In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King.” Over 25 years ago, Gates understood how important building an online presence would be for businesses in the future. He saw the internet as a tool anyone could use to create and publish content to find potential customers and build their business. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend reading the full essay yourself.
Today, digital content creation is an important part of a successful content marketing strategy. But, with so many types of digital content to choose from, how do you know which ones to create?
I love topics like this. Discussing the ways one can be creative always jumpstarts my imagination, helps me further develop my own digital content marketing strategy, and—most importantly—gives me an opportunity to share what I’ve learned with those of you out there looking for new ideas!
So, let’s look at what types of digital content you can create so you can figure out which ones work best for your business!
Types of digital content: you've got options!
There’s no shortage of options for types of digital content you can create. We’ll take a brief look at several types of content, but make no mistake: this is the tip of the iceberg. Keep in mind that each type of content has its own genres, subcategories, and customization options that make your options seemingly (literally?) endless. The only true limit here is your imagination.
The type of digital content you create for your marketing campaign is entirely up to you. It usually depends on several criteria, such as your business goals, budget, and target audience. Research can help you discover what type of content your audience prefers—once you discover that, you can develop your strategy! Some of the most popular types of digital content audiences consume these days include:
It probably comes as no surprise that I’m partial to writing blogs. They’re not just fun to write, they’re an important cornerstone of a digital content strategy. Creating a blog for your website gives you an opportunity to share your personality with your customer base. Blogs can also add value to your site by providing the public with free information that can help them make decisions and even improve their daily lives.
In fact, blog posts are so integral to digital marketing, that the ability to use WordPress (a popular blogging and site building platform) has become one of the most sought-after skills when hiring new recruits.
With a little bit of writing skill and some SEO knowledge, you can build a blog that:
- Improves your search engine visibility
- Helps potential customers find your business
- Builds customer relationships
- Increases brand awareness and loyalty
- Generates potential leads for your business
It feels like more and more, the internet has become driven by video content. Videos can be short, entertaining, and easy for users to share. And, as popular as videos already are, their popularity keeps growing. Most importantly, they work. According to Social Media Today, 93% of businesses gain new customers from social media videos. That success rate is hard to ignore.
In fact, video has become the bedrock for some of the most popular social media platforms. YouTube, now owned by Google, is now one of the most-used search engines in the world. Apps like Instagram and Facebook have seen video content slowly take over their users feeds. (Anecdotally, I find I personally tend to skip past text/photo posts on these apps and hover on the video content my friends have shared.) The ubiquity of TikTok has further driven content creators’ focus on video content.
Suffice it to say that video is not going anywhere anytime soon. Some of the benefits of creating video content include:
- Exceedingly popular
- Easily consumed on any device
- Engaging and persuasive
- Can increase email open and clickthrough rates
- Social media shares can increase visibility
Social media posts
Traditional social media posts (such as a typical Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn post) usually consists of some text, an image, or both. Trends and algorithms for these posts change frequently, but the concepts and benefits remain the same. Namely, you can consistently distribute information about your business to those interested and likely to purchase.
Social media posts offer an extremely potent edge over traditional marketing options: interactivity. Users can comment directly on any individual post, providing you with helpful information about your customers and how they feel about your products. You can also choose to have someone from your social marketing team respond to user comments. This lets you distribute even more helpful information (such as how to return or exchange an item) and resolve customer issues in real-time.
When using social media posts as a marketing strategy, it’s important to set boundaries and understand social conventions. Some businesses have found great success in giving snarky replies to internet trolls or starting a fun, make-believe Twitter wars with other companies. This can be a difficult line to walk, so I’d recommend treading carefully if deciding to go this route.
Some common benefits of social media posts include:
- Provides multiple platforms for your brand’s voice
- Enhances brand awareness and reach
- Provides information about customers’ wants and needs
- Helps you collect data about leads generated
- Ads can target demographics specific to your goals
An infographic is a piece of content that conveys information relevant to your business quickly, easily, and understandably. A well-designed infographic can catch the attention of users and slow or stop their infinite scroll. Best of all, they’re easily shared across many social media platforms.
Infographics can be very helpful when your customers need extra information to make a decision. For instance, imagine you have a product that can increase users’ productivity. Instead of describing this to them in a block of text they might otherwise ignore, you can create an infographic about the importance of increasing productivity that piques their interest.
Benefits of using infographics include:
- Helps make information more memorable
- Increases your post’s “scannability”
- Makes information easier to understand
- Grabs users’ attention
- Improves your reputation as an expert in your field
Memes (yes, really!)
You probably already have an opinion about memes. Whatever that opinion is, I’m here to tell you: they can be more effective than you think. According to YPulse, over half of people aged 13-35 share memes on a weekly basis. Memes can take many forms: a simple text joke, a shareable image with text, or even a gif or video. Usually, they make some sort of reference to pop culture and express a single, concise idea. Many memes are also instantly recognizable.
