Content Marketing: 132 Links for Essential Reading

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Jade Hark
on 12/11/13

Last week, whilst following the #contentmarketingshow hashtag on Twitter, I came across the eloquently titled "Throwing shit against the wall & analysing what sticks" slide deck by Hannah Smith.

The deck included several mentions of the Content Marketing Matrix created by the guys at Smart Insights and First 10. I thought that this (although over 2 years old) was a nifty little visual so sent it around the office and tweeted it.


The tweet then had a total of 36 retweets & 21 favourites (that I know of) including shares by Smart Insights CEO Dave Chaffey.

The popularity and apparent relevance of something created two years ago, in today's ever-changing digital marketing environment made me ponder. I couldn't claim credit for creating the CM matrix but perhaps I could add to it. I split each content format out into alphabetical order then sourced some great examples and helpful resources. Hopefully these help you on your journey to Content Marketing nirvana:


Articles have gone through quite a transition in the last few years with search engines cracking down on plagiarism, duplicate content and low quality content in general. Informative content on relevant sites is a great way to generate interest and referral traffic. Consider these links:

Branded Videos

These days you don't have to subscribe to the mundane pattern of corporate video content hosted on an unvisited Youtube channel. Instead, create exciting branded video content and self-host it on your own website - or even Instagram. Some great examples:


A lot of industries can utilise useful or pointless calculators as engagement and/or link bait (hate that term) content. As ever, here are some fab calculator examples:

Case Studies

Case studies are a great way to get clients/customers to aspire and relate to your USP's, results or offering. Here are some case study resources:

And some of my favourite examples:

Celebrity Endorsements

The online world is now rife with carefully positioned "selfies" to promoted tweets, but are they worth the cost to brands. Here are some resources that may help you make your mind up:


Who doesn't like a useful or amusing checklist? They come in a wide variety of formats from simple posts to interactive micro sites to infographics. Here is some inspiration:

Community Forums

Forums are a great way to anwer customer questions and interact with a target audience. With the release of Google Hummingbird, forum threads will continue to rank highly in Google search. If you're new to this area, here are some top tips:


The recession has created more savvy consumers, resulting in deal sites and competitions everywhere. A properly thought out competition spread through a blog community or social media channel can create influencers, advocates and awareness for a brand. Here are some great examples:

Data Sheet / Price Guide

Data sheets and pricing guides are a key element in creating your value proposition which, if you get right, can be a huge boost to your marketing. Here are some helpful links:

Demo Videos

For the right business a demo video can concisely display all the best elements of a product or service in a very short time frame. They can, of course, also be optimised and transcribed for SEO benefit.


How many eBooks do you have in your content marketing arsenal? With the rise of tablet and e-reader popularity, eBooks are only growing in popularity. Read this to help get your eBook marketing off the ground:


Whatever industry you may specialise in, appearing in the news is always somewhere on the marketing agenda. With such a vast array of niche and industry eNews aggregators available,  a properly thought through PR piece can do exactly that. Here's how:


Events can create opportunities for producing content, outreaching to influencers, and ultimately be the catalyst for some great online PR. You don't have to host an event to achieve all of these. Simply visiting or taking part in an event can give you plenty to talk about and don't underestimate the importance of commentary.


With the recent release of GTA5 breaking $1 billion sales in 3 days and Candy Crush making $850,000 a day, its fair to say that there has never been a better time for games. Technology improvements mean brands can create online, social or app-lead gamification with relative ease. Stuck for inspiration? Check out these examples:


Guides don't have to be mundane PDF's with reams of pages. They can be interactive, customer-driven, visualisations or videos. Here are some examples to inspire you:


Infographics were the hot word of early 2013's content marketing push. There has been widely varied opinions and debate on their influence but it's fair to say that a properly targeted infographic or data visualisation can build awareness and engagement. Here is how you can get it right:

Interactive Demos

Interactive demos are used by businesses to give people a taster of the service, experience or product they can expect from a purchase. When done correctly they work as a truly engaging piece of marketing which directly leads to an increase in sales.

Press Releases

Press releases have traditionally been used by PR agencies but are increasingly becoming part of the online marketer's toolset. If done for the right reasons, and with a genuinely newsworthy angle, they can appear on niche and sector-specific websites in front of your target audience. Here are some posts to read before you embark on an online PR campaign:

Product Features

Helpful content can educate, empower and convince future customers. Ensure that you know the difference between features and benefits and the way to display each on and off-site.


A quiz is a great way to engage with an audience and spread awareness of your product, social platform or brand. Remember, there is a big difference between a well thought out quiz campaign and one which is quickly shoved together. And your audience will notice.


Whitepapers and reports are one of the classic methods to deliver insight whilst capturing user information. If compelling and targeted this content can travel well across social and PR platforms increasing awareness and traffic. Consider these examples and links:

Reviews & Ratings

We have all heard stories from disgruntled customers leaving scathing reviews, that have the potential to put off other customers. Online reviews and ratings have never had such influence on a website's potential income. Those who don't monitor and react to this movement can suffer. Here are  some good web tips to consider:

Trend Reports

Showing trends in your industry is a great way to build your business as a thought leader whilst giving a great excuse to look at the changing nature of your sector. Here are some useful sites for building trend reports:


Probably one of the most thrown -bout marketing terms, but a campaign "going viral" is what many marketers - both online and offline - dream of. Social media can help that dream happen for some. Beware though, as a poorly executed campaign can can go viral for all the wrong reasons.


Webinars are defined as "a seminar conducted over the Internet". It gives you the ability to give, receive and discuss information on a particualr topic with a captured audience. Here are some must-reads for those thinking about trying a webinar:


Although 'widget marketing' is not something I've had much experience of I think it fair to say it has been overtaken by the rise in 'App marketing'. Both essentially involve the creation of an application to help, inform, entertain, engage or sell to your target audience.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of formats or resources so feel free to recommend some in the comment section below: