A Line from Greenline

Top 20 Most Engaging Types of Content

Imagine this: You finally have a moment of downtime, leisurely scrolling through social media. Suddenly, a video pops up on your screen, and boom, you're captivated — engaged, entertained, and ready to hit that 'share' button. Captivating content isn't just a nice-to-have, it's the holy grail of digital marketing. The right content can turn passive scrollers into die-hard followers. It's about making real connections, sparking genuine conversations, and leaving a lasting impression.



The 4 Pillars of Engaging Content

The search for engaging content isn't just about scrolling through endless feeds — it's about finding those gems that resonate, inform, and inspire. Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide to tackle a new skill, seeking out bite-sized tips to streamline your workflow, or craving real-world examples to illuminate complex concepts, these four types of content are the supporting pillars. You can implement these ideas into your blogs, social media, podcasts, and just about any form of content.


1. Educational Content

Over 80% of content marketers say content marketing works to educate audiences. So let's dig into the juicy stuff. Educational content is where knowledge meets fun.

1. How-to Guides

Step-by-step guides are like your trusty sidekick, guiding you through the wilderness of new skills and challenges. They make the impossible seem doable, turning dreams into reality. I'm talking about how-to guides that don't just tell you what to do but make you feel like you can conquer anything. The real gems have you saying, "I got this!"

Consider "A Marketer’s Guide to Twitch," put together by Amazon Ads and Twitch. It's not just visually appealing; it breaks down complex ideas and simplifies Twitch lingo, giving marketers the tools to navigate the platform confidently. With short paragraphs and clear headings, it's easy to skim through, making it accessible for marketers at any level.

2. Tips and Tricks

Time is precious, right? That's where bite-sized insights swoop in like superheroes. They're quick fixes, life hacks, and aha moments rolled into one. Tips and tricks aren't one-size-fits-all. Tips and Tricks morph and adapt to fit the unique needs of different industries. Spoiler alert: versatility is their middle name.

Instagram has a whole “Tips and Tricks” section on its website. The content published here is beautifully laid out and structured to help both businesses and creators get the most out of the platform. With easy-to-follow instructions and practical advice, Instagram's tips and tricks empower users to enhance their presence and engagement on the platform, one post at a time.

3. Explainers

Complexity? Consider it simplified. We’ve all felt like we were drowning in a sea of jargon and complex ideas at one point. That's where explainers come in. They break down big words and make you go, "Ohhh, I get it now!" The best explainer content makes even the most complicated stuff feel like a walk in the park.

Check out this quick YouTube Short by Grammarly. They unpack three features from their business version that can seriously boost your writing and productivity. What's cool about it? Well, the spokesperson wastes no time in telling you what this explainer is all about. Plus, she keeps it laid back and explains each feature in simple terms, making it a breeze for you to understand and apply them.

4. Checklists

Checklists are your secret weapon against chaotic content. They're like little roadmaps that keep you on track and sane. And guess what? Checklists aren't just for groceries. The best checklists will have your audience nodding like, "Yep, that's exactly what I needed" Simplifying intricate topics into practical actions empowers better decision-making, guaranteeing that your content effectively engages and serves your intended audience.

Let's take a look at what the Content Marketing Institute has to offer. Their Must-have Checklist to Valuable Content breaks down the content creation process into clear steps, focusing on what your audience truly cares about - not just what you want to talk about. Sure, we all want our content to sparkle, but there's more to it than fancy words. This checklist lays out five key benchmarks: Findable, Readable, Understandable, Actionable, and Shareable, giving you something solid to hold on to.

5. Case Studies

Who doesn't love a good success story? Case studies are like the highlight reels of real-world victories. They inspire, they motivate, and they make you believe anything is possible. But here's the kicker – it's not just about the wins. It's about the journey, the process, the struggles, and the triumphs.

Check out Canva for Teams' case studies – they're like front-row seats to real success stories. These stories aren't just about the wins; they're about the whole journey – the challenges, the victories, and everything in between. Dive into inspiring examples where teams create and collaborate using Canva, complete with quotes from satisfied customers. Plus, you can filter case studies by region and industry to find exactly what you need.


2. Visual Content

Visual content is a powerhouse in content marketing strategies across industries, proving to be 43% more persuasive than text alone. So, get your visual game face on because we're about to dive deep into the world of captivating imagery and eye-popping graphics.

6. Infographics

Ah, the tried and true infographics – the superheroes of data visualization. Think of them as taking boring stats and transforming them into eye-catching masterpieces, with pie charts and bar graphs. Shareable infographics go beyond pretty colors and fonts; they weave together a narrative that resonates with people, compelling them to read and share.

Enter the New York Times "2023: The Year in Visual Stories and Graphics" – an exemplary showcase of infographics that cover a broad spectrum, from artificial intelligence to natural disasters. What sets it apart? The bold typography, playful layouts, data illustrations, unique artwork, and the use of AI are just a few ways to set this content apart.

7. Videos

Videos are where it's at when it comes to grabbing attention and keeping it. They're like the rockstars of engagement, stealing the spotlight and leaving audiences wanting more. Whether you're showcasing your brand, your products, or your cat doing funny tricks, videos are the ultimate storyteller. Get ready to unleash your inner Spielberg.

The San Diego Zoo has mastered the art of creating some of the most adorable TikToks around. Seriously, just try to browse their page without commenting a few heart-eye emojis. But beyond the cuteness, the San Diego Zoo is leveraging TikTok to educate its over 2.5 million followers about the animals they care for. They're not just chasing likes and shares; they're igniting a genuine interest in the natural world beyond TikTok by blending trending content with their unique expertise. Through showcasing their animals, the nonprofit offers users a glimpse into the daily zoo life, making wildlife education fun for everyone.

8. Images and Graphics

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they're not wrong. High-quality visuals are the bread and butter of brand identity. They're what make you stand out in a sea of sameness. But let's get real – not all images are created equal. The best images and graphics have you saying, "Wow, that's some serious eye candy!"

The Diageo Trend Report has some of the most beautiful visuals we’ve seen so far in 2024. Its thoughtful use of color schemes, captivating layouts, and engaging typography and imagery keeps the viewer hooked from start to finish. Embracing vivid and energetic color palettes, it sets the tone for graphic design trends this year, offering a delightful feast for the eyes.

9. Pop Culture and Humor

Pop culture and humor work wonders in forging connections, breaking down barriers, and giving you that feeling of being part of the cool kids' club. When companies infuse Internet culture into their social media strategy, it adds a relatable touch, especially among potential Gen Z consumers. So, brace yourself for a laughter-filled dive into the world of memes and cross-collaboration, but beware: side effects may include uncontrollable laughter.

Social media is like the ultimate hangout spot where you catch up on all the latest pop culture buzz and discover trending topics that have a life of their own. Take brands like Bloom Nutrition, for example, they're totally in tune with digital culture, using popular TikTok audios to promote their products. And let's not forget about movies, like Greta Gerwig’s Barbie in 2023, which sparked global conversations and got over a hundred brands on board before its release.

10. GIFs

GIFs pack a punch in digital communication, offering short, dynamic bursts of energy that capture attention instantly. They're the unsung heroes of online conversations, whether conveying emotions or reacting to the latest internet buzz.

Gone are the days of having one call to action (CTA) at the bottom of an email. Candy Club's email, promoting free shipping and 50% off all purchases, leverages a GIF of Swedish fish "swimming" down to a call-to-action to "Shop." With pun-based copy like "This way to the sweet life," Candy Club cleverly guides readers through the email, enticing them to make a purchase.


3. Interactive Content

There's no limit to the connections you can make and the impact you can have when it comes to interactive content. Over 89% of marketers report that interactive content successfully re-engages their audience.

