The competition in the content marketing space is higher than ever.
60% of marketers produce at least one new content asset every day.
How is that even possible?
One of the fastest ways is repurposing content. In other words, taking an asset and using its core messaging to create other pieces of content across your digital channels.
It may seem like a huge time suck to repurpose content, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll share frameworks and tools to help you save time slicing and dicing content. We’ll also show you 20 different content marketing formats that you can use for repurposing.
Let’s get started.
20 Content Marketing Formats
1. Blog posts
2. Pillar pieces
6. Data reports
7. Case studies
10. Email newsletters
16. Social media posts
17. User generated content
20. Guest posts
1. Blog Posts
The first thing many people associate with content marketing is blog posts—written content about topics or concepts related to your brand.
Here are a few reasons blog posts should be part of your content marketing strategy:
- One study found 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company through articles than ads.
- Blog posts are relatively easy to create as a content marketing format.
- Blog posts can help establish your brand as an authority on a specific topic.
- Blog posts can help drive traffic from search engines via SEO.
- Actionable or entertaining blog posts can go viral across social media.
This written content can also be converted into all the other content marketing formats mentioned below.
2. Pillar Pieces
An average blog post is now over 1,200 words—that’s 53% longer than six years ago.
If you stretch a blog post to over 3,000 words you have what we like to call a “pillar piece.” The goal of a pillar piece is to provide a full overview of a topic that’s more authoritative, well researched, and actionable than any other page on that subject.
Pillar pieces target highly trafficked keywords generating 1,000 or more searches per month. That way, brands can generate consistent new leads via Google searches.
Consider ways you can implement imagery into your existing content, or turn an old piece of content into an image.
4. Data Reports
Data reports contain original research based on surveys or data collected over time from your customers. For example, our State of Content Marketing shares data on how brands responded to COVID-19.
Since these reports contain original data, they can get your brand backlinks and shares across social media. You can also gate them behind a lead magnet as an alternative way to get people into your content marketing funnel.
If you have compelling data or a step-by-step guide, turn that content into an infographic.
You can even summarize sections of an article in an infographic. Like the one below on the stages of the content marketing funnel.
Meet your leads where they are and encourage dwell time on your site with video content marketing.
In a Wyzowl survey, 80% of marketers said video directly helped increase sales.
If you’re hosting a virtual event, you can even share panels and talks from your summit, like this panel on leading with purpose and empathy from Pros & Content Connect 2020:
You can also cut up your videos into short clips. Then post these teasers on social media to push traffic to your website. Here’s an example from Drift’s Elizabeth Hilfrank.
Pro-tip: LinkedIn’s feed algorithm (located on the home page) discourages external links in posts. If you include a link in your update, it will likely get less visibility on your connections’ feeds. As you can see above, Elizabeth instead added the link as a comment to her LinkedIn update.
7. Case Studies
Sometimes it’s way easier to believe your product’s great when you let your customers say that instead of you.
Case studies are success stories showing how a real customer overcame their problems using your products or services.
The most common content format for case studies contains three sections:
- Challenge: The problem your customer experienced before using your product.
- Solution: The specific services your customer started using and how your solution(s) helped solve their problems.
- Results: The specific results your customer enjoyed as a result of using your product or service.
Need help identifying the right existing customers to interview for a case study? Consider clients based in the industries you’re looking to target. Then find out if they are open to sharing specific results your product or service helped them achieve.
After creating a case study, you can repurpose it into other content marketing formats, including:
- Short videos on LinkedIn and other social media.
- Testimonials shared in emails and your website.
- Anecdotes you can mention and link to in articles.
More than 60 million people in the US listen to podcasts every week. With this content marketing format exploding in popularity, marketers are investing more and more in branded podcasts.
On the Pros & Content Podcast, marketing experts from Fortune 500 brands join Knotch CEO Anda Gansca to discuss their content strategies and career journeys.
Drive more traffic and revenue for your brand by creating an ebook.
Each chapter should include actionable takeaways that provide value to your reader.
You can also use ebooks to grow your email list.
Provide a preview of what the ebook contains to entice potential customers to provide their email address. Here’s an example from Invision:
Use OptinMonster to include an opt-in form on your website to get people to download the ebook.
Then use email marketing to nurture your new leads.
Ebooks can even be an interactive experience. Prophix's ebook shares how AI is impacting the finance industry.
The ebook features finance experts weighing in through audio clips. A virtual assistant helps readers navigate between sections and introduces new content.
10. Email Newsletters
Give your brand a weekly touchpoint to engage new and existing customers with an email newsletter.
Email newsletters as a content marketing format can include:
- Updates on new blog posts and other resources added to your website.
- Content curated from other websites that's intriguing to your target audience.
- Newsletter-exclusive content.
Your open rates and click-through rates (CTR) can show how engaged your subscribers are. But that’s the tip of the iceberg.
You can also gather newsletter feedback from your subscribers with email sentiment analysis.
Turn videos, guides, and other resources into a presentation you can share through SlideShare.
These presentation slides can go up as updates on LinkedIn, Slideshare’s parent company.
You can repurpose presentations and other visual content into webinars.
For this content marketing format, consider working with a partner brand to increase your webinar’s reach. Over the summer we worked with MikMak on a roundtable webinar series providing COVID-19 insights.
Give your customers a resource like a calculator that lets them work through a problem or estimate how much something costs them
If you need help measuring your team’s success, check out our content marketing ROI calculator.
Checklists and cheatsheets break down processes into simple steps that anyone can reference quickly.
Apple shared 30 creative activities kids can do on an iPad as a PDF checklist.
To create a checklist, layout your document in GoogleDocs or Canva. Then export as a PDF. Remember to keep each point succinct so that your audience will be able to reference the content quickly.
You can help your visitor save time and build trust through templates. Templates usually help by expediting the time it would take for a brand to perform a business task related to your product or solution.
For example, Groove, a CX platform, helps brands develop their customer personas with a free template.
16. Social Media Posts
Social media can help drive brand awareness and increase customer loyalty.
The content you choose to publish will depend on the platform and your goal. Each channel gives you the opportunity to engage with highly targeted audiences after you develop your social media content strategy.
17. User Generated Content
Your next campaign may encourage your social media followers to create their own content. User generated content, or UGC, is any content including videos, images, and reviews created by an unpaid contributor to your brand.
Brands can then take UGC ad share it on their social media, website, and other channels.
Dove invites women and non-binary individuals to submit photos for their #ShowUs campaign. With #ShowUs, Dove seeks to increase diversity and provide more authentic photos for use in the media.
Their UGC collection contains over 10,000 photos from 39 countries.
Whitepapers as a content marketing format are often used at the bottom of a marketing funnel. The three most common types of whitepapers are:
- Product-focused: An explanation of how your product works, including data and testimonials that reinforce its benefits.
- Key issue: Engage your audience and show your expertise by sharing in-depth research on one specific issue. With key issue whitepapers, marketers can tie back their solution to the problem they highlight.
- Listicle: Listsicle whitepapers are similar to the list-style format for blog posts. Like list blog posts, you can break down information into easier to consume sections.
19. Quizzes & Polls
Learn more about your site visitors and engage with them through quizzes and polls.
Helix Sleep’s mattress quiz captures their site visitors’ email address, name, age, height, weight, and sleep preferences.
With this information, they can provide a personalized mattress recommendation while building their email list.
20. Guest Posts
Guest posts come in two forms:
- Sponsored content: Content paid for by a brand and published in a third-party publication or on social media.
- Free guest posts: Branded content that a third-party website allows to be published on their owned content hubs because it provides value to their target audience.
Identify third-party publishers for your guest post campaigns with Knotch Blueprint’s Content Planning software. You can also keep track of your competitors’ sponsored content.
Here are a few important reasons to invest in guest posts:
- Guest posts can drive brand awareness on sites your target audience already visits.
- Guest posts can help your presence on organic search by providing you with more high-quality backlinks to your website (given that the third-party site has a high DA).
To check any website’s domain authority, use Ahref’s Website Authority Checker.
Content Marketing Formats: Wrapping Up
As you can see, there are many distinct content marketing formats. But to get started, all you need is one great piece of content as a launching point.
You can then repurpose it into as many different content marketing formats as you please.
After creating different types of content, you’ll see which formats resonate with your brand followers. Then you can make the most of your marketing budget and invest in the content marketing formats that drive the best results for your brand.