8 types of content forms content types strategybeam 

Types Of Content To Drive Your Business

Whether you’re a business owner or a Marketing Director, you already know that your time and resources are precious. The only way to grow your business is to think like a marketer and get the right message to the right people at the right time to attract more customers.

You can’t simply create content and hope for the best. Not only does it take a lot of time and energy to make exceptional content, but your customers also won’t put up with mediocre or even content that is just good enough.

You need to choose the right type of content for your marketing mix based on the needs of your customers and your business goals.

It might seem fairly easy to choose the right type of content for your business, but the truth is that it’s an art and a science to building a solid content marketing strategy.

Not only do you need to consider the needs of your audience, but you also have to build different types of content to engage with customers at different stages of the Customer Journey.

Choosing the right type of content for your marketing mix will be lead with a content map, and you can produce the right content types of content for your customers.

Different Types Of Content For Different Types Of Audience

Content is the currency of your marketing strategy, and there are hundreds of types of content that your business can use to attract customers, expand your audience reach, and convert leads to sales.

You already know that different brands use content across the Internet, and you can build a winning content strategy to build an online presence.

But do you know how to build content to connect with your audience?

Ask yourself these three questions whenever you build content to fill your marketing mix:

  • Who: Who are your customers and what do they look like? What is their age, gender, location, and demographic?
  • What: What questions are your customers asking? What are their pain points, and what solutions are they looking for?
  • Where: Where do your customers look for answers and solutions? Do they ask Google, or do they look on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn?
  • How: How do your customers search for answers and solutions online? Do they use a laptop or phone, and do they look for text answers or images?

You will see that some forms of content take longer to produce and you will have to pay more to outsource. Instead of struggling to think of different content types, we put together a comprehensive list of content types and how to use each one throughout the Content Mapping Process.

Each type of content should be used in different online platforms, and each type of content should be used to engage with customers at different stages of the Customer Journey. Here is a quick breakdown of the 8 content types that we will examine in this post.

Content Type Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
Blogging – Awareness
– Consideration
2 – 3 Hours $150 – $300 for a 1,000-word optimized blog post.
Social Media Posts – Awareness
– Early Consideration
8 – 10 Hours / Week $50 – $80 / hour to create & manage social media accounts.
Infographics – Awareness
– Early Consideration
2 – 10 Hours $300 – $400 for a good length infographic.
Video Content – Awareness
– Consideration
10 – 30 Hours $1,200 – $4,000 for a 10 – 20 minute videos.
Ebooks – Consideration 20 – 50 Hours $500 – $1,500 for a 4,000 – 6,000 word professional ebook.
White Papers – Decision 24 – 50 Hours $5,000 – $7,000 for a 3,000 – 5,000 word white paper.
Paid Search – Decision 10 Hours / Week $70 – $130 / hour to manage Google Ads & Facebook Ads account.
Case Studies / Testimonials – Decision 10 – 15 Hours $1,000 – $1,500 for a 800 – 1,200 word case study.

Let’s take a look at the eight best types of content that you can use to build an online audience, get found by qualified customers, and build a profitable sales funnel today!

1. Write Amazing Blog Content

Blogging is one of the most popular types of content marketing for small businesses because you can create, optimize, and publish blog posts quickly and without fancy tools. Well-written and optimized blog posts are a great way to get found in Google as people search for specific questions and needs that you address in individual blog posts.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Awareness
– Consideration
2 – 3 Hours $150 – $300 for a 1,000-word optimized blog post.

Since blogging is easy to get into, many companies produce lots of blog content for their brand. As you can imagine, this means blog content is one of the most saturated forms of content on the Internet. You may need to hire professional copywriting services to ensure you have the best blog content in your niche to draw more customers and close more sales.

It isn’t easy to stand out from loads of content already out there, but you can use some tips to write great blog posts to get found in Google and engage with potential customers:

  • Focus on the needs of your target audience. Use blog posts as a way to answer common questions and point back to your brand.
  • Use a cluster model to build content silos. This approach will help you stand out on Google and drive more qualified traffic to your site.
  • Optimize your content for SEO. You will want to power-up your blog content by linking to other pieces of content, include valuable keywords, and try to write 800-1,000 words for each blog post
Image Source: https://blogging.com/blog/how-to-write-good-blog-post/

Blogging is not just for your site, either. You can submit guest posts to other industry blogs to secure valuable backlinks and reach a broader audience that may not interact with your company’s blog.

