So, you’re saying memes can actually be a type of content marketing?
Content marketing has become one of the most powerful strategies to help grow businesses of any size. As an SEO-focused content agency, you might think that we only care about blogging (and it’s true, we are pretty great at this) but we can appreciate the power of a beautifully-formatted eBook, killer social campaign, and yes, the perfect meme as much as the next.
Content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, and the best type depends on how your business works and who you’re trying to reach. Take a look at the 15 types of content marketing below to learn how you can launch a creative and engaging content marketing strategy.
Types of Content Marketing
- Social Posts
- Case Studies
- Email Marketing
- Online Courses
- Influencer Campaigns
- Memes and Humor
One of the O.G. types of content marketing, blogs are essential for any business with an online presence. Blogs are mainly used to help improve a website’s SEO by attracting links from other sites and optimizing to rank for additional keywords. There aren’t many hard and fast rules about the best length or format of blogs, so it can be helpful to start off by using blog post templates if you’re new to writing.
- Problems it Solves: Increases SERP visibility and organic traffic by optimizing posts to rank for specific keywords
- Estimated Cost: For copy only, a cost per post can vary from $200 to $2,000+ depending on the level of depth.
- Estimated Time: For copy only, anywhere from eight to 16 hours per post depending on the complexity of the topic.
- Metrics to Track: Monthly organic traffic using Google Analytics, monthly clicks using Google Search Console, links using Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush or another tool, and organic keyword rankings using Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush or another tool.
Often featured on blogs, infographics are another of the most widely recognized types of content marketing. Infographics are designed to add visual interest to a content topic, whether it’s by summarizing a blog, adding clarifying steps to a complicated process, backing up claims with statistics or any other number of infographic formats.
In addition to adding excitement to blog posts, infographics are also an excellent way to earn links. Because they require expert graphic design skills to create, many sites are happy to re-publish quality infographics for their own use and link back to the original source for credit.
- Problems it Solves: Adds visual interest to blog posts to increase the likelihood of both organic links and links earned through outreach
- Estimated Cost: For infographic design only, the cost can range from $300 to $1500+ depending on the level of depth and design complexities. However, infographics are best used when combined with blog copy so the costs would likely be combined with the estimates from #1.
- Estimated Time: For infographic design only, around 32 hours. The same point applies here as for estimated cost.
- Metrics to Track: Because infographics are most often used within blogs, the same metrics apply, especially when it comes to earning links. In addition, you can track infographic shares on social media by using the BuzzSumo Content Analyzer.
Videos are one of the most versatile types of content marketing. From product explainers, to expert interviews, to event live streams on social to customer testimonials, video creation is a labor-intensive but well worth it avenue to pursue. Video is one of the best mediums through which to connect with your audience “face to face” and let them gain an understanding for the people behind the product.
There has been a multitude of research into the popularity of video marketing over the past few years, spurred by the rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Live. In fact, Wyzowl found that 96 percent of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, and that 87 percent of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website.
- Problems it Solves: Boosts brand authority by enabling transparency and facetime between companies and customers and helping to shed light on complicated topics
- Estimated Cost: Anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000+ for a basic explainer or how-to video of depending on length.
- Estimated Time: Around 45 to 50 hours for planning, shooting and editing a five-minute video.
- Metrics to Track: Number of views, average watch time, click through rate and subscriber rate if hosting on YouTube.
Podcasts are a natural pairing with video content, as the audio from your videos can actually be repurposed into a podcast as well. 51 percent of consumers in the U.S. aged 12+ listen to podcasts, and as of January 2020 there are an estimated 850,000 podcasts active on the air.
With a crowded market, the goal of podcasting as content marketing should be to find a unique niche and dominate it with expert insight. Because podcast listeners are what you might call a “captive audience” (many listen while on their commutes to work), this type of content marketing is ideal for connecting with a smaller but engaged audience that is highly interested in the niche topic.
Podcasts are also a great way to connect with other industry experts by inviting them to join the show as guest speakers and working to cross-promote each brand. Take a look at our list of the best content marketing podcasts on the air for more podcasting inspiration.
- Problems it Solves: Increases brand awareness and audience engagement by discussing topics that are important to that niche audience
- Estimated Cost: For editing only, one episode will cost around $200 to $300. For full production services, this could go up to $500 to $1,000 per episode.
- Estimated Time: This varies greatly depending on the length of the podcast, but expect five to six hours for setting up, editing, uploading and marketing a one-hour podcast.
- Metrics to Track: Downloads, ratings and reviews and any corresponding site traffic on days you release episodes.
Whitepapers are long-form pieces of written content incorporating unique data or recent findings. They are used to demonstrate a brand’s authority and in-depth knowledge in their particular space. Whitepapers are typically published as PDFs with tables, graphs and other data visualizations that may be gated behind email or other lead capture forms.
Many companies also use statistics from whitepapers to build out press releases and generate buzz around their research. Whitepapers can be broken up into smaller sections and repurposed as blog content.
- Problems it Solves: Generates publicity through press releases and increases current and prospective customers’ confidence in the brand’s subject knowledge
- Estimated Cost: To write, design and market a whitepaper from scratch, you can estimate the cost at around $5,000.
