Content Types and Goals: Find the Right Fit for Your Marketing
We hear it all the time, but content truly is king — and essential to your position in the search results.
There are a variety of ways to create quality content that not only resonates with your audience, but also demonstrates to search engines that you are a trusted authority. And while there are many options, some content types are more effective than others, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
In this article, I’ll outline content types and the business goals they drive, plus look at which content types are most common with digital marketers. Then, you can use the right-fit guidelines to decide which format is best for you.
- What content B2Bs and B2Cs create most often
- Common content types, defined
- Overall content goals for B2Bs and B2Cs
- FAQ: What are the different content types and goals for marketing, and how can they be aligned with an SEO strategy?
The top five content types for B2Bs include:
- Virtual events/webinars/online courses
- Case studies
The top five content types for B2Cs include:
- Virtual events/webinars/online courses
- Long articles (> 3,000 words)
As you can see, not much variation exists between these two organizational types.
A blog is a regularly updated publication on your website. Blogging is a great way to build the authority and expertise of your website and your brand. Blog posts (aka articles) can cover things like thought leadership articles, company news, reports and trends, products and services, events and conferences, or any other useful resources your audience might like.
The goal: A blog provides a great opportunity to support SEO goals as the frequent publication schedule provides the business with fresh, rankable content for search engines. As such, traffic generation, page views, and low bounce rates are major KPIs. Other goals include community building and associated social proof, sharing your voice in your industry, establishing authority, and demonstrating expertise.
The right fit: A blog is a hub for a business’s online communications. In short, the blog is the right fit for everything. If it’s worth spending the time to do something in your day-to-day business, use the blog to tell people about it. It should be used as a means of announcing everything, including the publication of other content types. For instance, if you’ve created a how-to video for using a new product, point people to the video through the blog. If an executive wants to voice an opinion, if you need to explain how a new law will affect your business offering, or if you started carrying a new product in the store, the blog is the right fit.
A case study is a summary of the results that your organization has produced. It usually follows a problem/solution/results format, which builds a story of the situation and the outcome. Case studies are usually brief — one to two pages is normal — so that readers can get a quick snapshot of what to expect from your organization.
The goal: Case studies are used in the sales funnel to help prospects convert. Case studies can be an excellent way to show people what to expect from your business, both online and via your sales team. Case studies should be displayed prominently on your website and forwarded directly by them when possible to prospective clients. If on your website, you can require a form fill to capture a lead, and then have the marketing or sales team engage those people further.
The right fit: If you are in an industry where proof points are important to closing a sale, then case studies are right for you.
Email marketing is an effective way of reaching a targeted audience via email. People sign up for your email marketing list through various means – typically the website – permitting you to send emails directly. Emails are usually short messages to let your target audience know about products, services, educational materials and resources you created, events, and more.
The goal: The goal of email marketing is to build a list of potential leads, increase brand awareness and loyalty, engage your target audience, and drive conversions. There are all sorts of email platform-specific KPIs you can track like subscribers, open rates, clicks, conversions, and more.
The right fit: Email marketing can help keep in touch with your audience regularly (without overwhelming them with emails), nurture leads and drive sales or conversions effectively – and boost conversion rates too!
Infographics are data presented in a visual graphic. Data can often tell an interesting story, especially for the appropriate audience, and infographics illustrate what might otherwise be difficult-to-digest numbers and facts.
The goal: As you masterfully weave data into easy-to-understand infographics, you entertainingly educate your customers. This can improve brand sentiment and awareness. You can also drive traffic to your website by creating content people want to share on social media or their websites.
The right fit: Are there a lot of statistics related to something in your industry or what you have to offer? Do you have survey results to share? Data can provide the basis of a compelling narrative or express an opinion on an important topic. As with writing articles, infographics require equal care in creating high-quality designs.
A video is a recording of visual media. For businesses, some of the most common video genres include tutorials and how-tos, product features, humor, and education.
The goal: Video is a highly engaging content type. It stimulates sight and sound and, when done right, is exceptionally shareable. Video content stands out on a search engine results page and is a favored content type of Google for specific query types (how-to, for example). The objectives of video are often search engine visibility, increased traffic, and customer brand awareness. Share of voice and search engine visibility is also video KPIs.
