Equipped only with a pen and his macabre imagination, Edgar Allan Poe gifted the literary world with some of the most haunting stories ever set to paper. What might he have done with a video camera, or a microphone? (Frightened the hell out of all of us, that’s what!) The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and if that picture moves, and is accompanied by sound, well, surely it’s worth even more. Unfettered by the technological limitations that Poe and his ilk were forced to work around, modern creatives have several other methods, beyond the written word, that they can utilize to share their message, market their products, and so on. The challenge is choosing the right sort of content with which to best deliver on those intentions. Let’s discuss some of the most popular alternative forms of web content, and how to deploy them correctly within your marketing strategy.
Video is currently the most technologically advanced form of passive web content that is widely used. Encompassing sight and sound, it engages in a manner that other types of media simply can’t, allowing viewers to process complex ideas quickly. As such, they are best employed in a persuasive or informational capacity. A well-produced, professional quality video is impactful. It exhibits tech-savvy, and showcases a brand’s style. Keep marketing videos short, because people are hesitant to commit to a long video, and less likely to share it with their network if they don’t finish it themselves. It’s also smart to limit video content to topics that are unlikely to change quickly, because they are difficult to modify once they’re through production.
Podcasts are the perfect medium for capturing lively, in-depth conversation, so interviews, expert panels, and stories fit nicely into this format. They have become very popular among consumers who enjoy listening during a commute, or while exercising. Given the nature of these activities, other types of content are not an option, leaving podcasting as the only viable means of delivering content to your audience during these times. Podcasts are appealing from a creation standpoint, because of the inherent simplicity of sitting down to talk with someone. They are also fruitful for developing new ideas for other types of content, because free-flowing conversations often result in the discovery of a new perspective.
Users aren’t always going to have the patience to read that blog post, watch that video, or listen to a podcast. To quickly communicate statistical or instructional information, use an infographic. But make sure it’s pretty! Infographics require a little design know-how, but a few tips go a long way: leave plenty of open space, limit your color palette, and use size and color to direct the viewer’s eye. Ideally, an infographic is elegant in its simplicity. Make sure to provide some identifying context within the infographic, so that, when shared separately from other content that may accompany it in its original posting, it is able to stand on its own.
Incorporating a variety of content is the best strategy to increase the reach of your web marketing. The customer that doesn’t read the latest blog post may watch the latest video or listen to the latest podcast. This effort to appeal to people that prefer different types of content has the added benefit of bolstering your content library, because articles can be repurposed into podcasts, podcasts can be converted into articles, infographics can be incorporated into videos, et cetera. A large stockpile of content, optimized to appeal to different types of users, is an incredible asset, and one you’ll be happy you decided to build when your site traffic increases.