Friday, August 30, 2013

Content Marketing: What content type is best?

As a marketing consultant (and one that is largely focused on content marketing) one question that I frequently hear is, “what is the best content type to use?”  Oftentimes if this is coming up a full content audit is suggested. However I did want to take a few minutes to address the benefits of different content types in this blog post to help quickly and easily answer this question.

To set the stage here, the real answer lies in another question – what is the goal of the content? That will dictate what the best type of content is. To help work through these questions I wanted to first provide a list of common content types and list benefits of the content types:


Other Elements to Consider

3rd Party Content

Extend Reach with Well Trusted content pieces:

A CMO Council report: 9% of respondents considered vendor content trustworthy vs. 67% who trust research from professional associations, 50% from industry organizations, 48% from customer case studies (48 percent), 44% from analyst reports (44 percent) and 40% from independent product reviews.
Make sure you align with a reputation brand
Extend reach, be visible - a users needs to see your message 8+ times before it resonates, this will help with that cause.

1)      There are many types of banners from standard to flash to fully custom units - each can achieve different goals of visibility to engagement
2)      In a TechTarget media consumption survey 79% of members say contextually aligned adds influence their purchases.
Blog Posts

Build brand value - enables 2 way conversations via comments
Requires heavy dedication to keeping updated regularly
Case Studies

Show successful implementations - good mid/late stage asset types
Good for industry call outs and targeting
(Demand Gen reports 45% of IT Buyers look for industry specific content)
1)      Industry specific will capture better response rates
2)      Response rates on this type of content vary significantly by country/region

Late stage content type with ability to showcase deep features - engagement and view times are metrics to watch


Set the stage for how to attack a problem - good for thought leadership. Also helps to maximize creditability and market alignment, pulling in serious buyers

Editorial Alignment

Extend reach, Similar to 3rd party content
Helps build content volume turn-key and is a trusted content type


Live Event

Maximize time and exposure onsite with an audience most pertinent to your solutions.  Capture late stage users and have meaningful engagement face to face.


Build mindshare and thought leadership through comprehensive learning environments
Goals can vary depending on build and layout: educate users, engage users, offer a unique experience

Provides engagement opportunities that can be HIGHLY segmented and personalized


Very portable & can be leveraged to extend the reach of your video & webcast content


Drives strong engagement - highly trackable metrics - view time, % completion rates

Virtual Event

Combine interactivity & intimacy of a live event with the ability to capture online user in a deep learning environment.


Webcasts are an increasingly important component of a content strategy.  Engaging assets if live, live Q&As, also - great assets to easily break into session, and other types - transcripts and podcasts
1)      Market for Webinars, Online Seminars and Webcasts will grow from $200m to $400m in 2014*
2)      59% B2B Marketer’s using webcasts today & they are the 3rd most effective tool for content marketing (Content Marketing Institute)
White Papers

White papers remain the most effective media type for IT research and technology purchases (Source - 2012 TechTarget Media Consumption Study)
Can be strong assets to capture and engage prospects at any stage of the buy cycle

What do you do with this grid? 
When looking to produce new content, first ask what your goal of that content is, then find the asset type that best corresponds to the goal in the grid. That’s a good start, however you will want to do a full content audit, and make sure it aligns to your content strategy. If you don’t yet have a strategy this post from Ian Lurie is brilliant and will give you the steps necessary to get started. 

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know if there are other benefits or types you would like to see here!


  1. This Article is very helpful who really wants to make their career in Content Marketing. I think you have to add some content about Content Marketing, it’s more beneficial to clear them their idea.Thanks for your great post.
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  2. Thanks Ryan, Glad you found it helpful!