The way businesses develop a content marketing strategy has significantly transformed, notably in the past two years. The accuracy of audience targeting for paid social ads has reduced due to shifts in data privacy, leading to an increase in ad costs.
Meanwhile, brands are adopting valuable lessons from media companies on capturing and measuring attention from their core audiences.
Some content marketing strategies include repurposing blog content into audio formats like podcasts. Brands like Superside leverage short video previews on social media to promote in-depth research and ebook releases. The meme marketing wave is also proving successful, as seen with Duolingo’s TikTok account boasting nearly 8.4 million followers.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s (CMI) projections for 2024, based on a survey of nearly 900 B2B marketers, the success of content marketing in the last 12 months has been substantial:
84% of marketers credited content marketing for creating more brand awareness.
74% stated it helped generate more leads and higher demand.
63% noted its role in nurturing subscribers, audiences, and leads.
58% confirmed that content marketing directly generated sales and revenue, an increase from the previous year’s 42%.
This data highlights a clear message: Investing in diverse content formats is synonymous with investing in the success of your business. In the current digital landscape, where attention is more divided and channels are more saturated, you want to be sure that you create a content strategy plan that delivers accurate results.
Simply “cranking out content” is no longer a viable strategy. To address this, we’ve compiled a list of the most engaging, modern content formats designed to enhance your content strategy’s return on investment (ROI). Without further ado, let’s dive in!
The Power of Video Content
Video content is a proven attention-grabber online, appealing to a wide range of age groups and emerging as a favorite content format for mobile device users. In fact, YouTube is recognized as the world’s second-most popular search engine, following Google.
The landscape of video content marketing continues to evolve with the introduction of various formats and platforms, including:
This variety provides ample opportunities for incorporating videos into your content marketing strategy. Your video content can take on diverse forms, including:
60-second Reels, Shorts, and TikToks shot with your phone
Longer, professionally-produced YouTube videos like tutorials
Everything in between
The potential ROI from video marketing further solidifies its significance in the digital realm. One well-known success story is Old Spice, an American brand of male grooming products.
Amidst various video marketing campaigns, one stands above the rest: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.“Launched in 2010, this campaign took the internet by storm, achieving instant virality. Starring actor Isaiah Mustafa, the ads featured him speaking directly to the camera in a humorous and exaggerated manner, placing him in a series of absurd situations.
The ad clearly conveyed that Old Spice wasn’t just for older men but also catered to young, modern, and adventurous individuals. The campaign’s success hinged significantly on its relatable humor, resonating with a broad spectrum of consumers. The humor — charming and clever rather than offensive — inspired viewers to share it with others. Its popularity spawned a series of viral videos, including one where Mustafa answered fan questions on YouTube.
“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” not only struck a chord with audiences but also garnered critical acclaim, winning prestigious awards like the Cannes Grand Prix and the EFFIE Award for marketing effectiveness. Remarkably, it led to a substantial increase in Old Spice product sales, soaring up to 107% in a remarkably short period.
The Impact of Infographics
Creating original infographics has become a key avenue for business success, as highlighted in Venngage’s survey on visual content marketing. According to the study, 42.2% of marketers reported that their most utilized visual content consisted of original graphics, incorporating infographics and illustrations.
While getting the graphic elements right and ensuring the attractiveness of your infographics are crucial, it’s equally important to make the information within them exciting and reliable. This ensures your infographics become valuable, linkable, and shareable resources.
For those looking to dive into this content format, here are some tips to kickstart your infographic creation:
Plan your infographic meticulously, treating it like any other content to weave a compelling narrative.
Craft a captivating headline and use interesting subheadings to guide your audience through the information.
Use visual content marketing tools like Canva, Piktochart, or others to bring your infographic to life.
Consider using templates as a convenient starting point for creating sleek infographics quickly.
These tips will help you harness the power of infographics to effectively convey information and engage your audience.
Utilizing Images Effectively
Shifting our focus to visuals, it’s crucial not to overlook the impact of images in general.
Did you know there are 750 billion images on the internet sourced from various channels such as website graphics and social media posts? Social media platforms alone witness the sharing of billions of images daily, as highlighted by data from Photutorial:
That is, users share around 6.9 billion images on WhatsApp daily, 3.8 billion on Snapchat, 2.1 billion on Facebook, and 1.3 billion on Instagram. On the other hand, only 1 million images are uploaded to Flickr daily due to its niche nature.
Given the ubiquity of images, here are some creative options for incorporating them into your content:
Transform key takeaways from your blog post into a visually appealing quote graphic using tools like Canva or Stencil.
Enhance tech-related tutorial blogs by including screenshots for a more comprehensive understanding.
Explore popular memes on Know Your Meme and adapt them to share relatable and engaging content.
Utilize shareable GIFs from platforms like Giphy to add dynamic and interactive elements to your content.
MailChimp, for example, leverages memes to help more people know about their brand in an enjoyable way:
These diverse approaches to using images ensure that your content remains visually engaging and resonates effectively with your audience.
Case Studies as a Trust-Building Tool
According to Hubspot’s 2021 State of Marketing report, over 30% of marketers now prioritize case studies as a primary marketing medium, a significant increase from 13% in 2020.
A well-crafted case study highlights a brand’s challenges and how a product or service helped solve those challenges. The case study then concludes with the measurable positive impact of the product or service on the brand using metrics and statistics, including click-through rate (CTR), website traffic, or sales.
While case studies are commonly product or service-focused, businesses sometimes
leverage them to share their brand or founder story.
The Role of Case Studies in B2B and B2C Marketing
In both B2B and B2C marketing, case studies play a key role in influencing purchasing decisions. In B2B scenarios, where decision-making often involves multiple stakeholders, case studies provide evidence of a product or service’s reliability and ability to deliver on promises. They become invaluable tools during the consideration phase, helping businesses stand out in a competitive landscape.
