Some people suffer from a bad case of writer’s block. Some simply get bored of writing blog posts one after another. Some others get creative and inject some fun into their editorial list. Here’s a handy guide for all those times that you get lost or bored, and don’t know how to create your next content piece to connect with your audience.
The most basic and rewarding content to implement for your business is images. They are easy on the eye – much more interesting than plain text. They are also easy to share and tweet, and conveys information much more easily. Enough said!
Stock photographs are available free of cost under Creative Commons license (such as Pixabay, or you can buy licensed images from numerous sites such as Shutterstock or iStockphotos. Some popular online image editing tools include Canva, iPiccy or PicMonkey – extremely handy and makes the process more enjoyable.
Immensely shareable and informative, infographics is the favourite type of content for many marketers. Visual flow of information makes it easy to understand and digest chunks of information. Another benefit of using infographics is that it eliminates redundant text and info, and gives precise succinct information on any topic.
Admit it, cartoon strips and comics can still make you smile! Some classics even fit in the business context and add fun and humour to any topic. They make for great introductions or ending punchlines in articles and blog posts, and can even stand out on their own.
Videos are believed to yield the highest ROI among all the content types out there. Whether it’s a product review, demo, explainer videos or music videos, the benefits and advantages of video marketing are stack up quite favourably. Search engines love videos, consumers love videos. Videos are fast becoming a powerful weapon in a marketer’s armoury.
You may have seen animated GIFs in various articles and postings. They make for memorable and entertaining additions to your content. GIFs may seem daunting, but can be created easily with tools such as gifmaker. They can be made either by selecting multiple still images, or by using a video clip.
6. Charts and data visualizations
This one appeals to the analytical minds. Presenting beautiful pie charts or bar graphs to illustrate your point is a neat weapon to have in your pocket. Particularly useful if you have research data about demographics, or usage, or market share etc. Good old excel or online chart tools are the best places to create beautiful charts. Make sure to label them properly!
This one appeals to the analytical as well as the not-so-analytical minds. Anyone with a sense of humour can get it. They are easy to create using tools such as memegenerator.net and can be applied to a wide variety of situations and broad industry segments. casual browsers particularly love it. Memes are not ‘serious’ content and hence should be used wisely as it may devalue the brand if used excessively.
Ebooks are considered to be more comprehensive and valuable content than regular articles on blogs. Ebooks are typically used as lead magnets and gated content that users get in exchange for their names, emails ids, job titles etc.
One of the most common forms of blog posts, lists have proven effective in grabbing eyeballs and directing traffic to the website.
10. Reviews of Product/tools/resources
Research into consumer purchase journey have repeatedly highlighted the fact that most people first look for reviews of the product or service online before buying. As such, providing useful and honest reviews can go along way in driving traffic as well as earning the trust of consumers.
11. How-to guides
Another evergreen type of content is How-to guides. Guess where more and more people are going to find out how to do something? They look for information online, and educate themselves with not just the information, but also about your brand and quality of content.
There’s great value in learning from other people’s experiences. Interview from industry stalwarts or even newbies can be interesting if crafted to add value to the reader. Ask questions that show their expertise, and also how they made it. Information and inspiration serve as a great combo to get reader’s attention.
This one’s a favourite if you have a writer’s block, or even otherwise. A lot of people are writing a lot of stuff that doesn’t set anybody’s world on fire. If you can separate the wheat from the chaff, readers will still love you. Gather a link of some of the best content on a particular topic. Make sure you give proper credits where it’s due though.
14. Live-streaming videos
Live streaming is the new kid on the block, and it’s slowly but surely generating buzz and content that’s hard to miss. Periscope and Meerkat have proven that live streaming can be done for events other than sports, and are now finding their way into business and professional settings. Facebook has also launched live streaming, but it’s limited to celebrities at this moment. Here’s a useful guide to using the two apps for live streaming.
15. Wisdom quotes
Quotes from the wise and the famous makes interesting content, provided it’s entertaining, educating or inspiring.
Whitepapers are the pinnacle of a site’s research and expertise. They are usually longer than an ebook and is an authoritative report on a specific issue or topic. This type of content is usually gated, i.e. it required an email id to download. Whitepapers are used by websites and blogs to capture leads and grow their subscribers.
17. Case studies
This is a great piece of content for consumers further down in the buying funnel – for those who are aware of the brand, but need more nurturing and handholding. They are conducting more research into success and failure cases in their industry and how to learn from their mistakes.
18. Thought leadership articles
These are exactly what they sound like: articles which position you as a thought leader. These articles can be about the state or future of the industry, innovation ideas, products, services or about the company. The idea is to establish yourself as the originator of high quality thought provoking content.
A podcast is like a radio show on the internet, except that its not limited to the professionals, and users can listen to it anytime they want. It’s a new media content distribution technology that has taken the world by storm. Anybody can host a podcast, although it needs some preparation and infrastructure setup to get started. You will need a good quality microphone, recording software, editing software, hosting and storing platform. This is a good guide on how to make a podcast.
20. Slideshare presentations
Another medium and another platform to showcase your expertise. Slideshare is becoming increasingly popular among content marketers. They add variety to your content, can be easily created with minimal cost, can be embedded into your website and can handle different file sizes such as audios, videos and infographics.
Who wouldn’t love to have handy little lists that make life easy? Checklists make for good lead capturing content. Find a process that has many moving parts and make a thoughtful checklist which could help save some time.
Templates take the process of simplifying tasks a step further by providing templates in word document or spreadsheets that you can plug and play into your business process with little to no tweaking.
There is an increasing trend of conducting webinars to educate people about a hot topic or discussing solutions to a problem. Once you have identified an issue or a problem that people would be interested to learn how to solve, think about how you can model your webinar to provide maximum value to your audience. Webinars can be done solo by an expert, or you can invite an expert or a team of experts to interview. A lot of preparation goes into conducting your first webinar, but the results are always fantastic.
24. Courses and tutorials
Plenty of people have successfully adopted the strategy of creating a course or tutorials with the intention of educating their audience about a topic. You can run your course as a series of emails, create it on youtube, or use an online platform like Udemy to create a course. Some courses run for free, especially if the ultimate goal is to nurture leads and convert them into customers.
Demos are often used as the killer last strike that close the deal on sales. It requires plenty of rehearsal to make sure you leave a good impression on your potential client. be clear on what message you want to deliver, and do it clearly without wasting your viewer’s time too much. Some demos are given in person, but some demos are also recorded in the form of videos. make sure your demo answers all the final hurdles that may have been lingering in your viewer’s mind.