How marketers can 'speak CFO' to survive the recession - The Drum

How marketers can 'speak CFO' to survive the recession - The Drum


How marketers can 'speak CFO' to survive the recession - The Drum

Posted: 04 Aug 2020 12:00 AM PDT

You may know how to talk to consumers, but can you speak CFO? The Drum's Promotion Fix columnist, Samuel Scott, explains why speaking the language of the chief finance officer will be essential for marketers' survival in the testing times ahead.

If you want to know how to thrive at work despite the looming economic downturn, learn from the biggest mistake I have made in my marketing career.

When I was the first director of marketing at a high-tech startup company, our growing team was working wonders after a few funding rounds. But we had yet to do any real advertising specifically.

So, I took some time to write myself a brief and then create the outline of a campaign that I then delivered through a creative and humorous company presentation. If I had been working at an ad agency, the idea would probably have been well-received. But at the tech company, I failed.

I had focused so much on the creativity that I had neglected to answer one simple question: "What will be the financial benefit of this campaign?" (The full story is further below.)

And that question will become more important than ever this year as marketers defend their budgets in light of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marketing budgets are plummeting

In the US, Forrester's updated 2020 ad spend forecast projects a 25% decline from $236bn in 2019 to $177bn this year. Gartner's new CMO Spend Survey found that 44% of chief marketing officers expect their budgets to decrease this year.

In the UK, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's (IPA) Q2 2020 Bellwether report revealed that just over half of companies slashed their marketing budgets from May to June and that two-thirds of survey participants reported a pessimistic financial outlook. (Conversely, eMarketer predicts that ad spend in China will grow 0.4% this year.)

Under accounting and financial reporting standards, chief executives must consider marketing to be an expense to minimize rather than an asset or an investment for the future. So, the current situation does not bode well for marketing departments because their budgets are often the first to face cuts during economic downturns.

But now marketers might have some help.

2020's most important marketing research

In 2019, some of the most groundbreaking marketing research came from Les Binet and Peter Field, who used IPA data to show how companies should allocate their marcom spend between long-term brand and short-term activation goals.

In my work as a keynote marketing speaker, I incorporated those ideas into the main speech that I gave throughout Europe last year on media planning in 2020 and beyond. Other presenters in the industry also highlighted Binet and Field's recommendations.

This year, the most important research may have come from LinkedIn's B2B Institute in the US together with the IPA and EffWorks in the UK. Marketing to the CFO is a new report that will be critically important as marketers face an economic contraction caused by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

The publication, authored by British marketing effectiveness researcher Fran Cassidy, offers a five-step playbook for "more financially accountable marketing" that uses shared chief marketing officer and chief financial officer objectives, language and metrics that are all tied to value creation.

Most significantly, the report advocates that marketers stop the use of trendy buzzwords and vanity metrics and shows how to frame brand building as an invaluable tool that increases pricing power and future cash flows.

Essentially, the research teaches marketers "how to speak CFO" – and nothing will be more important this year as chief marketing officers face cuts during this year's likely economic downturn.

"In today's tough business climate, marketers need to understand how to express the value they provide in financial terms. Marketing should not just be a cost center – it's a mindset focused on driving growth," Jann Schwarz, the global director of LinkedIn's B2B Institute, told me.

"The CFO and his or her team are the most important internal audience to land this message with – using jargon-free language that resonates. Marketers often struggle with this, but Fran Cassidy's report for the B2B Institute outlines a clear roadmap for success."

How to "market to the CFO"

The B2B Institute and IPA's research summarises itself through a VALUE framework. Understand how Value is created. Accept Accountability for the metrics that signify value creation. Use the Language of value creation. Grow the Understanding of value creation throughout the marketing team. Create a mindset based on Evidence. (Byron Sharp will be happy.)

According to the publication, such a framework leads to greater respect for marketing within c-suites, improved relationships throughout companies, and a louder voice for the customer throughout organisations. And all of that will likely lead to increased budgets – or at least less-reduced budgets during the present downturn.

As someone whose career has focused mainly on marcom, my favourite part of the report is the one that focuses on how we should change our language when speaking to the c-suite. One graphic that I will highlight.

