Another common challenge is getting stuck in a content comfort zone, meaning that when a content format seems to work with your audience, you’ll use the same “formula” for all future content.
While doing what works can give you some results, it’s not a sustainable strategy in the long run. You need to experiment with new content formats. To help you do just that, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of 100+ types of content.
The Most Popular Content Formats
You can find inspiration by looking at the most popular types of content to see what works best. While this can vary based on the content format, there are some tried and true ingredients that make a piece of content successful:
- Originality: The idea itself needs to be original. If someone already covered your topic, add your twist to it.
- Strong headlines: For most types of content, a compelling title is crucial to increase the click-through rate.
- Visual and interactive elements: Using visual assets is always a good idea, but adding extra interactive elements will help you stand out.
To help you get started, here are some of the most popular types of content:
1. Blog Posts
Blog posts have been one of the most popular types of content since the start of the World Wide Web, and blogging has evolved throughout the years. What started as a way to share your thoughts online has since evolved into a popular way to make money and grow your customer base, and it’s the top content format in B2B marketing.
Today, successful blog posts are informative, high-quality, and often written in long-form. In addition, they include a variety of visual elements to break up the text and engage readers.
Because videos are easy to consume and widely accessible, they’ve become one of the most popular types of content today. In fact, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool in 2021.
While videos are a great type of content for all audiences, there are some industries where video marketing performs exceptionally well (and can provide a huge competitive advantage):
- SaaS, where videos are used for customer success stories to create a strong brand connection.
- Travel and Hospitality, where consumers expect to have an in-depth view of what their hotels and restaurants look like before booking.
- Healthcare, where professionals and insurance companies use video to deliver better customer service.
- eCommerce, where having product video representations increases the likelihood of an online purchase.
If you have the skills and budget to create high-quality videos, consider adding them to your content strategy.
3. Social Media Posts
Another popular type of content is social media posts — they are usually easy to create, they can reach a wide audience, and there’s a low-cost opportunity for paid content promotion.
While social media was originally used primarily for B2C marketing, today social media platforms are the number one channel B2B marketers use to distribute content organically — representing 89% of all channels.
Social media content is effective with most audiences, but you need to choose the right platform based on your industry and audience. For example, Linkedin is usually the best platform for B2B industries, while Instagram works well to target younger audiences like millennials.
Content For Your Website
Your website is the most important channel for your content because it serves as a go-to resource for users to learn about your brand. To create successful content for your website, it’s important you first identify your unique value proposition. What makes your offerings different from what’s available elsewhere?
Before creating content, make sure you’ve identified your buyer personas — a fictional representation of your potential customers. This will help you create content that solves your audience’s problems or helps them achieve their goals.
4. About Page
This is one of the most important pages on your website because it’s where you introduce your company — and it gives you a chance to humanize your brand.
To create a compelling about page, explain what makes you different from your competition by telling a story. This is not about what you do or sell, it’s about who you are. To show what you’ve been able to achieve, you can even include valuable metrics — like how many clients you’ve helped — client names, or case studies.
5. Product Page
This page is all about explaining what you do and how your offering is different from the competition. A good idea is to use video to show the features of your product or service clearly.
Have you ever landed on a website and realized it took forever just to find out what the brand does? You don’t want that to happen with your leads. Make sure you have a clear call to action on this page so users know what steps they should take.
6. Contact Page
The goal of a contact page is to help users find the information they need to contact you. For a successful contact page, you’ll need:
- A contact form where visitors can leave a message (make sure you don’t have too many fields to fill out — stick with the name, email address, and message)
- An email address
- A phone number (if you can only answer at certain times, make sure you specify that on this page)
- Social media buttons
- An interactive map (if you have a physical address, this will make it easy for users to get directions to your office without opening another app).
7. Pricing Page
The pricing page on your website needs special attention because it’s where high-intent users go: they already know they need your product or service, but they might be comparing prices from different websites.
If you sell a service, consider offering different pricing options. But make the choice easy by explaining what the different features and benefits are. You can highlight one of the options and name it something like “great value” or “most popular choice.”
A clear call to action is fundamental — consider adding ”Buy now” or “Add to Cart.” To address your visitors’ fears, you can assure them by offering a money-back guarantee.
8. Testimonials Page
A testimonials page will show your customers’ positive praise for your product or business offering. This, in turn, will gain your website visitors’ trust. If you’ve invested in creating case studies, this is the place to present them.
On this page, you’ll need to feature the right client testimonials. General comments like “great product” or “good customer service” won’t do much. Select testimonials that explain how your offering benefited the client in detail.
9. Careers Page
A careers page is a powerful recruiting tool, as most job hunters rely on these pages to research and compare potential employers. To attract potential candidates, follow this careers page basic structure:
- Value proposition: In a few sentences, explain why someone should apply to work with you.
- Company culture overview: You can use visual elements (like videos) to show behind-the-scenes teamwork examples and project progress.
- Employee testimonials: What do current or past employees have to say about working at your company?
- Employee benefits: If you offer paid time off, insurance, retirement, or other benefits, this is the place to note them.
- Company values: What are the beliefs and work ethics that drive your business?
- Job postings: Here, you’ll list available job opportunities, along with job title, description, location, etc.
- “Job Updates” sign-up: There will be some candidates who are interested in your organization but don’t see openings related to their role. Make it easy for them to sign up for email updates about job openings.
Having a well-structured careers page will also help you attract candidates who are a good match for the positions you’re offering since they’ll find your pages through related organic searches.
10. Comparison Pages
Competitor comparison pages will help you win over potential customers. With a variety of options for every type of product or service, customers will often use search engines like Google to compare them. As a result, comparison pages can help you rank organically or through paid search for searches like “[your company] vs. [competitor]” or “[competitor] alternatives.”
While comparison pages can be used in all industries, SaaS companies find these particularly effective because they’re the best way to get leads that are comparing similar services.