The right fit: A video is a right fit for you if you want to compete in the search engine results for target keywords that often produce videos in the results. If you have a potential audience on YouTube, videos are essential. Videos are also great engagement objects on your website when you want to explain concepts in an accessible way (some people like to watch versus read). And, if a story or idea hangs on the human element, it may lend itself naturally to video.
A virtual event can be anything from a company-led webinar, to an educational event with many participants across companies, to an online independently-paced course.
The goal: Virtual events are an opportunity to educate an audience on a topic. But they are also a great way to drive leads and sales. People sign up and give you their information, some show up, some don’t — but then you let the marketing or sales team work their magic to drive them closer to a conversion. Or perhaps you’ve created an online course that you are selling for a fee.
The right fit: COVID-19 forced the business world into a new paradigm and in-person events were no more. Organizations had to adapt and virtual events grew exponentially. Today, businesses are more comfortable with hosting online events and do so mainly to educate their audience on a topic. Any aspect of your industry, business, or what you have to offer that deserves a deep dive can be turned into a virtual event. For a webinar, you present the information and allow room for questions at the end. If you created an online course, on the other hand, that is a product you can sell.
A business website is (mostly) a static representation of your business online. (A blog is, of course, a part of the site, but its goals and format are different enough — more on that later.)
For this section in the article, I’m talking about the static pages of your website, like those that make up the primary navigation of your website in your silo. These pages are usually crafted to explain products or services, build value around what you have to offer, or are educational — addressing any basic questions someone might have about a business and what it does.
The goal: Authority and expertise come together in your site copy to drive visitors to your website (by creating relevant pages that rank in the search results, and then further drive visitors towards conversions. The copy, or text content, of the site, should speak to the audience in an appropriate tone and reading level depending on the purpose of the page. Website copy should always be optimized with SEO in mind.
The right fit: Website copy is not only a right fit for every business, but it’s a must. If you want to drive organic traffic, engage your audience, and get conversions, you need website content. Plain and simple.
White Papers and E-books
A white paper is a technical report on a topic that requires an in-depth explanation. It usually follows a problem/solution format where the solution ends up being what you have to offer (and you can spend time discussing your particular product or service, too). It does include images but is typically text-heavy. An e-book, on the other hand, is typically a lighter read. It usually aims to educate an audience on a topic and provide helpful takeaways. E-books are usually a good mix of text, images, and whitespace. Whether it’s an e-book or a white paper, they both help introduce readers to unfamiliar subjects.
The goal: White papers and e-books educate readers on a topic so they understand the scope of a problem or issue. It’s a good way to showcase a product, service, or brand. When either is introduced into the marketing mix, it can help drive the audience closer to a conversion. Because driving leads and sales is a major goal of white papers and e-books, a business often requires the completion of a lead capture form before the user can download it.
The right fit: If your industry is highly technical or the service/product provided solves technical problems, a white paper is a solid fit. If your potential customers often need an explanation of an issue that comes up again and again, an e-book may be in order. Bottom line: If you want to educate and drive leads at the same time, either one could be a good fit.
A Note About AI-Generated Content
With the increased usage of AI and chat programs, I wanted to briefly touch on what it means for your content goals.
AI is a great tool, but it’s not a solution. The problem with AI is that it quickly and easily churns out content but at a surface level without a deeper, quality understanding of the subject matter.
As a business owner, you want to create content that passes E-E-A-T: experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Content that doesn’t pass this check is typically flagged as spam. Too much spun content and you’ll be looking at a disastrous search ranking that can be hard to recover from even with time.
So when can you use AI? In its current iteration, it is best used as a tool. Need to research keywords, come up with new ways to start a sentence, formulate a new outline for a long-form blog post? Using AI to help you kick off your content plan is a wonderful way to incorporate the convenience of AI without undermining your content strategy dedicated to authentic expert human-written content.
While each content type will have its own goal, B2Bs, and B2Cs look for certain metrics to measure their content success. And here are the top five for each:
B2B Content Goals and Metrics
- Website engagement
- Website traffic
- Email engagement
- Social media analytics
B2C Content Goals and Metrics
- Website engagement
- Email engagement
- Website traffic
- Social media analytics
While every content type should have a specific purpose and use case, many of the most common types are all essential parts of an SEO strategy.