Marketers know that we need to be customer-facing or customer-centric or customer-first – however you describe it. But the most important audiences for our own benefit are the CFO and CEO. And few have ever discussed how to promote marketing itself to them until now.

Look at it this way: how many people in marketing – or especially in communications – can even understand what balance sheets and income statements are saying? That is Accounting and Finance 101. We all need to learn that language.

I am lucky enough to have taken courses in those areas when I did my MBA studies. But many marketers are not as well-rounded. Such topics need to be a part of the marketing coursework at universities and professional certification programs.

However, changing the language that marketers use when talking to CFOs is easier than finding common ground over metrics.

"This depends entirely on how well versed the CFO is in marketing or how successfully you can show the connection between brand metrics and hard financial numbers," Jon Evans, the CMO at System1 Group and host of the Uncensored CMO podcast, told me.

For example, increased physical availability will return a short-term increase in sales that can be measured quickly and easily. But higher mental availability grows slowly and is more difficult to measure. Marketers need to balance short- and long-term metrics.

"If you are getting into more specific brand metrics ,you need to be able to clearly demonstrate why they are important to the brand's overall success," Evans added. "I always used to ask my team what the most important brand metric is and why. It's surprising how often you get a vague answer that doesn't connect back to financial success. If they couldn't convince me, they wouldn't convince the CFO!"

Still, the B2B Institute and IPA's new publication does have some skeptics.

"The trouble is that a large part of the value of most businesses is based on their intangible assets (such as people, brand and intellectual property), not their tangible assets," Alastair Thomson, a former finance director and CFO who is now with the FD Centre in the UK, told me.

"For short-term marketing initiatives, frameworks like VALUE have a lot to offer marketers in their conversations with CFOs and CEOs. Without a strong rationale for an ROI on marketing spend, of course the temptation is to reduce the cost of the marketing department one way or another."

"That's also why it's exactly the right time to work on the long-term value marketing can offer. With few exceptions, a business makes a vastly greater return from increasing revenues than it does from reducing costs."

One example is that the coronavirus pandemic right now might be a good time to grow revenue by establishing a new, premium price positioning at a time when many companies are surely cutting prices.

"When nobody else is doing it, your costs of doing so are much lower – and your impact is commensurately greater," Thomson added.

When I failed to use this advice

Now, the rest of my aforementioned story.

Our marketing team had people doing Google Ads, publicity and PR, analytics research, SEO and content marketing. But no advertising. (Paid search is direct response and physical availability.)

So, I wrote myself the brief and created the outline. We sold a SaaS log analytics platform to IT professionals, so I did a throwback to The IT Crowd. I created a mock episode of the programme to communicate our product's value. At the time, Marvel's Cinematic Universe was taking off – so I even included a "post-credits scene" to foreshadow something unknown in the future.

A part from the beginning of the presentation:

I put the whole thing into a presentation and invited the marketing team as well as high-level people from the sales, support and IT teams to attend so I could get feedback.

At the meeting, I began with a short summary of the importance of brands and how they grow. And then I used a British accent while mimicking the mock IT Crowd characters and acting through the entire script with the accompanying visual aids. I said we would get press coverage as well and that we could add a call to action for the ad placements online.

I gave the performance my all and said it was an initial brainstorm that I could take up the management chain while asking ad agencies for RFPs. But the head of sales cringed during some of the jokes because she did not get the IT Crowd references. The support staffers said they thought it was funny but did not understand the point. (Still, the head of IT thought it was brilliant.)

Later, the chief executive sternly told me that the whole thing had been a waste. He said that based on my salary and the amount of time that it took to come up with the idea, he knew how much money I had cost the company. He said he would never have paid to do such a campaign anyway. Any funds required for the advertisement would have been rather used for many "pieces of content" and Google Ads clicks.

I took a big risk and failed. Of course, I have no idea whether the creative idea would have been successful. But I did realise later why the proposal was "dead on arrival."

Sure, I had talked about the importance of brand, the use of humour, the incorporation of a relevant pop culture throwback hook, and the necessity of getting noticed and remembered among all potential category buyers for long-term success.

