value across various different channels wherever the end consumer is, it can be delivered through many different ways.
Listing here are the Top 7 types of content marketing for 2023.
Online Content Marketing
This encompasses a variety of digital content types, including articles, blog posts, infographics, and more. By optimizing your online content for search engines, you can increase your brand's visibility and attract a wider audience. Ensure your content is keyword-rich and strategically structured to improve search engine rankings.
HubSpot is a prime example of a company that has built its business on the foundation of content marketing. They provide inbound marketing, sales, and customer service software solutions, and have established themselves as an industry leader through their extensive library of informative blog posts, white papers, e-books, webinars, and case studies. By consistently creating and sharing valuable content on topics such as SEO, email marketing, lead generation, and customer relationship management, HubSpot has attracted a vast audience, generated leads, and converted prospects into loyal customers.
Blog Content Marketing
Blogs provide an excellent platform to showcase your expertise, address customer pain points, and improve search engine optimization (SEO). By creating high-quality, informative blog posts, you can build credibility and foster trust with your audience. To optimize your blog content, incorporate relevant keywords, and internal and external links, and ensure mobile-friendliness. The best way to go about blogging is to create a set of content pillars and subtopics to give readers and consumers a 360-degree understanding and provide maximum value through your content.
Buffer, a social media management tool, has built a strong online presence through its comprehensive blog strategy. By regularly publishing insightful articles on social media marketing, productivity, and team culture, Buffer positions itself as a thought leader in the industry while providing valuable resources for its audience.
Video Content Marketing
Video is one of the most engaging content formats, that allows your business to convey information in a dynamic and captivating way. From explainer videos to customer testimonials, video content can significantly enhance your marketing efforts. Invest in high-quality video production and consider incorporating storytelling elements to connect with your audience emotionally. Try Instagram reels, Youtube videos and shorts, and Tik Toks. LinkedIn and Twitter, too, are now encouraging video content on their platforms. Streaming interviews and webinars are also a great way to go about it.
Moz, an SEO software and data provider, has effectively utilized video content marketing to educate its audience and promote its services. Their popular video series, "Whiteboard Friday," features weekly tutorials and discussions on various SEO topics. These engaging and informative videos have allowed Moz to reach a broader audience, demonstrate its expertise, and foster customer loyalty.
Infographic Content Marketing
Infographics are a visually appealing and easily digestible way to present complex information. They can be shared across various platforms, making them versatile and valuable content types. To create effective infographics, focus on presenting data-driven insights, utilizing appealing visuals, and ensuring readability. They can be used to provide educational content or support blog posts. Provide maximum value through just a graphical representation. You can never go wrong with infographics. If you are providing data through them, always make sure you are adding relevant sources at the bottom of the infographic.
Canva, a graphic design platform, has successfully used infographic content marketing to demonstrate the value of its product and educate its audience on various design principles. By creating visually appealing and informative infographics on topics such as color theory, typography, and logo design, Canva showcases the capabilities of its platform while providing valuable resources for its users.
Social Media Content Marketing
Social media platforms are powerful tools for sharing content with your target audience, driving engagement, and boosting brand awareness. From Facebook to Instagram, each platform has its unique characteristics and requires tailored content strategies.
To maximize your social media impact, develop platform-specific content that caters to each platform's audience and format preferences. Social media content can include blog posts, images, videos, and infographics.
Find out where your end consumers are and be sure you are present on those channels. You don't need to be in all the places at once. Beware of spreading yourself to think and social media burnout cause that's a real thing.
Nike's social media strategy is a testament to the power of engaging, visually appealing content. They leverage platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase their products, inspire their audience with motivational stories, and create a sense of community among their followers. By maintaining a consistent brand identity and voice across its social media channels, Nike effectively promotes its products while fostering strong customer loyalty.
Podcast Content Marketing
Podcasts offer an intimate, conversational format to connect with your audience, share valuable insights, and establish thought leadership. To create successful podcasts, focus on developing compelling content, fostering engaging conversations, and maintaining consistency in your release schedule.
Shopify, an e-commerce platform, has harnessed the power of podcast content marketing with its series "Shopify Masters." In each episode, they interview successful entrepreneurs and share their stories, insights, and lessons learned. This engaging and educational content not only positions Shopify as an industry leader but also provides valuable resources for its audience of e-commerce entrepreneurs.
