Ally Windsea
Ally Windsea
15 Types of Content to Drive Your Traffic
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Content is our life. While it always has been to some degree through television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, and encyclopedias, it’s the format that has changed. Now that online and mobile content is so readily available, we seem to want more of it.

In business and social lives, all generations are consuming online content through their phones, social media channels, Internet searches, and purchase research. Anything of interest or that involves making some type of decision now involves digital content. With the availability of so much content, we are all becoming more selective and craving unique ways to devour it.

That’s the first reason why you want to start diversifying your content marketing strategy.

The second reason is that your audience segments want different types of content and greater personalization. The third reason is that content consumption will continue to increase. With those reasons in mind, here are 15 different types of content that you can use to increase traffic.

1. Video Content

The demand for video content is one of the primary drivers for adding this content to your strategy. The time people spend on their smartphones consuming video content has steadily increased. Options include pre-produced video as well as live stream video on social media sites. Be sure to watch plenty of video in your niche before generating your own to make sure it’s relevant and polished.

2. Tutorials

While this can be delivered as word, visual, or video content, the tutorial is popular because people want to solve problems. They may be struggling to make something work, so specific how-to content that allows them to fix an issue is a great way to attract traffic. To be successful with this content, accurately identify your audience’s problems and have a very specific explanation of how to solve these. It is helpful to make your tutorial as visual as possible. I personally find that BigCommerce does this very well, they create some of the best tutorials out there.

3. Infographics and Gifographics

An infographic is another visually dominant content. Although there are some words that primarily illustrate statistics and useful facts, the majority of the content is comprised of pictures and/or illustrations. It is one of the most virally shared types of content, offering significant traffic potential. You can hire a freelance graphic designer if you lack skills in this area. However, there are other tools available, including the option to make a gifographic, which uses animated gifts instead of static images.

4. Product and Service Reviews

Within your own industry, you can develop and publish reviews about specific products and services among the service providers and manufacturers you know and use. This content type can enhance your thought leadership position. Be as detailed as possible in your review, including what it includes, what you like and don’t like about it, and a recommendation. Finish with a call to action that encourages your audience to learn more about the product or service you are reviewing. Video is an effective way to deliver this content.

5. Book Reviews

Like product and service reviews, this content is good for thought leadership positioning. Offering your take on relevant books that interest your audience can help identify you as a brand that understands the most critical trends and issues that impact them. Always include a link to the book and share the major points, what you liked and didn’t like about it, and any recommendations related to the book’s subject matter. Just make sure your audience likes to read or this content type won’t be as valuable.

6. Guides

This long-form content type takes time to create but is well worth the effort in terms of the return. Guides are much longer than blog posts but not as long as an e-book. Somewhere in-between, this content offers a more comprehensive discussion of a particular issue or problem faced by your audience. You’ll need a good writer and designer to produce an attractive, digestible guide. This is a good source of email addresses to build out your database as well as a source of traffic. One company standing out in this space is Due. They produce countless small business guides to help with anything to get your business started online.

7. E-Books

If you get comfortable with longer form content, you can go even further by creating a downloadable E-Book. These are typically offered for free in exchange for joining a mailing list. Marketing these helpful books — typically around 10,000 words — on social media platforms and through email campaigns can drive traffic to your site. It’s a good way to develop authority in your industry. When creating an E-Book, create chapters that break the content into digestible chunks and create a compelling title, clear theme, and attractive design. You may also want to make an HTML version because you can add other media like video and audio.

8. Lists

This post is a good example of this type of content. This popular type of content is easy to read while delivering considerable information. pick a number based on the number of separate ideas you think makes sense for that topic. This content is very formulaic. It includes an introduction, the list, and then a conclusion. You can even have very long lists. Just remember that the higher the number, the better it is to provide brief information for each so the reader doesn’t become fatigued halfway through.

9. Opinions

It’s the tone that sets this content apart from the other content on this list. Your audience wants to hear what you think, so these are a way to truly engage with them. Unlike other content that is informational and instructional, opinion content can be expressive and offer a strong opinion or position. This content should be written in the first person (“I”). This type of content should be used sporadically, especially if there is a major industry issue or social problem that has emerged where it makes sense to deliver an opinion. The more popular the topic, the more likely you will be read and shared. When you create opinion content, be respectful and do not put others down in the process.

10. Case Study

Businesses and academics have long used this content type. This content is ideal for showing how the company specifically helped a customer. Each case study is focused on a specific trend or issue that a customer faced. Offering insights on that trend or issue helps the company position itself as a leader in understanding how to address it. While the case study has your product or service as the solution, you don’t want to overemphasize that and have it come off as a long advertisement. Instead, focus more on the actual story and “flavor” of the customer and make the solution the happy ending. Don’t forget to add a call to action that gets your audience to take the next step so they get the same benefit as the customer in the case study. Check out some of the amazing studies Calendar does to promote their customers.

11. White Paper

While white papers were traditionally used by the software industry, this content format has expanded. It is used to state the case for a certain product or service in a range of industries. It is a compact content tool that is usually only a couple of pages of content directed at the value that is offered. A good copywriter and graphic artist can produce this document for you and turn it into a download to drive traffic. GmailMetrics is an example of a company that does a great job using white papers to drive traffic and leads.

12. Link Pages

This is a simple, yet very effective, type of content for attracting traffic. It’s because it is a resource post that offers a consolidated list of links that can help the reader to find more information on a particular subject. Since it saves them time, they are also going to share it with others who they know need the valuable information you’ve compiled. All you need to do is find solid articles within the theme, type the title, hyperlink it, number it and deliver it to your audience. You may want to add a short introduction or tie it to something your company is doing, but it is not necessary to win the audience over.

13. Podcast

This type of content continues to do well because audiences can listen to the content while doing other things. It’s also engaging in terms of a more humanizing effect that comes from having on-air discussions. Guests diversify the content and add more value. To get traction, it’s important to make this a regular event and regularly share it on other content channels. Another best practice is to include a transcript of each podcast. This helps the audience and it delivers SEO value.

14. Research Report

This is a time-consuming process but well worth it. It can be difficult to locate original data. Or, a research company charges its audience a lot of money to get a hold of it. Yet, there is so much data now available within most companies thanks to the digital tools we use to interact with customers and prospects. Your research can identify patterns for use in a research report. Also, consider conducting a survey to develop your content strategy around a certain area. The survey can be used as a means of collecting data on that subject. The findings may also benefit other areas of your business. Be sure to use many visuals to explain the data and engage your audience.

15. Interviews

Interviews are a unique form of content that you can provide because the content comes from the questions you ask of other industry leaders you are talking to.  Prepare the content in advance with the person you are interviewing, including sending them questions ahead of time. Also, think about what form you want to deliver the content. You have the option to publish a digital Q&A article, record it, or video it. Include a transcript for the audience to share.

A Content Portfolio

There are so many options for content that will drive traffic. The options help grow customers and enhance brand reputation. However, you can leverage everything in this content portfolio but not maximize the listens, shares, and converts. That’s why you must generate the right topics as well as focus on excellent writing and attractive formatting.

Ally Windsea

Ally is a Content Manager in Ning.