11. Polls and Surveys

Polls and surveys are like those friendly icebreakers that invite you to join the conversation and share your thoughts. It's all about democracy in action. But here's the kicker: besides being fun, polls and surveys are gold mines of insights.

Take Uber, for example. They're using customer feedback to level up their game. From tweaking app interfaces to refining driver-passenger matching, they're on it. Uber uses in-app feedback for drivers and customers to request real-time feedback.  Plus, they're not just about collecting this feedback; they're all about fostering a culture of improvement. So, next time you rate your Uber ride, know that your voice matters.

12. Quizzes

Quiz time! Who says learning can't be fun? Quizzes are the ultimate blend of entertainment and education, tickling your brain cells while keeping you on the edge of your seat. Ready to test your knowledge? Crafting quizzes that align with your brand isn't just about trivia – it's about creating an experience that leaves participants saying, "Wow, that was cool."

Check out Airbnb's quiz collaboration with design experts at Domino. It helps users discover their design personality for sprucing up their spaces. Simple yet effective, the quiz, provides accurate results, suggests personalized places to stay, and offers style examples on Domino’s website. It’s a great example of brands teaming up to create engaging content that resonates with users.

13. Giveaways

F-R-E-E, that spells free. Giveaways serve as the ultimate party favors, sprinkling engagement and spreading joy like confetti. It's a win-win for everyone involved. But let's get real – pulling off successful giveaways isn't just about luck; it's about smart planning and understanding what your audience craves.

Take a peek at Venmo's Instagram to see how they rock the giveaway game along with other fun content like lists and humor. During their most recent #VenmoMe campaign, they splashed out a total ARV of $50,000 in prizes. Venmo's been working the giveaway angle for years, and it's paying off. Just look at the numbers: in the third quarter of 2023, Venmo's total payment volume saw a YOY growth of seven percent. 

14. Live Content

Lights, camera, action – it's showtime with live streams and webinars. There's something enchanting about live content, creating an aura of immediacy and authenticity that's simply unbeatable. From behind-the-scenes glimpses to interactive Q&A sessions, live streams and webinars offer boundless opportunities to connect with your audience.

For instance, check out Amplified Sessions: NYC by Printify. Bringing the Amplified experience to merchants live and in-person, the event features POD legend Joe Robert in Manhattan on February 29th. Attendees can look forward to fireside chats, live Q+A sessions with Printify Founder James Berdigans, and networking opportunities with the Rockstars Community. It's the world’s first-ever event series dedicated to print-on-demand sellers, promising thousands of eCommerce entrepreneurs insights, success stories, and game-changing feature unveilings that will revolutionize online money-making.

15. Games

Games add layers of interactivity and excitement to your content, inviting your audience to participate and immerse themselves in the experience. From brain teasers to interactive challenges, games offer a dynamic way to captivate and entertain your audience.

You’ve probably heard of Wordle or the latest trend of Connections by the New York Times. These games are new and exciting ways for users to get involved with content while encouraging them to share with others and interact with the community.


4. Storytelling Content

Over 68% of consumers say that brand stories influence their purchasing decisions. These stories aren't just words on a page, but powerful narratives that speak to our hearts. When businesses share compelling stories, they're not just selling products; they're sharing their values, stirring up emotions, and earning our trust.

16. Customer Stories

Happy customers sharing their success stories is music to every marketer’s ears. Customer stories are more than just testimonials – they're real-life endorsements that speak volumes. Building trust through these tales of triumph isn't just good business – it's true authenticity. Get ready to dive into some heartwarming stories that'll have you nodding and saying, "Yep, I want what they're having!"

Embedding a cause into your brand and resonating it with your audience hits the nail on the head, and that's precisely what Patagonia does in the “Stories” section of its website. They delve into personal anecdotes and current events, weaving a narrative that deeply connects with their audience and amplifies their brand's purpose-driven mission.

