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July 15, 2020

The Top 7 Content Types to Try in 2020

Welcome to the vast landscape of content marketing — here’s a roundup of the most popular types.

Content marketing covers a wide range of mediums from articles to animation videos. But how do you tell what type of content is appropriate for your brand?

Here are 7 different content formats you can explore when crafting your content marketing strategy.


1. Articles

Source: Hubspot


Blogs

Blogs are the original building blocks of content marketing.

Having blog content on your website, consisting of articles related to your product and industry, can attract potential customers to your page. When optimised with relevant keywords to improve SEO, blog can raise the ranking of your website on search engines and help drive organic traffic.

Check out some of the content hubs we help: Singtel Business Connect, Eastspring InsightsOut

Your blogs can take on different forms, including lists and how-to’s.

List articles (aka listicles) actually get twice as many shares as other blog post formats. There’s a reason why they’re so popular: they’re informative and easy to digest — like this piece you’re reading now.

How-to’s also present information in an easy-to-read format. Above all, they add value to your audience by teaching them how to go about doing things. If you’re selling a product, a how-to article is an effective way to show your customers how to get the most out of it. They’re just like a set of instructions.

If you’re up to the challenge, long-form blogs such as “Ultimate Guides” can be tremendously beneficial. If they’re well-researched and written with depth, long-form content is a great way to build brand awareness, demonstrate your expertise, and boost consumer confidence in your brand.


Thought leadership articles

A thought leader is a person or a brand that is recognised by others as an authority in their field. Although smaller businesses can benefit tremendously from producing thought leadership content, many big corporations also adopt this strategy as a means to further reinforce their positions.

The whole idea of a thought leadership piece is that it helps to build reputation by adding credibility to what your brand does. It is also a way to leverage on your industry knowledge to provide meaningful insights for your audience. All these go a long way when you want to build up trust in your brand.

It’s also a powerful way to connect to other professionals: 89% of B2B decision-makers surveyed say that thought leadership content has enhanced their perceptions of an organisation.

Thought leadership content works especially well on LinkedIn, since it is a professional social media platform. Experts can either write their own pieces or have them ghostwritten.


2. Graphics

A picture is worth a thousand words and in the digital age, it might just be worth a thousand clicks too. More specifically, a 1290% increase in clicks if your Facebook post contains more than one photo.

Thanks to the wide variety of graphics available, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t fit your brand. Although they can stand alone, they do complement other content types, so don’t hesitate to use them together with any other item on the list.


Infographic

Infographics are a visually-pleasing way of presenting huge amounts of data through graphics, charts, and statistics in an easily understandable format. Even the use of contrasting colour and negative space can significantly highlight key information that otherwise would not have stood out in a wall of text.

More than that, they’re also easily shareable across various social platforms, which can boost your brand visibility and drive traffic to your main site.


GIFs

The great debate rages on — is it pronounced ‘jif’ or ‘gif’? But no matter, GIFs (short for Graphics Interchange Format) are another type of eye-catching visual tool you need to utilise in your strategy.

Often a few seconds long, a GIF is a moving image — a nice middle ground between still photos and a full-blown video. A hallmark of internet culture, GIFs are often looped to play repetitively, which helps to draw the eye of the audience.

GIFs are great for capturing the attention of those who wouldn’t look twice at a still image, but who also don’t have the attention span to sit through an entire video. GIFs can also be used to give a brief overview, enticing those easily bored by chunks of text to actually read your article.

We decided to spice up our own newsletter, Content Confidential (see the latest here), by adding GIFs for each header. Shoutout to our design team for their endless creativity every week!


Memes

If you don’t know what memes are, you must be living under a rock. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

Memes are one of the most interesting ways to put out content. Not only are they funny, they can help build rapport with your target audience because everyone is in on the same joke. Due to their viral factor, memes are also a notoriously good social media marketing strategy because they get shared and reshared across a variety of social platforms.

Many memes, especially those that take the form of images overlayed with text, play off of content that’s already been created. Most times, all you need to do is come up with a new witty caption and “re-meme” an existing meme.

Because memes rely on pop culture and are often related to a current trend or event, they can be a great way to humanise your brand and make it much more relatable to your audience.


Illustrations

With illustrations, the world is your oyster. Anything is possible if you’re armed with a stylus, a tablet and some creativity. Unlike photography, you can quite literally draw everything you can think of. Apart from single images, illustrations can also take the form of cartoons and comics.

If presented as a comic, illustrations can serve as a nifty summary of your article, or even as the primary medium to disseminate information in easily-digestible bits.

