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6 Short-Form Types of Content Marketing

Posted by Jessica Kumor on March 23, 2017


Novella or novel, which length is right for your target audience? That’s the question you have to ask yourself before creating a new piece of content. Short-form types of content marketing play a key role in engaging viewers and boiling down complex information into digestible portions.

After all, your potential customers may not appreciate an eBook or have time during the day to participate in a webinar. That doesn’t mean a content marketing strategy will fail your sales or engagement efforts. Instead it means you must select the right type of contenting to fit your buyers’ preferences. Short-form content like blog posts and case studies have the power to attract, convert, close and delight current and prospective clients if applied correctly. Learn more about these and other types of short-form content.


 1. Blog Articles

A blog is a core foundational element of a content and inbound marketing strategy and is critical to helping a company website generate demand. Blog articles provide the opportunity to create relevant content for current customers and prospects to strengthen relationships and develop thought leadership.

When to use them:

  • Blog articles represent the cornerstone of a demand generation strategy and are focused on educating customers about a topic and offering solutions to their problems
  • Search-optimized blog articles ensure you are at the right place at the right time as customers search for solutions

Typical standards:

  • Length: No fewer than 250 words
  • Format: Blog page

Click here to download the Blog Editorial Calendar Template today!

2. How-to Content

How-to content is the workhorse of any content and inbound marketing strategy. Everyone on the Internet is looking to learn how to do something faster, cheaper or better than others, which means this type of content can drive significant traffic, according to HubSpot. Use how-to posts when your topic has to do with educating your audience about how to do something they might not know how to do.

Identify key areas that are within your brand’s wheelhouse of expertise to determine opportunities for developing how-to content. By using your buyer persona research, you can ascertain what area someone may be looking to improve or what processes they want to start using.

When to use it:

How-to content can be used ungated or gated, depending on the topic, the buyer persona you’re targeting and the stage in the buyer’s journey

Typical standards:

  • Length: No less than 350 words
  • Structure: Includes instructions and a conclusion
  • Format: Blog posts, eBooks and presentation decks


3. Interviews or Q&A Content

Interviews in the form of Q&As are ideal for brands that wish to provide expert testimony about a process, new trend or concept, while showcasing an individual’s personality. Used by magazines for decades, Q&A-style articles enable your brand to include expert guests in your content organically and drive greater reach because of the expanded network they often provide.

When to use it:

  • Use an interview when you want to showcase an expert’s talent and personality, who might be unable to write a guest blog post
  • Interviews with guests are ideal for expanding network reach to new areas for greater brand promotion

Typical standards:

  • Length: No fewer than 400 words
  • Structure: Introduction, question and answer format and conclusion
  • Format: Blog post


4. Web Pages

Web pages make up your website and are the foundation of any online presence. Content on a page may provide thought leadership, case studies, product and service descriptions and more. Web pages make up the framework of your website and funnel customers to an intended action.

When to use them:

  • Web pages are ungated and ideally search engine and conversion optimized
  • Web pages provide business value, increase industry influence and improve customer reach

Typical standards:

  • Length: No fewer than 200 words
  • Format: Web page


5. Case Studies

Case studies provide a useful mechanism for understanding intangible products or services in action. Instead of telling customers why something works for a particular application, case studies demonstrate through factual storytelling.

When to use them:

  • Case studies are great resources for prospective customers and help build credibility
  • Customers who read case studies are further into the sales funnel and are looking for tangible evidence of the success of a service or product
  • Make case studies easily accessible and a key piece of a nurturing communications strategy

Typical standards:

  • Length: 1 to 4 pages
  • Structure: Includes a summary, challenge, approach and analysis of results
  • Format: PDF


6. E-newsletters

E-newsletters offer an opportunity for your brand to maintain relationships with current customers and intrigue prospective customers with your informative content and updates.

When to use them:

  • Segment readership by current and prospective customers to tailor newsletter content
  • Current customers should receive content that delights, offering instructional tips or insider information for community-building. E-newsletters also offer an ideal opportunity for the start of an upselling conversation.
  • Prospective customers should receive educational content that aligns with your brands service or product offerings, without becoming overly promotional

Typical standards:

  • Length: No less than three piece of content highlighted
  • Structure: Can offer up links to blog posts, eBooks, videos, kits and more
  • Format: Email

Does your marketing calendar require other types of content? Download the eBook “25 Types of Content Marketing” to discover a wide variety of content formats that can help increase current and prospective customer engagement, brand thought leadership and more.


Topics: Content Marketing

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