5 Types of Content That Work for Marketers

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Humor, values, and uniqueness are just a few of the content strategies that can propel a brand.

For marketers today a solid content strategy is mandatory.  Content that reverberates among consumers and across channels can no doubt bolster a company's image, introduce the brand to potential shoppers, and hopefully establish an emotional and psychological connection between the brand and its customers.

However, choosing the right content to market a brand—well, that can prove cumbersome. For even some of the savviest marketers, good content strategy requires an exhaustive effort to understand a number of factors, such as diverse products, varying industries, unique customer bases, and pressing consumer expectations. All of these affect which type of content works best for you.

Here, I've chosen five types of content for marketers to consider as you brainstorm: humorous, conscious, trendy, shocking, and unique. Each of these strategies has emerged as a successful approach for brand marketers who want to elicit customer reactions, remain memorable, prompt feedback, and ultimately garner sales.

LOL: Humorous content
You know the old adage: laughter is good for the soul. Apparently it can be good for branding, too.  Marketers who use humor continue to produce some of the most impactful campaigns. From the Snickers Super Bowl XLIV commercial featuring comedian Betty White to the onslaught of amusing brand tweets, it's the laughs that continue to draw customers.

And this next one is one of my faves. Taco Bell is running an engaging and hilarious Twitter campaign. In an attempt to push the fast food chain's new breakfast items, marketers asked followers to use the hashtag #ThatsLike to draw comparisons to awkward situations and the gauche choice of buying breakfast burritos from competing burger chains. Taco Bell then took some of the best customer ideas and made funny, animated videos. Compelling. Engaging. Memorable. Downright funny.

ECO: Social, conscious content

In a 2013 survey from Cone Communications, 70% of respondents pinpointed “personal relevance of cause” as the reason they chose to buy from one company over another. In other words, a growing number of consumers are gauging the conscious of a company before they drop dollars on brand products. And an increasing percentage of brand marketers are stepping up to the plate, meeting those social obligations; in fact many are establishing social values and creating purpose-filled content with goals that go beyond sheer profit.

Check out this inspiring, popular blog from sustainable apparel company, Alternative Apparel.

And outdoor apparel company Patagonia is an exemplary model in purpose marketing. Patagonia has spent the last three years discouraging its customers from buying its jackets at certain times of the year. With full-page ads in the New York Times that read “Don't Buy This Jacket,” Patagonia urges customers to hold onto items longer and to recycle. Sales of the jacket soared; increasing overall sales by a third just nine months after the campaign began in 2012.


FAD: Fashionable, trendy content

Brands with some of the most dedicated followers are those that create trends. Pantone, the color company, has done a great job creating trends with its Pantone Fashion Color Report; every season, the trends from this content inevitably surface in innumerable blogs written by fashion-loving consumers.

RAD: Unique content

Content that meets an unmet need and is unique can be powerful.  Love the Being Girl movement from Procter & Gamble which answers questions about puberty—queries that some bashful preteens and teenage girls might not want to ask. The campaign provides a trove of content, sparks interaction, and allows marketers to connect with consumers at an early age.

RAD: Unique content
Content that meets an unmet nice and is unique can be powerful.  Love the Beinggirl movement from Procter & Gamble which answers questions about puberty—queries that some bashful preteens and teenage girls might not want to ask. The campaign provides a trove of content and interaction, and allows marketers to connect with consumers at an early age.

OMG: Shocking, controversial, or inspiring content

This type of content can go exceedingly right—or horribly wrong. But if done correctly, marketers can spark attention and draw loyal customers to their brands. Brands that inspire, shock, or are simply willing to talk about the hot button issues through their content marketing can make an indelible mark on their target audiences. l love how Chipotle is using the real estate on cups and bags in its Cultivating Thought campaign to disseminate inspiring content from some of today's most celebrated writers.

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