Why Is Blogging Important?

Blogging is a quick and easy way to get in front of qualified leads and build an online presence.

Consistency is key, so writing blog posts on a regular schedule to show customers that you are an expert in your field. Blog content can also get you found in Google by writing articles on specific questions and needs that your customers search for.

Think about your target audience’s needs to build this area of your marketing strategy. Create educational and short-form content formats to help you rank on Google and build your customer base.

How To Make Blog Content Useful

Most readers who read blog posts are in the early stages of the Customer Journey. This means that they are looking for educational content about a specific topic.

While there are different blog posts and your content at different stages of the Customer Journey, the vast majority of blog content is formed with customers in the Awareness Stage.

Write blog posts based on specific questions and customer needs. Each blog post should help your customers identify and address their needs while also positioning your business as the go-to solution that they can use.

Publish blog posts on your company’s self-hosted blog, but also think about expanding your reach on other platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, or Blogger. Blogging is a regular commitment that requires you to research, write, and optimize content to get found in search engines and engage your target audience, so don’t try to produce lots of mediocre content because this type of content won’t get found by Google or engage your customers.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Blog Posts

The more valuable content you provide, the more likely your target audience will consider your brand when they are ready to purchase. As we discussed above, you should write each blog post to address your audience’s specific question or need.

Once published, you can increase your content’s reach by posting snippets on social media, repurposing blog content to make a video, and even repurpose blog posts as slideshows on SlideShare and other platforms.

Repurposing content across different channels is vital because you want to ensure the right people see your message at the right time.


2. Social Media Posts

At this point, it’s no longer a secret that small businesses can harness the power of social media marketing to reach your target audiences. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram help businesses reach new audiences and nurture relationships with customers.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Awareness
– Early Consideration
8 – 10 Hours / Week $50 – $80 / hour to create & manage social media accounts.

Your social media posts’ content plays a vital role in how your company engages new leads and existing customers. You can also implement User-Generated content in social media where customers post images or partake in surveys. This is a great way to build an online presence even if you have a limited budget and resources.

Why Is Social Media Important?

Though social media content can directly influence a purchase, it’s also important to remember that social media is one of the best types of content marketing for lead nurturing.

You can use social media posts to start a conversation with consumers and engage your target audience. Make sure that you have a mix of promotional and informational content across your social media channels to reach customers throughout their Customer Journey.

Who Are Social Media Posts For?

People go to social media sites when they are bored or need a quick distraction from their regular life. In recent years, people have also started going to social media to ask questions and find their friends’ recommendations, and you can join their conversation with a planned social media marketing strategy.

This means that you can use social media in your digital marketing mix to get in front of people in the Late-Awareness and Early-Consideration Stages of the Customer Journey.

You have to customize your message for each post based on your posting and how your customers engage with social media content.

Where Can Social Media Posts Be Used?

Social media is a great way to share company updates, blog posts, and even ebooks. Different types of social media require different types of content for postings.

For example, you will need to have attractive imagery if you want to post an update on Instagram or Facebook, but sites like Twitter are great for quick links and informational content.

Pinterest is a great social media site to post infographics because it attracts the type of customers looking for answers. At the same time, they journey through the Awareness Stage. Facebook and Instagram are great sites to post memes and GIFs. You can build a solid brand image by publishing the right content formats on the right social media platform!


3. Infographics

Infographics are another example of the content type you can use to share lots of information in a format that is easy to consume and understand. This type of content uses simple graphics and a minimalist design to explain a process and concept related to your business.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Awareness
– Early Consideration
2 – 10 Hours $300 – $400 for a good length infographic.

In recent years, infographics are a great way to generate lots of social shares on different platforms like Facebook and Pinterest. Social shares can increase your reach on social networks and boost your SEO as more people go to popular content on your website.

Unlike text-based content or video content, infographics are the best content type to visualize data like statistics, charts, and graphs. Infographics are a great way to catch your customers’ attention and expand their knowledge about a specific topic.

Why Are Infographics Important?

Infographics are easy to understand when conveying complex information. This type of content can also attract your target audience with simple graphics that show your products or services’ value.

best types of content infographic
Image Source: https://visual.ly/community/Infographics/how/what-makes-good-infographic

The thing that helps infographics stand out from other types of content is that this format can use written words and visual elements to condense big ideas into a small space. You can work with a professional graphic designer to layout information in a compelling fashion that your customers will love.