11. Resource Center Page
While having a resource center on your website is not mandatory, it’s a great idea if you have a lot of content — especially educational content. A resource center is a way to organize all of your resources into a single page, without having too many items in the website navigation menu.
Examples of content sections for your resource page include:
- Press page (use this page to communicate product launches or announcements)
- News page (this is for minor company updates and industry news)
- Forum (an online discussion page where customers can talk about your offerings, company, and industry)
- Newsletter page (if you have one or more email newsletters, you can have a page dedicated to people who want to sign up for them)
- Podcast (if you have a podcast, the best way to promote is right on your website).
If providing your audience with educational content is your goal (it should be), then a resource center is the best way to achieve this and optimize the user experience — this can offer users an easy-to-navigate option.
Content For Your Blog
In 2020, blog posts were the most popular type of content produced. It’s relatively easy to start a blog and it’s one of the best ways to optimize for search engines and connect with your audience. Because there are so many different types of blog posts out there, below we cover some of the most successful types for each industry.
12. Long-Form Blog Posts
Long-form blog posts typically come in the form of how-to guides, ultimate guides, tutorials, and listicles with more than 2,000 words. They work well for marketing purposes because they provide an in-depth solution to one or more related problems, all in one place, so readers don’t have to consult multiple sources.
They’re also great for your SEO efforts. Research shows that longer articles get more shares, backlinks, organic traffic, and conversions. Additionally, if you spend time creating long-form blog posts, you will have a lot of content to repurpose into different formats, such as infographics, social media posts, and videos.
13. Short-Form Blog Posts
While research shows that long-form posts tend to work better, remember that your primary goal is answering the reader’s questions. If you can do that with a short-form blog post, your readers will thank you for saving their time.
To understand what length you should be going after for a blog post, it’s a good idea to look at the pages ranking for your target keyword. If they’re doing short-form content, it’s probably what users are looking for!
14. Original Research
Consisting of experiments, observation/analysis, an aggregate of existing research, or surveys, original research beats almost every type of content you can create for a blog. A study by Buzzsumo and Mantis Research found that original research was successful for 9 out of 10 marketers.
The reason why original research is so successful is that it’s unique. Whenever someone needs to back up a theory, they’ll cite your study. Original research improves not only organic traffic and shares but also click-through rates and conversions by establishing you as a thought leader.
While it delivers great results in all industries, original research works particularly well for B2B companies, where customers are looking for authoritative companies and thought leaders in their industries.
15. How-to Guides
These blog posts are step-by-step guides on how to do something, like how to boil an egg. They consist of a short introduction and an ordered list of steps.
Keep in mind that people have different learning methods. While someone will read the entire guide, some users will only read the step names. Some users will benefit from visuals explaining each step, while others prefer watching a video.
Listicles are blog posts written in a list format, just like the one you’re reading now! They’re very popular because they’re relatively easy to create and users can easily skim through the list and stop at the items they’re interested in.
Listicles are an opportunity to repurpose older content in a skimmable and easy-to-read way. Just ensure it makes sense to have your content in a list or steps format (examples: X best/worst, X statistics and facts, X tips, etc.).
17. Complete Guides
Complete guides are very detailed discussions of a topic in your industry. You’ve probably seen headlines like “the complete guide,” “the ultimate guide,” “the definitive guide,” and so on. Using a headline like this for a long-form, comprehensive blog post on a particular topic will help you attract users who want to learn everything related to it.
By sharing all your knowledge, you’ll come across as an expert and your readers will trust your opinion and insight on that topic. Because complete guides are very lengthy, make it easy for users to navigate by using chapters or “back to top” buttons.
18. Myths vs. Facts
Myths vs. facts articles consist of approving or debunking myths. An example is this blog post detailing the myths and the facts about caffeine.
They work particularly well for technical industries like health and technology, fitness, and any other industry where people need a trustworthy and expert source of information. By addressing your readers’ doubts, you’ll come across as knowledgeable and reliable.
19. Facts and Stats
Facts and stats posts are different from original research articles because they’re usually a roundup of statistics and research done by third parties on a specific topic.
These will help you target an audience that is looking for accurate data on a general topic, and for other content creators or businesses who want to cite a trustworthy source. Consequently, facts or stats posts are great for building your backlink profile by acquiring passive organic links.
Usually shared in a listicle format, tips posts are the best type of content to share tips on an industry-relevant topic.
You can create a tips article for any industry, but make sure you address your audience’s problems and needs. What types of tips do they need the most? You can target a broad topic (e.g., tips on starting a website) or go with a more specific one (e.g., tips on choosing a domain name).
Similar to myths vs. facts articles, sharing your top tips on a particular topic will help you establish yourself as a reliable source in your niche.
21. Best Practices
Best practices posts are collections of the best practices to reach a specific outcome.
Think of this type of content like a checklist. You don’t need to go over definitions and related topics (as you would in a complete guide article), but the goal is to share all the best practices your audience should follow.
Best/worst articles look like listicles, but they focus on the best or the worst factors, outcomes, or methods for doing something. Here, your readers are looking for a solution (e.g., choosing the best hosting service). While you need to offer many options, make the choice easy for your readers by explaining the pros and cons of each option, your rating, or other information they can use to draw a conclusion and make a choice.
If you’re sharing a “best” article, you can include your business as one of the solutions, but if you want your audience to trust you, make sure you’re fully transparent and explain the difference between you and your competitors.
Explanation articles are the best content format to explain a technical topic or to give a reasoning behind a pattern or decision you suggest to your readers. This type of content works best in industries with very technical and detailed processes, or if there’s a very controversial topic in your industry and you want to share your detailed opinion and explanation on.
24. Problem Probing
Problem probing posts are the type of content you should choose if you want to tell your readers about a specific problem that exists in your industry. This doesn’t have to be a controversial topic, but your readers shouldn’t be already aware of this problem, since the goal is to generate interest and curiosity.
At the end of your article, you can either suggest your solution to this problem or invite your readers to share theirs.