Using memes can help you express a common thought, idea, or feeling about your business and products. This helps customers relate to you and your business. When creating content ideas for memes, it’s important to stay current and original. Meme templates spread quickly and fiercely. Many users see the same templates used repeatedly, so originality is imperative to catching and keeping their attention. Templates usually have short lifespans, so understanding current meme trends can be helpful.
Benefits of meme marketing include:
- Improves chances of going viral
- Increases your brand’s relatability
- Improves engagement
- Easy to create and share
- Expands your reach
A key aspect of digital media marketing is offering free value to your customers. Ebooks and how-to guides typically offer free, useful information to those who need it. Unlike other types of digital content, ebooks offer a unique benefit: users must download them.
Because downloading an ebook is an active decision customers can make, you can use it as a touchpoint to exchange information. Usually, this means asking for an email address where you can send the ebook. That makes creating ebooks a useful lead generation tool and a good starting point for a permission-based marketing campaign.
Some benefits of offering an ebook include:
- Comes with a perceived value
- Generates leads for your sales team
- Drives website visits
- Establishes your reliability in your field
- Inexpensive and simple to produce and distribute
Tips for digital content marketing success
With so many options, creating a content marketing strategy can seem daunting. There are new decisions to make around every corner. Over the years, I’ve developed a few tips that help me stay organized and focused when creating digital content. These are:
Create a content calendar
With so many platforms, pieces of content, and all of the SEO content and tagging that come with it, organization is key. Content or social media calendars can help with digital marketing planning. There are many apps and services you can use to build a schedule of future posts. Most let you create and schedule your content ahead of time, automatically posting them at the scheduled time. You have plenty of options here, so it might be helpful to research available apps to find one that matches your needs and budget.
Keep it relevant
Digital content marketing works best when it relates directly to your business. Entertaining, engaging content is important for driving shares and website visits—but your ultimate goal is gaining new customers. This means targeting the audience most likely to become paying customers. The closer your content is to what you’re trying to sell, the more likely you are to attract the audience you want.
When writing a post, filming a video, or creating any other type of content, make sure it leads back to your business. For instance, if you own an automotive business, you might create news updates about new technological advancements, reviews of vehicle accessories, or how-to guides about simple auto parts replacements.
Tell a story
One of the most important aspects of any digital content is that it engages your audience. We can learn a lot from the stories we love. Stories have engaged audiences for millennia—and the basic techniques for telling them have remained largely unchanged in all that time.
Learning basic storytelling can help you craft memorable, engaging content that bring in customers and help boost sales. But don’t worry—you don’t need to be an expert! There are plenty of resources online that can teach you the basics and help spark your imagination!
Be clear and concise
Social media users see a lot of content all the time. It’s hard to get their attention and even harder to keep it. It’s best practice to create content that is clear and concise. Give them the information they need in the most understandable way, then get out before you bore them. The more often you can achieve this, the more likely they are to trust that you won’t waste their time!
When someone becomes popular on social media, they can gain a new title: “Influencer,” or “thought leader.” Through social media posts, you can affect the way people think about certain topics, individuals, companies—the list is endless. Because of this, social popularity comes with a lot of responsibility.
As a representative of your business, it’s important to take this responsibility seriously. Consider fact checking posts before they go live, implementing ethical guidelines for content, and vetting any outside influencers you might work together with on a campaign.
Need a Digital Content Strategy?
Do you already have digital content but are unsure what to do next?
Flipdeck is a simple, web-based tool that organizes your content so you can easily share it. Your content becomes visually appealing cards you can organize into related decks. Then, you can share whatever content you choose with anyone, anytime, anywhere on the internet. You never need to move your content—it’s always there and readily available.
All it takes is three easy steps:
1. Create content cards
2. Build your decks
3. Share them
Need to share content with clients or on social media? Create a Flipdeck Collection (customized landing page). Your clients and customers get quick, easy access to your content. Prefer delivery by email? Flipdeck formats your content into an attractive email and sends it for you!
Have an email campaign? Flipdeck formats your content into an attractive email and sends it for you! Need to share content with clients or on social media? Link directly to your deck! Your clients and customers get quick, easy access to your content.
Are you self-employed or have a small team of freelancers? Or are you a department head who needs to share content with several teams? Flipdeck is great for teams of any size. The visual cards make your content easy to find and accessible to anyone on your team who needs it.
Need analytics? Flipdeck’s got you covered! With their analytics tools, you can track which content gets the most engagement, so you can focus on what works and stop wasting time on what doesn’t.
Flipdeck offers several subscription tiers. Each is scalable to fit both your team and budget, and all come with a no-risk, 15-day free trial: https://flipdeck.com/