It’s easy to fall into a rut and share the same content format over and over and over. No wonder many question the efficacy of their content marketing efforts. After all, who wants to listen to the same spiel time and time again, especially in a social media world where so much shiny and new content is available.
The question is, how can you best mix in a variety of sharable content formats yet still provide value and/or keep the interest of your audience?
The First Step In Using Sharable Content Formats: Have No Fear
The initial step in creating sharable pieces to improve your content marketing is to not be afraid. Trying something new can always feel daunting, especially if you have to learn a new skill in order to be successful. But do yourself and your business a favor: don’t discount any of these formats before you try them and see if they are effective for achieving your goals.
The majority of these pieces don’t have to require major effort to create, at least at their most basic levels. There are plenty of tools available to make your efforts successful. Don’t let fear stop you from developing the sharable content that will move your content marketing efforts forward!
The First Step In Using Sharable Content Formats: Make It Easy On Yourself
The second step is to recognize that creating content in many formats doesn’t have to require monstrous additional effort. You can often take the content you share in one format (for example, a blog post) and transform it into content in another format (for instance, an infographic, a short video clip, or a funny GIF).
Different formats of the same content might even work better on different channels. For example, sharing a video might work great on Facebook. Then again, sharing an interesting infographic might work better on Twitter. Test out the different formats and see what works best with your audience.
Trying Out The Content Formats For Yourself
Now is the time to kick your content marketing efforts into high gear!
First, make sure you establish the goal you want your content pieces to achieve. Next, figure out which format will work best to help you hit your goals. Then try using some of these insanely sharable types of pieces to improve your content marketing efforts right now!
Content Marketing With GIFs
GIFs have been around for a long time, but they never get old as a medium for bringing emphasis or humor (or both!) into an interaction. A GIF is a great way to get a point across in an animated, fun way that both lightens up the tone of the interaction and encourages further interaction.
You can, of course, use GIFs that others have created. However, you can also create personal, personalized, and branded GIFs of your own! It’s a great way to catch your audience’s eyes and hook their attention.
There are loads of GIF creator tools that allow you to create something simply by uploading images or video from your PC. Just make sure that the content you are using to create the GIFs belongs to you and doesn’t violate any copyright issues!
Content Marketing With Infographics
Infographics are an easy way to provide your audience with value while quickly catching their attention. Infographics can be funny, shocking, informative, or anything in between. Infographics also don’t have to be highly involved.
For example, you can transform a blog post into a compelling infographic. Take the article I wrote called 5 Proven Ways To Grow Customer Trust, Confidence, and Love. In this article, the audience is presented with two choices: they can read the article or they can scroll down to the bottom to see the scannable infographic version of the same material. I didn’t have to write any additional material in order to develop the infographic. I just followed the text I had already created for the article.
Infographics can also be a great way to highlight research. You can easily transform an otherwise boring looking list of facts. Make it a graphic and turn it into something engaging and entertaining that your audience will love to share.
For instance, for an article I put together for GlowTouch Technologies, the company I work for, we had to pull together a series of facts about our company’s area of expertise. In order to keep the resulting article, Why Do You Need Rightsourcing Right Now, interesting, we decided to make it more of a graphic piece than one based around bullet points and lists. The piece ended up requiring only a little intro text to get it going and then the rest was based around the infographic that our audience loved to share.
One final piece of advice around creating sharable infographic: Try to include a link that others can use when they want to share your infographic on their own site!
Content Marketing With Videos
Videos immediately draw attention when they are inserted into the social media stream. That said, if you can’t capture your audience’s interest within the first few seconds, they will continue to scroll on.
Videos have to be emotionally gripping, unusual, or humorous right from the very beginning. The more attention you can capture at the start, the more likely it is that people will pause to watch the entire piece through. And the more people watch it, the more likely it is to be shared.
Take, for example, this video about ocularist Fred Harwin, as published by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). The video was about an interesting subject with an unexpectedly emotional feel to it. After all, it’s not every day you learn about how someone can combine art and science to transform lives in a very real and tangible manner.
The video was shared quite a lot through the publication’s own channels. However, when it caught the eye of NPR, its success was sealed. When the video was shared by NPR, it received an additional 5.6 million views, as well as six thousand comments and another 58 thousand shares!
How’s that for improving your audience reach?!
Ready to make some sharable videos of your own but not sure where to begin? Start by reading this article: 8 Easy Ways for Beginners to Edit and Improve Videos for Social Media.
Content Marketing With Live streams
More and more social media channels are encouraging users to try leveraging live streaming for content marketing. Live streaming is great for providing audiences with a behind-the-scenes look. The raw feel of the video makes it seem more genuine and unstaged. It brings a certain level of sincerity and humanity to your business.
Live streams are a great way to supplement a written piece. For example, if you wrote an article about an upcoming event, you can then live stream your presence at the event itself. Show what is happening during event prep, the drama of life backstage, or anything else that gives your audience an “exclusive” insider view. This helps bring your article to life and keep it relevant.
Live streams are an excellent means for directly connecting to your most loyal fans in real-time. They can also provide a great way to show your audience that you care about their comments and viewpoints – enough to say hello to them and even answer questions on the fly.
Once your live stream is complete, don’t forget to share it! When you aren’t live anymore, you can supplement yours with subtitles, additional articles, introductions, branding, graphics, and more! You might also be able to chop a longer piece up, breaking it into a more logical story arc once you have time to edit and re-release it.
Content Marketing With Augmented Reality (AR)
We all love to test out new technology, especially when it can change the way we look at the world around us. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) do just that, helping us merge fantasy and reality in a way that’s fascinating and infinitely sharable.
There aren’t yet many easy ways to create or share VR pieces yet. AR pieces are more doable, though you generally have to work with a specialized agency to create the pieces. If you do decide to create an AR experience, you must also consider how best to get people to share the resulting piece.
Link sharing alone might garner some interest. However, you could create a more effective and sharable experience if you create a video about people’s reactions to your content. The video should provide a view into your audience’s interest and enjoyment of your content. At that point, you can lead viewers back to the site which hosts the actual AR piece itself.
Remember your goals
Getting creative with the content formats you use can spice up your content marketing program and re-engage an otherwise blasé audience. Regardless of the format, you decide to utilize, however, the most important thing to remember is that content marketing should be supporting overall marketing goals.
For example, if you want to build a brand as a fun-loving company, silly GIFs and humorous videos could be the way to go straight to your audience’s heart. If you are a serious B2B company that wants to build a reputation as a thought leader, simply going for laughs all the time might just kill that goal. On the other hand, maybe you can consider using a funny GIF to help drive people to a more serious webinar.
In other words, not every content marketing effort will work for every company, but it’s not always the fault of the format. As long as you keep your company’s overall goals in mind, you can adjust the content to fit your requirements. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit and see if an unexpected and new format improves your content marketing efforts.
Seen good results when you shook things up by using a new content format? If so, let me know in the comments below or Tweet me up at @HollyChessman.