Getting an audience to read meaningful content every day gets challenging at times. Making sure content is fresh and current helps many online businesses stay ahead. It turns out that an audience tends to prefer text that is incorporated into multimedia, so it’s vital to figure out which formats are most effective. While it’s a good idea to write blog posts to attract an audience, not everyone wants to only see blog posts. So it’s up to a company to find content that’s enticing for every type of audience. Here are 7 content formats an audience craves. For more ideas, join us during our free webinar training.
In case you thought infographics were a thing of the past, you would be wrong. Contently stresses how important it is to incorporate infographics on your site. They’re eye-catching and if you create colorful and informative infographics an audience is more likely to gravitate toward your site.
Good infographics are like Sesame Street segments for grown-ups. They’re colorful, insightful visualizations that can break down data into a language that anyone on the internet can understand. They’re also a great tool for illustrating your content with metaphors.
The upside to infographics is they typically bring in a larger audience than a regular old blog post. The downside, of course, is they require design fluency. They’re more expensive to produce than strictly written content, and they typically take more time.
Even more daring than a garden variety infographic is an interactive one. If you have the team to pull one off, well, what are you sitting around reading a blog post? For inspiration, check out dumpark’s plastic pollution infographic or The Economic Policy Institute’s visualization of how systemic economic inequality works.
2. Email newsletters
Everyone knows about email newsletters, but that doesn’t mean they’re using them to their advantage. OptinMonster recommends developing an effective email newsletter campaign and shouldn’t get ignored.
You probably don’t think of your email newsletter as a content format, but it totally is.
Sure, email newsletters are a great way to highlight the content you’ve created in other formats. However, they can also be something completely new.
As we saw earlier, email has great ROI. That’s why you can’t ignore this content marketing format.
3. Longform videos
If you’re wondering what longform videos are, Contently does a pretty good job at explaining what they are. Before you dive into pushing out this type of video format make sure you study your audience and how other people are doing it in your industry.
Just about any longform video will require significantly more planning and a higher production value than a shortform creation. That’s why it’s important to outline your longform goals and strategy before you head into production.
Last year, a number of web series began streaming on Facebook Watch only to crash and burn. According to data analysis firm Canvs, the businesses that fared worst on Watch were in the travel, TV criticism, and educational STEM fields. The videos weren’t watched as often, but more importantly, users tended not to react using Facebook’s “emotional” buttons (like the heart or the “sad” tear-stained face). In a span of two weeks, videos in less-successful genres struggled to earn more than 50 reactions.
However, the same report revealed that companies in education, gaming, and horror entertainment managed to pull off successful Watch series. These videos racked up 4,000 emotional reactions in the time it took others to nab less than fifty.
Another excellent format your audience would like to see, according to OptinMonster, are webinars. The possibilities are endless with webinars. You can interview people, talk about topics you’re interested in, and discuss the knowledge of your business focus.
The stats show that webinars (which are online seminars) are an excellent business content marketing format. According to ReadyTalk, between 20% and 40% of those who attend webinars become qualified leads.
Meanwhile, the Branded Solopreneur found that between 2% and 5% of attendees actually make a purchase.
Those are pretty good numbers, aren’t they?
Webinars usually consist of a presentation plus a brief Q&A session. They help you show off your expertise. You can also demonstrate products and services so that attendees actually want to use them.
To test the water with creating a webinar, try using Zoom which lets you host a 40-minute online meeting with up to 100 attendees for free.
5. Event content
Contently recommends incorporating event content and you can do that by eliciting the help of content teams to develop an effective event strategy.
When Refinery29 unveiled its pop-up art gallery and Instagrammable festival 29Rooms, it had the digital media world’s rapt attention. Years before, Tavi Gevinson’s teen girl blog-turned-media-company embarked on a live tour called the Rookie Roadtrip, which built a lasting connection between content creator and fan.
Of course, your company’s pop-up shops or events might look more like a booth in a trade show, but that doesn’t mean your enthusiasm should dwindle. To make the most out of event marketing, content teams can produce a whole new body of work, from Powerpoint decks and landing pages to flyers and giveaways. Your company’s messaging should be consistent and creative across all those forms. (That goes for B2B just as much as B2C.)
6. Livestream videos
Who can forget about livestream videos, which Content Marketing Institute argues are an outstanding way to distribute your content. Keep in mind that with a livestream video they generally are only available for 24 hours, but you can always save it and release it again later.
Apps such as Periscope and Meerkat make it easier to distribute your content in a broadcast-like experience. You can talk about the topics about which you have written and grab the attention of your audience quickly.
Keep in mind that 37% of American viewers use streaming services. You’ll love live streaming which allows you to talk about the topics you already know so much about and get different views of your audiences almost immediately. You also instantly get to know how many people have viewed and liked your content.
Once your live stream is finished, you can make it available for 24 hours before it disappears. Don’t worry, you also have the option to save the video even longer.
General Electric uses Periscope to further its content marketing by educating consumers on GE’s capabilities. Last summer, DigiDay reported about how GE took to Periscope for #DroneWeek, featuring a drone’s view of its work – wind turbines, jet engines, locomotives, etc.
Other helpful tools for using live video:
7. Learn from the industry
Buffer offers advice about learning from your industry peers. They tell us that there’s much to be learned from people in your industry and we happen to agree! You should constantly be studying what competitors are doing and how it may or may not increase your sales and improve your company.
Learn from your industry peers.
Look at the top pages in your industry and see what is working for them. If you have a similar target audience, what worked for them will likely work for you, too.
It’ll be great to go beyond just your competitors. Are there other companies that you admire, which you can learn from? Maybe because they are in the same space but aren’t your direct competitor. Or perhaps their way of marketing resonates with you. For example, I often like to check out the social media profiles of HubSpot, MailChimp, and Airbnb.
Here are a few ways to research on your favorite companies:
On Facebook, you could use Pages to Watch. This feature allows you to quickly compare the performance of your Page with similar Pages. You can also click on any of the Pages and see their top posts for the week. For instance, here’s a recent top post from Shopify:
You can find this feature in your Page Insights, at the bottom of your Overview tab. This feature will only appear once you have more than 100 Likes on your Page.
On Twitter, you could create a Twitter list of the companies that you would like to learn from and regularly check out what they share.
Here’s how to create a Twitter list:
Click on your profile photo and select “List”
Click on “Create a list” and fill out the fields (You might want to keep this list private)
Hit “Save list”
Once you’ve created your list, head to the companies’ profile, click on the three dots, and select “Add or remove from lists…” to add them to your list.
A tool I like to use to monitor several lists at the same time is TweetDeck. It is a free tool by Twitter, which allows you to have multiple columns of tweets from a list, search result, and more.
Here’s a point worth noting: while it’s great to learn from your favorite companies, you might not want to follow them exactly. This is because ultimately your brand is different from theirs and you would likely want to be unique with what you’re sharing on your social media profiles.
The point here is to look for general patterns and ideas that you can adapt for your own brand.
Join us during our next free webinar training to find out how to use these content formats to your advantage and convert an audience into longterm customers. We also will also discuss other ways to improve your company and make way for continual business growth.
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