One of the great things about content marketing is that you can create content in so many different formats. You can also repurpose your content into multiple formats, which means “yay, less work!”
But sometimes you get stuck thinking “What kind of content should I create?” Am I right?
That’s why it’s helpful to be aware of different content marketing formats that you have at your disposal. As you learn which types of content your target market prefers, you can take that into consideration as you plan your editorial calendar.
Creating or repurposing content in different formats will help you attract a wider audience. You’ll reach people who have different learning styles. For example, some people love visual content, while others prefer text or audio.
If you limit yourself to one content format, then you are limiting your potential reach. But if you create content in a variety of formats, then you have the opportunity to reach new people.
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Let’s start with text content, as that’s what most people think of when they hear the word “content.” Text content includes anything in a written format, such as blog posts, articles, e-books, white papers, etc. This is all content that people consume by reading.
Blog posts are the main type of text content that most people create. And blogging often forms the foundation of your content marketing efforts.
The great thing about blog posts is that they are easy to produce and can be repurposed into many other content formats.
To make blog posts a successful part of your content strategy:
- First, you need to start a blog
- Attract readers with catchy blog titles
- Format your blog posts to make them easy to read online
Guest blogging is another way to reach a market that prefers to read text.
With guest blogging, you write blog posts that are published on someone else’s website. This can be a great way to reach a new audience. Guest blogging can also help you build up your authority in your niche.
This free guide offers practical tips that you can use to start implementing a guest posting strategy.
Graphics & images
We are in a visual age. People are attracted to colorful images and those images can help you connect with your readers.
Images break up large blocks of text which makes your content easier to read.
And, for most social media platforms, images will form the base of your content. In fact, images are essential content for social media.
If you have any dense, data-heavy content, then consider making an infographic. Infographics are a great way to share data and statistics with your audience in a more easily-digestible way.
You can make infographics yourself using the free templates available on Canva.
You can also outsource the creation of infographics to a designer on a site like Fiverr.
Charts, graphs, & diagrams
You may not think about charts, graphs, and diagrams as being “content.” But just like infographics, when you put data into a chart or graph, it becomes easier for your audience to understand the concept you are sharing. And that’s always a good thing.
Plus, as I mentioned above, charts, graphs, and diagrams make your written content easier to read by breaking up large blocks of text.
In today’s environment, including video in your content marketing is practically a requirement. Video is big and it’s not going anywhere.
Here are a few stats about video and its place in the marketing world:
- According to Hubspot, 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. And that’s at the beginning of 2019. That number will likely be higher next year.
- “Every day people watch over a billion hours of video,” according to YouTube.
- Mobile is the primary device for viewing video.
- Including video in your campaigns can lead to 34% higher conversion rates.
- It is predicted that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021.
Your audience is likely watching Facebook Live, YouTube, IGTV or other video platforms. And that means that your content needs to be there as well.
As popular as video is, don’t forget about audio. According to Contently:
time spent listening to any kind of online audio content is at a record high.
Audio content includes podcasts, audiobooks, online radio, and more.
Audio content is portable. Your audience can listen to it in the car, while doing dishes, during exercise, or just about anywhere.
The great thing about audio for content creators is that it is super-easy to produce. And it is especially easy to repurpose other forms of content into audio.
For example, you could create a podcast by simply recording yourself reading your old blog posts. Or you could strip the audio track from a video and use that for your podcast.
Checklists, worksheets, and cheat sheets
Checklists, worksheets, and cheat sheets are popular for opt-in freebies. And they are really easy to create by re-using the key points from another piece of content that you’ve already created.
For example, take an action-oriented blog post and pull out the steps your reader needs to take. You can create a simple checklist in Word or Google Docs. Then export it as a pdf.
Or, you can use graphic design software like Canva to jazz up your checklist or worksheet. This is easy to do and people love pretty printables!
By converting your content into a checklist, worksheet, or cheat sheet, your audience can implement the post content more easily. And you have more content that encourages readers to sign up for your email list.
Interactive content includes things like quizzes, polls, calculators, and contests. There are plug-ins and other software that will help you implement this type of content.
Quizzes are some of the most engaging content that you can create because you are specifically asking your audience to get involved. Think of all the quizzes you’ve taken on Facebook!
And quizzes aren’t useful solely as entertainment. They can also help you educate your audience. Respondents in a CMI survey indicated that contests, games, and quizzes are most effective during the early stages of content marketing when you are trying to increase awareness.
Interact makes it easy to include quizzes on your website and they even have sample quizzes to help you get started.
Here’s an example of a quiz I created using Interact that invites readers to learn their blogging personality.
Polls can also boost engagement because people are interested in seeing the results. It’s easy to conduct polls on Facebook and in Instagram Stories. There are also plugins that you can add to WordPress if you want to conduct polls on your website.
GIFs, short video clips that loop continuously, are super popular right now. GIFs can be entertaining or informative. For example, if you want to show your audience how to perform a task that’s hard to explain, then you can record yourself and turn the video into a GIF.
Promote your different content formats
Now that you have these different kinds of content in your toolbox, don’t be afraid to promote them. Your target audience likely includes people who prefer visual content, audio content, AND text content. By promoting all the content formats that you create, you’ll attract people with different learning styles and content preferences.
Content formats that you can use to spice up your content marketing strategy
So, there you have it. A variety of new content formats that you can use to spice up your content marketing strategy. As you are playing around with the content format ideas, keep two things in mind.
- What types of content does your target audience prefer?
- What types of content do you enjoy creating?
If you focus on formats that fit into both those categories, you’ll be able to create compelling, engaging content for your audience without adding undue stress to your workload.
Additional reading on content marketing and social media marketing:
- Content Marketing Basics for Solopreneurs
- Easy Advice on How to Identify Your Target Market
- How to Simplify Your Social Media Marketing Strategies
- Social Media Strategy Workbook
- 15 Best Social Media Automation Tools for Solopreneurs
Social Media Strategy Guide
Grab your free Social Media Strategy Getting Started Guide!