3 content formats to consider now

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 4 Jan, 2017
View comments Marketing
If your current approach to content seems a little tired, try experimenting with some new formats to liven things up.

Research by Beckon says that while brands have sent content production into overdrive in the last 12 months, reader interest hasn’t followed suit with most pieces of content falling on deaf ears. In fact, the study showed that on average, just 5% of all content produced by any one brand racks up any form of engagement.

If most of your content production is falling into cyberspace’s black hole, with no views, likes or shares to pay off the effort put in, it could be time to mix things up a bit. Try injecting new life into your content efforts and adding new interest and value for readers by adding in some of these content formats. Use the list as a pick-and-mix, trying different combinations of formats and measuring what resonates best with your audience.

Infographics

Infographics aren’t new – in fact, digital marketer, Jeff Bullas found that between 2010 and 2012, infographic search volumes increased by more than 800%. So, they have been around for a while, but a remarkable number of businesses still don’t use them regularly as part of their content marketing rotation.

There are a number of compelling reasons to try an infographic:

  • They are visual by nature. Turning complex ideas or lots of numbers or statistics into a visual medium makes the data much easier to process.
  • A picture is easier and quicker to consume than a large tract of plain text, so infographics can pull readers in more easily than a simple page of written content.
  • Infographics are inherently shareable. There is a huge consumer appetite for infographics, as search volumes show, and with the addition of a simple embed code the potential to acquire links is very real.
  • Infographics also offer a chance to be creative and offer another means of connecting with your audience. Not everyone consumes information in the same way, so supplementing your text-based articles and content with more visual representation of data and ideas gives you the chance to connect with a different segment of your audience.

SlideShare

If you’ve ever prepared a PowerPoint presentation, had to give a speech at a conference or seminar or prepared a pitch for a client, chances are you already have enough content at your disposal to be repurposed into a SlideShare.

Part of the LinkedIn network, SlideShare hosts professional content in a concise format. Information is presented in a slide format, so readers can quickly flick through, making for a quicker consumption process than the time needed to read through pages of text. You can upload documents, images, videos, presentations and infographics, all findable by SlideShare’s audience of 70 million professionals. Content can be downloaded, shared and liked.

Adding SlideShare to your content formats:

  • Almost any professional content is welcomed. Top categories include business, design, economy, career, marketing, leadership, small business and entrepreneurship and social media.
  • Choose your content wisely and think about what you want to achieve and the type of engagement you want to elicit.
  • According to the site, “When you upload to SlideShare, you reach an audience that’s interested in your content – over 80% of SlideShare’s 70 million visitors come through targeted search. This can help you build your reputation with the right audience and cultivate more professional opportunities.” With this in mind, topic selection is very important. A good tip before you dive in is to browse through current uploads in your most relevant categories and study what has already been shared along with what kind of titles and presentations get the most views.
  • SlideShare contributors include Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the White House so you’re in good company. Good presentations can generate a lot of views in a short space of time. A SlideShare by GeniusWorks’ Peter Fisk entitled X-Marketing: The Next Rules of Marketing generated more than 100,000 views in less than four weeks after being uploaded in December 2016.

Live streaming

Live streaming was once the preserve of big budgets and big production teams but, thanks to social media and platforms such as Periscope, it’s now much more accessible.

Social media storytelling is an accessible form of live streaming and a great place to start for the uninitiated. Both Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories offer a non-taxing introduction to the format and can be used to test the waters before progressing onto more sophisticated live streaming interfaces. Facebook and YouTube also offer live streaming options and there are a multitude of other apps and services available.

How to get started:

  • When you first set out to add live streaming to your content mix, think about where your community already exists. If you have a huge Instagram following, start with Instagram Stories. If Facebook performs best for your business, Facebook Live is the natural choice.
  • As with any type of content, you will need to plan what you intend to live stream. It can be something as simple as a product demo or Q and A or, something as involved as a full scale event.
  • When planning, resist the temptation to fully script and storyboard everything that will happen. Live streaming is intended to be an instant content format and over planning with rigid scripts can remove that spontaneity.

Recent articles

Google reveals new AMP story format
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 16 February 2018
Google Featured Snippets; the shift from content to information
Posted by Owen Powis on 13 February 2018
What consumers want from e-commerce websites [infographic]
Posted by Wordtracker on 12 February 2018
Improve your conversion rate and generate more sales [infographic]
Posted by Edith MacLeod on 6 February 2018
Using the PageSpeed Insights tool to improve site speeds - a case study
Posted by Wordtracker on 8 February 2018