Content Types and Ideas Guide

Take your Content Marketing Strategy to the next level!

Types of Content that Can Help You Tell Your Brand’s Story

This is Chapter 3 from the Content Types and Ideas Guide.

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What is a Brand Story?

Your brand story is essentially everything you do, each aspect of your business or brand – from the colors, the texture of your packaging and business cards, the office design you create, to the staff you hire is all an important part of your brand story. And the point of all these aspects, specific features is to reflect the reality about your brand, back to your target audience.

So, the story of your brand and what you represent needs to be out there. This story contains several messages that also talk about your values, what you stand for, your hopes and dreams as a brand.

Now, these messages can be written in many ways. There are several content types you can share with your readers.

Which type of content works best for you? Check out the different content types below and decide. But, when deciding on the content types you want to approach, make sure to always keep your target audience in mind. 😉

How a story makes a stronger, creative content

If you want people to get to know who you are and feel free to engage with your brand, you need a story. Which means you need content. Why a story? Because the story is the one that really sticks to people, the content is simply the vehicle, the tool if you will that helps you create the connection through a story.

It’s important to be able to generate emotion through your story because emotions are essential to creating a connection with your reader through the content you provide. Why emotions? Well, emotions play a key role in your customers’ buying decision – mostly because emotions influence the buying decision itself.

The good news is that there are great ways to tell your brand story, particularly through visual content. In fact, the benefit of communicating through visual content is scientifically proven to help you better connect with people.

For instance, by using video content to communicate your story, you can benefit from triggering the type of emotions that mirror what we see on screen and what we hear the speaker saying.

Additionally, static images, with a well-crafted copy that talks about a solution to a specific problem, will quickly capture interest and trigger emotional responses.

What’s the simplest way to tell your brand’s story?

Here are the 5 ways to tell your story through creative content:

  1. Tell one story and tell it well – be straightforward, clear and simple in your message. When your message is clear, even a tweet or a Facebook post can tell your story.
  2. Make your story relevant enough for people to engage with your message – regardless of whether your story (creative content) is interesting, valuable, engaging, educational or inspirational, it needs to be relevant. And remember, it’s not about you – it’s about your reader.
  3. Creative design is your friend – besides showing personality in your voice, in the way you express yourself, you need to be able to do the same through visuals. Try to express your brand’s personality and tell your story through images as well. Use visuals to stand out from the crowd.
  4. Approach your content with honesty – it’ll show integrity, high values, and standards. The way we approach content talks about our values.
  5. Be transparent in your message – when creating your content focus on why you are doing what you are doing, not just what you are doing. The WHY is basically the purpose of your company, the cause, or the belief that drives your organization

✍️ Bottom line:

Tell your story with everything you do or write. Every piece of content you create is another tiny piece of that story, and it will always evolve. Your job is to make sure it’s evolving in the right direction and it serves the customer.

What’s the reason your brand/business exists? The answer should be in the story you tell. So tell your story through your brand’s personality, make it as simple as possible and let it connect you to your customer through creating trust.

And when you tell your story keep in mind that customers will buy your story first, not your product. Customers buy the ‘why’ not the ‘what’. If they believe and connect to your ‘why’ then you can rest assured that they’ll buy your product/service as well.

The ultimate goal of your story is to connect you to your customers, so keep it real and honest and let it live on by always providing the best possible experience to your customers.

Here are some story ideas to inspire you:

  • Questions and Answers (Q&A)
  • Quotes
  • Lists
  • How To’s
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • Product Review

Tips

1. Keep in mind that brand storytelling isn’t about your company. It’s actually about your customers – about the value they get out of engaging with you and your product or service.

2. Brand storytelling isn’t as much about what you write on your webpage at the ‘About’ section, it’s actually more about how you manage to communicate your message and your values to your customers. Be human, be real, be conversational in your writing.

3. Make sure to study, focus on and truly understand what customers are saying about you. Identify specific patterns in what they are saying, and use this information wisely when creating your brand’s story.

For more tips on how to tell your brand’s story, you can check out the Content Marketing Institute’s ’10 Steps to Start Your Content Marketing Hero’s Journey’.

The Types of Content That People Like to Share

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Attracting attention and traffic through content marketing is getting harder and harder. Not to mention turning that attention and traffic into an engagement.

But what about turning engagement into leads and customers? Or even loyal customers?

You’ve guessed it, it’s not easy at all. Especially that when it comes to content, the standards are very high nowadays.

So, what can you do about it? How can you succeed in creating the right content that people would actually be interested to share?

In order to get your content shared, you need to make sure it’s:

  • Informative
  • Engaging
  • Educational
  • Inspiring

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, it gets easier once you have a strategy in place.

And your strategy should definitely include the types of content that your audience is interested in reading and obviously, it needs to be valuable enough to get re-shared.

But keep in mind, consumers do not treat all types of content equally. This is also because some types of content are simply just more engaging with greater potential for viral sharing than others.

And if we were to create a list with the content types that seem to be more preferred by people, then the following content is proven to be especially effective at attracting attention and engagement on the web. 👇

1. Statistics and facts

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Image Source: https://www.bondcap.com/report/itr19/#view/161

2. Genuine images of people or personal photos

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3. Infographics

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Image Source: Venngage

4. Articles with multiple images

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5. How To’s

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6. Long-form content

7. Quotes as an image

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8. Coupons and discounts

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9. Educational videos

10. Memes

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11. News articles

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Obviously, there can be other content that people can pick up and enjoy sharing, but these are just some of the most popular ones that are known to be shared more often. So, don’t get stuck in this list, just use it as a point of reference.

The Types of Content That Is Most Shared on Social Media

Knowing what your target audience likes to share on social can bring your business many benefits as you’ll know exactly what to post in order to achieve the success you want by getting re-shared.

So, basically, if you know what to share you can enjoy great outcomes when it comes to the success of your social posts. And, if you also know the different types of content that work best on each platform, even better. Why? Because you may have a different audience on LinkedIn than you have on Facebook – which means that what works on Facebook may actually have the opposite outcome on LinkedIn.

And even if you don’t have a different audience on all social platforms, even if the same people follow you, then you should definitely not share the same content on all of the channels you are present on.

The question is, what should you post and where?

Facebook

Quizzes are the most engaging type of content on Facebook. What’s the reason why we love to share quizzes on Facebook?

Well, apparently when we create quizzes and share the results of our quiz with our friends on Facebook, we allow them a glimpse into who we are, what we like, and what we value – and this feeds our ego and gives us some sort of enjoyment.

Have a look at some of the most shared quizzes I found shared by BuzzFeed (obviously they had more over time, but these were the ones I looked into when I wrote this 😀).👇

  • What State Do You Actually Belong In?
  • What City Should You Actually Live In?
  • What Career Should You Actually Have?
  • What Kind Of Dog Are You?
  • Which Decade Do You Actually Belong In?

My personal favorite: “What Kind Of Dog Are You?”. 😄 Yours?

Let’s carry on and look at some results of studies that show the following details to remember when posting on Facebook: 👇

  • The best number of words to opt for when it comes to an article shared on Facebook is 2000-2500.
  • Articles with 2000-2500 words seem to have the most Facebook shares, at an average of 7846.8 shares.

What about the videos that we share on this social platform?

  • The optimum length of a video on Facebook that performs the best is 4 minutes, or 4 minutes and a few seconds.

Also, according to general opinions and studies, long videos perform much better than short ones. In fact, the worst-performing videos were the ones with 0-20 seconds length and the ones that are 40-60 seconds long.

LinkedIn

When it comes to LinkedIn, people love to read articles. And if we looked at the number of words in the most shared articles on LinkedIn, we would find that the magic number is no less than 3500-4000. 😲

Yes, LinkedIn users prefer to share long-form content.

  • As it turns out articles with 3500-4000 words are your best choice as the average shares on LinkedIn is 251.9 shares.
  • Obviously, on the opposite side of the spectrum are the articles with less than 500 words that perform the worst, with an average of 139.12 shares.

So, it’s quite obvious that LinkedIn users are interested to establish themselves as thought leaders and experts in their industry.

What do these long-form, detailed articles generally contain? Useful insights and relevant information backed by research.

How to write engaging articles people would want to read?

Simply create a format for your articles in a way that is easy to read, add lots of visuals that would be mixed in along with your content.

The type of content LinkedIn members seem to enjoy reading is generally actionable articles on self-improvement.