Who Are Infographics For?

Infographics are typically designed for customers in the Awareness/Consideration Stage of the Customer Journey. It would help if you tried to reach customers at these stages because you can use different infographics to raise awareness about the problems and questions that your customers are dealing with early in the research phases.

While you can use infographics and other long-form content to solidify customers’ decisions in the Consideration and Decision Stages, you should use statistics and data to build a case for your products and services with customers in the Late-Awareness and Early-Consideration Stages for maximum results.

Where Can Infographics Be Used?

Due to their visual appeal and easy to understand format, infographics can be used across your online marketing strategy. From stand-alone blog posts to post on social media like Pinterest and Facebook, infographics can be repurposed in many formats.

Be sure to include lots of Call To Action buttons when posting on social media to encourage customers to learn more about your business. You can also build blog posts around your infographics to provide more information about specific topics covered in the infographic.


4. Video Content

Video content is a great way to connect with your audience because videos allow you to share complex information through an interactive medium. People love watching videos because video content is easy to consume, and you can share information quickly compared to a blog post or other types of content.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Awareness
– Consideration
10 – 30 Hours $1,200 – $4,000 for a 10 – 20 minute videos.

Besides sharing information, video content is a great way to rank in search engines for competitive terms. You can also use videos to build a brand and connect with your audience on a deeper level than traditional text-based content types.

Why Are Videos Important?

Your customers love video content because videos are engaging, entertaining, and easy to digest. Video content is more accessible as people begin consuming video content on smartphones, and people have access to faster Internet connections to stream higher-resolution videos with ease. Both of these reasons make video content a vital piece of your content marketing strategy.

You can use videos to get found for a variety of valuable search terms. Here are a few types of videos that you can make for your products and services:

  • Interviews & Expert Roundups
  • Special Guest Showcase
  • Service & Product Reviews
  • Tutorials & Demo Videos
  • Live Video Q & A

Short and attention-grabbing informational videos can help you engage consumers in the awareness stage. Simultaneously, how-to videos and product demos are great for influencing purchasing decisions among consumers in the decision stages.

How To Get The Most Out Of Video Content

The type of video content you make will depend on your target audience and your customer’s process information throughout the Customer Journey. Typically, customers will consume review and demo videos in the Awareness/Consideration Stage.

On the other hand, customers will engage with interviews and live Q & A videos later in the Consideration Stage after doing lots of research and having a relationship with your brand.

Where Can Videos Be Used?

You’ll want to invest the time, money, and resources needed to make each video as professional as possible.

There are many videos on YouTube and other video platforms, so if your videos are cheap or unprofessional, you will not stand out in search engines or see the results you expect.

Once published, you can post 30-second clips on longer videos on social media. This is a great way to extend your audience’s reach and link back to the longer video content. You can also embed video content on relevant blog posts to tie your message back to the website and brand along with publishing on social media.


5. Ebooks

Ebooks are a useful type of long-form content that your business can use to provide value beyond simple blog posts and short-form content. Ebooks are more extended pieces of content that allow you to show your knowledge and experience on a given topic.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Consideration 20 – 50 Hours $500 – $1,500 for a 4,000 – 6,000 word professional ebook.

Why Are Ebooks Important?

Ebooks are an essential type of content for your marketing strategy because they serve as a great lead generation tool. Along with building leads for your sales team, ebooks also help your business in several ways like:

  • Establish Authority In The Market.
  • Grow Your Email List
  • Promote Your Business
  • Bulk Up Your Content Offering

The real power is in both the perceived value of the content and the solutions offered in the ebook. There’s an inherent “aw factor” whenever someone sees a company with an ebook because this type of content sparks interest in most consumers. However, you won’t see your books’ full value if you don’t deliver value to your audience, so make sure you include no more than 5-10% promotional content in your ebooks.

How To Get The Most Out Of Ebooks

Ebooks provide lots of details and information about a specific topic, so customers typically use this type of content in the early Consideration Stage of the Customer Journey. Due to their length and depth, you should not expect customers to engage with your ebooks in the early stages of their decision-making process.

types of content ebooks
Image Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-create-an-ebook-free-templates

At the same time, ebooks typically need to be downloaded by the viewer. Since this type of “paywall” separates the reader from the ebook content, only committed customers who have done lots of research will be open to give their contact information for the type of information in an ebook.