17. Employee Spotlights

Let's put a face to the name, shall we? Employee spotlights humanize companies, turning logos into faces and brands into communities. It's like meeting the cast of your favorite TV show – except they're real people. Highlighting team members and their contributions isn't just about recognition – it's about celebrating the diverse talents and personalities that make your company shine.

After her stint on Love Island, Hague joined PrettyLittleThing (PLT) as the creative director, quickly becoming the face of the brand.  Pretty Little Thing elevated the employee spotlight concept by integrating influencer marketing with behind-the-scenes content. Through strategic partnerships like the one with Molly Mae, they transform their brand into something relatable and human for their audience. By sharing Molly Mae's top picks directly on their website and featuring her Instagram #OOTD, the PrettyLittleThing X Molly-Mae collection effectively blurs the lines between influencer fashion and everyday style, fostering a connection that deeply resonates with their followers. In a candid Q&A video on YouTube, Hague shared with her followers that she was stepping back to focus on motherhood, closing this exciting chapter, yet leaving us with valuable insights.

18. Behind-the-Scenes

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors? Behind-the-scenes content lifts the veil, offering a sneak peek into the inner workings of your favorite brands. It's like getting VIP access to the coolest party in town! Building authenticity and transparency isn't just about showing off – it's about inviting your audience to be part of the journey. Get ready to pull back the curtain and let the magic unfold.

Take, for example, "Inside Trader Joe’s," a podcast that started five years ago with a simple premise: what goes into running a grocery store? It's relatable, practical, and full of facts and information that the public wouldn’t typically have access to, humanizing the brand and fostering continued loyalty. Another great example is Togue Studio, which shares videos of its graphic design process on social platforms, giving followers a glimpse into their creative world.

19. Brand Origin Stories

Every brand has a story to tell – a journey filled with twists, turns, and triumphs. Brand Origin Stories are like time capsules filled with the essence of a company's journey, capturing its essence from inception to the present day. Sharing the highs, lows, and everything in between isn't just about history – it's about creating an emotional connection that lasts a lifetime. They're not just narratives; they're blueprints for an epic future.

One Percent For The Planet's origin story is a captivating narrative that resonates deeply with readers. Through their website, they skillfully weave together compelling text and strategically placed calls to action, creating an immersive experience for visitors. Their journey, which started with a simple fishing trip, has evolved into a global mission for change. This transformation from humble beginnings to a powerful force for environmental action reflects the authenticity and purpose that underpins their brand. As readers delve into their stories, they are inspired by the commitment to making a meaningful impact on the planet.

20. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Last, but not least, It's time to put your followers in the spotlight. User-generated content is like a love letter from your audience – it's real, authentic, and oh-so-powerful. Showcasing real-life examples and authentic endorsements isn't just about validation – it's about celebrating the voices that make your community thrive. Get ready to be inspired by the creativity and passion of your fans.

Check out TikTok influencers like @simimoonlight and @alixearle – they've become famous by just being themselves and sharing stories like you would with a friend over a FaceTime call. It's that realness that gets you nodding and wanting more of those genuine moments. And guess what? More and more people are loving this kind of content. Now, diving deeper into UGC, let's talk about Angela Wells, aka @UGCang, out there in sunny Los Angeles. She's all about showing off products, sharing stories, and making brands look good, using her background in marketing and psychology to tell compelling tales. Then there's Ryan Santoyo, @oneoffryan, another big shot in the UGC world. He's all about direct-to-consumer brands and is sharing his wisdom through his 'Creator Academy' course.

As you scroll through your favorite feeds, you know exactly where to find the good stuff, right? Why not chat with your audience and see where they hang out for their content fix? Instead of settling for generic solutions, jot down content ideas that truly resonate with your audience. After all, you're the expert on what they love. So, what's the big takeaway from all those examples? It's pretty straightforward: mixing up different types of content and infusing some personality is the winning formula.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing