Beyond the Blog Post: 6 Content Formats Your Audience Wants

Beyond the Blog Post: 6 Content Formats Your Audience Wants

According to a 2017 study from Arkadium, which helps brands create interactive content, 78 percent of respondents prefer text to incorporate multimedia components. So while you may start with blog posts to build a foundation for potential customers to find, that doesn’t mean every member of your audience wants to read a 600-word article. They’re more expensive to produce than strictly written content, and they typically take more time. Shortform social video Some marketers call short social videos “snackable content” if they’re sociopaths. Longform video Just about any longform video will require significantly more planning and a higher production value than a shortform creation. Last year, a number of web series began streaming on Facebook Watch only to crash and burn. These videos racked up 4,000 emotional reactions in the time it took others to nab less than fifty. It’s not all about Facebook Watch, though. Your company’s messaging should be consistent and creative across all those forms. If your company produces a podcast, whether narrative or episodic, with a target audience in mind, you can assume that your loyal listeners will vocally support your content.

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Writers don’t have to worry—the written word is here to stay, no matter how many experts predict a vast pivot to video. But that doesn’t mean you can rely solely on blog posts. The modern consumer does prefer enhancements.

According to a 2017 study from Arkadium, which helps brands create interactive content, 78 percent of respondents prefer text to incorporate multimedia components. (The number rises to 87 percent among millennials.) Those components could include everything from photography and infographics to GIFs and video.

But which content formats will work best for your company? And once you choose another format, how can you make sure each piece of content supports the rest of your work? If you invest in quality, listeners who find your podcast on iTunes or see your infographic on Reddit will seek out your company to find more.

So while you may start with blog posts to build a foundation for potential customers to find, that doesn’t mean every member of your audience wants to read a 600-word article. Once you research whether your customers are into videos or white papers, you can start giving the crowd more of what they like.

1. Infographics

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. Shortform social video

Some marketers call short social videos “snackable content” if they’re sociopaths. You may know them from your Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn feed: the punchy clips optimized for mobile, often watched with the sound off. Shortform tutorials are popular, as are quick recaps of timely information or personality-driven updates from a company.

Short videos are a lot like improv comedy—a more immediately accessible form for amateurs, which means there’s a lot more of it out there. It’s also usually the first kind of content that comes to mind when a media company says they’re “pivoting to video.”

An effective shortform video should focus on a single memorable actor or subject and be optimized for social sharing. When Netflix needed to drum up fan excitement for the fourth season of Orange is the New Black, the streaming service’s marketing team and…

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