For B2C audiences, case studies contribute to brand credibility and resonate with consumers looking for authentic experiences. Individuals are more likely to trust a product or service that has successfully addressed the needs or challenges faced by others like them.
Case Study Examples to Take Inspiration From
1. Pepper Content
Pepper Content, a content marketing platform, showcases the impact of its services through a series of compelling case studies. These stories dive deep into the challenges faced by diverse clients and how Pepper’s solutions helped overcome those challenges.
These case studies exemplify the platform’s effectiveness in various business contexts by providing detailed insights into the content creation process, strategies employed, and the subsequent outcomes.
2. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez
Rare Beauty, founded by Selena Gomez, entered the beauty industry with a mission to redefine beauty standards and foster inclusivity. The brand aimed to establish itself not just as a cosmetic line but as a movement promoting self-expression and embracing individuality.
The brand is poised to triple its net worth this year, building upon its impressive net revenue of $70 million in the previous year. The brand’s financial ascent is complemented by its position as one of Shopify’s most visited stores, evidenced by an average website visit of over 1 million in September 2023 alone.
Rare Beauty strategically harnessed the power of social media platforms, recognizing them as powerful tools for connecting with its target audience. Selena Gomez, with her massive social media following (428 million followers on Instagram), played a crucial role in amplifying the brand’s message.
The brand’s profiles on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube became hubs for sharing makeup tutorials, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and authentic moments, creating a sense of community around the brand.
Rare Beauty embraced UGC as a cornerstone of its strategy. Encouraging users to share their makeup looks and stories on social media, the brand amplified its reach and fostered a sense of authenticity.UGC became a testament to the brand’s impact on diverse individuals, showcasing the transformative power of Rare Beauty products in real-life scenarios.
Whitepapers, Reports, and eBooks
White papers and ebooks are similar to extended articles but present information in a downloadable PDF format. They emphasize the delivery of valuable insights, research reports, and comprehensive guides.
The CMI content marketing report reveals a notable trend in using thought leadership ebooks and white papers among B2B marketers. As depicted in the chart above, 59% of B2B marketers embraced these content formats in 2023.
IBM is a U.S.-based technology company demonstrating a successful thought leadership content marketing approach. They focus on providing valuable insights and practical guidance to overcome B2B marketing challenges. They establish themselves as trustworthy thought leaders by sharing market trends and industry insights.
For instance, by offering detailed case studies or whitepapers on effective account-based marketing and leveraging data analytics for targeted campaigns, IBM’s content not only educates but also equips businesses with solutions they can implement. This strategy enhances brand credibility and positions IBM as an expert in the B2B marketing sphere.
Revolutionizing with Interactive Content
When developing a content strategy, your objective should be to engage your audience. The ultimate goal is to have users explore your content, use your products, and respond to your calls-to-action (CTAs).
An effective strategy for achieving this goal involves incorporating interactive content elements on your website. Quizzes, polls, games, and questionnaires are excellent examples of interactive content that can elevate user engagement to new heights.
Interactive content captivates audiences by inviting them to actively participate in the content experience. Quizzes allow users to test their knowledge, polls enable them to express opinions, and games immerse them in entertaining experiences. This engagement power captures attention and fosters a deeper connection between the audience and the content.
Beyond mere consumption, interactive content creates an interactive dialogue, turning the audience from passive spectators into active contributors. This two-way interaction enhances user experience, making the content more memorable and shareable.
A brilliant example of interactive content is the Netflix film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.” This interactive movie allows viewers to make choices at critical points in the narrative, influencing the storyline and leading to multiple possible outcomes. The audience’s decisions shape the protagonist’s journey, offering a personalized and immersive viewing experience.
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” showcases the potential of interactive content to revolutionize storytelling. By letting viewers actively participate in the narrative, it not only elevates engagement but also blurs the lines between traditional media consumption and interactive involvement.
Podcasts and Audio Content
Podcasts and audio content are dynamic channels for reaching and resonating with specific audiences. A study by Podcast Insights suggests that 75% of Americans are now familiar with it, and nearly 55% listen to podcasts regularly. Additionally, a 2022 Hubspot survey found that approx. 82% of B2B marketers prefer podcasts and invest in producing audio content.
Dave Gerhardt’s podcast series, Exit Five, showcases the power of niche targeting through audio. With a focus on marketing for B2B SaaS companies, Exit Five caters to a highly specific audience, delivering content tailored to their unique needs and interests.
Exit Five’s success is evident, substantiated by the compelling metrics derived from its audio content strategy. The podcast has not only amassed a significant following but has also fostered a loyal listenership within the B2B SaaS domain, affirming its impact and resonance.
Average Monthly Listeners: Surpassing 15,000, the podcast enjoys a robust and consistent audience.
Subscriber Growth Rate: Demonstrating a remarkable 20% month-over-month increase, indicating sustained appeal and relevance.
Listener Retention Rate: Impressive at 75% and beyond, showcasing the podcast’s ability to retain and captivate its audience.
Exit Five’s success extends beyond engagement metrics; it serves as a lucrative avenue for strategic partnerships.
With tailored content and an actively engaged audience, the podcast emerges as an attractive platform for sponsorships, particularly within the B2B SaaS domain. This has translated into substantial revenue generation through sponsorships, strengthening Exit Five’s position as an invaluable asset within the B2B marketing community.
In the dynamic content marketing landscape, embracing modern content formats is key to staying relevant and resonating with your audience. Whether it’s interactive content like quizzes and polls, engaging videos, or thought leadership ebooks, diversifying your content portfolio can significantly enhance your content marketing strategy.
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