Updated: May 30, 2021
There are 4 major types of content in online marketing and they break down into several subgroups. When thinking about this, I tried to categorize different types of content based on which forms they are most associated with into a Venn diagram. The result was in part confusing, but also illuminating.
I broke the content down into Words, Videos, Images, and Sounds. I chose those four categories because I believe they are the main ways that we can express ourselves online. Think of the different types of content that you engage with every day and try to categorize them outside of these four major categories. Hint: you can’t.
1. Words When I think about words I imagine a wide variety of content. In terms of content marketing, it can be blogs, case studies, ebooks, and white papers. However, it can also be stories, poetry, emails, quizzes, guides, memes and so much more. This type of content is one of the most prevalent and you can find it accompanying the majority of the other major categories.
2. Videos Video content involves visual movement. Think of movies for example. Move-ies. Moving images or “Movers’’ as they are referred to in Avatar: Legend of Korra. In terms of marketing, I imagine YouTube videos, Tik Toks, tutorials, ads, and even influencer testimonials. This medium also goes into bigger forms that go beyond marketing for example movies, and shows.
3. Images We are visual creatures so we are attracted to big shiny and colorful images. When I think about images I imagine social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. I think of art, fashion posts, and photography as well. This is another prevalent category that often accompanies a variety of other forms (but more on that later.)
4. Sounds This one is a realm that is still ripe for exploration. At the moment we have podcasts, emerging social media platforms such as Clubhouse, radio ads, and of course: music. The reason why I say it is still ripe for exploration is that I see a lot less content that falls purely under this category.
These four major categories frequently overlap to create combined content mediums. For example, infographics combine words and images into an engaging experience that is verbally enlightening and visually pleasing. We have social media platforms such as YouTube that can be used for all 4 major types of content depending on your execution. Overall, all of these mediums are excellent spaces to explore for their own unique merits.