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4 Strategies for Choosing the Best Content Types

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Do you need to show consumers how to sign up for your rewards program? Would a series of tweets or a video tutorial be more effective?

Do you have a ton of stats and figures? Would a standard Facebook post or infographic make a bigger impact?

A solid marketing strategy involves selecting the best content types to convey your message.

You work hard to develop on-brand content that educates, informs, and promotes. Optimize consumer engagement by considering which medium will leave a lasting impression.

This guide shares four ways to match your message with the best content type. 

But before we get started, do you have a strong content strategy?

If not, or you’re unsure where to begin, I encourage you to read our blog, “10-Step Guide to Building a Stellar Content Marketing Strategy.” This guide will help you create winning content and achieve your business goals. 

And when you’re ready, keep reading to learn four strategies that can help you select the best content types and maximize consumer engagement.

1. Identify and Understand Your Target Audience 

Identifying and understanding your target audience is a crucial first step in copywriting. It is essential for informing the content itself and provides the insight you need to select the content types your audience wants or likes to consume.

One of the best ways to identify which types of content will make the most significant impact is through developing buyer personas and ideal customer profiles. Brainstorming and drafting a series of robust buyer personas will help you properly segment your audience and develop relevant content types that will align and resonate with their needs, wants, interests, and values.

Here is a little insight into retail consumers:

Many businesses fail to align their marketing messages with their customer’s needs. Or, the messages are far too promotional, often ruining the customer experience.

Today’s consumers expect—and demand—more transparency. According to recent NeilsonIQ data, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say they’d switch from a brand they usually buy to another that provides more in-depth product information. 

Coupled with notoriously shorter digital attention spans, ever-changing preferences, and competing priorities, this increased demand for transparency means brands must be increasingly engaging, concise, and aligned with their marketing objectives.

Content marketers must develop highly customized and targeted strategies to drive their consumers through the marketing funnel.

2. Define the Purpose of Each Message

Along with identifying and understanding your target audience, another way to choose the right content types for your message is to define the purpose of each piece of content.

First and foremost, marketers have got to be specific. Trying to do too much with your content will muddle the message, making it difficult for your copywriters and content strategists to achieve your business goals.

Here are four basic message types and the most suitable content assets for the job. 

a. Announcements and News

Announcements and news are valuable tools for increasing brand awareness, website traffic, and foot traffic. Here are a few examples:

  • Awards
  • New Hours or Holiday Hours
  • New Locations
  • New Management
  • New Products or Services
  • Partnerships of Collaborations
  • Updates

Content Assets for Announcements and News

  • Articles 
  • Blog Posts
  • Email
  • eNewletters
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Posts

b. Events

Events can help you boost sales, liquidate old or surplus stock, or even increase brand authority. Here are a few examples:

  • Charities or Fundraisers
  • Collaborations
  • In-store classes or demonstrations
  • Sales (e.g., anniversary, holiday, doorbuster, sidewalk, clearance, etc.)

Content Assets for Events

  • Email Marketing
  • Newsletters
  • Social Media Posts
  • Website Events Page

c. Educational

Consumers are bombarded with content all day, every day. If you want your brand to break through the clutter, you need to create highly optimized content that aligns with your consumer’s needs, wants, and values. And you need to be intentional when choosing which content type best fits each message.

Regularly sharing educational content about your products, services, mission, vision, and values in a clear, accessible way improves search engine optimization and drives more high-quality traffic to your website. 

A few examples include but are not limited to:

Types of Educational Content
  • Explain why your product or service is important
  • Explain how your product or service works
  • Share why your product or service is worth purchasing
  • Explain the benefits of your product or service over your competitors
  • Show them how to do something using your product or services
  • Interview experts in your industry
  • Share new or innovative ways to use your products or services

Content Assets for Educational Content

  • Website Landing Pages
  • Online How-to Guides
  • White Papers
  • eBooks
  • Blog Posts
  • Resource Center/Knowledge Library Articles
  • Brochures
  • Videos

d. Informational Content 

Informational content must be accessible, to the point, and easy to understand. Give the reader precisely what they want or need, and don't make them work for it.

Types of Informational Content 

  • Contact information
  • Descriptions and overviews
  • Advice
  • Tips
  • Tutorials
  • Statistics

Types of Information Content Assets

  • eBooks
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Website Landing Pages
  • About Us website pages
  • Contact Us website pages

3. Consider the marketing funnel

Understanding your buyer's behavior is essential if you want to build powerful, purposeful content for your target audience.

You’ve got to have a firm grasp on where they go for information and how they consume it in each phase of the marketing funnel.

Considering your consumer’s needs as they move through the funnel from awareness and interest to desire and action is essential for developing and prioritizing personas—and selecting the right content types. 

Attention: Top of the Funnel

Your audience is not committed at this content marketing funnel stage. They're likely searching for information online via Google or their favorite social channels. 

By offering high-quality, relevant content, like SEO blog articles and visually compelling social media posts, you can attract more casual shoppers and drive more traffic to your website. 

Interest & Desire: Middle of Funnel

Once you’ve captured their attention, it’s time to move these casual shoppers deeper into the marketing funnel with thought leadership articles, topical ebooks, whitepapers, and other gated assets and offers. You can promote these pieces via email marketing with specific CTAs to help drive and qualify leads. 

A Side Note on Email Marketing 

Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for building your database, reaching your targeted prospects, and making money.

For every $1 your business spends on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $36. That's higher than any other form of marketing—digital or otherwise.

With marketing automation, you can systematically take your shoppers on a buyer journey, identify the best leads, and improve your data with first-party data collection.

Action: Bottom of Funnel

If you're doing things right, shoppers build trust in your brand as they move down the funnel. This means they're more receptive to direct engagement with your organization. Webinars, events, free trials, and demos demonstrate your expertise and entice these individuals to convert.

Keep in mind, however, that some channels may not support the type of content you want to publish. The chart below illustrates the best content types for each stage of the buyer’s journey:

4. Repurpose your content

While consistency is key, sometimes less brand-new information is more when it comes to content. Syndicating and repurposing useful, high-converting, or evergreen content is key to driving a higher return on your content marketing investment. 

Repurposing existing assets extends your content lifecycle and introduces them to different audiences and mediums. Try reformatting existing content into a new content type for different channels:

  • Take the most compelling bits and pieces of an extensive report and create visually engaging infographics or snackable social tiles.
  • Pull together smaller pieces into a more extensive, year-in-review blog post, newsletter, or email.

Note: content marketing is NOT limited to your website. Leverage the digital channels, social platforms, and influencers your audiences subscribe to.  

3 steps explaining how social media advertise works

Building a solid digital content marketing strategy is essential for attracting today’s consumers. It helps brands and businesses maintain an omnipresent presence. Advertising on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn allows you to stay top-of-mind and drives website traffic. 

Retargeting, paid social, and digital advertising are also effective ways to gather highly-coveted first-party data (e.g., personal email addresses and home addresses) across all devices. 

Partner With Aria Agency & Grow Your Business

Marketing in the digital world is constantly changing and evolving. Making a lasting impression that drives consumers through your marketing funnels requires an investment of time and effort. 

If you don’t have the time, resources, ability, or focus to go it alone and want to explore how we can help, contact our expert marketing professionals today, and we'll help you get started.

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