But I had neglected to frame the whole thing in terms of financial value. I wish I would have read the B2B Institute's new report at the time. For someone whose job at the time consisted partly of communications, I had failed to communicate effectively.

Still, Thomson did offer some solace when I told him the story.

"It isn't the CEO's job to produce sales. It's the CEO's job to build the long-term value of the business," he said. "In the absence of any better ideas, pushing sales isn't the worst thing you can do – but that grows corporate value in a linear fashion (all things being equal, 2x the sales makes the business 2x more valuable)."

"Working with intangible assets, including brands, the relationship is geometric (a brand that's 2x as better will produce a 10x increase in business value)."

"When you're in a linear world, such as short-term sales activation, you should make linear decisions. When you're in a geometric world, such as long-term value creation, you should make geometric decisions. Which broadly means being bold enough to do things that might not work. At the racecourse, odds are short on 'dead certs'. In business, returns from 'dead certs' are small for exactly the same reason."

But one problem is that high-tech startup companies – in my specific example – are often funded by venture capitalists who also sit on their boards. Those VCs rarely want to "do things that might not work" because they need to guarantee returns for their limited partner investors. (And then we wonder why only 5% of VC funds even beat the market.)

Regardless, financial knowledge is something that marketers turned off – but we need to turn it on again. Especially today. We should always try things that might not work – but we need to explain the potential financial benefits beforehand.

Those who succeed will save their budgets and grow the value of their companies the most during recessions.

The Promotion Fix is an exclusive column for The Drum contributed by global keynote and virtual marketing speaker Samuel Scott, a former journalist, newspaper editor and director of marketing in the high-tech industry. Follow him on Twitter. Scott is based out of Tel Aviv, Israel.

100 Types of Content: The Definitive Guide for Marketers - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 02 Aug 2020 07:00 AM PDT

Content is power.

It comes in countless forms, and each of those forms can be pivoted into countless permutations.

Think your about page has to be text?

Think again.

The world of media is at your fingertips: video, images, audio, and even GIFs.

They're each engaging on their own, but, use them in combination and you'll be making powerhouse content.

You can also get a ton of mileage out of a single piece of content by repurposing it.

A how-to blog is not just a blog – it's the script for an explainer video, or a shareable infographic, or the base of an e-book.

Each form reaches a different set of eyes and expands your network.

Ready to learn more?

Check out these 100 types of content to dive into getting the most mileage out of your content.

1. About

Your "about us" content is some of the strongest content you can create for your brand.

It positions you or your company as a market leader, earns trust, and builds a human connection – if it's done well.

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Here's how we do it:

Search Engine Journal About Us

In three sentences, we outline our team's mission, a snippet of our history, and how we serve our audience authority content.

2. App

Great apps don't often start from scratch.

Just look at Gabriel Wyner, who pivoted his best-selling book "Fluent Forever" into a language-learning app.

3. Audiobook

Reach your audience on the go by adding an audio-component to an existing e-book.

For example, Ryan Holiday's Growth Hacker expands his book audience to include listeners by adding an Audible audiobook.

Audible's easy self-production publisher platform, ACX, makes this accessible for everyone.

4. Augmented Reality

Want to make your brand part of everyday life?

Pokemon Go is an amazing example: they caught the casual mobile gaming network, reaching a whole new set of fans.

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5. Awards

Awards are great for eliciting a response from professionals – and also generating content.

Look no further than the U.S. Search Awards.

Every year, they hand out awards to top SEO and marketing professionals.

6. Behind the Scenes

Team building, project progress, and culture are all great places to start for behind the scenes content.

Facebook shows off their behind-the-scenes London engineering office with this exclusive look.

7. Blog Post

Think of your blog as the hub for all of your wide-reaching content.

Our strategy at Search Engine Journal: frequent, high-quality posts to maximize traffic growth.

8. Cartoon / Comic

Need a laugh?

Marketoonist shows us how it's done: avoid tone-deaf marketing, keep it simple, and put out new cartoons frequently.

