Content marketing isn’t limited to just blog posts, but B2B brands tend to play it safe. This is the fastest route to content amnesia.
Here’s a comprehensive A-Z guide to diverse content formats, their roles in the marketing funnel, their costs and benefits, and key metrics to track.
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Useful throughout the funnel, ads attract attention and drive action. Different formats mean lots of options – you can run text ads, carousel ads, video ads, and even message ads. Benefits include broad reach and brand awareness. Key metrics to track: click-through rates and conversions.
In AMAs (Ask Me Anything), you answer questions from people online in real-time — usually on Reddit, Twitter, or Slack. It takes time to prepare, but it’s a good way to talk directly with lots of people. They’re great for making people more aware of you or your brand and clearing up common misconceptions. Look at how many questions and comments you get to measure success.
Great for sharing detailed information. They take time and effort to make, but using tools like Audible can help. They’re good for reaching people who prefer listening. Track how many people download and listen.
A visual way to share audio, like a podcast clip, on social media. It shows moving sound waves and can be quite engaging. Easy to make with tools like Descript or Headliner and helps get more attention online. Check likes and shares to see if it’s popular.
Essential for all funnel stages, blogs offer versatility. Costs involve time for writing and research. Benefits are SEO enhancement and thought leadership, which can lead to more sales or signups. Track page views, time on page, and SEO rankings to gauge success. Learn more about Column’s SEO content writing services.
Useful for sharing opinions on books. They don’t cost much but you need time to read and write about the book (or grab the cliff notes version online). Book reviews help you build trust with your audience. Check for how many people engage and comment on the reviews.
A series of images or posts shared together, often seen on social media platforms like Instagram. Easy to create and no cost involved. Great for storytelling or sharing multiple ideas in one post. Track its success by looking at engagement, like comments and swipes on each image.
Effective in the decision stage, case studies showcase success stories. Costs include time for research and interviews. Benefits: credibility boost and customer trust. Metrics to track: engagement rates and leads generated. Learn how to write a killer case study.
A simple, concise guide usually on one page. It’s about a specific topic and gives quick tips or information. Easy and cheap to make. Useful for giving your audience a handy reference — see this example. Measure success by how many people save, download, and find it useful.
Good for catching attention quickly. They need artistic skills to create but can be made easier with tools like Canva. Comics make complex ideas simple and fun. Check how much they are shared and liked.
Useful across the funnel for simplifying complex information, but can be time-intensive for creation. Benefits: user engagement and information retention. Metrics: shares and engagement rates. A good data visualization can drive lots of shares and engagement.
Demos help people understand your product better, leading to more sales. They work well as bottom-of-funnel content but can take time and resources to make well. Measure how many people watch them and their reactions.
Positioned in the middle of the funnel, ebooks offer in-depth insights. High in time and design costs. Benefits: lead generation and authority building. Metrics: downloads and leads captured.
Emails work well for all stages of marketing. They need effort in writing and designing but using platforms like Mailchimp can make it easier. Emails are great for talking directly to your audience, and if you have a small enough list, you can get started for free. Track how many people open and click on your emails.
Useful at all funnel stages, FAQs address common customer questions around a specific topic. Low cost but require regular updates. Benefits: improved customer satisfaction and SEO rankings. Metrics to track: page views and reduced support queries.
Great for engaging people in a fun way. Making games needn’t be expensive and time-consuming — use tools like Rhym to make simple games (here’s an example of a LinkedIn Ads game for lead engagement). Games keep your audience interested and coming back. Look at how many people download and play your games.
Ideal for the consideration stage, guides offer detailed information on specific topics. Time-consuming to create but effective for engagement. Benefits: educates your audience and generates leads. Metrics: downloads and time on page.
Useful for summarizing events (like webinars) or products. They can take a bit of time to edit but are effective at showing the best parts quickly. Use views and shares to measure their impact.
Across the funnel, these provide practical advice. Moderate time investment in writing and research, but big benefits over time (here’s an example). Benefits: audience education and SEO improvement. Metrics: page views and shares.
These are drawings or art used to make content look better or explain things clearly. They need someone who’s good at art (either in-house or outsourced, like from Fiverr or Upwork). Tools like Adobe Illustrator can help. To know if they’re working, check how often people share or like them online.
Great for sharing expert insights and experiences. They take time to organize and conduct but are usually low in cost. Interviews are effective in building authority and engaging your audience. Use metrics like views and audience engagement to track their success. See examples under the ‘Interviews’ tab here.
Attract attention at the awareness stage. Relatively easy to design with tools like Canva. Benefits: high shareability and user engagement. Metrics: social shares and backlinks.
At the consideration stage, journals offer authoritative content. High time investment for research and writing. Benefits: thought leadership credibility and peer respect. Metrics: citations, authority rankings, and SEO.
Great for explaining a process, like getting certified in a specific domain (here’s an example). They need research and design but are very helpful in guiding your audience, and usually earn lots of shares. Look at how many people view, save, and use these maps.
Useful for post-purchase support, but time-intensive to set up and maintain. Benefits: customer retention and reduced support costs. Metrics: usage rates and customer satisfaction scores. If you sell a SaaS product, you’ll likely need a knowledge-base at some point.
Kudos (customer success stories)
Share customer experiences to build trust. They take time to collect but are effective in showing real results. Track how much these stories are read and shared. See examples here.