Interested in aligning your content goals with a solid SEO strategy to drive revenue? Talk to us.
FAQ: What are the different content types and goals for marketing, and how can they be aligned with an SEO strategy?
Content plays an integral role in a brand’s marketing because it drives the relationship between the brand and the consumer. To successfully drive a campaign with content marketing, it is necessary to understand all types of content as well as their goals. Aligning it with SEO will expand its reach and impact.
Here are the different types of content and marketing goals and how they can align with an SEO strategy.
- Blog posts: Blogging is a popular content type that allows businesses to provide informative and engaging articles to their target audience. By incorporating relevant keywords and optimizing meta tags, blog posts can attract organic traffic from search engines, thereby aligning with your SEO strategy.
- Infographics: Visual content such as infographics enables businesses to present complex information in a visually appealing manner. Optimizing the alt text and providing keyword-rich captions can help search engines understand the content, leading to improved visibility.
- Videos: Video content has gained tremendous popularity, offering a dynamic way to convey messages. By optimizing video titles, descriptions, and tags with relevant keywords, you can enhance their discoverability in search engine results.
- Social media posts: Social media platforms present an excellent opportunity to reach your target audience. By optimizing your social media content with relevant keywords, you can increase its search engine visibility – aligning it more closely with your SEO strategy.
- Website Copy: Developing website copy gives search engines the ability to understand the point behind your website and will therefore improve its rankings. Website users are also able to learn more about your brand and interact with your product or service by reading through the site. This establishes credibility with both website visitors and search engines.
- White papers and e-books: This type of content provides in-depth information to users. These resources are about engaging with visitors by providing true value. These content pieces can be used as a lead magnet as well and capture potential customer information through savvy email marketing campaigns.
- Emails: This content works best as a marketing tool because you can create personalized emails that directly share links with your customers. Emails are an excellent way to nurture customer relationships, encourage repeat website visits and generate user interaction and interest.
- Case Studies: Use case studies to demonstrate how your product or service truly serves customers. Real-world examples can be the difference between a client coming on board or a client looking elsewhere.
Aligning your content goals with an SEO strategy involves several key considerations:
Identify your target keywords: Conduct keyword research to identify phrases and keywords most relevant to your company with high search volumes, and optimize content in accordance with these phrases in order to make them more visible in search engine results.
Optimize the on-page components: Make sure that you include your target keywords into key elements on-page, such as headings and titles, meta-descriptions, and alt tags for images. This will increase the relevance of your content and its visibility in search engines.
Develop a content calendar: Plan and organize your content creation efforts by developing a content calendar. This calendar should align with your marketing goals and SEO strategy, ensuring a consistent flow of optimized content.
Incorporate internal linking: Integrate internal links within your content to establish a logical structure and guide users to relevant pages on your website. This practice improves user experience and helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your content.
Optimize for mobile: With more people accessing content through their phones and other portable devices, it is becoming more and more essential that websites and content be mobile-friendly and easily readable on smaller screens. Ensure your website meets these requirements by optimizing for mobile.
Use user-generated content: Encourage your audience to generate user-generated content related to your brand through reviews, testimonials, or social media posts. User-generated content provides unique perspectives that can support SEO efforts and could even contribute to positive SEO rankings.
Monitor and analyze performance: Regularly track the performance of your content using analytics tools. This data will help you identify areas of improvement, understand user behavior and refine your content strategy for better SEO alignment.
Utilize structured data: Implement structured data markup on your website to provide additional information to search engines. This markup helps search engines understand your content better and may result in enhanced visibility through rich snippets.
Monitor and respond to feedback: Keep an eye out for user comments, reviews, and feedback related to your content. Engaging with your audience demonstrates responsiveness and can lead to positive reviews and increased visibility.
Test and optimize: Continuously test different content types, formats, and approaches to identify what resonates best with your target audience. Use data-driven insights to optimize your content strategy for maximum SEO impact.
Adapt and iterate: As you gather more data and insights from your content performance, adapt your strategy and iterate on your content creation process. This ongoing refinement will ensure your content remains aligned with your marketing goals and SEO strategy.
Understanding the different types of content, setting goals, and aligning your SEO best practice strategy are all keys to putting together an engaging marketing campaign that connects with its target audience.