There are also some specific keywords people use in the titles of what seem to be popular articles on LinkedIn. Here are the most common ones you’ll be able to notice: 👇

  • habits
  • leader
  • career
  • mistakes
  • managers
  • Resume
  • lessons
  • Interview
  • employees
  • Trends
  • advice

So, what do you think is the meaning of the words “habits,” “lessons,” “advice,” “mistakes” and  “trends” on LinkedIn?

Well, here are two options:

→ LinkedIn members are specifically concerned to discover actionable tips on improving oneself

→ LinkedIn users are looking to understand what the future holds in their industries

And have a look at some other topics that receive a lot of engagement on LinkedIn: 👇

  • entrepreneurship
  • customer service
  • engineering
  • Productivity
  • eCommerce
  • marketing
  • Communication
  • education

Twitter

We all know Twitter and enjoy using this channel, but do you know which ones are the popular topics on Twitter? Well, it seems that these topics range from sports to climate change.

Here a few things you need to be aware of when sharing content on Twitter:

→ There are certain similarities between the audiences that hang out on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as between the content shared on these two social platforms.

→ Just as LinkedIn users, Twitter users are interested in sharing articles that are related to productivity, success, and entrepreneurship.

→ But, unlike LinkedIn users, Twitter users also like to share content unrelated to self-improvement.

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular topics of articles shared on Twitter: 👇

  • Vegan
  • Sports
  • Success
  • Productivity
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Psychology
  • Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Climate Change
  • Happiness
  • Giveaway

Other preferred topics on Twitter involve: travel, advertising, technology, health, content marketing.

And here are some more details to keep in mind when posting on Twitter: 👇

→ Article headlines on Twitter should be between 45-50 characters long.

→  Make sure to pay special attention to your headline length on Twitter because of its character limit.

→ The most-tweeted articles generally have 50 characters in their headline, although anywhere from 45-49 characters usually tend to perform well.

→  If you need to have a headline that’s over 50 characters long,  then 80 characters is the maximum length to for.

Pinterest

What dominates Pinterest? Recipes.

So if you happen to be a food publisher make sure to be as active as possible on Pinterest. Why?

Well, simply because food content is the #1 most pinned category on Pinterest. However, there are other types of content that are favored by Pinterest users.

So, what is the most pinned content on Pinterest? 👇

  • Food
  • Wedding
  • Art
  • DIY
  • Fashion + Style
  • Home Decor
  • Baby + Kids
  • Gardening
  • Beauty
  • Motivational & Inspirational Content

What else works well on Pinterest? Infographics.

In fact, infographics are a great way to break into Pinterest, so don’t hold back, get creative. 🖼️

Why Do People Share Content – The Psychology Behind It

I love it when the content I write gets shared, very satisfying. But even more satisfying is for me to understand why people do that. What drives them to share any type of content really?

So, I started doing my research to find out what’s the psychology behind this sharing behavior. And among the many information I found, here’s a New York Times Social Sharing Report that is a great summary of what’s going on – regarding social sharing – in the world we live in today.👇

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Image Source via Foundation

So, as you can see in the image above, social sharing has mostly to do with perception and feelings. To create relationships through the way we let others perceive us as well as how this will make us feel.

Could we then agree that social media is in fact all about relationships? Well, let’s see.

The first step is to understand the psychology behind social sharing. Otherwise, how could you possibly share any content that resonates with your audience? 🤔

What motivates your audience? What drives them?

Well, as mentioned in the image above, the New York Times study narrowed it down to five key motivations we need to be aware of as marketers. Here they are in more details and with the additional statistics: 👇

1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others – share useful information, encourage action 👇

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Image Source via Foundation

2. To define themselves to others – show people who they are 👇

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Image Source via Foundation

3. To grow and develop relationships – create connections 👇

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Image Source via Foundation

4. Self- fulfillment – feeling valuable 👇

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Image Source via Foundation

5. To tell people what they believe in and what causes or brands they support 👇

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Image Source via Foundation

As you can see, the psychology behind why people share content on social might be different from what you may have thought the reason was. Oh, but there’s more, so much more. So, if you are interested to go a little deeper and understand what people think, what their real motivation is, and the type of personalities behind your audience, check out the NYT study on the psychology of sharing. It is a great asset to get you started in understanding what type of content your target audience expects and would further share. 😉

Content Types and Ideas
Content Types and Ideas

Would you like to read the full Guide? Read the full guide to discover what types of content work best for you. 

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