Content for Web - It Goes Way Beyond Copy


Written by  on Feb 10, 2016

When you think of the term “website content,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? For most people it’s going to be words, articles, blog posts, or something of the like. While these are foundational elements of content for the web, thinking of content through this narrow lens can really limit your ability to serve up the right content to the right prospect. 

In this day and age, not only does content need to be sculpted for a very specific audience,  it needs to be hand-delivered in the right format and the proper medium. 

Look at it from the users' perspective. Put yourself in their shoes and decide - would you rather read an article or watch a video on a particular topic? Would you prefer to skim over an infographic or review a white paper on that same topic? 

We all have unique and independent means of absorbing content. Since there is not one single content delivery-path for our audience to follow, we cannot serve up content in a single format and expect our audience to engage wholeheartedly. 

Here are some ways to give your content the boost that gets people to notice you.

Blogs

Blogs are the go-to vehicle for delivering dynamic content to your audience. But the responsibility of having a blog means engaging your audience, consistently and often. 

You’ll want to compliment the articles you publish with images that match the written content in order to make it pop, and help people remember you. You can put everything listed below in your blog. Not only will it give your audience variety, it will give you more freedom to be creative. 

White Papers

White Papers are great marketing tools that usually take the form of a content asset. Content assets are items that we typically trade email addresses or leads for. We’ve all seen them - “Download The Ultimate Guide to XXXX by Submitting Your Email Address Below”. The idea is, you give them your email address so that they can market to you, and in exchange they give you this asset that will benefit you in one form or another. 

The idea is, you give them your email address so that they can market to you, and in exchange they give you this asset that will benefit you in one form or another. 

White Papers can range from a single page document to hundreds of pages. Beyond written copy, Incorporating charts and graphics into your white paper that will make it more eye appealing and less daunting. Plus, it gives it that edge that makes it more informative and helps break up the written content. This makes it easier to read and more approachable. If you’ve never created a white paper before, you may want to read this article.

Podcasts

Podcasting began in the late 1980s, and didn’t really gain traction until 2004. Though somewhat inconsistent in their role in digital marketing, podcast are more relevant now than ever before. If you have not yet incorporated a podcast or webinar into your blogs or website, you may want to read this post on the benefits of podcasting.

The audio method of content delivery is nothing new, but podcasts and webinars are taking off and greatly increases participation and engagement with your content. Podcasting resonates with a wide range of audiences, and listening to a podcast can be a nostalgic experience for those of us who remember listening to the radio. 

Podcasts give a brand a voice, an actual human voice with a personality. 

Another big ‘hi-five’ to the podcast is centered around its portability. People can listen to shows on their favorite topics while they are on the go - commuting, exercising, and one better - from one device to the next. 

Slideshows/Presentations

Having a slideshow or presentation incorporated into your written content is a great way to get your point across, and can help you engage your audience. Don’t let your content grow stale and dull. Using these techniques adds that extra element that helps get the point across, while also entertaining your audience. 

We're all familiar with using slideshows in presentations with tools like Powerpoint and Slides, but services like Slideshare help you organize, optimize, and present your slides to make the content presentable in web form. 

Webinars

Though geared more to the B2B market, webinars are the perfect venue for delivering bite-sized reveals of digestible information, but with an added layer of intimacy and audience interaction. 

Live webinars came in as a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional trade show or conference. Webinars are ideal platforms to get questions answered by experts with the most up-to-date information on a particular topic or subject matter. 

Granted, most webinars are not completely selfless. As an expert on any particular topic, the special guest and/or host of a webinar usually has intentions beyond philanthropy. These experts are offering their advice at the cost of being introduced to their brand, product or service, and more often than not it’s worthwhile tradeoff. This serendipitous introduction to a brand is the definition of content marketing. 

If you're planning on hosting your own webinar, there are several of 3rd party broadcasting services out there, including GoToMeeting and WebEx to name a few. 

Custom Graphic Images

What's the saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words?”. Your blog is going to benefit from supporting graphics for the obvious reason that human beings are visual creatures. We’re drawn to photos, charts, and graphics that help illustrate a point. 

Images that are paired with written content are going to get you more views – period. Whether you have one image or many throughout, make sure you’re picking images that draw people in and relate to what you are writing about. 

Having access to a graphic designer is helpful when developing professional looking graphics. If you’re not the creative type, services like Visually can help with the design and production of these custom graphic images, and stock photo websites like iStock and Getty Images are ideal for locating the right photograph.  

Videos

While written content is ideal for search engine optimization, reading a written article or a how-to tutorial is not on the top of most people’s list. Learning is easier with video, and you can see all of those little steps that don’t always make it in the articles. 

A video is also a great way to introduce yourself to your target audience. Videos that give your audience a peek under the hood show that your company is more than just a logo and a building - there are people behind the products and services you offer. 

Humanize your organization by showcasing your brand’s culture in the form of video. Connecting voices and faces to the services you provide will personalize the customer experience and tear down the walls between consumers and they brands they buy from. 

Infographics

Infographics get shared more than images paired with content. They are a great way to say what you want in a shorter amount of time, and you can pack more information in it. So basically, more information, less time spent looking at it, more shares, and people can move on quickly. Which is what everyone is trying to do these days as they breeze through online content.

Web content takes on many forms, but don’t be afraid to repurpose content from one medium to the next - especially successful content assets. Have a great piece of evergreen content on your blog that continues to get traffic - maybe you should make a video on the subject, updating the article with a new twist. 

Conclusion

We’re fortunate to be marketing in an age with so many options. We can connect with our audience on a variety of platforms, allowing personalization not just in the content we produce but in the method by which it’s delivered. 

What is your preferred means of consuming content?

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