As a medium with universal appeal, illustrations are a particularly useful way of crafting your brand image and making it stick out in the minds of your audience. After all, who doesn’t love to look at cute drawings?

Illustrations can be used to bring even the most abstract concepts to life, making them especially useful for explaining things.

Illustrations stand out among a sea of text, which is why they often accompany articles. It’s the first thing that catches the eye.

This is why the relevance of the illustration matters — before anyone even reads your article, their opinion is already shaped by what they see. They serve an important role in attracting the readers’ attention, and making them want to stick around to find out more (i.e. actually read the article).


Carousels

Remember the days when Instagram allowed you to upload only one image per post? With the ubiquity of carousel posts on social media these days, it can feel strange to think that you were once limited to a single picture per upload.

You can think of carousel posts as a slideshow, where you can post multiple images and videos in a single post. This is especially useful if you’re trying to showcase how your product looks like from different angles, or the different colour/size/design variations that your item comes in. Or if you’re trying to repurpose listicle content for social media.

Carousels are often used to share bite-sized pieces of information for quick and easy consumption on social media. The versatility of carousels should be acknowledged: they can come in many forms, consisting of real-life images, being driven by illustrations or even solely based on text.

Let’s be real, sometimes it’s also really hard to just pick one picture (out of a gazillion nice ones) to encapsulate all that you’re trying to say. So what do you want to do? Post them all, of course!

The allure of a carousel post is in its interactivity. We’re only human — we like to click and swipe on things whenever we see that there’s more to be seen, because curiosity gets the better of us. The numbers don’t lie: carousel posts get higher engagement rates and more likes.


3. Videos

Videos are a great way to engage your audience. By 2021, it is predicted that the average person would watch 100 mins of online videos everyday. In fact, 88% of video marketers surveyed reported that video gives them a positive ROI. If you haven’t adopted video marketing as part of your content strategy, you are missing out on a huge potential for growth.

Apart from mere entertainment factor, video is a versatile medium that can be used to convey various kinds of information. Instead of a long paragraph of text, why not incorporate humour to introduce your brand story on your website landing page?

How-to video tutorials are also an immensely engaging method of teaching people how to use your products or software, because they walk your consumers through every step of the way.

Best of all, video content can use a lot of mediums to get your point across:


Animation & Motion Graphics (for easy explainers)

Sometimes certain ideas are hard to explain with static images, especially if they deal with abstract ideas or complex processes. This is where animation and motion graphics come into the picture.

Motion graphics bring an otherwise still image to life by adding movement and transitions. Considered a subset of animation, motion graphics often function as a visual aid to emphasise or illustrate a point that’s being made in text.

On the other hand, ‘animation’ is more often used to refer to animated videos that utilise storytelling techniques to craft a cohesive narrative. Sometimes, they can be used to better explain complicated real-life situations.

From 3D cartoons to stop motion videos, the focus here is on the story that you’re crafting and how it helps you convey the message you’re trying to put out. We’ve written about the power of storytelling before, especially for corporate brands, and an animated video is one of the most efficient ways for you to connect with your consumer base on an emotional level.

When it comes to promoting a business, 2D animation might not be the first thing that comes to mind. We beg to differ — in fact, we love the idea of a 2D animation promo video so much that we decided to make one.

With so many different ways to unleash your creativity using animation and motion graphics, it’s easy to feel intimidated. For some fresh inspiration and to prevent your videos from looking outdated, it can be handy to keep an eye out on the latest visual design trends.


Text Videos (to get your point across in an engaging way)

It’s quite self explanatory: text videos, sometimes called kinetic typography, are videos that utilise a strong focus on text to convey a message. That doesn’t mean you stick a whole chunk of words into a video and call it a day, (unless you’re Nike, of course).

Intersperse short, snappy copy with relevant video footage or animation. The production value still matters — it’s a video after all.

Text videos are good for getting your point across, no fuss and no frills. With the help of text, package all that you’re trying to say into a short narrative that both informs and engages your audience.


Interview Videos (to bring out the human side of the story)

There are so many possibilities when it comes to interview videos: the CEO tells the brand story for an explainer video, an #AskMeAnything chat with an employee on their experience, or even a Q&A with an expert for all the latest updates within their field. Interview videos are a great way to add the human touch, since the video is centred on the personality.


Live Videos (to interact with your audience in real time)

Check out Coldplay’s live stream concert during the lockdown.

Live-streaming is all the rage these days, whether you’re an influencer hosting an #AMA (Ask Me Anything) to connect with your fans or a wet market trying to sell fresh produce to people at home. In such times when people lament that the internet fosters impersonal relations, live streaming has emerged as a prime contender to combat against those claims.

