In recent years, brands have increasingly adopted content as a fundamental part of their digital marketing strategies. And, as content marketing grew, so did the ways content has been presented to a wide variety of audiences.
A myriad of content formats started to emerge, as marketers soon learned that different types of content can help you connect with different customers in a number of ways. And, in many cases, a variety of content types is ideal—or even necessary—in reaching and connecting with your target audience at different points of the digital sales funnel.
However, while it’s true that video is starting to dominate today’s content marketing efforts, written formats shouldn’t fall by the wayside. A huge chunk of your audiences still prefers to read content, which is why you should never stop creating valuable written content as part of your arsenal.
Based on the thousands of campaigns we help run at GetCraft, we've come up with a list of written content formats which we have found to be extremely effective in reaching and engaging different types of audiences:
From simple instructions on how to cook pasta, to in-depth courses on how to code—a simple Google search is often all it takes to find the resources you need.
The digital age has made it possible for anyone to learn almost anything online. As a result, searches that begin with “how to”have grown by 140% in the last decade. If your brand has the opportunity to show people how to do a particular thing, take advantage of it and incorporate that knowledge into your content.
It’s not exactly a recipe to go viral, but adding this kind of value to your content pieces will surely bring in more visitors to your website or content portal. But if you’re really adamant on extending its reach through video, a how-to format can also work.
Long-form Cornerstone Articles
There are a lot of reasons why you should be publishing good cornerstone content pieces on your website. These long-form articles allow you to communicate your mission as a brand, showcase your products and services, and summarize or combine insights from your most important blog posts.
When extremely well-written, cornerstone articles have the potential to tackle competitive search terms and rank high on search engines—making them a vital component of any SEO strategy.
Read some of our cornerstone articles to have a better grasp of this type of content:
Having cornerstone articles to which a lot of your other pieces could link back to also makes it easier for readers to understand the main objectives of your brand.
Think of your content strategy as a tree, your cornerstone article as the tree trunk, and your shorter and more specific content pieces as the tree’s branches. All of the branches are connected to the trunk, which is the foundation of your tree. Knowing what holds these branches in place gives your audience a better grasp of who you are as a brand, and can even help them navigate different types of content on your website.
Another content format that has gained popularity over the past years is the listicle, which is simply a term used to describe articles in list form.
By promising an orderly presentation of facts, listicles are able to cut through the online clutter and grab the attention of readers who are too busy to bother with long-form content.
Visual content, including infographics, are extremely powerful tools in helping audiences better understand sophisticated data. Audiences follow visual instructions up to323% more effectively than if they were presented in written form, and articles with visuals are likely to receive 94% more views!
However, if you decide on using infographics to attract and engage your audience, make sure that it is an appropriate format for the message you wish to convey. Infographics are best used to explain complicated concepts, present statistical data, and provide visual instructions on how to use your product.
Case studies are a way to highlight your brand’s success stories and learnings, as well as demonstrate how your product or service has helped your clients achieve specific goals. Readers who are eager to learn about your brand will find case studies extremely interesting and helpful, since this type of content allows them to better understand how they themselves can benefit from your product or service.
When you provide real-life examples of how your brand was able to contribute to the success of your clients, readers are more likely to trust you and have confidence in your brand. When writing case study articles, strategically feature clients or customers who will be able to provide insights and statistics that illustrate how your brand has helped them.
To establish thought leadership through case studies, make sure to leverage the unique data that you have and how your brand is able to provide unique solutions to your clients. Provide not just knowledge, but an action plan as well. Here’s a case study article we did on influencer marketing best practices.
Thought leadership is key to successful content marketing, and this is why you must invest in content pieces that positions you as an expert in your field.
White papers are great at building thought leadership because they are well-researched and offer actionable information. They offer detailed solutions based on existing data, which are extremely valuable to potential clients. While they do take longer to write and are generally more expensive to produce, exceptionally written white pages can be an efficient lead magnet that offers significant ROI.
One of the best ways to showcase your content is through a content portal—which is a standalone and easily-accessible website that organizes your content for a much better user experience. To give you an idea of how we do this at GetCraft, check out Pursuit of Passion, a lifestyle content portal run by Avida using our network of writers. The portal has been successful in helping consumers navigate the long consideration phase when purchasing real estate.
If you want to do this for your brand as well, it may benefit your brand to work with expert writers and content creators from the GetCraft Marketplace, where we connect you with more than 5,000 individually vetted content producers across Southeast Asia.