Marketers Speak Out: 3 Types of Content That Perform Best

Written by Laura Roeder

On January 24, 2017

Remember when marketing content used to be just blog posts?

Now there are so many different types of content you can create!

Podcasts. Live video. Interpretive hacky sack performances. Telling your story can take a lot of forms these days!


But you’re only one person – and there are only so many hours in the day.

(22? 23? Something like that.)

When it’s time to whip something up, you probably have to choose!

So – if you had to name the ONE type of content that performs the best, which would it be?

That’s what a recent survey asked hundreds of content marketing experts – and while similar surveys have focused on choosing multiple favorites, this one made everybody choose just one.

So place your bets!

The question is: what type of content performs best for your company?

Only three types earned more than 10% of the vote.

And they are…


Technically, this wasn’t the TOP choice in the survey.

The top answer was actually “Research/Original Data.”

But that can take a lot of forms, and be applied in a lot of different ways – it isn’t really a type of content so much as a subject.

(Another popular choice was “Product Reviews,” which could similarly take different forms – like a podcast, a blog post, or a strongly-worded letter hurled into the sea.)

So we’re focusing strictly on the types of content marketers say are their top performers – and with that in mind, infographics were the most popular choice.

Makes sense, given the popularity of presenting data and research – not to mention that 74% of marketers use visuals in 70% of their social media marketing posts, and infographics have historically earned as much as 3X the social engagement as other types of content.

Want to learn more about infographics? Check out this one from Siege Media:

Siege Media Infographic.png


See? So engaging! So pretty! It’s fun and educational – like riding your pogo stick through an art gallery, but with a lower risk of being banned from the museum.

Infographics are also a lot of work, though. Even if you aren’t conducting your own research, sourcing and organizing that much information is a big undertaking – and that’s all before you even start working with a designer!

So what else do marketers report as their best-performing type of content? If somebody didn’t say infographics, what did they say?

Blog posts

Blog posts came in second place – and there’s a reason they’re so popular!

They give you a way to drive traffic to your site from social media.

You can leverage older posts to bring in new visitors with virtually no extra work.

(Here’s how sites like BuzzFeed and The New York Times do it.)


Blog posts even make it easier to stay in touch with your fans and followers via email.

With the right game plan, you can use blog posts to accomplish basically whatever you want.

Not sure where to start?

Here’s a start-to-finish guide for planning, writing, and promoting effective blog posts, and a checklist for really just optimizing the heck out of ’em. And if you’re stuck on the brainstorming part, you can take a look at what’s worked for you in the past – or even what some of the most-shared articles on social media all have in common!

That’s a lot of information, though – so let’s take a look at another type of content that marketers say is especially effective!


The state of online video changes pretty quickly – and this survey is a perfect example of how.

Last year, a similar study found that marketers don’t necessarily find video that effective. There could be a lot of reasons why – after all, these are two different studies that talked to two entirely different groups of people, all of whom have their own unique experiences and circumstances!

It’s worth noting, though, that online video is a lot easier to produce than it used to be – and a lot more ubiquitous. 

For example, now you can go live on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (here’s a comparison of the three). The majority of users watch Facebook video without sound, so the network built an automatic tool for adding subtitles. Want to go live right from your browser? You can do that now, too.

Laura Caption.gif

Facebook’s automatic captioning tool makes it easier for people to watch the way they prefer.

So on the one hand, your mileage can vary when it comes to the effectiveness of video content – but on the other, producing that content gets easier all the time.

In the past, the difficulty, time, and expense associated with video production have been natural disadvantages, but as problems like these are solved, video could start becoming an even more serious contender!

But it isn’t all that simple…

…because there are so many different subjects you can cover in any one of these types of content!

You could find that instructional content performs better as videos than it does in blog posts – or vice versa. You could create an infographic of interesting stats that flops, then turn it into a blog post that your readers really engage with.

No type of content is objectively always more effective than another – and while it might seem frustrating that nothing is the best, that also means you have the power to experiment.

Yzma Feel the Power.gif

Think of it this way. If you write a blog post that doesn’t live up to your expectations, why not repurpose it into a video? If you share some tips in a video that doesn’t find its audience, why not use that same information to create an infographic?

Repurposing content is a big part of how brands keep up with the speed of the social media. (So much so that we literally built a tool designed to do that automatically.) Using the work you’ve already done to give you a head start creating a different type of content can make a huge difference!

What’s YOUR most effective type of content?

But that’s just what some marketers think – what do you think?

Have you found that infographics are more effective than video?

Are videos better than blog posts?

Or is your best-performing content something else entirely?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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