Many immediately associate the concept of content marketing with B2B; lengthy white papers filled with fancy industry-speak that are distributed to high-level executives through channels like LinkedIn and downloaded via a lead-generating landing page form. While content marketing can certainly include large, educational pieces like white papers and e-books, B2C content marketing opens the door to many additional forms of content that are much more suitable for a non-business audience. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “my audience wouldn’t read a 5-10 page PDF, so content marketing doesn’t make sense for my business,” take a look at these four alternative types of content that B2C marketers and brands can create:
1. Video – Video content is perfectly suited for B2C content marketing because this form of content is easily consumed and shared on a variety of social media channels, and a great way to communicate with audiences of all education levels. Though video may seem expensive or out of reach for those with small marketing budgets, the rise of mobile and the popularity of video platforms like Vine and (now) Instagram have made the “Oh, I just shot this with my iPhone” look and feel appropriate for brands, too. Though you should still invest in very basic equipment like a tripod and lighting, a film crew and video production team isn’t necessarily required for creating unique and engaging videos that can be used for content marketing.
2. Podcasts – Though audio may be considered more of an “old school” media, 93% of adults in the US still listen to the radio, and 25% regularly listen to online podcasts. While videos should mostly be short and sweet, a podcast should be at least 15 minutes long, so there may be some more upfront planning involved as far as deciding what you are going to say. Production costs, however, can be kept relatively low with just a mic, audio software, and a few other pieces of optional equipment. For audio content marketing, keep in mind that because being visually-engaged isn’t required, users are likely doing other things while listening to your podcast – working out, traveling, cleaning, etc. – so you may need to go the extra mile to maintain engagement and get your message across.
3. Infographics – Visual content marketing tends to work across all industries. Like video, they are easily consumed and highly shareable, plus they’re a great form of a content to use as part of a blogger or influencer outreach program. Infographics are great for telling a story, sharing statistics, or visually displaying list (top ten, etc.) content. While graphic designers with experience building infographics are the best for creating this content, there are also a variety of free infographic tools available that can turn anyone into a budding designer. If you want to give it a go yourself, try Visual.ly, Piktochart, or Infogr.am.
4. BuzzFeed – Ok, so this isn’t necessarily a content type in and of itself, but it does drive home the point that content marketing is more than just boring white papers. With almost 20 million uniques a month, BuzzFeed – although hardly the first to do this, but possibly the best – has created a business around content marketing. It may seem like this growing site is filled only with funny articles and best photo lists of cats, corgis, and things that remind you of your childhood, but many of BuzzFeed’s posts are actually sponsored content from well-known brands like Virgin Mobile, Taco Bell, and GE (you can view the BuzzFeed case studies from these brands here). However, because this branded content doesn’t sound like an advertisement or even read like something that comes from a brand at all, these posts are often widely shared and highly viral.
People of all demographics, education levels, and interests consume numerous pieces of content on a daily basis. If you want your brand on their radar, it’s simply a matter of finding the form of content that will suite your audience best.