Content marketing is easier said than done. When people think of blogs, the first things that come to mind are text articles. That, in a world of attention deficit people—myself included—is quite a hassle considering the amount of information floating around.
Don’t get me wrong, text articles are still important as they are good sources of facts, but having chunks of texts on your blog isn’t going to do squat.
Based on my experience, I realized that sometimes no matter how good a writer you are and how mind-blowingly awesome your text content is, your reader base will still find it bland and will eventually look for more engaging ways of content presentation.
This may or may not result in them moving out of your web space and into another. All you can do is pray that they don’t—that is IF you have nothing new to present to your audience.
While the need for change is not a comment on your writing skills, it is a clear signal that you need to attack your content in different ways. The great news is there are a handful of alternatives you can use to keep your readers interested and engaged.
Today, I will share with you what I think are the most ideal media that you can use when posting content on your blog.
- Curated Content
Before curating content became the buzz that it is now, part of my content creation process was simply researching the best related links bearing substantial information and then whip a whole new piece as I add expert points. Little did I know that I was already doing what would eventually be coined as content curation.
The only difference is that its characteristics now are more specific.
You’ve probably had your share of content curation, only that you didn’t know it until now. Basically, content curation is the process of sorting a mass of online content for information related to the specified topic and then presenting these in an organized fashion. It also requires that you present excellent sources your topic requires.
Here are some works that influenced how I perceive a good curation:
- 44 Creative and Innovative Link Building Experts and Their Strategies by Jason Acidre of Kaiserthesage
- 79 Link Building Resources – 2011 Edition – a guest post on KISSMetrics by Kristi Hines of Kikolani
- 21 Link Builders Share Advanced Link Building Queries – a ‘curation of answers (crowdsource)’ post on Search Engine Land by Garrett French
Curated content is ideal for your website because the material is expected to have gone through a process undertaken by an expert, which can gain authority to the site and generate high traffic.
Infographs have been the preferred type of content of many readers since they are usually colorful and are a welcome change from the usual walls of text you find in blogs.
Since infographics are attractive—they help readers retain the information longer and to remember where they read the content from. The thing is, if you really want your infographics to work, then you need to make something that is highly creative, highly recognizable, and highly relevant to your target audience while providing quality information.
Doing so will make your readers eager at commenting and sharing it to other people.
Some infographics that moved me:
I won’t post an example here, since the file size would be HUGE. Anyway, always put embed codes of your infographics (like what Inbounce and Lewt did) for easier sharing. And it’s a free link
In publishing online content, there are times when text and images simply don’t cut it. These are the cases when I find videos quite useful. They may be a little hard to pull off , but when you get the hang of it, sharing how-to articles and those that needed tutorials will become a piece of cake. There are also other ways to do a video for content marketing. How-to videos are always good, yet, try to do other formats such as kinetic typography, and ‘augmented reality’ style videos.
Another option you can substitute to text, as well as videos, is to create podcasts. In the course of my content marketing career, I realized that different readers prefer certain mediums when learning. If you wish to be a versatile content marketer, creating podcasts for your readers—or, in this case, listeners—who learn better with their ears is the way to go. Podcasts are quite portable and convenient since listeners can simply download it to their mobile devices and hear it whenever they want, wherever they are. You can establish a better connection with them, and teach them better, if they consistently hear your voice through this medium.
- Interactive Content
Readers tend to remember a piece of content more vividly if the material is responsive. This is where interactive content comes in, which happens to be a style I favor as well. This medium makes no room for idle hands and mind, plus it can also be very pleasing to the eye when done right. If your site also serves as your online store, this is a great idea for you to display your products instead of just coming up with a catalog—no matter how pretty it is. Thus, engage your readers better by making their experience enjoyable through interactive content. This will also help you insert calls to action naturally yet convincingly.
- Questions & Answer / Forum
Your readers will continually ask questions about your products regardless of how detailed your FAQ section is. I have learned long ago that discerning customers tend to ask more since they are keen on getting what they will be paying for. It would definitely be helpful if you cover this base as well.
If your company requires and can afford it, you can hire people to serve as customer service representatives and let them answer the queries whether by auto-generic or specific replies. But if your resources are limited, you can choose to write articles and optimize them by using keywords that will help search engines redirect inquiries to your site.
- Inbound Guest Blogs
When I was starting out in this business, I did my best not to miss any opportunities to post an article or two on my blog. I thought this was enough until a colleague introduced me to guest blogging. It changed a lot of things that had to do with my site, including and most especially traffic.
Keep in mind that the content you create doesn’t always have to be posted on your website alone. It is easier to spread word when you’re able to post your articles on sites that share your niche. As such, take the time to interact with fellow writers and bloggers in the same industry and seek their permission to post content on their blogs. Just be sure that you’re open to them doing the same thing to your site so that both parties can help each other out.
- Contest and Gamification
Aside from interacting with readers, holding contests is a good way to engage your readers. Even I have to admit that it’s quite interesting to visit a website, over and over I might add, especially if it promises a treat after I spend a lot of time reading and participating in the discussions.
To present your content in a much more active way, try launching competitions your readers can join. It can be a form of providing an appropriate title for a specific photo gallery or a catchy name for a new product. Your options are practically endless if you just let your creative juices kick in.
With these eight alternatives, you’ll have to wait a very long while before you run out of ways to execute your content. Try these approaches and let us know if they worked out for you.
Image Credit:Will Lion