25. Alternative Suggestion
Alternative suggestion posts are a way to stand out from the content that’s already out there and suggest a new point of view on a topic. You might have seen headlines like “do this, not that” or “stop that, try this” for blog posts or videos. They’re a great way to capture your readers’ attention by tapping into their curiosity.
Alternative suggestions are very popular in the food, fitness, personal finance, IT, health, and beauty industries, where readers are highly engaged and typically looking for new solutions to do things more effectively.
Comparison posts are used to compare tools, products, services, people, and more in your industry. The content is similar to best/worst articles, but here the focus is on two — or a few — items, and on what makes them the better option.
When looking for comparisons, readers are probably already familiar with the items, so you don’t need to share details about what they are. The audience is just looking for an expert comparison.
Make it easy for your readers to decide by presenting a summary of the information side by side. You can use “pros and cons” tables or comparative infographics to make it more visually appealing.
27. Question & Answer (Q&A)
Q&A posts can be a collection of answers to your readers’ questions or transcripts of your interviews with experts and influencers in your industry. They work particularly well in industries where people are suspicious or trust only expert advice, like health. By sharing expert opinions, you’ll add a lot of credibility to your content.
FAQs posts come in a Q&A format but, here, you’re not directly collecting your readers’ questions. Instead, you’ll gather common questions in your industry and share your expertise to answer them.
If you’re not sure about your audience’s common questions, take a look at your or your competitors’ comments on social media or blogs, browse through industry forums, or look at “People Also Search For” boxes on Google for searches related to your niche.
FAQs are also an opportunity to answer common questions about the products or services that you sell.
In a why blog post, you’ll give your opinion and explanation about a certain topic in your industry, answering a “why?” question that is common among your target audience. You can take advantage of this format to share your opinion on a topic, or to share an accurate explanation.
A good way to attract your audience with a “why” post is by sharing your opinion on a controversial topic, or sharing a different point of view. For example, if you’re working on a product review article, you can share an opinion on why the product is great or why it’s bad (example: HostMetro Review: Here’s Why It’s Mediocre).
30. New Method
A new method post is where you’ll share an innovative process or method for doing something, usually with a custom name that you choose. It can be used in all industries, but it’s best for new and developing industries, where people welcome new ideas and methods.
A classic example of this in the content marketing industry is Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique, a term he coined for a content marketing method. This format will help you get social shares (and backlinks), as many websites will cite it if relevant to their audience.
A round-up is a collection of content that can include statistics, facts, quotes, and more. You can even choose to publish this regularly — weekly, monthly, or annually.
With a round-up, you’ll give your readers a fast way to consume information. Since it’s relatively fast to create a round-up, this can be a great option if you don’t have a ton of time to create new content for your blog.
If you’re in an industry where users are interested in product or service expert advice (not necessarily related to your offerings), you can create a review post. Reviews are articles where you give an honest review on a product or service, detailing what you liked and didn’t like, pros and cons, recommendations, and more.
33. Buyer’s Guides
Instead of writing a huge number of product or service reviews, you can consider creating a complete buyer’s guide for a particular product type (e.g., The DIY PC Buyer’s Guides). Just like with review posts, you can choose products or services that are very popular in your industry, and that people have many options to choose from (for example, PCs in technology).
In a buyer’s guide, you’ll give your audience advice and tips on things to consider when buying a type of product or service. You can also mention some specific options, but the focus here is on factors to consider.
34. Behind-the-Scenes Posts
With behind-the-scenes posts, you can share team content, project progress content, and personal content.
Since this is one of the few content formats where you can share funny content and be completely yourself (especially if you’re in a boring or serious industry), this is an opportunity to increase engagement and humanize your brand.
35. Industry Predictions and Studies
If you’re in an industry with lots of data (like recruitment, marketing, and communication), industry predictions can be a great content idea. In an industry predictions post, you’ll use your company’s data to make predictions on a topic that your audience is interested in.
This type of content might not work well for established industries, but it’s a great opportunity for industries that are going through important changes (like transportation) or the ones that are constantly evolving (like technology). Sharing industry predictions is one of the best ways to position your brand as an authority.
If you can do your own research on a topic that is relevant to your industry and audience, consider writing an industry study. A data-backed study with actionable takeaways can potentially be featured in important publications in your industry.
Since there are so many types of content you can include on your blog, we created a printable content idea planner so you can easily keep track of ideas for your calendar!
Types of Engaging Content
In a world where marketing and content are mostly digital (and often inauthentic), sharing engaging content can make you stand out from the crowd. Engaging content is one of the easiest ways to grab your audience’s attention and gain their interest in your company.
This type of content is both informative and interesting, and it can be difficult to share it consistently — so you must consider your priorities, budget, and time constraints.
A webinar is a video workshop or lecture where you teach your audience about a specific topic. Hosting a webinar will help you establish yourself as a thought leader and humanize your brand.
91% of B2B professionals say webinars are their preferred content format. In particular, they attend webinars to stay updated with what’s happening in their industries. To be truly engaging, webinars often require visual content like a slide deck.
This is similar to a Q&A article but here your audience can be involved and ask questions live. This usually happens in a live video or social media event (on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.), a webinar, chat, or even an in-person event.
Once you have this content, you can repurpose it into a blog post to get traffic to your blog from long-tail, question-form keywords.
Workshops are in-person or online training where you can share your experience and explain a topic in-depth, usually using the power of storytelling. Workshops have a smaller audience compared to webinars, so you can help your audience on a more personal level.
To run a successful workshop, the key is to truly provide value by offering a new and interesting point of view. An example of a useful and interesting workshop could be exploring a new technology that is particularly useful in your industry.
Contest marketing is a promotional tool to attract potential customers, make a buzz in your industry, and gather information about your leads. It includes lotteries, contests, giveaways, and more, and it can be done in many different ways, including video contests.
Contests are successful because they’re cost-effective and you can reach a wide audience because of users sharing with their friends. While 89% of industries use video contests for promotion, there are some industries contests work best for. Entertainment is the best industry to run contests, followed by music and technology. Considering travel offers are one of the most common giveaways, contests work great for the travel industry as well.
