Content marketing is marketing which focuses on producing content and using that to communicate your message to your target audience.

Content marketing has developed as a result of two trends:

  • Consumer sophistication:
    • Every day consumers are exposed to 3,500 marketing messages per day and this has resulted in two factors:
      1. Consumers only engage with the most unique marketing
      2. They are bored of ordinary marketing!
    • This more sophisticated consumer wants to be told more than just the functional features of the product or service – they want to be engaged in a story based (sometimes loosely) around the product or service
  • Rise of social media:
    • Social media has established itself as one of the most popular communication channels with hundreds of millions of posts being made per day. Organisations are keen to engage with people when they are on social media and that means that they need to post regularly. Content marketing provides material that organisations can post to their social media audiences

Broader Considerations:

Before considering the type of content that you should use, there are some other areas that you should think about:

  • Objective: what do you want to achieve from your content marketing? If you want people to read your content and explore your website, you will approach your campaign differently than if you wanted people to get in touch with you
  • Audience: considering the needs of your audience is the key to successful content marketing. You should think about where they will be when they see it (out of the home or in front of a computer), what their needs are, do they want to be entertained, educated, informed or something else. Will they actually engage with your content?
  • Distribution: before you have created your content, you should consider where and how you are going to distribute it. Will it be on social media and if so, which networks? Will you be promoting your content to a targeted audience or distributing organically?
  • Measurement: the metrics that you use to evaluate your campaign should be based around your objective. For example if you wanted your audience to read your article, you could measure impressions (the number of times that your article has been seen), the amount of time your audience spend on your article and the number of times that your audience has been shared by your audience, e.g. on social media

Types of Content

There are a lot of different types of content that can be used in content marketing. Your objective and what will engage your audience best will determine which type of content will work best for you.


  • A blog is a website where someone will write from their own personal perspective. It can include images and videos if appropriate and tend to be hosted on websites like WordPress
  • Blogs are a great way to show people things that they wouldn’t ordinary see, e.g. the day in a life of a doctor. Blogs do rely on people regularly contributing to it: you don’t want people to see that your blog hasn’t been posted on for months


  • Images are very popular on social media: indeed, there are social networks whose content is only images, e.g. Instagram, Pinterest
  • A wide range of images can be used for content marketing: high quality photos, humourous photos (where appropriate), photos with a quote, infographics, etc.
  • Your image should always be appropriate to the University, your content and your audience


  • Video is often the most engaging type of content. However, it is also the most time consuming and expensive content to produce
  • There are a number of different types of video content, such as live streaming video, gifs (short videos which continuously loop), tutorial, interview, etc. The one that works best will depend on your objective and your audience


  • Audio content, such as podcasts, allow people to consume content while on the go: there are over 250k podcasts on Apple’s iTunes store
  • You can create content fairly cheaply (often the sound quality of a mobile phone app is sufficient) and can host the content onto a website such as Soundcloud and embed the audio clip on a website

Long Form Content:

  • Long-form content is written content which is over around 1,000 words in length
  • Today’s consumers tend to engage with shorter content, but there is a [place for long-form content: for example, explaining the modules of a complex clinical masters will require more than a 280 character tweet
  • Long form content can be in the form of an article, e-book, press release or a white paper

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