When it comes to content marketing and especially when it comes to curation, many people are curious about what types of content work best.
Questions we often hear include…
- Should I have a blog or something else?
- Should I fill it with articles or videos?
- Who will write the articles that go on my content marketing site?
- What about webinars and all the other options out there?
Over the years I’ve experimented with many variations on content marketing, writing books, articles, doing webinars and teleseminars as well as recording over 150 videos.
Here is what I have learned.
You can succeed, and succeed wildly, by using only one type of content.
Just look at Copyblogger.
But if you want to make your work fun, and bring the best experience possible to your readers, you will adopt the philosophy that variety is the spice of life.
So let’s spice up your content marketing!
In my opinion, there are three types of content that work best for content marketing.
Before we begin, let me say this: I believe people want to consume content in the way they are the most comfortable.
Consumers aren’t all the same, and they don’t all learn the same way.
Some people are auditory learners. They listen and really enjoy learning that way. They often want to listen to something while they’re doing other things.
Some people are visual learners. They want to watch a video; they like to see the motion. Even if it’s just a PowerPoint presentation where the slides change from time to time, they want to watch a video because it captures their full attention.
Some people are kinesthetic. They really like to read an article. They will often print an article from your website and read it later. For these people having that physical touch feedback of the paper against their hands helps them learn.
Even scrolling through your article at their own pace gets their hands somewhat involved in the process (which is better for hands-on learners), and gives them a sense of control.
This is why using different forms of content makes sense, in my view.
Different people learn and absorb information differently. It has always been that way and I think it will always be that way.
Now that we’ve established why it’s important to use all three, let’s look at each type in more detail…
Written articles are the foundation of great content marketing.
When it comes to writing articles, whether you are writing the article yourself or you are having someone guest post, there are some things that are important to keep in mind.
The first is the purpose of the article itself. You want to make sure that in most cases, the article is helpful and not just a commentary piece.
Commentary is fine from time to time. But most people come to your website to find the answer to a problem, so the more you can help them solve the problem, the better.
Another key is to vary the length of the articles you offer.
My articles tend to be somewhat long because I like to share that experience openly.
My articles will often be 1,800 words long. That is a long article.
So what I do, as a discipline, is make sure that I also publish 400 word articles, so that people can quickly consume that content.
My blog, just like your blog, is not about me.
It’s about you.
What I want you to have is a comfortable blend of short articles, medium articles, and long articles that go more into depth.
That way, you can consume the content the way you want to consume it.
Video adds variety to your content marketing.
It’s all too tempting just to grab a bunch of YouTube videos, throw them on your blog and hope for the best.
But that really does not work.
The type of videos you choose for your website matters. When it comes to video, I like to use short videos.
By short, I mean four minutes or less.
I use that standard because of the insights I have received through surveys of the people who visit my blog.
I’ve learned that people rarely want to sit through more than four or five minutes of video.
So the videos I share will often lead into an article or an audio.
That’s a little “insider tip” for how to do content marketing – if you let one type of content lead into another, often times your reader or visitor has a better experience.
When it comes to video, my particular audience likes short video.
Your audience may be different.
The only way you’ll know is to experiment.
So if you’re going to use video, find some short videos and find some long videos (or create them), and then after a little time has gone by, ask people to leave a comment below the video about what they thought about the length.
Just ask them that specific question.
You can put that in a headline font underneath the video. “I need your help, please leave a comment about the length of the video: too long, too short, just right?”
You’ll be surprised at how much people love to share their opinion and will be very open with you.
Audio is the “forgotten child” of content marketing.
When you offer audio to your audience you might be surprised to find that its very popular.
Audio really is the forgotten medium. But it’s not dead, not by a long shot.
People love audio for many reasons, including …
Audio is portable. It can be downloaded to an iPod or phone and listened to later. People can multitask, listening to audio while filing papers or doing other routine tasks.
Many today think of podcasts when they think of using audio in content marketing. But your audio doesn’t have to be a podcast. It can simply be an audio.
There are a tremendous array of free plugins that make audio work very well on a blog. Although a plugin is specifically for a blog there are lots of other tools available for putting audio on a website.
Tools like Audio Generator make putting audio on any site quick and easy.
Audio makes a great lead-in to an article.
Let’s say you’ve written a rather long article, and you want to capture readers’ interest.
There are a few interesting things you can do to make that article more readable.
One thing you can easily do is provide the full article in audio format. All you need to do is read your article into a sound recorder and create an MP3 file that you put on your blog or website.
It’s the simplest thing, and then people have an option between reading or listening, or both.
Here’s another example.
Let’s say you have a multi-part article. Let’s say you’ve written three articles that are each 1,500 words long and that cover one topic thoroughly – a little mini course.
It’s often good to put an audio at the top of each one of those articles to introduce where in the flow of the overall course that one article comes in. It’s good to remind the reader where they are – be it the beginning, the middle, or the end.
And then of course, using a mixture of all three types in one blog post can be done.
No matter how you do it, adding audio to your content marketing mix is a good idea.
So there you have it, three types of content that have proven to be highly effective when doing content marketing.
Let me encourage you to experiment with your blog. Add a video this week, and audio file next week, and ask your visitors to leave a comment about each.
Variety really is the spice of life. And if you add variety to your content marketing using articles, video and audio you will make your audience happier, grow your list faster and make more money too.
And those are all beautiful things indeed!