One of the challenges in today’s world is cutting through the noise to get your message to customers. With the number of channels and content varieties available, how do you know where to start? Well, let’s break it down!
The first thing you need to know is that there are only 3 types of content that you can create:
Written content includes more academic pieces like whitepapers or research reports; presentation pieces like slide shares; sales enablement pieces like brochures or case studies; awareness-driven marketing pieces like blogs, emails, or landing pages; and fun pieces like ebooks.
Spoken content includes things like podcasts or webinars.
Visual content includes video content for channels like YouTube or Vimeo; sales tools like webinars or product demos; or marketing design assets like infographics.
The next thing you need to know is that you can only break down your content into one of two ways:
- Long form
- Short form
Long form content is usually heavily data-driven, such is the nature of things like whitepapers or research reports. But it doesn’t have to be. A webinar or an ebook might be considered long form. For the sake of arguing, let’s consider long-form content anything over 1,000 words or 10 minutes of time to consume. Loading a piece of long form content with key words can help with SEO, driving lots of organic traffic back to your website.
Short form content is usually a much shorter, punchier piece of content with the goal of getting the readers’ attention quickly. If long form content is anything over 1,000 words, let’s call short form content anything under 1,000. Examples could include a blog post, email newsletter, infographic, 3 minute YouTube video, or social media posts. Short form content packed with keywords is another great way to boost SEO as it reinforces your long form content and the relevance of your website, as long as you make sure what you’re optimizing for stays consistent. For example, if you own a small grocery store, you may want to optimize for something like “freshest produce and locally sourced seafood in [insert city]”. You’d want to make sure that all of your content contains variations of that phrase to keep your content relevant and increase your chances of rising to the top of search engines.
Short form content can be used to inspire the reader to want to read more. That kind of authoring is skillful and can be very rewarding, producing a positive return.
Create, test, measure, repeat
Content today takes on many forms and lengths. I find it best to start with your goals and what you want to achieve as a company, then work backwards. There is no one channel or piece of content that will cure all your content woes. The best thing to do is to utilize as many types across as many channels as you can manage. Varying the type and length of your content across platforms give you the best chance of success. Testing and measuring your engagement metrics will let you know where you can improve. After all, you never know which piece of content is going to be the one that goes viral.