40. Forums and Online Communities
Forums are online discussion chats where users can post messages related to a specific conversation topic. Giving your audience and customers a place to ask questions and give answers is a great way to create a community around your business.
You can use free community platforms (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, etc.), or you can create your online forum. If you’re in the tech or SaaS industry, you can even use forums for customer service and feedback collection.
Types of Audio Content
Digital audio content is becoming increasingly important for marketing purposes. More than 70% of US adults listened to digital audio content at least once a month last year, indicating this type of content can help you access new audiences. Below we cover the top forms of audio content you can create in 2021.
Did you know that 55% (155 million) of the US population listened to a podcast in 2020? Podcasts are an educational — but also entertaining — way to target, engage, and educate your audience, leveraging audio through outlets like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts.
Podcasts work best in industries where users don’t need to be fully concentrated and can work on something while listening to an episode (e.g., fitness, food, and entertainment)
42. Interview Podcasts
Interviews are one of the most popular (and successful) formats for a podcast, where you have a guest speaker, usually in a Q&A format.
While the goal is to be fun and creative, you must keep a clear and consistent format, so prepare your questions beforehand, and create episode guidelines to help your guest feel at ease. Depending on your industry, you can have a casual format or a more serious and informative one.
If you’ve written a book (or e-book), you can consider publishing an audio version of it. An audiobook is essentially a recording of a book being read out loud. You can record yourself reading the book aloud or hire someone to do this.
Keep in mind this is not an alternative to offering books or e-books, it’s just an additional type of content targeting a different audience — those that prefer listening as a learning method.
44. Audio Blog Posts
Just like the name suggests, this is an audio version of your blog posts. It’s a way to help your audience listen to the articles instead of reading them.
For some people, listening facilitates comprehension. Just like with audiobooks, this is a way to offer the same content in another format and tap into an additional market. Not only can you make it easier for them to consume your content, but this is also a solution to deliver content in a mobile-friendly way since many users prefer listening to content from their phones.
Types of Video Content
95% of video marketers plan to increase or maintain video spend in 2020. The reason?
Video content can be used for almost any channel. You can also repurpose most types of content into a video format, to make it more digestible for your audience. While you can have videos for each of your website pages and blog posts, there are some types of blog posts that videos work particularly well for, like how-to guides.
45. Product Demo Videos
Demo videos are the best way to show customers how your product works. According to research performed by Hubspot in 2020, video is the number one type of content used by marketers to sell products and services.
While product demonstrations are mainly used by software companies, you can also use this content type if you offer a digital product like an app or game as part of your content marketing strategy.
46. “A Day In The Life” Videos
“A day in the life videos” are a very specific marketing content type to frame one of your customer’s stories. Here, they’ll show how they use your product or service, its benefits, and their experience.
This is perceived very differently from other marketing videos because it feels more authentic. Also, by watching these videos, users can envision themselves using your product. These videos can be used in all industries, but they do particularly well for brands that sell a lifestyle along with their products.
47. Behind-the-Scenes Videos
A “behind-the-scenes-video” can pair your behind-the-scenes post to show your company’s team, culture, or what the average workday looks like. It’s a way to show your company’s culture and attract potential employees or customers.
While there are many types of corporate culture videos, this is the best way to show your potential customers who you are and humanize your company. This can be similar to “a day in the life” videos but, here, the main character is you, and your team. You can tell your story, interview your team, and show what you’re working on on a typical day.
The word “vlog” stands for video blog. Unlike a blog, vlog content consists of creating a video about a particular subject, usually in a relatively short format. 44% of internet users watch vlogs every single month, so this presents a unique opportunity to tap reach new customers.
In particular, travel and hospitality companies can benefit from sharing their experiences through vlogging, but you can consider this content format for other industries as well, to make content more engaging by showing the people behind it.
49. Interactive 360 Videos
In this type of video, you let your viewers have control over the video by clicking and dragging with a mouse to explore in all directions. You can have them answer questions, make decisions, navigate through the video, and more. Popular 360 video types include action sports videos and music videos, where users can feel like their part of the show.
This works particularly well in the travel industry, where you can show your audience exactly what a place — such as a hotel, a plane, a restaurant, or a destination — looks like.
Types of Visual Content
Almost 88% of marketers incorporated visual content in more than 50% of all the articles they published in 2020. Why is visual content so effective?
According to Brain Rules, “when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.”
Visual content works best in industries where you need to convey complex information, but don’t want to overwhelm your audience — such as finance, health, and real estate.
A diagram is a schematic drawing that you can use to explain a complicated topic simply. For example, if you were explaining what a foreign key is for your SQL Cheat Sheet, you would create a foreign key diagram to make it easier for your audience to understand. Alternatively, you can use a diagram to sum up key findings from your explanation or research article.
Screenshots are one of the best ways to break up text blocks and to show examples of what you’re referring to. You can also add them to how-to guides that require a visual explanation. In particular, you should use screenshots if you’re in a tech-related industry, or if you share a lot of product reviews.
A GIF is a digital image compressed to reduce transfer time. To create one, you’ll use multiple images or video clips to create short animations (without sound). If you’re working on a how-to guide and you think a screenshot is not enough to convey your message, you can use a GIF instead.
With an infographic, you can share a lot of information in a way that’s easy to consume, and you can easily capture your readers’ attention. Infographics use a minimalist design to explain a complex topic in your industry. Plus, they can be easily shared — both on social media and on other blogs or websites.
Creating a great infographic is not easy, so if you don’t have the skills to do that in-house, consider hiring a professional designer to help you.
42% of marketers said that stock photography is their most frequently used visual content. While sometimes it can be fine to use stock photos for your blog posts, when it comes to important pages on your website, you should get custom photography.
55. Photo galleries
In some industries, photo galleries are a must-have on your website. This is especially true when you need to show your customers examples of past work — for example, a portfolio of designs.
But you can also use photo galleries to show your company’s team and culture, and behind-the-scenes content.
