Content marketing is here to stay(Open in new windows), as more and more businesses are putting content marketing strategies into play. Unsurprisingly, the amount of branded content is also growing.
What is the most common type of content published by businesses? Written. Blogs, ebooks, and whitepapers dominate the content marketing space. This traditional content can be effective, but in an increasingly crowded space, it’s harder for brands to stand out.
Luckily, content doesn’t stop with writing. Spicing up your content marketing with audio, video, and visual pieces not only helps your content stand out, but also gives your copywriters a break! Here’s some more guidance on each content type:
With some estimates saying 30% of web sessions in 2020 will be screenless, it’s high time to begin thinking about how audio should factor into your content marketing.
Podcasts are an increasingly popular form of content today, and all brands should take notice. Podcasts are a great way to engage with customers in places where you normally can’t. If producing a branded podcast, make sure your topic is on-message and your production quality is high. eBay’s Open for Business (Open in new windows) podcast was super successful and stayed within their small business roots.
Interview Customers and Employees
Smaller businesses or businesses in niche markets might benefit from audio clips interviewing customers and employees. Whether in a podcast format or thoughtfully included around your website, interviews give you credibility and can help build trust in your brand.
Stories are as old as language itself, and remain a powerful way to connect with your customers. Mission-based organizations have used storytelling as an effective way to advocate for causes. Businesses can benefit from the same premise. Telling stories about how your product or service has helped a customer can make for compelling marketing pieces.
Recording Old Content
Repurposed content can yield high returns with relatively low investment. If you have a series of popular pieces of content, consider recording them and making them available in audio format. Not only can this be a strong move for making your marketing more accessible, but it can add creativity to a bland content marketing plan.
One-third of all online activity is spent watching video(Open in new windows). That makes video one of the most promising fronts where your marketing team can apply their time and energy.
Nearly every social media platform offers live streaming directly on the platform. Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are all pushing into live video and encouraging users to engage. Use live video at events, to go behind-the-scenes your company, or field questions about your product or service from interested customers. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Valentine’s Day live video
(Open in new windows) gave a great exclusive look at the company’s test kitchen (and racked up more than 50,000 views in the process).
If you’ve got the time, budget, and strategy to support it, a long-form web series can be a fantastic content marketing pieces. Brands as large as Nike have produced web series as part of their content marketing strategy. Web series are a fantastic way to tell a brand’s story and engage your customers directly. Strong social media campaigns around the web series will drive additional traffic and interest.
Depending on what product or service you sell, short-form how-to videos are highly engaging pieces of content. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to produce a how-to video, businesses in the home service and food industries have seen considerable success with these short-form videos. They’re quick to watch, easy to share, and extremely mobile friendly. We love what Precision Painting has done in this space with their YouTube channel (Open in new windows).
Tour of Your Facility
Business tour videos are a long-time staple of dated websites and boring marketing materials. But these videos can still be valuable when produced well. They pull back the curtain on your business and can be a valuable resource for businesses that might be in a hard-to-get-to office. Keep the quality as high as possible on these videos, and consider using new technology (like drone shots) to make your video feel fresh.
One of the best ways to make your written content more engaging is to add accompanying visuals. Whether or not someone feels like reading all of your writing (we are the “TL;DR” generation, after all) visuals that are good enough will speak for themselves.
“Data is interesting, and people like to learn,” we wrote on our blog (Open in new windows)last month. Well-done data visualization educates potential customers about your product’s performance, your industry, or even your competitors. Data viz is a great way to prove a point without saying a word at all. Nikon’s Universcale (Open in new windows) is a great data visualization piece that helps highlight the quality of their lenses.
Infographics are a content marketing staple, and we’re okay with that. They remain a visual and engaging way to speak to your potential customers. Infographics can be great for brand awareness and even long-term organic search campaigns. With many companies investing in infographics today, make sure yours is creative and quality enough to stand out and get the results you want.
Surveys and Results
Rather than writing a long-form piece of content, conduct a survey that gives insight into your company or industry. By inviting your customers to participate in the survey, you can engage them from the beginning. Publish the survey results (with great data visualization, of course!) for an evergreen piece of content that might get picked up by other bloggers or news stations.
A crowd-sourced Instagram feed can kill two birds with one stone. It cuts down on production costs (you aren’t responsible for photography or design, after all), but also engages your users. Lifestyle brands like Anthropologie(Open in new windows) have had great success with this. Crowdsourcing photography builds a real brand community, too. Be sure to explicitly ask for permission.