In her book Touch.Point.Sieg. Kommunikation in Zeiten der digitalen Transformation, Anne M. Schüller identifies the 50 best content marketing formats that can be quite helpful to figure out what works best for your business.
“The more complex the performance of a company, the more content communication makes sense”, she says. Anyway, what’s for sure is the fact that digitization and the Internet are pushing the trend towards content immensely.
Quality content is the top choice for marketers, since content marketing aims to reach the right target group with relevant, useful, informative and entertaining messages – that are usually offered free of charge. Here, the company is only discreetly present as the author that aims to draw interest with credible know-how and who tries to gain trust with specialist knowledge. Not to mention that content marketing intends to keep loyal, existing customers; occupy themed-related merchandise, increase brand attraction, and secure competitive advantages.
In order to meet the targeted goals with content communication, there are mainly two questions that need to be addressed:
1. What do we want to achieve - and what not?
2. Who do we want to reach - and who not?
If you can’t define your desired target groups precisely, you cannot produce appropriate content. But if goals and target groups are determined, it is the turn of question three:
3. What can we write about - and what not?
Most companies have a lot of specialist knowledge - otherwise they wouldn't exist. This knowledge should be collected, viewed, supplemented, prepared for the desired customers and played out at the appropriate touchpoints.
Which leads us to the last question:
4. What is currently moving the market and customers - and what is not?
This question is elementary, because content only works if it is suitable both for the respective purpose and for the addressee.
Which content formats are suitable?
Content in the broadest sense means all content that a company produces about and by itself, including product descriptions, instructions for use, packaging inserts, job advertisements, customer magazines and so on.
Content in the narrower sense means above all information that can be found on the Internet about a provider. In addition to website texts, well-founded discussion contributions in forums and social media postings, like e.g. the formats in the following overview:
How content formats can be used
Content can in general be used multiple times. If you have published blog articles, for instance, please also point this out in the newsletter. Once individual articles of a series of topics have been published, start turning them into an e-book, you create micro-content from white papers or revamp a technical contribution with a new example, a current study or a complementary checklist.
At the end of the month, quarter or year, review the five or ten most downloaded pieces of content. You can prepare an existing checklist for different target groups. A video story can be illuminated from the perspective of different protagonists, or there can be a long and a short version of a user report.
Since content is mainly online, the visual plays an important role. Images and videos are the number one in getting attention. According to studies, click rates can be doubled with pictures and triple with videos. Even the audio channel is moving more and more into focus, because even spoken words enable access to knowledge on the web. Videos and audios will benefit greatly from the trend towards “voice”. Those who additionally offer their written content in an audible form, such as specialist articles or e-books, are at the forefront.