Content vs Content Marketing: How to Frame the Top 11 Content Formats

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Content marketing is one of the most important strategies that can help you to reach your potential clients, win leads, and ultimately improve sales. Besides, it is the most cost-effective way than other methods to generate more organic leads. 

In general, Content contains any ideas, information, or thoughts in their written or visual form. For example, 1.8 billion images uploaded each day online are content, nearly 5 billion videos are watched in the last 24 hours on Youtube, and even the advertising we watch, all are content.

But, when it comes to content vs. content marketing often some confusion arises. Businesses use the content for marketing their brand, but that doesn’t mean they do content marketing.

Here, I have come with some resourceful information about content VS. content marketing to clear all your confusion. Besides, I will talk about the top 11 content formats to stand out in a competitive position with your content marketing strategy.

So, let’s get started!

Content vs Content Marketing

What Exactly Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic approach to generating topic ideas and creating written or visual content relevant to the specific ideas. It focuses on producing and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – to drive profitable customer action.Reasons To use Content Marketing

Content marketing is considered the ultimate inbound marketing practice. Through your content, you can offer your audiences to get useful as well as free information about specific topics. This way, you can retain your existing customers, attract new potential customers to your site, and generate major ROI for your business. 

Here are some statistics, which will make it clear to you that how powerful content marketing is to help your business-

What Is the Purpose of Content Marketing?

While pitching the products and services, it provides exact relevant and useful content to the prospective customers to help them solve their issues. This strategy builds relationships and encourages conversion by giving them the information they need to make educated purchasing decisions.

For example-

  • The digital marketing firms educate their potential customers with blog posts about SEO, SEM, affiliate marketing, revealing their expertise, tools, techniques, and more.
  • Fitness brand writes content about the benefits of exercise, what should be considered during exercise, or publish videos on some bodybuilding tips like “How to do pushup”.
  • The travel agency writes blogs about the tourist attractions and posts videos on its site to hint at its experience.
  • The home decor firm posts beautiful interior design images on their site or Facebook page and gives detailed information about its estimated cost. They also write articles on good housekeeping practices.

You may have noticed that the company and the agency take some initiatives into their content that help them to become an authority in their industry and demonstrate their expertise. They don’t just create content; they try to do marketing with their content.

How Do You Do Content Marketing?

If you want to do content marketing instead of just content creation, have a look at the following statement:

  • Set Your Mission and Goals: Setting up a mission statement is a good starting point for your content strategy. Basically, it outlines your target audience, the content you will use to reach them and the benefit they will get.
  • Understand Your Audience: You need to be clear about who your audience is for creating the right content to reach them. So, start collecting the audience’s demographic data such as age, gender, education, and income.
    Then collect feedback from your customers about how much they are satisfied with your current content, their requirements, and how you can address their problems with your content.
  • Produce Audience-Centric Content: Always create content that puts your audience first, not the company. If you can deliver helpful and valuable content, the users will consider you as an authority and trust you enough to buy from you.
  • Make Linking With Your Business Goal: You should organize the content in such a way that can support you to achieve your business goals. CTAs(Call-To-Action) is a great way of winning more customers, but keep in mind that you are not pushing or misleading your readers.
  • Measure Results: Finally, it’s time to evaluate your content strategy. You can use Google Analytics metrics to identify what’s performing well and where you need to improve.

Another thing is when it comes to content marketing, you’ll find several types of content. And a single content type won’t be able to satisfy all your visitors. Here, you should focus on varying your content to connect with different customers. On that note, let’s move forward to the next section.

How to Frame the Top 11 Content Formats?

To Boost Audience Engagement, You Must Be the Master at different types of content.

The content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand. This promotional technique delivers more leads at a low cost.

But there’s just a problem.

Before producing the content, you need to be sure that it will deliver real results to the users. Otherwise, it will be nothing but wasting your time.

Therefore, I have put together a list of the 11 most engaging content types to help you get better ROI from your content strategy. So, here they are-

1. Blog Posts

As long as your blogs are not too long and don’t require lots of images, they are relatively easy and convenient to produce. Blog posts are generally meant to educate, inspire, and entertain people through written content.

When creating a blog post done right, it can help build your brand authority, get more citations from other trust sources, improve ranking, and many more. 

To get started with writing the blog, you should consider the following:

  • Use short sentences and short paragraphs. To increase the readability, keep your sentences within two or fewer lines. And for paragraphs, limit it to three or fewer lines.
  • Use headings to break your post into sections. It helps readers to find the section quickly that they’re interested in reading.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists. Readers love the list post because it is easy to scan to find out the required information. 
  • For better SEO make sure to link posts together and optimize your content. 