How To Use Ebooks In Your Marketing Strategy

Ebooks are a unique type of content because they are the central piece of content in a content map outlining the Customer Journey. Since ebooks have to be downloaded, this type of gated content is usually a final step a customer takes before entering into the Decision Stage.

While ebooks are typically downloaded towards the end of the Consideration Stage, you can post snippets of the ebook on social media and professional sites like LinkedIn. Be sure to add lots of Call To Action buttons on relevant blog posts and videos to direct people to your ebook download page.

Another great tip to take full advantage of ebooks in your content marketing efforts is to offer free chapters or previews to customers before they download the entire book. Use social proof, previews, and supporting content to remove as many obstacles as possible so you can get more downloads today!


6. White Papers

White papers are research guides and in-depth reports that help your customers solve a problem. These dense documents cover specific topics in great detail. This type of content helps educate your customers about a specific problem and then provides step-by-step instructions to address that problem or question.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Decision 24 – 50 Hours $5,000 – $7,000 for a 3,000 – 5,000 word white paper.

White papers are a great content type to build thought leadership and establish yourself as a go-to expert in your industry. Along with growing your online presence, white papers can also support the lead acquisition and sales opportunities. There are three types of white paper formats that you can use:

  • Product Background: This is the primary type of white paper that focuses on the background, key features, and benefits of your product or service.
  • Numbered List: This type of white paper is built around a set list of questions, issues, and answers around your products or services.
  • Modern White Paper: This type of content is different from traditional white papers because it is more persuasive content to help customers through the buying process.

Why Are White Papers Important?

White papers are a powerful content type that you can use to target customers with a specific purpose. You can use a white paper to generate lots of leads as customers go through the Customer Journey, and potential clients are willing to exchange their contact information (email, phone, name, etc.) to download the white paper.

White papers provide you with the unique opportunity to explain an unfamiliar product to customers looking for a specific solution. A well-written and persuasive white paper can help your brand in many ways, including:

  • Establish your company as an industry leader.
  • Build trust and credibility with potential customers.
  • Generate lots of high-quality leads.
  • Generate inbound links from relevant sites.
  • Expand your brand presence.

Since white papers are meant for customers in the Decision Stage of their Customer Journey, you can use a paid search like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to get the white paper in front of the right people. People who click on the ads will be directed to the download page of the white paper.

Who Are White Papers For?

White papers are an essential part of your marketing strategy because they are one of the primary types of content used by customers in the Decision Stage of the Customer Journey. You can use white paper content to advocate a particular position, showcase the benefits of your products or services, and highlight how your business can help potential customers as they search for the best solutions on the market.

While other types of content help get people in the door, white papers help you generate leads and close more sales. 76% of people say that white papers play an essential role in their purchasing decisions.

Due to their length and depth, you should only use white papers to engage with customers in the final stages of the Decision Stage. Your customers should have researched to understand their problems and different options in the market. White papers are meant to solidify their decision and help them proceed to the next stage of the purchase process.

Where Can White Papers Be Used?

White papers are another type of content meant to generate leads as your customers proceed through the Consideration Stage and enter into the Customer Journey’s Decision Stage.

The best types of white papers educate customers while also driving sales engagement. You can use snippets of white papers across social media and image sharing sites to boost engagement. You can also repurpose white paper data and trends in guest blog posts along with case studies on your website.


7. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a type of content that you can use to reach customers at the end of the Decision State of their Customer Journey. Paid search advertising is a marketing method you can use to stand out from your competition on platforms like Google and Facebook.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Decision 10 Hours / Week $70 – $130 / hour to manage Google Ads & Facebook Ads account.

Unlike other content types in your marketing strategy, paid search gives you the most control over your message, reach, and ad placement. These factors make PPC marketing a great choice if you need to drive qualified leads to specific pieces of content (like a white paper), or you want to get in front of people ready to decide to purchase from your business.

Why Is Paid Advertising Important?

While you have to pay for this type of advertising content, your company can see great results from a modest investment with the right strategy and careful PPC management. A few ways that paid search campaigns help your business and marketing strategy include:

  • Fast Results: While other types of content are free, they can also take time to get results. PPC marketing on Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads can generate great results in a fraction of the time and give your marketing team powerful insight to continue optimizing your campaigns.
  • Precise Measurement: All marketing channels offer some tracking level, but paid search marketing gives you the ability to track every aspect of your campaigns. This means that you will control spend throughout the life of your campaign.
  • Improve Brand Recognition: Use keywords and audience targeting to get the right people to click on your ads. As you focus on a valuable customer segment, you will improve brand awareness and drive more sales through your paid search campaigns!
  • Generate Qualified Leads: Since you control all aspects of your paid search campaigns, you can focus your marketing efforts on people who are ready to buy from you. Strategically target specific demographics based on your products or services and drive more leads to your site today!

