Content marketing is where you create content with the express purpose of encouraging engagement with your current and potential customers. The speediest way to create an effective content marketing campaign is to start online.
There are four main kinds of content found online: text, graphics, audio and video. Each of these types of media has its own benefits and drawbacks, with each appealing more or less to different audiences.
Content Marketing Basics and How Each Type of Content Can be Used.
Text is the winner by miles when it comes to online content. Just about every webpage you see is based on written content. One of the main advantages of text-based content is that it’s very search engine friendly. Search engines can’t understand video or audio at present, but they definitely can understand text.
In other words, if you’re running a website with text-based content you stand a good chance of ranking in the search engines for what you wish to be found for.
Text based content requires less preparation to create; you don’t need microphones or videos, or expensive graphic editing programs. All you need to do is plan an outline and type.
Now that people (and by people I mean potential customers) can download audio and listen to it anywhere on their iPod or mp3 player, audio content has taken off in a big way.
In the past, audio content had to be consumed in cassette or CD format. That was both expensive to produce and a bit of hassle for the ideal customer to obtain. But today, people can listen to their mp3s anywhere they go. In the car, on the bus, while walking, at lunch, etc. With the ability to download any audio in just a minute via iTunes and other audio libraries, having content available in this form saves people time and is extremely convenient. Audio content works really well for many small businesses. The main advantage of audio is that it’s listened to over and over again and rarely deleted!
If you struggle to write, audio may be better for you – remember you may still need a script or prompts to speak from.
The main type of visual content online is shown as infographics. Essentially, these are graphics that contain information in and of themselves. One of the main advantages of infographics is that they are often more entertaining and informative than just text. They are also incredibly shareable.
For example, if you’re illustrating the cost of war (always an emotive subject), having graphics that give the big picture of events can explain them far more effectively than just describing them in words.
You can find the full size infographic at Zero Hedge.
Infographics are not the only type of visual content marketing, they are one of the most powerful types, but a great graphic can be just as effective and influential as an infographic. These kinds of graphic tend to be expensive and beyond the reach of the average small business. Stock graphics can be purchased and adapted, and with the help of a graphic designer, these can help create strong visuals. The advantage of visual content is it can be used in multiple places as well as in your offline branding.
Video content is one of the most dynamic methods of distributing information on the internet. You can put funny clips, product demos, interesting blurbs, high tech how-tos, personal images – just about anything you can think of. Video content also has some of the strongest “share culture.” For example, it’s very easy to share videos with friends on Facebook and via your Facebook Fanpages.
A video has a much higher probability of going viral compared to any other form of media.
The only downside to video content is that it does take more effort to produce. You need to write the script, shoot the video, edit the video and finally render the video. The whole process could take many hours depending on the complexity of the video, rather than just 30 minutes to write a blog post.
My friend Graham Hunt has a You Tube channel filled with advice for first time buyers in Spain, if you are looking to move to Spain you’ll find his helpful videos with ease.
In the videos you see him, and you feel reassured that your real estate expert has your best interests at heart.
This concept can be easily adapted to your small business.
Which content marketing format is right for you and your business?
It really depends on what kind of information you’re creating and who your target audience is.
There’s no harm in creating a content marketing mix of all four kinds of content and seeing which one(s) your audience responds the best to.
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