Paid Ad Content Marketing
Paid advertising can amplify your content reach, targeting specific demographics or interests to increase engagement and conversion rates. When crafting paid ad campaigns, ensure that your ad copy is persuasive and aligns with your target audience's preferences and needs.
Slack, a team collaboration platform, has effectively leveraged paid ad content marketing to reach a wider audience and generate brand awareness. By creating targeted, visually appealing, and informative ads that highlight the platform's features and benefits, Slack has been able to attract new users and showcase its value proposition.
Useful Content Should Be at the Core of Your Marketing
Creating valuable content is crucial for your marketing strategy's success. By consistently delivering content that resonates with your target audience, you can achieve the following: Improved bottom line
Content marketing is not only beneficial to your business's bottom line but also advantageous for your customers.
By consistently delivering high-quality, relevant, and engaging content, you create a mutually beneficial relationship that drives growth and fosters customer satisfaction.
From a financial perspective, effective content marketing enables you to attract a wider audience, generate more leads, and ultimately increase sales, resulting in a healthier bottom line.
Additionally, it can lower your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and boost the lifetime value of your clients, further enhancing your business's profitability. As for your customers, they benefit from the valuable information, insights, and solutions your content provides, addressing their pain points and helping them make well-informed decisions.
By offering content that truly resonates with your target audience, you establish your brand as a trusted resource and thought leader in your industry, fostering long-term loyalty and advocacy among your customers.
This powerful combination of improved financial performance and enhanced customer experience solidifies content marketing as a critical component of a successful marketing strategy.
Enhance brand awareness and visibility Content marketing plays a pivotal role in enhancing brand awareness and visibility for your business in today's competitive landscape.
By creating and distributing valuable and relevant content, you position your brand as an industry authority and thought leader, capturing the attention of your target audience and leaving a lasting impression.
Effective content marketing not only increases your online presence across various platforms, such as search engines, social media, and blogs but also improves your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
By incorporating strategic keywords, engaging visuals, and share-worthy content, you can boost your search engine rankings and make your brand more accessible to potential customers.
Furthermore, consistently providing high-quality content fosters trust and credibility among your audience, leading to increased brand recognition and loyalty.
As a result, content marketing empowers your business to stand out in the crowded marketplace, driving brand awareness and visibility to new heights and laying a solid foundation for lasting success.
Attract visitors and grow site traffic
Content marketing is an essential driver for attracting visitors and growing your site traffic, making it a vital component of any successful marketing strategy.
By crafting informative, engaging, and valuable content that caters to your target audience's interests and pain points, you can pique their curiosity and draw them to your website.
High-quality content encourages social sharing, expanding your reach and creating additional avenues for potential customers to discover your brand.
Furthermore, content marketing, when combined with effective search engine optimization (SEO) practices, such as using targeted keywords and optimizing meta tags, can significantly improve your search engine rankings.
This increased visibility on search engines like Google and Bing enables users to find your content more easily when seeking solutions or information related to your industry.
As a result, content marketing not only attracts a steady stream of new visitors to your website but also enhances the user experience, encouraging repeat visits and fostering long-term loyalty among your audience.
In turn, this growth in site traffic translates into increased lead generation, conversions, and ultimately, business success.
Generate a positive brand perception
Content marketing is instrumental in generating a positive brand perception, which is crucial for building trust and credibility among your target audience.
By consistently delivering valuable, informative, and engaging content tailored to your audience's needs and interests, you demonstrate your brand's commitment to addressing their pain points and offering solutions.
This customer-centric approach not only positions your brand as a thought leader in your industry but also fosters a sense of authenticity and reliability that resonates with your audience.
Additionally, content marketing allows you to showcase your brand's personality, values, and mission, enabling you to create a unique identity and connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Engaging in active conversations with your audience through comments, social media interactions, and feedback can further enhance brand perception by demonstrating your genuine interest in their opinions and concerns.
Ultimately, positive brand perception cultivated through effective content marketing can lead to increased customer loyalty, advocacy, and long-term business success.
Educate the market about your products and services
Content marketing serves as a powerful tool for educating the market about your products and services, bridging the gap between customer needs and your offerings. By developing insightful and informative content that highlights the features, benefits, and unique selling points of your products or services, you can effectively demonstrate how they address your target audience's pain points and solve their problems.
This educational approach can take various forms, including blog posts, how-to guides, case studies, white papers, video content, and more, catering to different preferences and learning styles among your audience.