It’s quite easy actually to film a live video: with more and more social media sites incorporating livestream functions into their platform, all you really need to do is press a button and voilà! You’re on live.

And even if you lack the relevant video production expertise, there are numerous DIY video creation platforms that seek to simplify the process for those who are inexperienced. If you’re unsure of where to start, let us help you. The Click2View team tested out five different platforms and delivered our verdict.

Bottom line: the possibilities are endless when it comes to video.


4. Podcasts

Podcasts have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and this upwards trend doesn’t seem like it will slow down any time soon. Compared to 2015 where podcast ad revenue stood at $69 million, growth forecasts predict a jaw-dropping revenue of $659 million in 2020. If there’s any media sector to watch, the podcasting industry will be it!

The beauty of a podcast is that it is easily consumable. It can be allowed to play in the background while listeners are engaged in another activity. Moreover, it’s also a great way of repurposing already-existing pieces of content: you can turn your blog post into a podcast. The information stays the same, only the mode of delivery changes.

Click2View worked with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) to produce the Foreseeable podcast series, where our Editorial Content Director David Austin sits down with various LKYSPP professors to discuss their areas of research.


5. Email Newsletters (or eDMs)

Another common form of content marketing comes in the form of email newsletters sometimes referred to as eDM campaigns.

There’s a reason why they’re so popular — they’re extremely effective: email marketing generates an average of $42 in ROI for every dollar spent. Apart from being standalone forms of content, they can also function as an effective summary of all the content you’ve put out that week, delivered straight to your consumers’ inboxes.

Check out these for some great examples of newsletters. At Click2View, we also have our own Content Confidential where we round up some of the best content marketing news every week.(Get it straight to your inbox)

Unlike other forms of content marketing, email newsletters are delivered directly to your customers. That said, email marketing is most effective when it’s tailored to each subscriber on your mailing list.

Personalisation makes a big difference when it comes to connecting with your audience, so take the time to customise each email greeting to include individual names. If you can get your audience to opt in, you’re effectively building up an audience you own, instead of renting an audience when it is promoted through advertising.


6. Webinars

If you haven’t yet noticed, webinars have been revived and transformed in a world that’s been hit by a pandemic. With social-distancing laws in place, it might be a long time before physical events can take place again.

Instead of waiting around for that to eventually happen, many companies are pivoting to online events. And the beauty of the Internet means that people from all over the world can tune in, right from the comfort of their homes. Your audience pool is no longer limited by geographical constraints.

If you are looking to host a webinar, the Click2View team put together a giant masterpost on all things webinar-related. From content topics right down to the technical aspect of hosting a digital event.


7. Direct Messaging

More and more brands are delivering their content straight to the phones of their audience, via messenger apps like Telegram and WhatsApp.

Telegram has a channel function that allows people to broadcast their messages to an unlimited audience — everything that’s sent out on the channel will reach all the subscribers who have joined it. Each Telegram channel comes with its own public or private link that people can use to join the channel. Besides instantly spreading the content to a wide audience, Telegram also allows administrators of the channels to monitor the number of viewers for each message.

WhatsApp’s broadcast list functions in a similar way, except that only contacts who have saved the broadcaster’s number will be able to receive broadcast messages.

In a sense, direct messaging marketing is like the cooler, younger brother of email marketing. Send your subscribers short updates each day about any new offerings your company has, or any new content that you’ve put out. Since links can be included, these messages function much like a newsletter by driving traffic to your site.


Summary: Here are the content types to try today!

  1. Articles
    1. Blogs
    2. Thought leadership articles
  2. Graphics
    1. Infographics
    2. GIFs
    3. Memes
    4. Illustrations
    5. Carousels
  3. Videos
    1. Animation and Motion Graphics
    2. Text Videos
    3. Interview Videos
    4. Live Videos
  4. Podcasts
  5. Email Newsletters
  6. Webinar
  7. Direct Messaging

No single type of content will appeal to all audiences, so it’s crucial to think about how your audience wants to receive their content.

A mixed-media or transmedia strategy recognises that each member of your audience will have their own preferences about how they like to consume information, enabling you to better appeal to all of your existing client base and reach out even further to a wider audience.

Looking to create content or develop your content marketing strategy? Speak to our CEO Simon Kearney at simon@click2view.asia.


Read more from Click2View:

  1. Enter the realm of meme marketing.
  2. Podcasts are becoming more mainstream. Here’s why.
  3. Have you asked yourself, really what is content marketing?

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Click2View is Southeast Asia’s premiere full-service independent B2B content marketing agency servicing clients like Microsoft, Google, Visa, Prudential, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

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