9. Case Study

Think a case study has to be a dry, visually boring pdf to be professional?

Hubspot begs to differ: they engage with statistics, images, testimonials and more.

10. Calendar

Great if your brand deals in local events and conferences.

Check out Amelia to build your own events calendar.

11. Cause

Causes take a brand from interesting to admirable.

Axe uses purpose-driven content to confront an issue and re-orient toward a human focus.

12. Certification Program

Up-level your authority by creating an online course or certification program.

Moz Academy provides polished, straightforward information about exactly what you can expect to learn.

13. Challenge

Challenges can be used to mobilize your audience.

Just look at NaNoWriMo, a nonprofit that hosts an annual novel-writing challenge.

Their dedicated community stays engaged all year long.

14. Cheat Sheet

What does a successful cheat sheet look like?

Marketing Insider Group knows: they teach beginners how to format a killer blog in a single image and 13 words.

15. Checklist

What better to exemplify a checklist than a checklist for writing checklists?

Create an objective-focused, breakdown with simple points, and consistent formatting.

16. Clickbait

Bad clickbait is all surface-level, but you can use the same tactics for high-quality content.

Search Engine Journal does this by using the listicle format, emotional words, and bringing unique value to the conversation.

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17. Co-branded

When two brands partner to form a new product or service, that's co-branding.

A great example of this is PayPal and Honey, a match which magnifies the goal of maximizing your money.

18. Collaborative / Co-created Content

Collaborative content dramatically expands your audience with each contributor you add.

The bonus: guest posts, interviews, and contributor quotes add a ton of value to your content.

19. Company Culture

You can reveal a lot about company culture in just the form you present it.

Here's how: Scribe Writing's amazing culture bible is a publicly editable Google Doc.

20. Comparison

This content is great for outlining:

  • Pros and cons
  • Your product vs another
  • Features available at different price points
  • Your ideal customer's journey to conversion

Whatever your aim, be bold, but bottle up your bias.

Take Growth Marketing Pro, for example: a quick-to-digest graphic highlights their rating, audience, and cost.

21. Content Library / Resource Center

If you're reading this, it's likely you found our resource library.

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It's chock-full of ebooks, the history of Google algorithm updates, podcasts, and webinars.

Google Algorithm History

22. Contest

A contest is a great way to attract new followers and boost engagement from your loyal audience.

Take Upwork: they asked for success stories in exchange for a chance to win $1,000.

23. Course

The world of digital marketing never sleeps, and that means your followers are constantly looking for ways to level up their skills.

Social Creators (an education company focused on storytelling) immediately boost their credibility and show expertise with a single high-quality image.

24. Curated Content

Great for link-building and widening your audience, curated content comes in 3 main forms: your content, content from around the web, or a mix of both.

Check out Brain Pickings for curated content with a unified focus.

25. Data: Analysis

Original data is valuable. Original data + analysis? Priceless.

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WordStream has done this incredibly well over the years.

For example, WordStream looked at how COVID-19 impacted Google Ads results in 21 industries – and also provided actionable tips on how to minimize the impact.

26. Data: Journalism

Put simply, data journalism is storytelling using data.

FiveThirtyEight are kings of data journalism, especially when it comes to politics

Check out their The Atlas of Redistricting – which used data to draw up alternative congressional maps to encourage more competitive elections.

27. Data: Visualization

Visual content is addictively readable.

Charts and graphs are a simple way to show a large amount of data without getting caught up in the nitty-gritty.

Visualized data can take the form of size comparison, like Reuter's chilling graphics on the single-use plastic crisis.

28. Day in the Life

This type of content was made for video.

Elif Hiz combines an authentic, behind-the-scenes style with a dressed-down approach to real challenges she faces as a digital marketing manager.

29. Demo / Product Tour

Transformative product demos not only show how awesome the product is, but also how it will help people achieve the outcomes they're looking for.

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Take GoPro's HERO 8 Black + Max demo – it's visceral, edge-of-your-seat content and it shows the kind of extreme lifestyle many GoPro users aspire toward.

30. Diagram

Maybe you have a complicated idea you'd like to introduce.

