Each second of every day, about 59,394 Google searches take place, 7,553 Tweets are posted, and 772 Instagram photos are uploaded. In a world that’s exploding with myriad types of content, how does your creation find an audience?
Even if you cast your net wide and spread your content marketing efforts across the World Wide Web, does the reach ensure visibility and engagement? Probably not.
Grabbing someone’s attention online is akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. Creating catchy headlines and colorful graphics aren’t enough anymore. One needs to create content that has a compelling story to tell, is relevant to your company/product, contains a valuable takeaway, has strong visual aesthetics, and has credible sources backing it up. But the most crucial element that ties all this together is content that your audience enjoys engaging with and shares with their network.
Here are five types of content that people often like to share.
Since the advent of YouTube, which has over a billion users—almost one-third of all people on the Internet—video content has grown exponentially. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, Internet video streaming and downloads will grow to more than 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020. Be it simple how-to videos, celeb interviews, tutorials, animation, testimonials or complete webisodes, video content is now a vital component of the content marketing strategy mix. And consumption isn’t limited to the desktop either; mobile viewing is speedily overtaking it.
One of the most popular content formats infographics merge colorful visuals and complicated data in text form, to present data in a concise, reader-friendly manner. They provide useful information in a digestible form, making them extremely sharable. When technology company Contently’s data scientists examined 3,200 stories produced on the platform, they found that infographics reach 54 percent more readers than blog posts.
For the uninitiated, GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. They are short videos on a loop, without the requirement of a ‘play’ button. They are often used when demonstrating emotions or humor using pop culture references. You can easily use GIFs via social media platforms like Twitter—which has a library for you to choose from—or on Facebook where you simply need to paste a link. Brands have used GIFs to launch new products, to add animated elements on their landing page, in email marketing and more. For example, American Apparel featured an animated GIF of their Sheer Nail Lacquer nail polish on its Tumblr blog, while Verizon used animated GIFs in its Google+ profile.
In the online world, where everyone’s vying for a moment in the spotlight, memes have made a significant impact in a short span of time. You would certainly remember popular memes that featured the dancing baby, the success kid or the Yao Ming face. But contrary to popular belief, memes are not a recent invention. The term ‘meme’ was coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins back in 1976. He compared memes to genes as images were being replicated with only ‘mutations’ of text; increasing the chances it being more sharable.
Quizzes are one of the most interactive content formats that engage people in real time and have an instant outcome. BuzzFeed quizzes rose in popularity with quizzes like ‘What State Do You Actually Belong In?’ that has raked in over 40 million views till date. But they weren’t the only ones to see success with this format. In 2013, the most read story on The New York Times website was actually a quiz. Even brands have reason to rejoice. As per BuzzFeed’s managing editorial director Summer Anne Burton and Ryan Hynes, a creative brand strategist, in a BuzzfeedU webcast, 96 percent of users complete sponsored quizzes. Quizzes are also a good way to capture user data by adding a call-to-action at the end or link backs to your website/blog. You can easily create your own quiz too, using tools like Qzzr, which you can embed on your website or blog.
So don’t let restrict your content marketing strategy with just articles and blog posts. Mix things up for better results.