A slide deck — or a presentation deck — is a group of slides that you can use to tell a story or explain a topic. Using a slide deck during a conference or webinar will help you keep the audience engaged. You can use Slideshare to embed the slide decks in your blog posts or to repurpose them as infographics.
57. Graphs and charts
Graphs and charts are visual assets you can use to display data in a way that is easy to read and understand. You can use these to complement other forms of content, like blog posts. In particular, they work well with trends and statistics articles.
Types of Social Media Content
Did you know that 94% of marketers use social media for content distribution? Social media is a way to increase awareness for all industries, but make sure you choose the right platform to target your audience.
58. Ephemeral Content
This form of social media content is only accessible temporarily — usually for 24 hours — and can be published on three main platforms: Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.
It allows you to engage with your audience in a more personal way. You can even use this for polls, surveys, or Q&As. It’s an opportunity to encourage user-generated content — which you can find through relevant hashtags — that you can reshare with your audience.
This type of content works especially well with younger audiences, particularly between ages 16 and 34. These consumers are most interested in dance entertainment, urban and modern art, celebrity news and gossip, entrepreneurship, and fashion and style.
A meme is a way of expressing a culturally relevant idea or behavior in the form of an image or video, usually in a humorous way. They are a great way of doing viral marketing since they spread quickly through social media.
Memes can be good for any type of business, but they work especially well with younger audiences like Millennials and Gen Z.
60. Live Streams
Live streaming consists of sharing video in real-time — without first recording it. This is one of the best ways to build relationships with your audience and to humanize your brand — even more than video content.
Did you know that you can do live streams with other people? Consider doing a live interview or Q&A on social media. Other ideas are product announcements, customer support, and behind-the-scenes live streams.
Depending on your audience, you need to choose the most appropriate platform. The most popular ones include Facebook Live, Instagram Live, LinkedIn Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope.
61. Twitter Chats
If you have a Twitter account for your business, you can designate a specific date and time to open up conversations with your audience about a certain topic. You’ll choose a hashtag, which will allow anyone to follow the conversion or participate. This is an opportunity to build a community for your brand, get feedback, and answer questions your audience might have.
62. Twitter Voice Tweets
In 2020, Twitter launched a new feature (which it’s currently testing), allowing users to share audio recordings of up to 140 seconds. Consider using this channel if you want to add a more human touch to your brand’s messaging.
63. Reddit and Online Forums
There are many online forums you can use to share your content. Some forums might be better than others because they are more focused on a specific topic or industry.
An example is Reddit, where you can choose a specific subreddit related to your industry and become a member. The key to success is to post original content and not use these as an advertising channel.
64. Augmented Reality Overlays
Augmented reality overlays — also known as “filters” — are one of the most innovative ways to engage with your audience. They’re a great way to do viral marketing. One of the main goals is to make your brand appear avant-garde. In some cases, you can even use it to show your products, like the IKEA’s Place App.
With around 10 million users, Clubhouse is an invite-only, audio-based social media app where you can start a “room” about a topic that’s relevant to your industry and users can ask questions and listen to your presentations or conversations with hosts you choose.
Think of Clubhouse as a real-time, interactive podcast, or an audio-only version of Twitter. Just like with other types of content and channels, you can use Clubhouse to give free advice and cultivate your leads. To succeed, you need two main ingredients: provide value, and add engagement. It’s an innovative way of hosting a virtual event to position yourself as an industry expert.
Types of Paid Content
While organic content is important for marketing purposes, 68% of marketers stated that paid advertising is “very important” or “extremely important” to their overall marketing strategy.
Different from other types of content that may be better to slowly attract and nurture interested leads, paid advertising is mostly used to impact direct sales — making it particularly effective in eCommerce.
66. Social Media Ads
Social media ads are some of the best ways to reach a specific audience — and quickly. All social media platforms offer advertising options, but that doesn’t mean you should use all of them.
It’s important to figure out which platforms are most important for your target audience. You can have photo ads, video ads, story ads, and more. If you have good visual assets, social media can be a way to leverage these through advertisements.
67. Google Ads
While Google offers six types of ad campaigns, there are two main types of advertisements you should consider using: Search campaigns and display campaigns.
Search campaigns allow you to drive relevant, qualified traffic to your website when users are searching for your business’s offerings. On the other side, you can use display campaigns if you want to show more engaging and visual content (for example, if you want to display your products).
68. Print Advertising
While we’re mainly focusing on digital types of content in this list, for some industries and types of businesses, it still makes sense to use print content and ads.
There are three main types of print advertising: fliers/brochures/leaflets (a must for small businesses with physical offices), periodical advertisements (like newspapers and magazines), and outdoor advertising such as billboards (even the digital ones in Times Square count!).
69. Sponsored Posts
Since many people find ads intrusive, you can leverage sponsored content to organically spread awareness about your brand. This consists of having an influencer in your industry talk about your offerings in an educational way.
If your industry is saturated with content, sponsored posts are the best way to appear in front of your audience in an “organic” way — meaning without relying on paid campaigns.
Types of Interactive Content
Getting your audience’s attention is becoming more and more difficult because of how much content is available. Offering interactive content is one of the best ways to engage an audience today.
It can be difficult to create this type of content in-house, especially if you’re a startup or small business, so you must consider the skills, budget, time, and equipment you need for this.
Quizzes are a marketing tool used to attract and entertain your target audience. With quizzes, your users are more likely to stay on the page longer, and to click on other content on your website, especially if you show content — or offerings — related to their answer.
You can also use quizzes to collect information and learn more about your audience. While most other types of lead-capture content will only allow you to get an email address, here you’ll learn more about what’s important to them.
71. Polls and Surveys
You can use polls and surveys to ask users for feedback on your content and offerings or to ask opinions on a topic that is relevant to your industry. You’ll discover the subjects your audience is most passionate about, and use that information to inspire content ideas and product improvements.
This is super valuable data for your business! Also, you can use this type of content to gather statistics, which you can turn into valuable data-driven content.