Additionally, content marketing enables you to showcase real-life examples and success stories, providing tangible evidence of the value and impact of your offerings. By educating the market in a transparent and authentic manner, you establish trust and credibility with your audience, positioning your brand as a reliable resource and thought leader in your industry.
As a result, content marketing not only paves the way for informed decision-making among potential customers but also enhances customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term business success.
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
By consistently creating and sharing valuable, engaging, and relevant content, your business can enjoy a range of benefits that help it stand out in a competitive market. Let's explore the key advantages of content marketing and how it can elevate your brand to new heights.
Drives sales to the next level
One of the most significant benefits of content marketing is its ability to drive sales to the next level. By offering informative content that educates potential customers about your products and services, you can guide them through the buyer's journey and facilitate their decision-making process.
For example, case studies showcasing real-life success stories can illustrate the value and impact of your offerings, helping to convince prospects to make a purchase. As a result, effective content marketing not only generates increased interest in your brand but also translates into higher conversion rates and sales.
Engages your audience
A critical advantage of content marketing is its capacity to engage your audience, fostering a genuine connection between your brand and its target market. By providing content that resonates with your audience's interests, pain points, and preferences, you create opportunities for meaningful interactions and discussions.
Social media platforms, blog post comments, and email newsletters offer channels through which your audience can voice their opinions, ask questions, and share their experiences, enabling you to demonstrate empathy and understanding. These authentic connections help build trust and loyalty, ultimately strengthening your brand's position in the market.
Creates value for your audience
Content marketing goes beyond promoting your products and services – it's about creating value for your audience. By offering content that educates, entertains, or inspires, you can enhance your audience's knowledge and help them make informed decisions.
For instance, publishing a series of how-to guides can empower your customers to solve problems or learn new skills related to your industry, thereby enriching their lives. This value creation not only establishes your brand as a reliable and trustworthy resource but also fosters long-term customer loyalty.
Generates more leads
An effective content marketing strategy is an excellent lead-generation tool. By producing high-quality content that addresses your audience's needs and interests, you can attract more visitors to your website and social media channels.
This increased traffic, combined with compelling calls to action, can lead to higher lead generation rates. For example, offering a free white paper or e-book in exchange for contact information allows you to build your email list and nurture potential customers through targeted marketing campaigns.
Reduces Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Content marketing can help reduce your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) by attracting organic traffic to your website and improving your search engine rankings.
By investing in the creation and distribution of valuable content, you can reduce your dependence on paid advertising and drive more cost-effective, targeted traffic to your site. This approach enables you to reach a wider audience and generate leads at a lower cost, ultimately boosting your return on investment (ROI) and profitability.
Increases the client's lifetime value
Content marketing is instrumental in increasing the lifetime value of your clients. By providing ongoing value through educational and engaging content, you can strengthen customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
Additionally, content marketing allows you to upsell and cross-sell products and services by showcasing their benefits and relevance to your audience's needs.
For example, a software company might publish a blog post detailing the advantages of a premium subscription plan, enticing existing customers to upgrade. By nurturing long-term relationships and fostering customer satisfaction, content marketing can significantly enhance your client's lifetime value and contribute to your brand's overall success.
Content Marketing is Used by Leading Brands
Major brands across industries have embraced content marketing, recognizing its power to drive growth and establish a competitive edge. From Coca-Cola's storytelling initiatives to American Express's OPEN Forum, these companies demonstrate the potential of content marketing to create lasting connections with customers and position brands as thought leaders in their respective fields.
The energy drink company has a content marketing strategy that focuses on extreme sports and high-risk activities. They create videos, blog posts, and social media content that showcases these activities, and it's worked well to build a loyal following.
American Express has a content marketing strategy that focuses on small business owners. They create blog posts, videos, and infographics that provide valuable information and resources for entrepreneurs.
B2B Content Marketing Statistics
As we explore the world of B2B content marketing, it's essential to consider key statistics showcasing its effectiveness and impact:
91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach their customers (Content Marketing Institute).
86% of highly successful B2B content marketers prioritize their audience's informational needs over their promotional message (Content Marketing Institute).
B2B marketers allocate an average of 26% of their total marketing budget to content marketing (Content Marketing Institute).
60% of B2B marketers say that creating engaging content is their top challenge (Content Marketing Institute).
