Today’s audiences are hungry for content, but individuals are following their own customized path of consumption. While some may be starving for a hearty research report, others prefer their information intake broken down into bite-sized nuggets. By offering a diverse menu of content types, you will be better positioned to feed your audience’s wide-ranging appetites.
Start by considering the four basic “food groups” of content creation: Words, Static Images, Dynamic Multimedia & Interaction.
Share Wisdom through WORDS
As a communicator, you’re well aware of how powerful words can be. From the 140 characters of Twitter to the infamously long War and Peace, words help us shape the conversation with our audience.
Paint a Picture Using STATIC IMAGES
Photos, illustrations and graphics help us attract attention and quickly communicate those equivalent “1,000 words.” And just as cheese can help get kids to eat their vegetables, adding images to more substantial content instantly makes it more appealing.
Create Impact with DYNAMIC MULTIMEDIA
This group includes any audio or visual elements presented in sequence – powerful vehicles for superior storytelling. Beyond video, graphics such as photo galleries and comic strips help move your audience through a sequential storyline. Audio formats like interviews and podcasts can be equally impactful and can reach your audience even when their eyes are busy doing other things like commuting to work.
Invite Participation via INTERACTION
Content that requires the user to take an active role is not only more engaging, but also instantly conveys to your audience that you want to collaborate with them on creating a shared experience. Typically this type of content asks the audience to share feedback through surveys, contests or Twitter chats. Or, it can provide coaching tools like calculators, worksheets and templates. On the far side of this group’s spectrum, audiences are inspired to create the content for the brand.
Building a Diverse Menu
When crafting your content marketing strategy, combine “food group” formats to build a diverse content menu that varies in digestibility and tone. Imagine your menu broken into these four key areas:
1. Snacks: When your audience is on the go and looking for a quick content snack to relieve a momentary window of boredom, meet their cravings with one-bite pieces of information. They’re likely browsing their social streams on mobile phones or tablets. Offer up a photo, visual quote, thoughtful tweet or 6-second video clip.
2. Starters: For B2C audiences, your audience is just starting to consider a purchase in your area of expertise. In B2B terms, they’re simply keeping abreast of the latest news and trends in their industry. Although starters are more information-dense than a quick snack, they are still easily accessible and digestible. You want to offer scannable nuggets of information that can be found using broad search terms or through industry influencers that your audience follows. Provide discoverable content like blog posts, press releases, infographics and 30-second videos.
3. Entrees: For both B2B and B2C brands, your audience is now starving for a solution to a specific problem, and they’re ready to spend some time with your content. Help them by providing knowledge-rich information that can be found using more specific search terms. Offer answers and assistance with heartier content like white papers, webinars, case studies and workshops.
4. Desserts: This content might not hold much nutritional value, but it’s a great way to make an emotional connection with your audience. Treat your audience with a fun game, an inspiring story or amusing meme.
Compelling content deserves a robust promotion strategy. Download our white paper How to Drive Maximum Returns on Content Marketing with Effective Distribution to learn more. And for more information on the different content types, check out our companion SlideShare.