Question: what kind of content is best?
Answer: bears, beets, and infographics
For marketers who want to drive traffic, create buzz or increase conversions, good content is one of the best tools available.
Limited resources, however, means you have to make tough decisions. There’s only so much content you can create with the budget you have. Your content also asks something of your audience — every piece of content requires visitors to spend their limited time and attention on.
Certain kinds of web content are more useful than others. Knowing what your site visitors want to see will help you plan a more effective content strategy.
Blogs are often at the foundation of a business’s web content strategy.
Blogs are highly flexible and can provide a wide range of information or value for your visitors — like updates on what your business is doing, deep-dives into a particular topic, or commentary on industry news. All of this content can be extremely valuable to site visitors.
Written content is typically the cheapest and easiest content to produce. It’s possible to contract out the work of writing and editing blogs. You can also handle the entire process on your own, though some may want to hire writers and editors to help generate ideas and polish blog content.
The low production cost of blog posts makes them a good complement to slightly more difficult-to-create content types, like video and infographics.
There are some things that blogs can’t do, and any written content will require more attention from visitors than content like video or podcasts. In most cases, however, blog posts can lay a solid foundation for a business’s content marketing strategy.
While blog posts are the most common type of written content used for content marketing, there are benefits totrying out different, more specific forms of writing — like business case studies.
Case studies allow you to show off previous work and demonstrate what your business does well using real-world examples.
Effective case studies answer many of the questions that a customer may have about your brand. They break down your process and show how you and your team solve client issues as they arise.
Case studies are an opportunity to show off your expertise and thought process. They also allow you to highlight some of the customers you’ve worked with and provide some concrete proof of how you fulfill the promises you make to potential customers in your advertising.
Like blog posts, case studies are also much easier to create than other forms of content. While you may need to reach out to previous clients for permission to feature their stories, it’s often possible to get started on creating a case study right away.
Infographics are a highly shareable type of content. Because they are so visual, visitors can break them down quickly, usually learning something new — encouraging them to share them on social media platforms.
If you have an interesting topic or set of statistics that you want to represent visually, you have almost everything you need for a powerful and shareable infographic.
The downside of infographics is that they are tougher to produce than content like blogs. Most businesses probably can’t do infographics on their own, unless their team includes graphic designers who can translate raw data into a scannable visual format.
Infographics are often worth the investment, even if you need to outsource some of their production. The high shareability of infographics and the power of visuals in communicating data make them a great way to provide value to visitors.
Like blogs, podcasts can take a wide variety of forms and be used to discuss a range of topics. A landscaping business, for example, may use podcast episodes to discuss common problems.
Like blogs, podcasts offer a relatively low barrier of entry for content creators. There’s no right way to create a podcast, and the form offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to script and structure.
Businesses have found success with podcast interviews, short episodes about industry news, and discussions between team members. So long as you have the right audio equipment, just about any topic can work.
If you want to make your audio sound particularly professional, you will need to invest in audio mixing and mastering. This is especially true if you want your podcast to be widely distributed — mastering helps ensure your podcast sounds great, regardless of the streaming platform.
However, there’s no need for high-end audio equipment or previous experience with audio. The heavy lifting can mostly be outsourced, freeing you up to determine what your audience wants to hear about.
Like infographics, video is highly shareable and doesn’t demand as much attention from visitors as written content.
Video is also one of the most popular types of content a business can create — according to data from Hubspot, 54% of consumers want to see more video from the brands they follow.
Very few businesses will be able to produce their video content in-house, meaning that a partnership with other professionals or businesses is likely necessary if you want to add a video to your content library.
The unique benefits that video can offer , however, means that this investment is often worth it.
Many content strategies can also benefit from longer pieces of writing — deep-dives on industry topics.
In some cases, going especially long-form can be a good strategy. Many businesses, for example, create informative ebooks that they use to generate leads.
Like blog content, long-form writing has a low barrier to entry. The amount of writing that you’ll need does mean that you may want to pick a topic you have a lot to say on — but the writing process will be familiar if you’ve already worked on blogs in the past.
If you can pull off long-form writing, it can provide a valuable addition to your business’s library of content.
Summary: Creating the Right Content for Your Business
Effective content can come in a variety of formats. Podcasts, videos, blog posts, infographics, and ebooks can all be great tools for marketers wanting to attract new visitors and generate leads.
The right content will depend both on the resources you have and the content you’ve already created. Video content and infographics, for example, are typically harder to create than blog posts — but they can also provide an excellent, highly shareable complement to simpler written content.