Maybe you'd like to break down a product and show exactly how it works (guts first).

Diagrams – like the Social Media Transit Map – quickly and beautifully show interconnectivity.

31. Dictionary

Want to educate your followers on need-to-know industry terms?

Hootsuite's social media glossary is a great example of providing valuable definitions that bolster their brand-specific authority.

32. Easter Egg

Like their colorful real-world counterparts, this hidden content makes us smile.

That's because it can show a brand's silly side, like Google's Dino Run Game, which only appears on Chrome if your internet connection's gone out.

33. Ebook

Search Engine Journal Ebooks

Think of ebooks as a deep-dive on your most popular content, like our Complete Guide to Holiday Marketing.

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Offering free ebooks is also an excellent way to grow your email list.

34. Email

Emails can offer information on upcoming webinars, motivate action, and way more.

Craft outstanding subject lines for a higher open rate use emotional words, second person (you, your), and keep it simple.

35. Ephemeral Content

In the blink of an eye (or a few seconds, anyway), it's gone.

Think: Snapchat – it engages the FOMO-instinct and elicits immediate action.

36. Events: In-Person

There's no substitute for live events.

That's why the Content Marketing Institute leverages summits and award ceremonies as part of their brand strategy.

37. Events: Virtual

Now more than ever, e-conferences and virtual events are essential.

A virtual event could be as simple as livestreaming on YouTube or Facebook – or as complicated as hosting an eSummit with thousands of attendees.

38. Explainer

Satisfy that knowledge-hungry urge and mobilize your audience.

PBS Eons kick major butt in the education market, with relevant merch connected to their smart content.

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39. Fact Check

Want to expose fake news?

Corrective uses raw investigative journalism to shine a light on the truth.

40. Facts

Let facts triumph over fiction.

Search Engine Journal often compiles relevant and useful facts aimed at helping marketers do their jobs better.

41. Failures

Failure can be humbling – it can also be endearing.

Content Marketing Institute shows their vulnerable side by acknowledging failures and showing how they've grown.

42. FAQ

FAQs build trust and transparency.

Line's image-based FAQs are easy to read and align with their brand.

43. Forums

Reddit can be intimidating.

Redditors refuse to be marketed to – but they will participate as an honest focus group.

Insurance company TransAmerica used their conversations on Reddit to create new content.

44. Game

Make content marketing more fun with games.

Try tools like The Training Arcade, where you can create a game tailored to your target audience.

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45. Gated

Want your audience to feel special?

Exclusive content – like Patreon supporters-only content – rewards your followers for their engagement.

46. GIFs

It's no secret the new language of the internet is GIFs.

Nerd Fitness harnesses them to explain exercises and include readers in inside jokes.

47. Gossip

Everyone loves a bit of hot gossip.

That's why People uses rumors as a jumping-off point for discussion and employs clickbait headlines to hook readers.

48. Guest Post

Whether you are posting on a third-party site, or a guest blogger is posting on your blog, guest posts are an incredible way to expand your reach and talk to new audiences.

New to guest posting? Ace your first one by following Quicksprout's checklist.

49. Guide

In-depth, definitive, ultimate – all three of these words describe a deep-diving guide on any topic.

Our Link Building Guide is extensively researched and easy to digest.

50. Hiring & Recruiting

Help aspiring employees understand what you're looking for.

LinkedIn quickly outlines criteria on its streamlined, eye-catching platform.

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51. How-To

Two rules of thumb keep your how-to's sharp: relevance and authenticity.

Optin Monster hits it out of the park with How to Make Money on Instagram.

52. Human Interest

This type of content is all about positivity.

Inspire your audience with growth-focused stories like Bold Content's high-quality videos.

53. Humor

Laughter is the best medicine, and it's also some of the best marketing.

Scott Adams builds camaraderie with his audience through hilarious cartoons.

54. Images: Stock

Stock photos and images add a professional polish to any content.

User-submitted photos on Pexels are high-quality and millennial-oriented.

55. Images: Original

Want to see your images all over the web?

Mark Smiciklas crafts high-quality graphics, expanding his follower-base without a tremendous effort.

56. Infographic

Easy to skim, visually appealing infographics help readers digest (and share) data.

Check out Venngage for amazing examples and templates.

57. Interview / Q&A / AMA

Want to increase your authority on a topic?

Interview an expert, or try an AMA session on Reddit – Bill Gates took what he learned and repurposed it into tons of cutting-edge content.

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58. Investigative

You don't have to be a journalist to investigate a mystery or debunk some long-held beliefs.

You don't need to invest tons of hours into an expose.

The truth is out there – in the form of accurate facts, data, or quotes.

All you have to do is go find it.

Here's a simple example: 10 Facts You Think You Know About SEO That Are Actually Myths.

59. Landing Page

It's your home base, so it pays to make it shine.

Our eye-catching landing page features three hot stories in a moving carousel.

60. Listicle

Here are 3 reasons listicles are awesome:

  • They're skimmable.
  • They're straightforward.
  • People love lists.

7 Awesome SEO Tools Offering a Free Trial is a stellar example.

61. Magazines

Whether print or online, publishing a magazine is a great way to make sure there's always fresh, expert content on your website.

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Check out Forbes for high-quality examples.

62. Maps

We can't pass this content type without mentioning one of the most-searched maps on the web in 2020: the Johns Hopkins live COVID-19 tracker.

It converts complicated, global data into a digestible map.

63. Memes

One does not simply make a new meme – it's all about community iteration.

BuzzFeed combines memes to connect with an internet-hip audience and give them an inside-joke chuckle.

64. Microsite

It's exactly what it says on the tin: compact, simple, and to the point.

Collaborative Fund uses a fun infographic to highlight the effect car sharing will have on the future.

66. News: Analysis

Take your audience on an in-depth journey.

Politico produces reputable, bleeding-edge analyses, raising the value of the entire publication.

67. News: Breaking

This just in: by-the-seat-of-your-pants content is a great tactic for maintaining reader engagement.

Adweek nails it with breaking news in the marketing niche.

68. News: Company

Have a new product or service?

Announce it with company news.

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Check out SpaceX's innovative coverage of their new product, rightly reframed as history-making news.

69. News: Current Affairs

Create content that discusses how important happenings in the world are impacting your business, market, or niche right now.

The obvious example for 2020: The impact of COVID-19 is an opportunity to create content that will inform and help your audience.

Search Engine Journal did this by offering several articles on the impact of COVID-19.

70. News: Industry News / Recap

Google and social media platforms are constantly changing.

Our news section provides the latest on Google shifts, SEO, social media updates, and more.

71. Newsletter

Keep your audience in the loop.

We optimize our newsletter by formatting for all devices and making sure to add eye-catching images.

72. Opinion

This content type has many names:

  • Argumentative
  • Rant
  • Perspective
  • Commentary
  • Thinkpiece

For an amazing example of a smart, authentic opinion piece, read Mark Ritson's Marketing in the Time of COVID-19.

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73. Opposing Perspectives

Duke it out!

Steven Crowder's "Change My Mind" prompts live discussion on tough issues.

74. Paid Tools

All high-quality content goes through rigorous proofreading before going live.

Tools like Grammarly provide free basic service, and in-depth attention for paid users.

75. PDF

Releasing a PDF is a great way to establish authority on a subject.

Check out Deloitte for a high-quality example.

76. Personal Narrative

Let your vulnerable side shine.

Noelle Stevenson deeply humanizes her image by exposing her difficult personal journey in "The Fire Never Goes Out".

77. Photo Gallery

Whether in a carousel format or a single page, photos boost engagement and drive clicks.

Expedia uses photos to sell not just a great trip, but a lifestyle.

78. Plugin

Developing a plugin for your particular niche helps your brand gain traction in the WordPress Sphere.

Check out MonsterInsights for a killer example.

79. Podcast

Podcasts come in three main forms:

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80. Poll / Survey

Ask your audience exactly what you want to know.

SurveyMonkey's Facebook survey gathers info to use as fodder for future content.

81. Predictions

Evidence-based speculation shows confidence and expertise.

Check out our webinar for an evolving prediction about the future of SEO in 2020.

