Content marketing has moved far beyond just blog posts, and today’s most successful brands are producing a variety of content to stand out from the crowd.
According to a recent report by HubSpot, video has become the most commonly used content format, and Google’s algorithms are starting to favor images, voice and podcasts as well.
With this in mind, we’ve asked marketing experts which types of content brands should create and how they can formulate an effective content strategy.
Every Type of Content Has Advantages
“There are tons of benefits to creating each type of content,” said Casey Crane, SEO content manager at The SSL Store. That’s why many marketing teams — especially at B2B brands — have started producing content in a variety of formats over the past few years.
Here’s a breakdown of the main advantages for written, audio and video content for B2B brands.
Written Content Is Informative
Zev Brodsky, content marketing manager at Perimeter 81, believes written content is the best medium for quick and informative content. “Articles allow readers to quickly skim the content and find the information they are seeking,” he said. But the quality of writing is critical, and the best writers guide readers with clear headings and subheadings to make content easier to skim.
“Written content is super important for SEO and can help you rank higher in search results, which in turn gives you more website traffic and brand awareness,” added Thiago Neres, product marketing manager at Vendasta. While audio and video content can also impact SEO, these mediums are not as straightforward for marketing teams to incorporate into their SEO strategies.
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Audio Content Is More Personal
“With audio content or podcasts, the content is communicated directly to the listeners,” Brodsky said. By presenting this information verbally, it’s much more personal for listeners and much different from reading. Moreover, the podcast host can bring their own personality into the mix and create a unique experience for the brand’s audience.
Neres also said audio “is perfect for people who like multitasking, as people can listen to an audiobook or podcast while they're working out, doing home chores, or driving.” If a brand’s target audience is business professionals or consumers that are very busy, producing more audio content could make sense.
Visual Content Is Highly Compelling
“People always can relate to brands by their visuals, your branding is how people will remember your business,” Brodsky said. That’s why he believes consistently publishing visual content is crucial for creating a brand image in the mind of your target audience. Having a strong visual identity that frequently appears in your audiences social media feeds, for example, creates a higher chance of them visiting your company website.
Visual content, however, isn’t just great for brand awareness. “Video works really well for demos and how-to guides,” Neres added, “depending on what your video is about, sometimes it's easier to show instead of tell.” Brands can use video to walk their audience through difficult concepts in a way that wouldn’t be possible with written content.
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Opting for the Right Content Strategy
There may be benefits to each type of content, but do brands need to create each piece of content from scratch, or should they repurpose existing content in new formats?
Before creating a content strategy and choosing content types to produce, Neres recommends brands think about their intended audience and which formats they’re likely to consume the most. “You should always be measuring the results of your content efforts to help you decide where you should spend most of your time.” That said, he strongly believes in reusing content across a variety of formats to engage the audience in a way that’s most convenient for them.
"Ideally, each piece of content should be original and made from scratch,” Brodsky said. But content can be costly to produce, and it often makes sense for businesses to maximize their ROI by repurposing content for different mediums or buyer personas. Small marketing teams, for example, may not have the capacity to produce new content and repurposing content could be a better use of their resources.
“While creating new, original content for each format is great in theory, in practice, that’s very time-consuming,” Crane agreed and asked, “why reinvent the wheel?” If brands have content that can be easily adapted or repurposed to another format, then she recommends that they use this to their advantage. In the end, Crane said brands should do what’s necessary to “get the most out of every piece of content they create.”