2. Case Studies

A case study is a way of illustrating your expertise. Here you will discuss a problem and what strategies you have taken to overcome this. It is one of the most effective content marketing formats to win new businesses. Some things you need to follow to write a convincing case study:Case Studies - way of illustrating Your Expertise

  • Be realistic about the goals for your case study.
  • Identify a compelling angle.
  • Ensure that your case study is relatable to all prospects.
  • Share what you’re doing right to solve any issue.
  • Highlight your competitive advantage.
  • Tell the story in your own way without making it boring and dry. 
  • Follow the classic narrative arc in your case study.

3. Long-Form Content

The high-quality, consistent, engaging, and long-form content impacts the audience more than any other technique. Basically, the content is used to provide information but this information can help you to enhance your brand awareness.

Long-from articles result in more traffic and SEO benefits of social signals to your site. This type of content requires in-depth research and accurate information. A long-form content may include 5000-15000 words and several chapters.Long-form Content

Steps of writing perfect web content :

  • Determine the purpose of your website
  • Make a research on the audience and the competitive website
  • Plan how the content fits together on your website
  • Create content for each page.
  • Break guides down into comprehensive sections. 
  • Optimize the page for SEO. 

4. White Papers

White papers are a powerful marketing tool, especially for the B2B business. It helps engage a vast audience. About 79% of B2B buyers share white papers with their colleagues. Undoubtedly, it adds up to a huge opportunity for you to win more business.

The best white paper holds:

  • You should focus on only one key issue
  • Keep it relatively short about 6-10 pages. 
  • Do a proper In-depth research
  • Use statistical data for the backup of any claims
  • Incorporate charts, graphs, and quotes
  • Use call-to-action to inform readers what to do next

5. Videos

Video scripts is a proven attention-grabber online. The marketers who use the video on their website get 66% more leads a year than those who don’t. In fact, 93% of businesses who use video content believe that it is an essential part of their marketing strategy. Another study found that 87% of marketers stated that, video content marketing leads them to increase sales and earn more ROI.Video in content marketing - Does video give you a positive return on investment

Here are some ideas to make user-engaging video content :

  • The easiest way of using content marketing is uploading videos from YouTube, coordinating them with blog posts, and embedding them into your relevant posts. 
  • Capture the curiosity of your audience.
  • Know your audience and hold their attention.
  • Introduce your business using an explainer video to your audiences. 
  • Use eye-catching visuals.
  • Incorporate storytelling.
  • Create videos featuring your products and services. 
  • To provide step-by-step instructions about your product, you can shoot and publish tutorials. 
  • Integrate ethics, emotions, and logic to make it persuasive.
  • At the end of each video, add a CTA. 

6. Infographics

Infographics are one of the most shared content online. According to Forbes, 84% of people find using infographics really effective to market their business. It presents information in an attractive way to the users that helps the marketer to promote their business more effectively. You can pack a ton of information into a single image in a way that is digestible to your audience and interesting as well. 

It’s a great option if you’re looking forward to getting more shares. the best part about it is, as the backlink is embedded within your infographic if anyone shares it properly, you’ll get valuable backlinks. And it’s one of the major things that we’ll want for your content marketing. 

Few tips to start with your own infographics:

  • Like other pieces of content, plan your infographic so it tells a story.
  • Give it a compelling headline and subheadings to describe what the infographic is.
  • Use the visual content marketing tools like Canva or Piktochart to create it.
  • Keep the design simple and absolutely clean.
  • Make sure to get the graphic elements correct.
  • Use plenty of white spaces for checklists.
  • Organize the content into distinct sections. 
  • It should be attractive enough to attract the targeted audience.
  • All provided information should be reliable and interesting. 

7. Ebooks

Ebooks are another way to create marketing. If you produced the right one, it can be an excellent lead magnet and help you to solve your customers’ problems. It may seem a little daunting for the first time, but they’re great to generate leads forever. It doesn’t matter if your Ebook is 5 pages or 30 pages long, it should provide value to the audience. 

Ebooks Create Content Quickly

Some steps you should follow to write a perfect ebook:

  • Choose the topic that matches your audience’s needs.
  • Outline each chapter.
  • Break down each chapter as you write.
  • Give it an attractive design.
  • Use the right colors.
  • Incorporate visuals.
  • Offer your products as a real solution to a problem. 
  • Place the appropriate call-to-action within it.
  • Convert it to PDF.
  • Create a dedicated landing page.
  • Promote your ebook.