82. Presentation

Who says a slide deck has to be boring?

Boost engagement with a TED Talk, like Dan Cobley's evergreen presentation.

83. Press Release

Have a major announcement?

Consider sending the details to news outlets in your niche.

Check out awesome examples of using press releases for events from McDonald's.

84. Profile: Company / Business / Brand

Consider introducing your company with a brief video that profiles your company, business, or brand in a way that humanizes you to your followers.

Phillips uses this method to share their business journey.

85. Profile: Personal

For your personal blog and your guest posts, a catchy bio is essential.

Check out Ann Handley's bios: in both her short and long version, her personality (and authority) shine through.

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86. Promotion

Associate your brand with all your favorite content creators.

Here's a great example: SquareSpace announces promo codes via podcasts and YouTube channels.

87. Quiz

From silly to educational, everyone loves a fun quiz.

Clickhole is a great example of how to get satirical.

88. Research Report

Poll or quiz your followers and turn it into original research.

Looking for ideas? MarketResearch.com has tons.

89. Screenshots

Got tech-related content?

Explaining a tool, method, or feature?

Check out The Smart Blogger – blogging leader Jon Morrow uses screenshots to help readers quickly get tech in-use.

90. Services

Show what you can do when it comes to your services.

SalesForce optimizes for skimming by using checklists, images, and stats.

91. Social Media

This enormous category of content's core element is right in the name: social.

Check out how we maintain our brand across platforms, while directly connecting with our audience in real-time.

92. Sponsorships

The new trend in sponsorships: supporting up-and-comers.

Blue Apron reaches a new audience by sponsoring podcasts outside of their niche.

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93. Statistics

Relevant statistics are a great tactic to improve your researched content.

It adds more power to your content to quote and source the right statistics.

In fact, using statistics in blogs is proven to improve customer trust. (Yes, that's a statistic example! From HubSpot.)

Two great sources we recommend: Pew Research Center and Statista.

94. Testimonials

Let your customers do the talking for you!

Testimonial content is some of the best content to pull in ideal leads that share the same pain points.

For example, Hubspot brings ideal customers to the forefront to demonstrate the proveable value.

95. Tools

Tools can be a lifesaver (and expensive).

But free tools? Invaluable.

In addition to tools, calculators can be another popular type of content for your website.

And did we mention they're great link magnets? Check out How to Earn Links by Creating Free Tools for examples.

96. Video

Video is a powerful format type.

What's more: you can easily repurpose other content formats into a video.

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For example, Julia McCoy turns each single YouTube video she produces into a blog and an email campaign.

Here are a few types of awesome video styles:

  • Live – Unedited and off-the-cuff
  • Video: 360 – Perfect for travel vloggers
  • Video: Playlists – Curated for easy viewing
  • Video: Recorded – Polished, produced, or bare-bones

Joe Rogan streams his podcast live on YouTube (soon, Spotify), which extends his audience and adds a visual element not available to audio-only listeners.

97. Webinar

Whether a webinar is live or on-demand, it connects growing professionals with experts.

Search Engine Journal hosts regular webinars based on white-hot industry trends.

98. Whitepaper

Help your leads make an informed decision before taking action.

Content Marketing Institute's whitepaper library features reports demonstrating the viability of brands.

99. Wiki

In an industry with lots of complicated terms?

Seobility simplifies with a niche-specific wiki.

100. Why

Explainer content can be powerful.

An unanswered question is an incredible hook.

Why an Audience Analysis Is Necessary to SEO is an amazing example of why this type of content has to be part of your repertoire.

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Build the Right Types & Boost Your Brand: Content Is Everywhere

Every piece of content begins with an idea.

Once you have that great idea, you can use this list of content types to pick the format that will best showcase that idea.

And never limit yourself to one idea, one format.

One idea can be repurposed into multiple formats – text, video, or audio.

The only limit is your imagination!

By creating all the formats when it comes to great content, you're sure to reach a gigantic, varied audience, build your brand name, and cater to a wide variety of formats your audience loves and consumes.

Go ahead – choose one and get started.


Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita

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