Who Are Paid Ads For?

As we discussed, paid search is best suited for customers nearing the end of the Decision Stage in their Customer Journey. These people have already done a lot of research and know the type of solutions they need to address their problems and questions.

types of content paid search
Image Source: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/10/paid-advertising-b2b-content-marketers-share-insights/

You can use paid search ads to get in front of the right people with the right message at the perfect time. Paid search platforms give you many options to focus your marketing efforts on specific people with keywords, website placements, and even Call To Actions.

Where Can Paid Search Ads Be Used?

All of the major search engines and social media platforms offer some form of paid search. These companies rely on paid advertising to pay their bills, and you can use different marketing strategies on each platform to drive more qualified leads to your site.

The major players in this area include Google (Google Ads), Bing (Bing Ads), and Facebook (Facebook Ads). These platforms offer their take on paid search marketing, and you will need to use different optimization techniques to reach your desired customers.

Most paid ads will point to a sales page, but depending on the type of campaign you run, you can choose to point paid ads to download a white paper or other content for people ending the Decision Stage. You will need to optimize Google Ads in a specific way compared to how you optimize Facebook Ads since both platforms operate differently.


8. Case Studies

Another one of the most valuable types of content marketing for customers near the purchase decision is the case study. Writing up a valuable case study can be difficult, but if your business has a strong history of quality work, then you should have no problem making case studies that convert.

Customer Journey Stage Production Time Avg. Outsource Cost
– Decision 10 – 15 Hours $1,000 – $1,500 for a 800 – 1,200 word case study.

Case studies are customer success stories that illustrate how your business has helped a specific client or customer become successful. Your business can use case studies to highlight special applications or uses for their services and products.

Testimonials are a type of case study that you can use on your site. Content marketers use testimonials and case studies to build trust with customers as they approach a purchasing decision.

Why Are Case Studies Important?

Consumers like case studies because this type of content helps them better understand how your brand can add value to their lives or businesses.
Real-life examples are a great way to show the value of your products or services. You can place case studies throughout your website and landing pages to show social proof that your company is an excellent choice for potential customers.

Where Can Case Studies Be Used?

Case studies should be placed on landing pages that you expect customers to go to when researching your products or services. Along with sales pages and landing pages, you can also use case studies in all types of content like:

  • Blog Posts
  • Ebooks
  • Social Media Posts
  • Product Reviews

Your sales team may also want to use these pieces of content when talking with leads so that you can use case studies in both online and offline marketing campaigns.

Design Your Marketing Strategy Around Your Customers

Marketers like to make content marketing sound more complex than it really is. You may hear different terms like “content marketing” and “content marketing plan,” but just know that these types of terms just refer to using different types of content to engage with different types of customers.

You will also likely hear “gurus” talking about creating lots of content to get found on all marketing channels.

While these “gurus” want you to feel overwhelmed, we are here to tell you that the goal is not how much you make but the quality of your content based on the needs of your customers.

Be sure to do your research to understand your target audience, their needs, and where they are in the Customer Journey. You’ll be able to build great content once you know who you are talking to and how to address their questions with online content.

Think like a marketer as you think through your market and customers to build the best content forms to grow your online presence!

Types Of Content FAQs

Different content formats can be used to reach customers across the Customer Journey. The 8 best types of content that you can use today are:

  • Blogging
  • Social Media Posts
  • Infographics
  • Video Content
  • Ebooks
  • White Papers
  • Paid Search
  • Case Studies/Testimonials

Content is the currency of your marketing strategy, and there are hundreds of types of content that your business can use to attract customers, expand your audience reach, and convert leads to sales. You need to choose content with a content map based on where customers are in their Customer Journey.

  • Who: Who are your customers and what do they look like? What is their age, gender, location, and demographic?
  • What: What questions are your customers asking? What are their pain points, and what solutions are they looking for?
  • Where: Where do your customers look for answers and solutions? Do they ask Google, or do they look on YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn?
  • How: How do your customers search for answers and solutions online? Do they use a laptop or phone, and do they look for text answers or images?

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