The wonderful world of content comes in many formats. Buyers consume multiple types of content before they take a step to convert. But how do they find you?
The short answer is through the reach that you’ve managed to gain via your various tactical endeavors. Your content finds them where they are—search engines, social media, email, paid channels, and more. If it’s engaging, which means relevant and compelling, they’ll want to learn more.
So, what types of content increase reach and engagement? Let’s find out!
What Are the Top Types of Content Created by Content Teams?
First, let’s look at some stats from actual content marketers. In the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) B2B Content Marketing Report, content marketers said they most use blogs, email newsletters, case studies, and video.
Some additional insights shared in the study show significant changes due to both the pandemic and other industry trends:
- Livestreaming content increased to 29 percent from 10 percent.
- Webinar usage went up to 67 percent versus 57 percent the previous year.
- Respondents said that blogs and webinars provide the best overall marketing results.
Additional data points regarding content types and engagement offer more context. For example, video is in use by most brands, but it doesn’t mean it’s driving engagement. What we do know is that Facebook Lives generate 10 times more engagement than standard video.
To gain greater engagement, you, of course, need to extend your reach. To do this, you must have the right type of content (format and topic) and promote it on the right channels. The channels you choose should relate to where your audience is and their buyer behavior.
Back to the video topic, YouTube now reaches more 18+ adults during primetime viewing hours than cable TV. Knowing this, you might realize YouTube is a more viable channel than TV spots.
Identifying Types, Formats, Topics, and Channels Depends on Data
When content planning, you always want to look at the data. Content analytics offer insights that help you better understand the types, formats, topics, and channels that work best for you. Keep in mind that this isn’t a one-and-done type of assessment. Your audience will evolve, as will their needs, and your content should, too.
You shouldn’t be guessing as to what content increases engagement and reach. Performance metrics should track this. The process will be different for every company, but some tried and true best practices can support your goal of deeper engagement and reach expansion.
Types of Content to Boost Engagement and Reach
Next, we’ll look at content types that will deliver the results you desire.
It’s a misconception to think all content needs to be bite-sized because people don’t have the time to read. There’s lots of content fighting for attention, but for genuine engagement, long-form wins out. According to an analysis, the longer the content, the greater the social shares.
The assessment also noted that there’s much more short content (under 1000 words) than content with 2000+ words. This indicates an opportunity for you to create more of this and see it perform well on social.
Long-form content also has positive implications for SEO. First, it can help you gain more backlinks, as noted in a Backlinko study. Long-form content receives, on average, 77.2 percent more links than shorter posts. This is likely due to longer content being of a higher quality and including thought leadership, data-backed conclusions, and original analysis.
There is no “ideal” word count for content to rank at the top of organic results. Some stats are floating around about this, but they don’t show causation of “this post has X number of words, so it ranked better”.
Rather, what makes long-form content appealing to Google is the quality, credibility, and readability. Length alone won’t give you the advantage to reach more searchers unless it meets the user’s needs and answers their questions.
Original Research Content
Original research can be a goldmine for reach and engagement. Buzzsumo reports that content regarding research findings can attract lots of shares. It can also pick up lots of backlinks. These content pieces are a no-brainer for reach.
They also drive engagement. Because it’s original research, it’s new and not a rehash of old facts. It’s likely very topical to your audience, so they want to know what you’ve discovered. Additionally, it cements your brand’s status as a thought leader. If buyers believe your brand is an expert on a topic, it will drive them to know more about you, giving you an edge.
Video is everywhere, and people spend a lot of time watching it. The pandemic accelerated video viewing, especially in the B2B world, because in-person interactions weren’t possible. Companies relied on video to tell stories, such as product demonstrations or explainers.
Users share videos regularly on social media, and they can hook a decision-maker. A survey found that 59 percent of executives will choose video to learn about a topic over text if both are available. It’s hard to deny the results of video, as 81 percent of companies that use it experienced an increase in sales.
Your video content needs to address a buyer’s challenges, motivations, and questions to drive these outcomes. The type of video matters, too. For example, we know that livestreaming is taking off and fueling high engagement, so that’s likely something you want to test out.
Infographics are another visual content type that illustrates critical points in a format that’s appealing to the eye. Users want to share them, and they also work well for garnering links. Some things to keep in mind to ensure they perform:
- Statistics should be verifiable and recent.
- They should provide tips and takeaways for the reader to achieve something.
- Infographics that draw conclusions based on data and best practices will get more traction.
Keeping All Your Content Moving
Enterprise content teams produce lots of content. Understanding the types which drive the best outcomes can help you better prioritize your content calendar. The best way to manage these workflows is with a content marketing platform. It includes all the tools your team needs to ideate, create, refine, publish, and track. Request a demo today to see how it can work for you team!