72. Live Chats
While live chats are mainly the domain of customer service teams — that can answer doubts in real-time — they also have good potential for content marketing.
You can communicate with your customer service team and ask them to record the most asked questions. Use this information to brainstorm relevant content ideas to make your content marketing strategy more effective.
73. Interactive Calculators
With an interactive calculator, your audience can input data to make specific calculations.
This is a way to offer real value by solving a specific need of your audience.
One of the main advantages of offering calculators is that they present you as an expert in that field, which will motivate your audience to learn more about your offerings. It also allows you to collect information to create accurate personas.
Some common examples of interactive calculators are ROI calculators, discount calculators, financial planning calculators, and health measurements calculators. A practical example is this Uptime calculator where users can calculate web hosting average uptime.
74. Apps and Games
No one said your interactive content has to be just useful. Sharing a game or app will make you stand out from your competitors. If you’re in a “boring” industry where it’s rare to find this type of content, this can be a huge competitive advantage.
An example of this is IBM’s “CityOne” simulation game, where players solve problems related to banking, retail, energy, and water. This is a fun way for users to understand the implications of decision-making in business.
75. Idea Generators
Idea generators are tools to help your readers brainstorm ideas that are relevant to your industry. An example of this is a domain name generator to find available web addresses for a specific business name.
While it can be expensive to create these, sharing one with your audience will set you apart from the competition and present you as the most authoritative player.
76. Digital Flipbooks
A digital flipbook is essentially an interactive, online version of a PDF e-book, where you can add links, embed videos, include animations, and more. Instead of scrolling, users will use this as an online brochure, flipping pages for a more interactive reading experience.
Because of their magazine look, digital flipbooks are mostly used by marketers in real estate, manufacturing, travel, insurance, and education industries to make offerings in an engaging way.
77. Interactive Timelines and Data Visualizations
Interactive timelines and data visualizations are a way to present a complex idea — such as large blocks of time — in a visually simple way.
Let’s take interactive timelines as an example. You can show product improvements, your business’ history, or changing statistical trends that are relevant to your business. Interactive timelines can be great to communicate project timelines to your team or clients — this will help you save time in unnecessary meetings.
You can use interactive heat maps to represent data intuitively. These are mostly used to show which parts of a web page get the most attention from users, but you can also use them in more technical industries, for example, heat maps to present biological data.
78. Interactive Infographics
Interactive infographics have similar elements to traditional infographics, with the addition of dynamic features and animations, so users can interact with the design.
Viewers can discover information in a fun way, by scrolling and clicking on the infographic. The goal here is to make the information easier to analyze and understand.
Just like with their traditional counterparts, interactive infographics are mostly useful for industries that need to show a lot of data, like business and finance.
Types of Collaborative Content
With collaborative content, you will work with another person or business to create content. Whoever you choose to collaborate with, collaborative content represents a win-win situation because you and the other parties will share resources, use both perspectives, and tap into each other’s audiences (and, consequently, broaden content reach).
79. Content Syndication
Content syndication is a basic way of creating collaborative content, where you essentially publish one of the articles on your website or blog on another website to provide fresh content or get in front of a new audience.
While it can be a good starting point for future collaboration opportunities, this type of content won’t be that valuable by itself. Use it as a tool to network and find potential partnerships.
80. Guest Posting
There are two sides to guest posting. On one side, you’ll accept and publish guest-created content on your website. This is beneficial for two reasons. First: free content! Second, the person writing for you is an expert or someone knowledgeable on a particular topic, that will benefit your audience and your website.
On the other side, you can also create content for someone else to publish on their site. This is a good way to promote your thought leadership and access a new audience — and potentially get traffic to your website.
The most popular form of guesting is guest posts, but you can also have guest podcasts and even webinars. The key difference from content syndication — which is simply sharing the same article on another website — is that guest posts are completely new and original pieces of content. Despite this, only 38% of B2B marketers are writing guest posts for other publications — indicating a missed opportunity to reach wider audiences.
81. Collaborative Posts
Collaborative posts are similar to guest posting but, here, you’ll work directly with the other person or business to create content together. The main advantage of doing this is gaining access to more resources and, usually, better outcomes in terms of content.
A specific type of collaborative post is what’s known as a cross-medium partnership. If you’re particularly skilled at a type of content — say video — and the other party is a writing expert, the two of you can combine your efforts to create a better piece of content.
82. Part I and II
If you want the benefits of collaborative content, but you don’t like the idea of working with someone else to create something, you and the other party can split a two-part — or more — series.
For example, this may look like a “tips to increase website visitors — part 1” blog post and a “tips to increase website visitors — part 2” video. Part I and II content can come in different formats and can be published on a blog, a YouTube channel, a podcast, and more.
Interviews can have many forms, but the most common one is Q&A. It can be a podcast, video, or a simple blog post. Your interviewee — an industry influencer or expert — will likely share this with their audience, so it’s another great way to reach new people.
84. Influencer Quotes Roundups
If you’re interested in the benefits an interview can bring for your audience but you don’t feel ready for an interview, you can gather quotes and tips on a specific topic from industry experts, and put together a piece of content.
Quotes roundups are easier to put together than interviews as you can just reach out to them through email or social media. You can also use HARO as a resource to gather quotes.
If you don’t have enough quotes to create a whole post, you can gather quotes from industry experts to upgrade other pieces of content on your website.
85. Quote and Mentions
Another way of using expertise from industry influencers is the quote and mention. This is the best choice if you don’t have an existing relationship with influencers, and it essentially relies on flattery to work. It consists of including an existing quote in a blog and citing the author.
After you do this, make sure you reach out to the person and hope they will share your piece of content.
86. User-Generated Content
As the name suggests, user-generated content is created by users — your audience. Since it can be difficult to post content regularly, you can take advantage of this type of content and publish it on your channels.
This can come in many forms, including social media posts, reviews, blog posts, videos, and Q&A. UGC represents a strategy to have a library of content that is ready to share.
