As a marketer, your job is to engage your target audiences by creating great content. But breaking through the noise is getting harder in today's highly competitive marketplace. To ensure that your brand stands out, you'll need to build a content marketing strategy that includes a mix of content types.
To help you out, we've put together a glossary of key content types you'll want to consider.
⇥ QUICK READ
- Digital Content Marketing
- Brand Content
- Branded Content
- Product Marketing Content
- Visual Content Marketing
- Safeguarding your brand
Digital Content MarketingSimply put, digital content marketing is the creation and distribution of brand-related content on digital platforms. The aim is to build a favorable brand engagement, trust, and relationship with your target audiences. The general types of digital content include images and graphics, audio and video, web content, and documents.
Here are descriptions of each:
- Static Images and Graphics: Images and graphics can be paired with other forms of digital content to help your audience visualize the content. Or, they can stand alone and be used as a piece of content to fully communicate the benefits of a new product or relay a brand’s image and values. They can also be easily screenshot, embedded, and circulated by your audience across many channels.
- Audio and Video: These are arguably the fastest-growing digital content types. Podcasts, tutorials, TikToks, and YouTube videos play an increasingly important role in reaching audiences wherever they are while leveraging the power of audio and video.
- Interactive: The most commonly used interactive content is social media posts. Here, brands can interact directly with their audiences while letting followers repost, like, comment, and click. Other types of interactive content include webinars, polls, and the emerging usage of virtual reality and metaverse environments.
- Web: This content is the backbone of digital content marketing. It’s content that is exclusively hosted online. Most brands today have a dedicated website, so this content is essential to be found on search engines. And as such, it plays an important role in reaching new audiences. But, it can also include content specifically on your brand’s product on a marketplace website or even articles mentioning your product in an online publication.
- Documents: Lastly, traditional types of documents, including white papers, reports, ebooks, guides, and articles, are indispensable. Because they can be easily downloaded and read offline, they are often used as lead generation in the form of gated content.
The channels to share and promote your digital brand content will vary depending on the audience and resources. Owned channels include your brand's website, mobile app, blog, social media profiles, and email newsletter.
Brand content is content that is created and distributed by the brand. The content can be both digital and physical.
For example, a content marketing plan could play heavily to digital content while including physical content. The key is to use brand content to share the company's core values with your target audiences in a way that creates emotional connections and helps them understand what your brand stands for.
Ben & Jerry's is well-known for its stance on social and environmental issues. So much so that the Vermont-based ice cream company's brand content creates meaningful moments of interaction with its audiences on current topics. An example is the Change is Brewing flavor to celebrate safety and liberation. The idea is to engage the audience by channeling the brand's values through storytelling directly on its owned channels.
Ben & Jerry's "Change is Brewing" campaign
What's important is that when you create brand content, it is authentic and builds brand awareness and loyalty beyond just your products and services. Remember, brand content is for everyone. Its purpose isn't to drive leads and sales. Instead, brand content is used to raise awareness, inspire and inform.
Why monitor your brand content?
By tracking your brand content online, you’ll find out who is using it, when, and where. How people share your content online is a telling indicator to calculate the reach and performance of your campaigns.
By contrast, branded content is created by a third party, such as a publisher or another brand, and often exclusively distributed on their channels. While both brand and branded content can be centered on telling the brand story and values, their audience reach is often vastly different.
Branded content provides an effective and subtle way to tell the brand's story and values to a broader audience.
Integrating branded content within your content marketing strategy opens up the possibilities of leveraging the third party's reputation to build your brand's authority and awareness with new audiences. This is especially true for brands wanting to build authority in a new market segment.
An example is the highly acclaimed Dove's Real Beauty Sketches video. With more than 11 million views, the branded content amplifies a powerful message to its audience: " You're more beautiful than you think." And thus, building the company's image as a brand whose mission is to make women feel better about themselves—without mentioning or displaying Dove products.
Dove's Real Beauty Sketches campaign
Why monitor your branded content?
The visual content produced by a third party is not necessarily of good quality. They may not follow your brand guidelines or use it correctly. By monitoring your visual content online, you can ensure the integrity of your branded content. Tracking your visuals also allows you to assess reach and exposure and understand the influence of your assets on different types of media.
Product Marketing Content
On the opposite spectrum of content marketing sits product marketing content. Whereas cotent marketing takes a long-term approach, product marketing is more short-term. Nevertheless, both are essential to a well-rounded marketing strategy.
Product marketing content is used to get potential customers to make a purchase. This content specifically covers the benefits and features and often includes price points. Examples include product descriptions and resources, learning materials, customer case stories, and more.
Successful product marketing content requires a clear understanding of the target audiences, messaging and product positioning, and defining the types of content appropriate to potential customers.
An example is the product information on the Apple website for AirPods Max. The content visualizes the key product features, giving site visitors an intense look through images and videos at the product details.
Apple website for AirPods Max
Why protect your product marketing visuals?
By monitoring your product visuals, you can discover all the websites where they appear. This allows you to quickly analyze whether usage is authorized and compliant with your brand standards. Tracking your content also helps to prevent pre-launch leaks.
Visual Content Marketing
As demonstrated in the AirMax example, visual content is integral to your content marketing campaigns and strategy. Visual content plays an increasingly important role in setting your brand apart in the digital era. And there are signs that visual content marketing will continue to grow in importance.
In the Venngage 2021 survey of more than 200 global marketers, 68.7% of respondents stated that visuals were essential or very important to their digital marketing strategy.
Popular visual content marketing includes photography, video, infographics, presentations, screenshots, slide decks, and GIFs.
An example is the Starbucks Stories series to promote the brand's products, values, and initiatives.
Starbucks Stories series
Why protect your visual content?
By tracking your images and videos across the internet, you will understand what happens to your assets once you post them online and how they are shared and used. Monitoring also enables you to verify brand compliance and detect unauthorized use.
Safeguarding your brand with invisible watermarking solutions
As with all marketing campaigns, continually monitoring and tracking your brand's digital presence is vital. The seemingly fast proliferation of digital sharing of your brand's content on social media means that marketers must be vigilant about how their images and videos are used.
Today, protecting your brand's valuable digital assets from misuse is a growing requirement. Since your teams put a great deal of effort into producing quality content for your brand, you should make every effort to find out where your assets end up.
This is why progressive brands leverage invisible watermarking solutions from IMATAG to understand how and where digital assets (videos and images) appear online.
Fully automated, IMATAG Monitor clients receive notifications when digital content is detected on websites and social media channels.
Marketing professionals can easily measure and monitor the reach of their campaigns by knowing where digital assets appear. Plus, gain valuable insights into digital asset preferences and usage patterns.