These are a good way to share expertise or insights on professional topics. Writing one takes a bit of time but costs nothing. Great for building your professional reputation and engaging with a business-minded audience. LinkedIn Articles also often rank higher than blog posts written on the same topic. Measure success by views, likes, comments, and shares on LinkedIn.
Effective in the awareness and consideration stages. Costs include time and streaming technology, but the benefits are real-time engagement and humanizing your brand. You can also turn the recordings into other content like blog posts. Metrics: viewership numbers, engagement rates, and leads generated.
These videos show the words of a song as it plays. They need some work to match the words with the music. People like them because they’re fun and easy to follow. You can see how popular they are by looking at how many views and shares they get. Use tools like Veed.io or Flixier to make lyric videos.
For the awareness stage, memes offer viral potential. They’re low cost but require creativity. My go-to meme maker is Supermeme.ai — they offer templates and you can generate memes with AI. Benefits: high engagement and brand relatability. Track shares and likes.
Music videos can be expensive to make but are really good at telling a story or showing off a song. To see how effective they are, look at how many people watch them and talk about them on social media. Here’s an example from Hello Tushy, the bidet company.
Quick to make and use trending topics to grab attention. They don’t cost much, but you’ve got to be quick to capitalize on trending news. Use Google Alerts and Google Trends to stay on top of news stories in your category. Track how much your posts get shared and visited.
Across the funnel, newsletters keep your audience engaged. There’s a time cost in curation and writing, but the benefits of consistent engagement and increased loyalty are worth it. See our guide on launching newsletters. Metrics: open rates, click rates, and conversions.
Ideal for thought leadership in the consideration stage. Time cost in writing, and strong opinions tend to perform well. Benefits: brand personality showcase and engagement. Metrics: comments, shares, maybe death threats?
Offers new insights but takes lots of effort in research and analysis. Research reports are great for showing your expertise. Measure how much your research is shared and cited.
Great for awareness and consideration stages. High time investment in recording and editing, but you benefit from audience growth, personal connection, and the ability to influence sales over the long term. Examples include the Let’s Talk Azure podcast, The Future of Content, and The Loop from Cognism. Metrics to track: listens and subscriptions.
Quick questions shared with your audience, often online. They’re easy to make and cost almost nothing. Great for understanding what your audience thinks and likes. To see if they’re effective, look at how many people participate and the responses you get.
Written announcements about company news or products are used to inform the media and the public. Writing one isn’t hard, but having something worth saying can be challenging. Good for getting news out and attracting media attention. Measure success by how many media outlets share your news and how your audience responds.
Quick to create, low cost, and useful for inspiration and engagement across the funnel. See an example here. Benefits: shareability and engagement. Metrics: likes, shares, and follows.
Crucial in the decision stage. Time cost in collecting and curating. Benefits: trust building, informed decisions. Metrics: conversions, sentiment analysis.
Round-up posts compile and summarize useful information or viewpoints on a specific topic. They need time for research but are generally low-cost. Website traffic and backlinks are key metrics.
Social media post
Throughout the funnel, social media posts are versatile. Depending on the scope and complexity, you might need time (and sometimes money) to create the posts and engage with commenters. Benefits include wide reach, direct communication, and the ability to run ads on your winners. Metrics to track: engagement rates and follower growth. Get help with social media management.
You’ll need research to show industry trends. Such posts are good for showing you know your field well. Track how often they’re linkedin to or shared.
Effective in the consideration stage, tutorials cost time and possibly money for production. Benefits: skill demonstration and audience education. Metrics: views, engagement, and more signups as people feel more comfortable trying out your product.
Brief announcements or news about your business, products, or services. Easy to write and usually cost nothing. Great for keeping your audience informed about what’s new or changing. Measure success by how many people read and respond to these updates.
Spans all funnel stages. Low direct cost but requires moderation. Benefits: authenticity and community building. Metrics: UGC submissions and engagement. Read our guide to UGC for SaaS.
Across the funnel, videos offer high engagement potential. Production costs vary depending on the length, format, and available talent. Benefits: strong audience connection and high information retention. Metrics: views and watch time. Don’t forget to run your best videos as ads, create a Best Of playlist, and repurpose them into other formats.
Personal and easy to relate to, but need time to film and edit. They’re good for building a connection with your audience. Measure views and subscriber growth.
Useful in the consideration and decision stages. Can cost a lot of time and tools. Benefits: lead generation and audience education. Metrics: attendees and engagement. You should be repurposing webinars often and following up on leads.
White papers are detailed reports on certain topics. They take a lot of research and writing but are great for showing you know a lot about your topic. To track their success, look at how many people download them and if they bring in new contacts or leads. Check out our guide to writing white papers.
While not directly user-facing, XML sitemaps help search engines understand your website. Sitemaps need some technical work to create but are key for SEO. Use tools like XML Sitemaps to create one for free. Check how well your website ranks and is indexed.
Reflect on the year and engage your audience. These take a bit of time to put together but can be rewarding to do and engage your audience well. Measure how much they’re shared and commented on.
A long-term play for awareness and consideration stages. Requires time and potentially high production costs. Benefits: broad reach and audience building. Metrics: subscribers and views.
Niche content type, useful for community building. Low to moderate cost in production. Benefits: niche audience engagement and creativity showcase. Metrics: distribution and reader feedback.
Diversify your content
Each content type serves a unique role in your content marketing strategy. Balancing cost, time, and expected outcomes against targeted metrics ensures a well-rounded approach.