- Estimated Time: To extract the data, analyze it, write the copy and create the design work, you can estimate that this would take one person about two weeks to work on, or 80 hours.
- Metrics to Track: Downloads, page visits and email captures if you choose to use this as gated content.
Printables can take many forms, from checklists to templates to wine label bottles to gift card tags. Basically, anything that can be printed out, cut out and actually used.
Similar in purpose to infographics, printables are graphic design assets that add functional context to content topics, and that smaller blogs and publishers may not have the ability to produce on their own. Because of this, these types of sites will often share printables from outside sources (AKA, you) and give a link as credit for sourcing the asset.
- Problems it Solves: Enables greater opportunity for both organic and earned links by providing design work that most sites don’t have access to
- Estimated Cost: Again, printables are typically created to go along with blogs so be sure to estimate using the combined cost. Design creation for a set of printables can range from $500 to $2,000.
- Estimated Time: For design hours only, printable creation takes anywhere from eight to 32 hours.
- Metrics to Track: Because they are used to level up blog content, the metrics to track should be the same with an extra emphasis on links earned to the post.
Interactives are another great way to add visual interest to a standard blog post, or even to better optimize a piece of content for a competitive keyword. Interactives can include elements like flowcharts, calculators or name generators, just to name a few.
Because interactives require heavy design and development work they’re definitely a bit more of a time commitment than other types of content marketing, but the payoff is worth it when you’re able to generate a high volume of links or rank for a competitive keyword with your asset that outclasses others on the SERP.
- Problems it Solves: Increases the ability to rank for highly-searched, highly-clicked terms that require more complex assets to compete
- Estimated Cost: For the design and developer work you can estimate a cost of $3,000 to $5,500+ depending on the complexity of the asset.
- Estimated Time: Design and developer hours should be around 48 hours for a small interactive project.
- Metrics to Track: The same metrics as a standard blog post, with an emphasis on organic keyword rankings.
8. Social Media Posts
94 percent of content marketers are using social media as a distribution channel for their content. Social media can be used for a variety of purposes, from generating leads and clicks to your site to nurturing and engaging your active audience.
The great thing about social media is that most of your other types of content translate well into social posts. You can use video clips for Instagram stories, eBooks as website traffic ads or blog posts as regular or “boosted” posts. It’s typically best to include a mix of informational and promotional content in your social media strategy.
- Problems it Solves: Increases content visibility and clicks to the site by providing an additional outreach channel, especially for blog, video and data-driven content
- Estimated Cost: If you want to run your social media on your own, the actual cost is free (not counting ad spend). If you choose to hire a social media manager, you can expect to pay around $3,500 for a month of social content (based on the average position salary), plus ad spend and a content management platform subscription such as Hootsuite, HeyOrca or Sprout Social.
- Estimated Time: This depends on your level of involvement. Just posting recent blogs will only take a couple of hours per week, while running a sophisticated social calendar can be a full-time job of 40+ hours per week.
- Metrics to Track: Engagement (likes, reactions and comments), total impressions and clicks to your site.
9. Case Studies
Case studies are data-driven reports on how a customer or client benefitted from your product or service. They can include statistics, graphs and other data visualizations that work to create a narrative from problem, to actions taken to results.
Case studies are usually published on a specific section of a website. They’re one of the most useful types of content marketing for more direct lead generation, as potential clients will be able to clearly see the positive impact you had on a similar business and understand how you could achieve the same results for them.
- Problems it Solves: Generates more leads from potential customers understanding the ROI your services can offer
- Estimated Cost: $1,000 to $1,500 for copy and design work.
- Estimated Time: If you already have the data handy, case studies should take around 16 hours for copy and design.
- Metrics to Track: Page visits, time on page and any conversion tracking you have set up such as filling out a contact form.
10. Email Marketing
Similar to social media, email is one of the types of content marketing that you can utilize as a distribution channel. Email marketing can be used to share your videos, case studies, blogs, eBooks or any other piece of content you’ve created that you think will be interesting enough to your audience that they’ll want to click to your site and learn more.
Email marketing works by compiling and growing a list of subscribers and regularly (but not too regularly) reaching out via email to engage and share the types of content you’ve been working on. Your audience may not be checking up with your blog or social feed very often, but if they’re interested in the work you do you’ll likely receive increased website traffic and signups from email marketing outreach.
- Problems it Solves: Helps increase traffic and engagement for specific site content
- Estimated Cost: If you choose to run your own email campaigns, you’ll just have to pay a subscription for a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Working with an agency is typically $1,000 to $2,000 per month for weekly or bi-weekly campaigns.
- Estimated Time: Depending on the size of your team, building one email campaign can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. 2019 research shows that more than half of brands spend two weeks producing an email.
- Metrics to Track: Open rate, click through rate and subscribe/unsubscribe ratio.
Another type of long-form content is an eBook. While whitepapers are typically data-focused and delve into one specific problem or scenario, eBooks can be longer and explain a broader topic in-depth. For example, a leadership coach might create an eBook on her findings from coaching 100 silicon valley companies or a real estate agent might write an eBook on how to handle your first year as an agent.
eBooks are an ideal way to demonstrate your expertise in your field of work and show potential customers how you could be of service to them. eBooks are usually hosted as a PDF on your website and on Amazon, and can be publicized via email outreach and social media.
- Problems it Solves: Creates the opportunity for greater brand awareness and authority in the space
- Estimated Cost: Anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 depending on the level of writing and design time needed.
- Estimated Time: This depends on your writing style, but a good estimate for the copy is two weeks of steady work, or about 80 hours. Formatting by a designer would likely take an additional 40 hours.
- Metrics to Track: Email captures and eBook downloads (if hosted on your website) along with Amazon purchases and reviews/ratings.
While solo webinars are good for shorter segments explaining a specific audience question or pain point (such as “how to set up a social media content calendar”), more often webinars are used as discussion opportunities with other industry leaders to discuss wider trends.
Just like most other types of content marketing, webinars can be repurposed. Recordings can be clipped and posted on social, sent out to an email marketing list and transcribed as blog posts.
- Problems it Solves: Generates brand awareness and connection with others in the industry, along with increasing customer loyalty by addressing specific pain points
- Estimated Cost: Costs can vary greatly depending on the hosting platform you use, the hardware you have access to (computer, microphone, webcam, etc.) and how much you spend promoting your webinar across other channels. In general, $500 – $1,000 per webinar is a good estimate.
- Estimated Time: While the actual length of a webinar is usually only one to two hours, it can take weeks to decide on a topic, format and design your slide deck, invite and coordinate with guest speakers and write your script. You should give yourself at least six weeks of lead time to prepare, along with several hours the day before to practice your presentation.
- Metrics to Track: Attendance, audience engagement and participation during the webinar, feedback after the webinar, and, most importantly, new leads generated from webinar attendees.
13. Online Courses
Maybe you’ve never thought of online courses as a type of content marketing, but they can actually serve the same purpose as a lot of your lead gen content. Not only are online courses ideal for demonstrating and monetizing your expertise, they can also work to attract DIYers who may realize that they aren’t quite up to the task just yet.
For example, our SiegeLearn course is designed to teach anyone the ins and outs of content marketing, from keyword research and ideation to promotion and link generation. As participants learn more about the importance of this field and how our process works, they may decide that they’d like to engage our services instead of trying to take on the process themselves.
- Problems it Solves: Can help supplement a slower lead-gen process with additional revenue and potential leads
- Estimated Cost: $10K+
- Estimated Time: Online courses are one of the most time-intensive types of content marketing you can invest in. Depending on the length of your course, it can take months to fully develop the necessary videos, design and scripts.
- Metrics to Track: Signups/purchases, course completion rate, reviews and feedback and leads generated from course attendees.
14. Influencer Campaigns
Depending on your industry, publicizing content with the help of an influencer can be a more valuable publishing strategy than only posting from your account. Typically used in the lifestyle and wellness space, partnering with an influencer gets your content in front of a wider and (hopefully) more engaged audience than your current followers.
This strategy is used to generate more brand awareness and increase traffic to your site as the influencer is able to recommend your products to their followers. Some influencers will use the content you provide them, and others will create their own content using your products, imagery and copy.
- Problems it Solves: Helps brands with less recognition increase brand awareness, site clicks and conversions by engaging a wider audience
- Estimated Cost: The cost of an influencer campaign depends on the platform, number of followers and level of engagement for the account. For a single, mid-tier influencer post on Instagram, expect to pay anywhere from $500 – $5000.
- Estimated Time: You can expect it to take five to 10 hours to communicate with the influencer, send products and/or photos and decide on the terms of your agreement.
- Metrics to Track: Post engagement (likes and comments), visits to your site from the post and conversions for that specific product.
15. Memes and Humor
Yes, it’s true, brands and companies are now allowed to use memes (example above courtesy of Lemonade). Of all the types of content marketing, it’s this one that you should be the most careful with. Online culture moves at the speed of light, and just one off-color or outdated meme can alienate picky followers. To see brands who are doing it right, check out the fast-food giants on Twitter like Wendy’s and Burger King. Somehow they became the company meme champions of the past couple of years.
Today’s consumers appreciate brands that can show they’re “with it” and memes are still one of the most popular types of online posts. Companies usually share memes on social, but many have started incorporating them into their blogs as well.
- Problems it Solves: Communicates brand values and personality through content to an audience that values a sense of humor
- Estimated Cost: Free, meme generators can be found with a quick Google search.
- Estimated Time: Very little, as it takes just a few seconds to generate a new meme or reshare someone else’s that you saw online.
- Metrics to Track: The same metrics you would use to track blogs and social media posts. However, it is particularly important to pay attention to any negative feedback you may receive after posting a meme as this could indicate that your audience doesn’t think it fits with your brand’s tone.
One Content to Rule Them All?
Though we may be partial to a few of these types of content marketing, there’s no one content that’s better than the others. Choosing the right types of content marketing depends on your business model and audience. Take a diversified approach, watch other industry leaders and put resources into what your audience responds to best.