8. Images

Every minute in 2021, 3 million images are viewed on Imgur, and 6,95,000 Instagram stories have been uploaded, 3.4 million snaps created. In fact, images lead people more likely to share written content on both Facebook and Twitter.Images - importance in content marketing

Have a look at some headline writing tips:

  • Properly optimize your targeted keywords within the main featured image.
  • Highlight the value of the content throughout your images.
  • Should be relevant to the content.
  • Create short animations from a couple of still photos using Google Photos
  • Create GIF with Giphy

9. Checklists 

It is one of the easiest content formats to create and is extremely popular to achieve hundreds and in some cases thousands of shares. Checklist content includes cheat sheets, worksheets, and tip sheets. You can easily pull out some key points of your other content like a blog post and add them to your checklists. 

Your potential customers find it really handy to go through the step-by-step processes to solve their specific problems.Content Checklist - key points of your contentSome easy rules for writing a product description:

  • Make the checklist content downloadable 
  • Provide a highly designed visual version of the list
  • It should have a clean structure
  • Include your branding
  • Make it easy to scan
  • Use lots of white spaces
  • Offer your users an email subscription sign-in option. 

10. Social Media Post

Initially, social media was meant to help friends connect, but the growing number of users of brands of all sizes are now started relying on social platforms. Now, it becomes an essential piece of your content marketing strategy.

It helps you connect with your customer and make immediate interaction that builds an emotional engagement with your business and boosts your sales leads.

A study stated that 3.78 billion people which is 48% of the current world population are using social media. That means you have a great opportunity to reach a large number of customers to offer them great customer service and lead them to make a purchase through your social media content.Social media - customers expect companies to respond to social media queries within 24 hours

What you would consider for creating the top-notch social media post:

  • Put your audience first.
  • Ensure a clear message that matches your posts and destination pages.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Avoid pushy and overly sales-driven messaging.
  • Invoke curiosity
  • Use images and videos
  • Add a call-to-action

11. Email Newsletters

Emails work great at every stage of the customer journey. In fact, spending only $1 on email marketing, you can expect to generate an average of $42 ROI. This is the reason out of 10 nearly 9 marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically.email content marketing - Use of Email For Content Distribution

Here are some tips to create the best email newsletter-

  • Write a great subject line and it should be original and mobile-friendly.
  • Make sure to mention the sender’s name.
  • Use the right email template and the gold standard for email width is 600 px. 
  • Keep the text short, use aesthetically pleasing colors, and pay attention to images. 
  • Maintain a good structure so that it can be scannable easily from any sizes device.
  • Ensure to place an actionable and visible CTA.

Making Content for Content Marketing

From the above discussion, hope that you are well informed about different types of content now let’s see how content creation is intrinsic to content marketing. But keep in mind the content you are creating doesn’t mean you are doing content marketing.

content marketing - Making Content

Let’s gather more clear ideas through the example.

For instance, you’re growing a gym equipment brand and seeking for ways to attract more customers to your e-commerce site. In that case, you’ve decided to run the content marketing strategy for help. It gonna be like this:

1. Choose the Relevant Topics 

The best way to appear in front of your readers is start a blog with the topics that the audiences want to hear from you. You can write the content about how they can do exercise at home. Side by side you can demonstrate the function of your gym equipment and the benefits. It’s an effective way to increase the CTR.

2. Set Up Your Social Media

When people will be interested in your blog, they also put comments on your social media page or below the post to express their opinions. Looking through the comments, you will notice the things that need to be focused and finding some pain points of your audience. This way, you can make some great content to reach potential audiences. 

3. Respond to The Pain Points

Suppose, your audience wants to get more detailed information about the exercise at home. Here you can use a combination of video tutorials and ebooks that contains full guidelines about it.

4. Grow Your Online Community

If you have the social media page, you can use it or take help from the emails. Start with a Facebook post or email newsletter with latest challenges. Congratulate the people who achieved their goals and proclaim their name to other audiences. This will grow your online community.

5. Include Infographics or Case Studies

You can include the infographics on your site to demonstrate the step by step guide of some particular exercise. Also talks about the success stories from your community through the case study. It will enhance your user experiences.

6. Start to Notice What You’re Doing

Now, if you notice that you have become a trustworthy name to your customers and already build emotional engagement with them, you can do your job perfectly. You are capable of making content for content marketing.

Conclusion

So, what is the main difference between content and content marketing? The answer is the destination you will use to attract the audience.

In that case, content creation is not at all to accomplish this. Crafting an experience of your own that improves the experiences of your readers can help you here.

If you’re focusing on your customer first, addressing the pain points, and producing high-quality content consistently, it will assist you to become an authority and build credibility, and boosts up your business. 

That’s all about content marketing. Hopefully, I have left some ideas to enrich your knowledge about content marketing strategy. Now, it’s time to convert the audiences into your passionate fans.

Giant Marketers is one of the fastest-growing and leading digital marketing company in Bangladesh. Its primary goal is to help clients to grow big with result-driven strategies and 10+ years of experience in the industry

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