As we have already heard: if we create new content we should consider creating the right content, for the right person, at the right place, at the right time, in the proper format, in the correct language, and on the right device. Sounds like a big challenge, and honestly, Rome also hasn’t been built in one day.
Nowadays the list of content formats available to marketers is exponentially and with this significant amount of possible content formats it is understandable that we start asking ourselves questions like:
· Should we focus on blog posts or podcasts?
· Should we create images or videos for our customers on social media?
· And what the heck is a Boomerang?
Convincing audiences with the right content is one of the biggest challenges in marketing. But which one is the right content? In this blog post, I try to give a short overview of which content format fits best in which case. Meaning when do we need text (like articles, whitepapers or blogs), when video, when audio and when images.
At the beginning of the journey, an overview of some important content formats would be fine. To get this a little bit structured, I’ll divide this formats into four main groups: Text, Audio, Video, and Images.
The main text formats:
- Blogs: Blogs offer an easy way to present brief chunks of frequently refreshed Web content. Furthermore, is a kind of public online diary or journal in chronological order.
- Articles: A flexible medium, both in length and format. Articles open opportunities for companies to address issues, trends, concerns, and topics of immediate interest to their intended audiences.
- Whitepapers: white papers are topical reports, typically 8 – 12 pages long, on issues that require a lot of explanation.
The main audio formats:
- Podcasts: Podcasts are audio recordings that, like small radio broadcasts, shed light on content and topics. The content for a podcast doesn’t have to be written. It’s an audio piece of content, usually told over a series of episodes, but which can also be published as a standalone piece.
- Music: In music production, either natural or electronic instruments or sound fragments (samples) are combined to produce the desired sound result. Thereby, completely different emotions can be transported.
Videos are one of the fastest growing media formats online, so this content format needs to be in your arsenal of online content. Plus, videos are easy to share on sites like YouTube and Facebook, giving you a new way to promote your content and find new audiences. The main possible video formats are:
- How-To-Videos: are usually videos of one to three minutes in length, which convey certain facts in a simple and effective way.
- Image videos: Image films enable you to convey the brand values of your product or company to customers or employees in an emotional way.
- Scribble Videos: Scribe videos use markerboard drawings to share information in a way that audiences find engaging and interesting.
According to a study by Social Bakers, an average video contribution generates a 135% greater reach than a photo (source: absatzwirtschaft. de)
The main image formats:
- Pictures: concerning pictures it is essential that real photos work better than stock photos.
- GIF: GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, and this are small graphics (frames) played in a loop, which are composed of small films. A medium between image and video. Because of its small size and fast loading times, GIFs are ideal for mobile Internet use.
- Infographic: In an infographic, data and correlations are graphically prepared and presented in a way that is easy to understand. Data visualized using infographics are easier to grasp by the viewer and increase the comprehension of complex interrelationships.
- Slideshows: Are presentations of a series of still images. It differs from video primarily in its presentation character. It does not use moving images, but static, clearly separated from each other.
Finding the right content format
Finding the right content format could be a big challenge. Despite focusing on your KPI when selecting a content format, identifying business considerations (like industry expertise, brand focus or audience interests) and defining the purpose of the content (should it inform, teach, inspire entertain, persuade or start a conversation) , a content marketing media matrix is an excellent tool for comparing the amount of time and budget required to create particular types of content versus the attention required to consume them.
Does your brand have a lot of resources but an audience that prefers easily-digestible content? If so, podcasts or animated videos could be a great investment.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your audience has a high attention span but you have limited time and budget to devote to content, then infographics or e-books could be great options.
But to make sure your content drives results, its format needs to be just as well-researched as the information contained in it. For instance, if you’re trying to explain a complex mechanical process to an engineer, then a comprehensive white paper would work better than a short blog post or an infographic.
Another opportunity to select the right content format is: consistency. There you can sort the different formats in the following parts: is consistency expected: then blogs, newsletters, magazines or podcasts would be the best way. If consistency is helpful but not required: videos, white papers, eBooks or infographics would be good. If consistency isn’t critical: branded content tools, research reports, books or apps would be fine.
The possibilities with content formats are endless, and the list of content formats available to marketers is exponentially and will continue to emerge at a rapid rate.
So get back to basics and make format decisions based on available resources, what your audience values and time to consume your content – and (despite your business goals) how much time and budget do you have to create it.
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