Table of Contents
- Different Types of Content
- Key Takeaways
Great content has always been a part of human social culture. From cave drawings and manuscripts to blogs like the one you are reading, their mediums are many and incredibly compelling when used in the right circumstance. According to the Content Marketing Institute, using different types of content for business purposes is one of the most effective ways to promote a product or service. At least half of all marketers plan to use content to reach their customers. Visually engaging content forms like audio, video and other interactive mediums are the three forms of content that receive higher engagement than static content. Videos will continue to be the most popular type of content in 2022. 72% of the consumers prefer video content formats to learn about a product. Viewers have also said that they retain 90% of the message conveyed when they see it on a video compared to 10% retention when read as a text.
In this blog post, we will be going over some of the most popular types of content used.
Different Types of Content
1. Print mediums
The most commonly used type of content, books, have been around for centuries. Be it to share ideas or to read for simple pleasure, there are books on all topics and of all kinds. Books are revered for the plethora of content and knowledge it has passed down over the years.
Articles are one of the most popular types of content to accommodate any kind of topic. Generally following the heading format followed by an author’s account on a particular subject, articles are often seen in newspapers where the author reveals a news story. The topic of an article is researched by the author and is reported concisely for readers to understand the subject.
Taking inspiration from articles and with a few more freedoms, blogs, too, are accounts of a topic researched by the author. Blogs are the most popular types of content for business purposes. Taking liberties in formatting and structure, blogs aim to keep the reader engaged in the piece by using subheadings, visuals, infographics, and so on. This piece of content that you are reading is a blog. Did you know that WordPress users publish as many as 70 million posts each month?
Billboards are one of the most popular types of outbound content. They are giant posters seen hovering over roadways and buildings in cities. These spaces are usually used for advertising products or services. Billboards are also used for announcements or messages to the public in some cases. One study says that people tend to look at at least 70% of the billboards as they pass.
Brochures or flyers are either a page or a few pages long (booklet) that contains printed information. They are usually handed out in person and comprise information about a product or service. They usually have pictures with brief content. Brochures are a common type of content that is often seen in hotels. According to Bentley University, about 80% of people who come across a brochure consider visiting the business.
A whitepaper is a report or guide published by an organization. It aims to inform the readers about a product or issue compellingly and the organization’s philosophy behind it. Whitepapers facilitate understanding of a subject for people to make informed decisions about it. They are one of the most popular content types, as they have the word space to delve into details about a specific topic.
Magazines are booklets containing different types of content like articles, interviews, and advertisements about products and services of other brands. Their content is curated around a theme or topic. Some examples include sports, health, nature magazines, and so on.
h. Case studies
Case studies are one of the most popular types of content for business purposes. Case studies are tools used in research. They are detailed studies of events that happened in the past surrounding a particular subject. Events are carefully studied to see what decisions were made and how they impacted that outcome. It helps uncover possible solutions for future problems and understand what decisions could be made to avoid problems. It is one of the leading content types that at least 54% of B2B customers engage with during their buying process, according to the Demand Gen Report, 2020.
Interviews with persons of interest are printed in the form of questions and answers. These accounts are printed as quoted by the interviewee for accuracy and authenticity. Again, a popular type of content, interviews are often published in newspapers and magazines to draw readers’ attention.
j. Product guides
Companies publish guides explaining products or services offered by them. These types of content detail what the product does, its functionality, and other information for their clients to fully understand and utilize all its features.
Newsletters are usually reports about the ongoing activities of a company. They are shared with the company’s customers to keep them updated with what is happening and inform them about the products and services they can look forward to. According to statistics, newsletters in 2021 have an average open rate of 16.97%.
l. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Most company websites generally have a page dedicated to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). These cover a base range of questions that could arise about the company and some specific answers about procedures and processes. FAQs are used primarily as a form of customer support.
There has been an explosion of content created over the visual and audio medium with advancements in technology and the internet. Let’s look at a few audio types of content that people enjoy, and marketers use in one way or another.
2. Audio mediums
Music in itself has been a type of content enjoyed by humans ever since we existed. Nowadays, music and sound are enjoyed individually and fundamental to other popular content types. Background music and theme songs create powerful associations and emotional reactions based on the context. Advertising jingles, promotional songs, etc., have been used by brands to push their brand message for several decades.
With the surge of smartphone usage in our lives, we have changed how we read books. Books are now available in a vocal format in the form of audiobooks which can be listened to from start to finish. This content has gained popularity, as books can now be read without the mandatory need to hold them and carry a paperback everywhere physically. Books have become more portable, and audiobooks have created an immersive experience.
Podcasts are long-format conversations between two people recorded and streamed, unedited. Podcasts have gained a lot of popularity as these types of content allow for more extended discussions, which help people understand the nuances of an argument when not restricted to time. There are many brilliant podcasts available online with some of the fascinating minds on the planet. According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, India is the third-largest market for podcasts globally, with 57.6 million listeners every month. The top two markets are China and the US.
