Bricks and Feathers: The Two Types of Content You Need

Smart, valuable content sits at the hub of any digital marketing strategy, cultivating prospects into leads and establishing your company’s voice.

As a marketing technique, creating and distributing relevant and valuable content will attract and engage your clearly defined and understood target audience, driving profitable customer action by, in the words of Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, “delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.”

By thinking like a publisher, brands can (or, really, should) produce utility and value with every blog post, webinar, podcast and premium white paper they produce.

A blended content marketing strategy should include a mix of larger content productions (research reports, white papers, a podcast, video series) and simple text and photo content published via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on – what Chris Sietsema, Social & Digital Operations Lead at Convince & Convert, calls “bricks and feathers”.

Feathers: “Feather” content establishes and maintains a stream of communication between a brand and its audience. This very blog post is an example of a content feather. Views, clicks and shares are the primary metrics used in evaluating the success of “feather” content.

Examples of content “feathers” include:

  • Social media posts: Quick status updates or news distribution, designed to prompt conversation and encourage engagement.
  • Blog posts: Blog posts can be a part of an ongoing content delivery stream, proactively answering customer questions and providing insights about your product, service and their place in your industry. They also provide an opportunity to establish some level of thought leadership, demonstrating your expertise within your business category.

Need ideas for your feather content? The Vocus Marketing Suite delivers them to your desk: take a demo here!

Bricks: Content “bricks” require more time and resources to execute properly, but have the potential for greater SEO benefit by attracting high quality and relevant links, repeat visitors to your site, and a means to grow your email list organically.

Examples of content “bricks” include:

  • Case studies and white paper research: Case studies and research reports are undeniably valuable as evergreen content. Downloads can be tracked accurately and gating the download with a lead-capture form.
  • Podcasts: Podcasts can be a powerful content tool that builds rapport and familiarity with your prospect, closing the conversion loop. With the ubiquity of mobile internet and smartphones, podcast consumption is on the rise and gives your business an opportunity to use a media form (audio) that has been underutilized by brands.
  • Video series: “Talking head” videos, distributed via YouTube and embedded on your site, can be used to answer customer inquiries and respond to comments. Warby Parker has made excellent use of video as part of its customer outreach and marketing campaign

There’s no ideal mix of content bricks to feathers. Depending on your specific business category and target audience, you’ll discover the mix that works for you through experimentation and measurement.

Does your organization produce both content types?