B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those that do not (HubSpot).
These statistics highlight the significance of content marketing in the B2B landscape and underscore the importance of investing in effective content marketing strategies.
How to build an effective Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how a business will create, publish, and distribute content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It includes goals, target audience, content types, distribution channels, and metrics for measuring success.
To create a successful content marketing strategy, businesses should:
Define their goals and target audience.
Determine the types of content that will resonate with their target audience.
Develop a content creation plan and editorial calendar.
Determine the distribution channels that will be used to distribute content.
Create a system for measuring the success of their content marketing efforts.
Let's dig a bit deeper into the how of it, shall we?
Define Goals and Target Audience
Defining goals and target audience is the first step in creating a successful content marketing strategy. Goals should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the overall business objectives. For example, goals could include increasing website traffic, generating more leads, or improving brand awareness. Once goals are defined, it's important to determine the target audience. Businesses should have a clear understanding of who their ideal customer is, their needs, and how they consume content. This information will help guide the types of content that are created and the distribution channels that are used.
Determine Types of Content
Once goals and target audience are defined, the next step is to determine the types of content that will resonate with the target audience. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, social media posts, whitepapers, case studies, and more. It's important to consider the buyer's journey when creating content, and ensure that content is aligned with the needs and interests of the target audience at each stage of the journey.
Develop a Content Creation Plan and Editorial Calendar
To create consistent and high-quality content, businesses should develop a content creation plan and editorial calendar. This should include details such as the types of content that will be created, who will create the content, the topics that will be covered, and when the content will be published. An editorial calendar can help ensure that content is published on a consistent basis and that it's aligned with the needs and interests of the target audience.
Determine Distribution Channels
Determining the distribution channels that will be used to distribute content is a critical part of a content marketing strategy. Distribution channels could include social media platforms, email marketing, guest blogging, influencer marketing, and more. It's important to select the channels that will best reach the target audience and align with the types of content that are being created.
Create a System for Measuring Success
Finally, it's important to create a system for measuring the success of a content marketing strategy. This could include metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, lead generation, and more. By tracking metrics, businesses can determine what's working and what's not, and make adjustments to their content marketing strategy accordingly. It's important to set benchmarks and goals for each metric and to regularly review and analyze the data to identify trends and areas for improvement.
Now that we have discussed what is content marketing and the how to of it, let's quickly glance over what are the don'ts that you should strictly steer clear of.
The 10 don'ts of content marketing that you should steer clear of
Don't create content just for the sake of creating content. Ensure that each piece of content provides value to the target audience and is aligned with the overall content marketing strategy.
Don't use clickbait headlines or misleading titles to attract attention. This can lead to a high bounce rate and a negative impact on brand reputation.
Don't overlook the importance of SEO. While creating valuable content is important, it's also critical to optimize content for search engines to ensure that it's discoverable by the target audience.
Don't ignore the power of visuals. Visual content such as images, videos, and infographics can help break up text and make content more engaging and shareable.
Don't neglect distribution channels. Creating great content is only half the battle; it's also important to distribute it effectively to reach the target audience.
Don't ignore the need for a content calendar. Consistency is key when it comes to content marketing, and having a content calendar can help ensure that content is published on a regular basis.
Don't forget to track metrics and analyze data. It's important to regularly review and analyze data to identify trends and areas for improvement. This can help refine the content marketing strategy and improve ROI.
Don't ignore the importance of storytelling. Storytelling is a powerful tool in content marketing, as it helps create an emotional connection with the target audience and can increase engagement and loyalty.
Don't neglect the need for a mobile-first approach. With the rise of mobile devices, it's important to ensure that content is optimized for mobile and can be easily consumed on a variety of devices.
Don't underestimate the value of customer feedback. Listening to customer feedback can help identify areas for improvement and guide the content marketing strategy to better meet the needs and interests of the target audience.
Content marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with their target audience, enhance brand awareness, and drive sales. As we move into 2023, it's crucial for marketers to stay ahead of the curve and adopt the latest content marketing tactics to stay competitive in the digital landscape.
By understanding the importance of content marketing, embracing its various forms, and leveraging the benefits it offers, your business can harness the full potential of content marketing in 2023 and beyond. With a decade of experience working with major brands, I can confidently say that a well-executed content marketing strategy is key to lasting success. So, start crafting compelling content today and watch your brand soar to new heights!