3. Visual mediums
A picture is worth a thousand words. Images are a type of content that is used to provide information instantly. Images are used worldwide and are an integral part of the content in the current culture. Instagram has become the most important visual format of social media that helps users express themselves via pictures.
b. Movies & TV shows
Movies and TV shows are excellent sources of content for entertainment. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar are some of the few platforms that allow streaming visual types of content like movies, documentaries, TV shows, and sports.
Videos are highly captivating content types. They instantly capture the attention of the audience. Videos can be made for informational, educational, or entertainment purposes. YouTube is one of the most famous websites on the internet for sharing and watching videos online. Do you know how many hours of online videos people watch every week on average? About 16 hours! This is an increase of 52% over the last few years. In 2022, at least 86% of customers will see more video content from brands.
Infographics are used as tools to assist in understanding statistics and analysis visually. Primarily using charts and graphs, this type of content provides crucial information at a glance to the reader.
Memes have turned into a revolution that started as funny captioned pictures. One can barely keep up with the ongoing meme culture as this type of content goes viral super fast. They can best be described as pictures whose essence is to describe a situation in a highly relatable manner.
GIFs are short videos of a few seconds that play on repeat. They are generally used due to their convenience and ease of shareability. Types of content evolve and often emerge out of one another like audiobooks have emerged out of the print types of content. Some memes have even evolved from picture to GIF format. Repurposing content becomes easier with such flexible and interactive content types.
Vlogs, derived from the word Video Logs, are video accounts of people’s experiences. They vary from travel vlogs to food vlogs to just vlogs about the vlogger’s day. Recent statistics state that 44% of internet users consume vlogs every month.
h. How-to Videos
How-to videos are videos that are made to demonstrate how to do something. They are usually made by novices at their craft and are a great entry point for developing a new skill or learning to do something just once. They are trendy and rank second on this list.
i. Educational videos
Many videos are available online that focus on providing education on different subjects. Videos of lectures and animated educational videos allow people to gather knowledge on the subject of interest.
Presentations are the types of content that are generally created to explain a subject to an audience. They include slides with pictures, infographics, and information to see while the speaker presents his ideas.
k. Product reviews and guides
Product reviews and guides in video format are some of the most popular types of content on the internet. Many YouTubers have channels where they review products. These reviews then are watched by an audience who considers them while purchasing products.
4. Interactive mediums
a. Video games
Video games allow audiences to interact with the content using a controller. They make for a more immersive experience as they actively require input. Video games are used as narratives for stories or entertainment as well.
b. Live streams
Popular video games can be live-streamed for an audience when being played. Professional gamers usually stream their content, and these streams can be monetized—sites like Twitch and Discord service gaming and streams.
Polls are taken online to record audience sentiment. They allow organizations and companies to gauge opinions that can then help decision-making quickly. Polls also allow for audience involvement. An example is Formula 1, where an online survey chooses the day’s driver.
Webinars are a type of online conferencing. This type of content has gained massive popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many jobs have adapted to the work-from-home model. They are primarily used for organizing seminars, albeit on the web.
e. Q&A and AMA
Question and Answer (QnA) and Ask Me Anything (AMA) are standard discussion formats for forums where questions are asked by an audience and answered by a person or an organization. It is a great way for audiences online to interact with people they would otherwise not reach easily. Reddit is famous for forums where many personalities have signed up to conduct AMA sessions.
f. Discussion forums
Websites like Reddit and quora offer forums for discussions on a wide variety of topics. You can find discussions, perspectives, and stories on a topic of interest on these forums. Topics can vary from sports to science to music and just about anything under the sun.
- By 2022, 82% of consumer traffic would be directed towards video content. Videos are one of the most popular types of content as it is engaging and visually appealing.
- Social media advertising has taken over traditional forms of marketing. However, books, articles, advertisement billboards, magazines are some types of content in print media that are still popular.
- Blogs are the most popular type of content for business purposes.
- Memes, gifs, and audiobooks are the three forms of content that have emerged out of other types of content. Books are often printed as well as narrated. Memes and gifs are modifications that have emerged out of videos and static images alike.
- Interviews, product guides, and frequently asked questions (like the one below!) are other popular types of content with the audience.
- Music, audiobooks, and podcasts are three forms of content in the audio medium that have gained traction in the past few years.
- Webinars and educational videos delve into details about a specific topic and benefit the audience.
- Polls, a type of content often used for business purposes, helps in quick decision making.
Content marketing is an essential part of scaling a business in recent times. You need to post thought leadership content around your niche and gain your audience’s trust. Now that we have seen some of the most common and popular forms of content available today, you can now choose the one best suitable for your viewership or your business. If you are a marketer or an entrepreneur, this comprehensive list will surely provide you with some ideas to ponder over for your next content strategy.
Here’s a consolidated list of popular types of content:
– Long-form content
– Courses/case studies
There is no defined rule. But here are some tips that you can follow:
– Define your goal and objectives
– Research and find your audience
– Create buyer personas
– Establish your online presence via blogs, social media, website
– Keep updating your old content to stay relevant
You can take inspiration from these brands’ fantastic marketing campaigns:
– Bumble India
– Define an outline
– Clarify the purpose
– Incorporate a deliberate call to action
– Include images, links, and data to back up your case
– Conclude while summarizing the content