This works especially well for tourism and lifestyle industries — with Instagram being the top channel to share user-generated content. When sharing this type of content, make sure you ask for permission from the content creator, and cite them when reposting,
Types of Printable Content
Printable content can be used in all industries but can work especially well for educational content like long-form guides. Printables are usually useful tools (like worksheets and cheat sheets), but they can also be fun (like postcards and bookmarks).
Worksheets are essentially assignments with detailed instructions to follow to accomplish a result. You can use worksheets to complement educational content, like blog posts or videos, with something more actionable (for example, a printable budget tracker for an article about saving money).
With a worksheet, you’re giving your readers a way to get practical experience on what you’re teaching them. If you help them achieve a goal, your content will be a success, and they will likely trust you in the future.
Checklists represent a way to keep track of a step-by-step process to achieve a goal. They are great for how-to guides or listicles — like this website launch checklist.
To make the user experience better, consider adding visual or interactive elements to your checklist.
89. Cheat Sheets
Cheat sheets provide information on how to get started with a particular project. Just like other types of printables, you can add these to your guide to help your readers get the most out of your tips. Look at this example of a WordPress Cheat Sheet with commands, theme development, and keyboard shortcuts.
A calendar is a written schedule your audience can use to keep track of a project and stay organized. By offering a printable calendar, you’re giving your users a customizable calendar to plan, schedule, and organize a process you’re explaining to them.
91. Planners, Trackers, and Journals
Planners, trackers, and journals are perfect to give your audience a way to map out their goals, measure progress, and make adjustments. Some common types include project planners, meal planners, and financial planners. Other examples include weight loss trackers, debt repayment trackers, etc.
This type of content works well for the business, fitness, and personal finance industries, but also works well for DIY blogs (e.g., home repair).
92. Inspirational Quotes
Printable inspirational quotes are designs with quotes — usually related to your industry — that your audience can print and hang to stay inspired. These can be easy to create, but since there are so many online, make sure you have an original design or something to make it stand out from what’s already out there.
93. Coloring Sheets
Who said printable content has to be useful? If you’re in the education industry, you can offer coloring sheets as a way to be helpful and fun at the same time.
These work particularly well if you’re trying to target parents (and children) with your content. By providing coloring sheets — both for adults and children — you’re giving your readers something fun to do in their free time.
94. Postcards and Bookmarks
Are you trying to be useful to your audience but also give them something original and fun? If you’re targeting parents or kids with your content, consider creating postcards or bookmarks they can print. They’re a perfect way to have them remember your brand.
You can also opt for postcards and bookmarks if you’re in the party/gifting, home decor, art, or DIY industry. To be successful with these, make sure you have original design ideas.
Types of Data-Driven Content
Mostly used in business, data-driven content consists of using surveys, quizzes, polls, and more to gather data on a specific topic, and then using the following formats to share it with your audience.
Data-driven content is useful because it’s rare to find, difficult to create, and very shareable. In other words, many users look for data to inform their decisions or to back up their theories. Sharing proprietary data will allow you to reach a wide range of audiences.
95. Data Visualization
Data visualization is valuable because it takes vast amounts of complex information and turns it into a simple format. You can use visual types of content — like graphs and charts — or even interactive visualizations to make it more engaging.
While data visualization is necessary to highlight information and to provide easily shareable data, by itself it is confusing because it lacks context. So, in most cases, you’ll need to complement it with data analysis and storytelling.
96. Data Analysis
Data analysis consists of taking that data you collected and explaining what it means for the industry you work in. You can use various content formats, but for data analysis, you’ll normally use reports — and complement it with visuals as needed. The goal is to use the data you found to share useful information, draw conclusions, and support decision-making.
97. Data Storytelling
When it comes to data-driven content, data storytelling is the last piece of the puzzle, where you provide a complete outlook of the topic. Instead of answering a specific set of questions, you build a narrative around your data and use visual assets to convey a specific idea. Your conclusions will be relevant for your industry on a broader scale, and you’ll give readers actionable, data-driven tips.
Data storytelling articles usually focus on a particular insight from the data and provide an interpretation of it with a relevant conclusion (example: Pasture and Crop: The Ways We Farm Our Land).
Types of Gated Content
Gated content is any type of content that is locked, meaning your visitors need to fill in a form — and enter contact details — to get access to it. Gated pieces of content are also referred to as lead magnets: free items given away in exchange for contact details, that are used to convert visitors into leads.
98. Online course or Certification
Offering e-courses and certifications — especially free ones — is one of the highest-converting types of content for any business. This is because a course offers detailed and curated information on the topic your audience is interested in. Not only that but if they’re willing to take an online course that means they have a true need and urgency to solve a problem (which your offerings might be able to fix).
You can either offer a freemium course (where users get a free part of the course but have to pay to access all content) or give all of it for free. Either way, the goal here is to be helpful and establish yourself as a reliable source.
99. Email Course Series
If you can’t afford to make a huge investment, consider creating an e-course via email. Here, you’ll use an email marketing automation service to deliver lessons via email. If your email campaigns or newsletters are not delivering great results, an email course is an opportunity to increase click-through rates and engagement.
Just like with newsletters, your goal is to provide value to your readers. But with an email course, you’re focusing on a specific topic and truly providing training.
With 80% of users willing to provide their email for a whitepaper or eBook, these are two of the best-performing types of gated content.
Also known as electronic books, eBooks are book publications in a digital format. By creating an eBook, you can offer long-form content in a digestible format. eBooks are inexpensive to create, easy to distribute, and they help you establish credibility
For some users, whitepapers can be even more effective. According to a survey of B2B buyers, 76% of B2B decision makers are likely to share their information in exchange for white papers
While e-books are mainly used by B2C companies, whitepapers essentially represent the B2B version of these, with research, data analysis, and a more formal language.
A whitepaper is the best choice to target founders, CEOs, and top-level executives, by presenting professionally written and data-backed information.
102. PDF Downloads
Another way to repurpose a long-form article, study, or presentation is to offer a downloadable PDF version.
Some users will find your content interesting but they might not have the time to read all of it. In this case, they would normally bookmark your article — and never read it. By offering a PDF version, you can easily avoid this (and also capture some lead information!).
103. Process Documents
A process document is a detailed outline of the steps your reader will take to complete a task (like employee training and onboarding). Consider this option if you’re targeting business professionals who would benefit from a step-by-step procedure.
Because it can be hard to create one, you can just share the ones you use for your business (just make sure you don’t share information your competitors might use against you).
Since creating a process doc requires that you have mastered a specific task, sharing process documents positions your brand as the authority in your industry.
104. Swipe Files
Mostly used in marketing, swipe files are a collection of tested and proven marketing ideas — such as email subject lines, headlines, ad copy, etc.
These are extremely valuable for marketers as they offer detailed documentation of what works based on long periods of trial and error. When sharing swipe files, it’s a good idea to also include the raw data, aligned with an explanation of why something worked (or didn’t work).
105. Mind Maps
Mind maps explain a complex subject in a way that’s easier to consume. These are relatively easy to create, so consider leveraging them if there are subjects in your industry that are difficult to explain through other types of content.
Mind maps are an engaging way of learning difficult topics, so your readers will be willing to give out their contact details in exchange for one.
If you have collected data that is important to your business, a report — made of text and visual assets — is one of the best content formats to share data storytelling. If you don’t have enough data to put a report together, you can repurpose information that goes well together from different sources you’ve shared before.
Since putting together a report requires a significant money and time investment, you should consider offering this as gated content. Reports work well in B2B, and particularly with industries that rely on data, statistics, or research.
107. Desktop Backgrounds
If you or your company create visual assets, you can give away some of your work. A popular example of this is offering downloadable desktop backgrounds in exchange for contact information.
To the audience, this will be a constant reminder of your brand. That, together with the personalized content you can send using the information you gathered, and they won’t even have to think about who to hire for their next design project.
108. Plugins and Extensions
If you have the resources and skills to create tools like WordPress plugins or Chrome extensions, offering these as lead magnets is a perfect way to gain your audience’s trust.
If you offer paid tools, this is an opportunity to give your audience a free example. Alternatively, you can offer a basic version for free, and then allow users to upgrade to a paid option. In this case, you’d ask for contact information, which you can use to send content or send special offers or promotions.
109. Content Kits and Bundles
Content kits are pieces of related or similar content grouped into one broader topic. You can repurpose old content like blog posts and videos and show your expertise on a broad topic.
Let’s say you have a complete guide on starting a blog, one about blogging statistics, and one with tips for a blog. You can create a blogging content kit. Since this is a very comprehensive resource, users are more willing to give something in exchange, compared to individual articles.
Toolkits are a set of tools and resources that you can share with your audience to help them achieve a goal. They are particularly used in the design industry, where you can offer your audience themes and assets for WordPress, Photoshop actions, and more.
This is one of the best lead magnets you can offer as it’s difficult to find free and high-quality toolkits.
A script is one of the best lead magnets if your audience needs a template to prepare for a meeting or event.
For example, you can give away a sales script if you’re targeting salespeople, or an interview preparation script if you’re targeting job seekers. If you’re not sure how to create one, you can start by sharing one that you’ve used yourself in the past.
112. Spreadsheet Templates
Spreadsheet templates are Google Sheet or Excel templates with predefined formatting and formulas.
You can help business professionals by providing a template so they just have to fill in the blank spaces. This content format works well for B2B and for professionals in administration, marketing, and other offices that need templates ready to fill in.
113. Email Newsletters
One of the most common types of gated content is the consumer newsletter — which can help you nurture relationships with customers or potential clients. You can share an original article that was never published before, a curated content collection, or promote a new blog post you published. Keep in mind that the goal here is to create or improve a relationship with useful content — not to sell your product!
You can use email newsletters in all industries, but make sure the content you share is relevant (and useful) to your audience. Keep track of the open and click-through rates to see what works best.
Choosing The Right Content-Type for Your Business Goals
When choosing the right content format for your business, there are some factors you need to take into consideration:
- Your industry: A quick way to find out what content works in your industry is by looking at your competitors — which content format seems to work best for them?
- Your target audience: Find out two things about your target audience: what platforms they use the most, and what type of content they prefer to consume. Make sure your decisions are based on data, rather than on assumptions.
- The type of information: While some content types might be the best in your industry, you still need to use each format appropriately. For example, if you want to share stats, it could be a great idea to create an infographic or an interactive article.
- Your time commitment: Some types of content can take a long time to create. Before getting to work, consider how much time you have available, and how much time each type of content will take.
- Your skills and equipment: Even if you’re a content professional, you probably don’t have the skills to create all types of content in this list. Consider the skills and equipment you need for each piece of content. Can you create it in-house or will you need to hire a professional?
- Your budget: Some types of content can be very expensive to create, especially if you need to outsource the work. Before you start creating, consider the budget for your entire content strategy.
- Your marketing and business goals: What are you trying to achieve through your content? Make sure you’re creating content that ties with your overall marketing and business goals.
- Your priorities: By now, you probably have a lot of content ideas, but that doesn’t mean you should work on all of them immediately. If you’re at the beginning, start with the necessary content, like website pages, a blog, and social media (these can change based on your industry).
- Measuring and tracking performance: The best way to find out the right types of content is by testing and analyzing results. Consider if this type of content has worked for you in the past. At the same time, don’t be afraid to experiment with new content formats. Data will show you if they’re a good choice for your business goals.
- The marketing funnel and customer journey: By understanding what type of content users need at each stage of the funnel, you’ll ensure that your content is useful at each step of the customer journey.
As you’ve seen, there are many types of content you can publish. Hopefully, after reading this list, you found inspiration for your next batch of content. While text remains important, you should consider adding new content formats (like interactive and engaging ones) to your content mix.
Are you still unsure which content format to choose? To make the choice easy for you, we created a flowchart you can reference every time you’re in doubt.