November 21st, 2016
Every quality content marketing strategy should include a variety of content types. While most marketers understand that a balanced mixture of content forms — like blog posts, videos, and social media updates — is the best strategy, it’s hard to move away from your own tried and tested types of content, to focus on new methods that you don’t feel like you’ve perfected. Even if you are feeling bold enough to conquer an unfamiliar content medium, it can be intimidating to choose which type of content to dive into, to successfully bulk up your strategy.
If you’re ready to advance your content marketing strategy by diversifying the types of content you produce, read on. We’re going to cover three content types you should consider adding to your strategy to separate your company from the crowd and attract new audiences.
Engagement with your audience can go beyond answering comments on your latest blog post (which you should be doing already!). Question and Answer (Q&A) content is particularly useful because it gives users the opportunity to learn from your company, and you the opportunity to learn from your users. Look outside of your own company website for consumer questions that are relevant to your industry, product, or service offering; answering specific questions in detail helps establish your authority in a personal way. Let’s not forget that a particularly popular thread can also inspire an idea for a future blog post or infographic topic.
Marketers already know that visual content receives the most engagement — but creating compelling graphic content can be a challenge. Infographics are effective because they combine attractive visual presentation with the high-quality information more typically present in blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks.
The key to infographics is to use them to present concepts, data, and processes in ways that are easier for readers to understand. In this infographic by Sentek Global, for example, we can clearly see and recognize patterns in industry-specific data breaches; this complicated data would be hard to explain without visuals. Keep in mind that the best infographics present information that is better showcased visually than through written word alone — don’t make an infographic just for the sake of making one!
One of the main drawbacks to producing infographics is that they can be difficult to coordinate, as they require research, writing, and design; but taking the time is certainly worth the effort. According to HubSpot, infographics are liked and shared three times more than any other type of content on social media!
Interactive content is one of the biggest areas of growth in content marketing, and it’s no surprise why. Interactive content combines visuals, stories, and participation; engaging readers in multiple ways. Quizzes in particular are highly shareable pieces of interactive content, with quiz results being the most shared media type on Facebook.
Quiz results are individualized based on a reader’s actions and experiences, so they have the ability to produce highly personalized answers. The interactive nature of quizzes has also been shown to lead to higher rates of retention and learning, which is always a boon for a brand looking to make a strong impression. If you’re interesting in creating content that caters to your clientele in an enjoyable and memorable way, design a relevant and engaging quiz.
Before you jump onto a new Q&A forum, or start researching data for an infographic, take a moment to consider the goals of your content, as a whole. While incorporating these new content types is a great way to increase leads and engagement, it’s important to understand how they will fit into your overall content marketing strategy.
Marketers often think of individual pieces of content, rather than an overall strategy and goal. While a visually stunning infographic might get shares, does it include the type of information or viewpoint you want associated with your business? How about those HARO requests you’re answering? From blog posts to webinars, every piece of quality content you produce should work for your business and not against it, to promote the perception you want for your brand. Make sure you evaluate why you want to include each piece of content in your strategy and what purpose it can serve. Only then will you be able to build the audience and attract the customers your business deserves.
Author Bio: Heather Ferguson is an editor, project manager, and Content Manager at Main Path Marketing. She is an unapologetic supporter of early mornings, rainy Sundays, dark roast coffee, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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