Most “types” of content marketing are nonsense. Here are 5 that really make sense


Here are some popular “types” of content marketing:

  • Blog
  • Video
  • Podcast
  • E-mail
  • Infographic
  • Webinar
  • Case studies
  • presentations
  • eBook
  • White papers
  • Testimonials
  • Slide decks
  • quiz
  • Tools

You’ll find them in pretty much any list of content marketing types that appears on Google. But the truth is that nobody of these are types of content marketing. They are types of content … which is not the same!

In this guide, I’ll explain why this is and share some real types of content marketing you can use.

But let’s begin to clarify our definitions.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating and delivering content to attract and retain customers.

You can use any type of content for this. But it’s not content marketing unless the content actually promotes your business and is paired with a distribution strategy.

Types of content marketing

Let’s look at some types of content marketing to see how they work in real life.

Blog for SEO

Blog posts are a popular type of content. Many companies publish them regularly. However, most of the posts are getting no traffic. Even when promoted via social media, they usually peak at first but fade away later.

The line graph showing article traffic increases sharply and then flattens out until it disappears over time

The reason for this is that most companies don’t have a distribution strategy. They publish and pray. To avoid this same mistake, you need a way to drive consistent traffic to your blog posts. And given that 57.8% of all web traffic comes from Google, we argue that there is no better way than to write for SEO.

How you do it?

The easiest way is to search for the topics people are looking for and where there are opportunities to write blog posts that promote your business. For example, if we enter some topics related to our business in the Ahrefs keyword explorer and check the Corresponding terms report, we see thousands of keyword ideas.

List of keyword ideas and metrics like KD, etc.

If we look at the results for any of these keywords, you will see our list of free keyword research tools positioned in position # 1. 3. Because it ranks well for a few thousand keywords, it gets an estimated 6,700 organic visits per month.

SERP overview of "keyword research tools"

If you look at the blog post itself, you will see that one of the recommended tools is our free keyword generator. In other words, our blog post promotes our business to each of its thousands of monthly readers.

Excerpt from the blog post promoting Ahrefs' keyword generation tool

Video marketing for YouTube

With over 2 billion registered users monthly, YouTube has an existing audience that you can tap into when creating videos. However, there is a lot of competition and your videos have yet to be promoted and discovered.

How do you do this?

Like SEO blogs, the easiest way is to find topics people are looking for on YouTube that also allow you to promote your product naturally. To find these topics, enter some keywords relevant to your niche in Ahrefs’ keyword explorer, set it to “YouTube” and check the Corresponding terms relationship.

You will see hundreds of potential keyword ideas.

Keyword ideas for "keyword research" And "building links"

This is how we created our YouTube channel. Our main goal initially was to rank keywords relevant to our business well. For example, if we look at the topic “keyword research”, you can see that we are in first place for it, which generates thousands of views per month.

Youtube serp

Our video also links Keywords Explorer as a favorite keyword research tool, promoting our business to thousands of YouTube viewers every month.

Podcasting for brand awareness

Like blogging, podcasting is a great type of content for building an audience and promoting your brand. But even most podcasts don’t get traction and end up being abandoned a few months later.

And unlike YouTube, the current podcast discovery landscape isn’t ideal and can make momentum difficult.

But there is an alternative route, which we have done ourselves: appear on podcasts as a guest. It makes things simple. You don’t have to waste resources creating one that may not work, and you can also tap into an existing audience.

With over 2 million podcasts today, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be interviewed.

But how are these opportunities found?

An easy way is to simply Google the best podcasts in your niche.

Google results showing the best business podcasts

However, most of them will be popular and difficult to obtain. A better way is to identify someone of a similar level in your industry who has been a guest on multiple podcasts. For example, Laura Roeder, the founder of MeetEdgar, is a person in our industry who has appeared on many podcasts.

To find out what podcasts she’s been on, let’s paste her site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, go to Back links report, set the search drop-down menu to “Reference page title” and search for its name. Now, the links in the “Referring Page” column are pretty much all podcasts.

Backlink Report Results for Laura Roeder

Once you’ve identified the podcasts you want to join, introduce yourself as a guest.

Email marketing to nurture leads

Brian Dean gets over 500,000 monthly organic visits:

Brian's Website Statistics Overview 2.0

This audience is exposed to his blog, where he actively acquires contact information:

Blog post on display "unlock now" option for visitors who want to know more

So, every time Brian posts a new post, he promotes it on his list:

Brian's email promoting his blog post

It works like a flywheel: email distributes blog content to an existing email list, while blog builds the list through exposure to new visitors and capturing their contact information.

This tiki-taka between email and blog also helps to feed its audience. It helps its audience in the initial stages of the buyer’s journey closer to the ‘buy’ stage, and its brand is always at the forefront as well.

From time to time, when Brian launches his online courses, buying becomes a breeze because his audience already knows his job and his name:

Brian's email promoting his Grow Your Blog Fast course

Social media marketing for brand building

Don’t expect to be successful on social media with any content. To effectively promote your brand on social media, you need to understand what works on a given platform and post content natively.

Brands like Innocent and Wendy’s do well on Twitter because they understand social media’s affinity for playful jokes, strong opinions, and satire.

GoPro knows that Instagram is all about beautiful images and influencer marketing. It successfully combines the two (and subtly promotes itself) by curating stunning photos and videos made by customers who have used GoPro products.

GoPro's Instagram posts

This is not about spamming your feed with links to your products. Rather, it’s about actively interacting with people on social media.

How to choose the right type of content marketing for you?

You’ve seen how different types of content marketing actually work. But which ones to choose? Which ones will work for you?

Your choices will depend on your answers to these four questions.

Four circles intersect, overlapping in the center.  Each circle contains 1 of the 4 questions.

What is right for your goal?

Content marketing is ultimately just a tool you use to achieve your goals. So the type of content marketing you choose should ultimately align with what you want to achieve.

For example, if your goal is to get more traffic to your website, maybe email marketing isn’t the right type of content for that goal. You might want to consider blogging so you can rank high on Google and get passive traffic over time.

What’s right for your niche?

Some types of content make more sense for certain niches.

For example, if you teach breakdance, a podcast doesn’t make sense. Nobody will sit down and figure out how to get the moves out of the audio. But videos are perfect because your audience can watch and learn how to perform those moves.

What’s right for your audience?

How does your audience love to consume content? Do they predominantly read or watch videos on YouTube? Which platforms do they spend most of their time on? Is it YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or something else?

If you’re unsure, find out what your audience shares on social media or communities like Reddit. For example, there are hardly any b-boy ob-girls on Twitter. But they are all over the place on Instagram.

B-boy's post on Instagram

What is right for you?

Content marketing can be resource intensive. It makes a lot of sense to work on something you like and that is your strength.

If you are an excellent writer but are unsure of yourself in front of the camera, then it may not be a good idea to produce videos. Blogging might be a better choice.

Final thoughts

Do not mistake. Creating content alone won’t work. There are many stories of abandoned blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, and social media accounts.

For the type of content marketing you choose to work, you need to get more reach for your content and make sure the content helps your business grow.

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.





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