It’s the message, just as much as it's the medium.
There’s no argument that video tops all other types of online content, regarding popularity. You could stop reading here and scamper off to start working on a strategy to migrate all your content to a video delivery format, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a mistake. But, considering that this article is going to continue for another 800 or so words, aren’t you curious about what else can be said about what makes for engaging content?
Yes, you absolutely have to venture beyond words if you want to cast the most efficient inbound marketing net. Video is just a part of it – and your video content might just fall flat on its face. It’s the content that makes video work. It doesn’t matter if it’s video or smoke signals if you know how to use them online. It’s the message just as much as it is the medium.
Content must create conversation
The sad reality is that our content combines to become noise. Between social media, mobile apps, and the Internet, there’s just too much competing for our attention. You will not succeed if the prerequisite for your content is, please read/listen/watch me.
One-way marketing messaging was the only game in town when radio, television, and newspaper ruled the roost. Today, we don’t put up with that. If you want to talk to us, you had better offer us the opportunity to talk back.
It’s two-way, baby. It’s interactive.
If we crave interaction above all else, guess what video – at least currently – doesn’t offer? Video engages us at a multisensorial level. That’s why it’s our preferred medium. But it does not interact with us.
Meanwhile unassuming text-based interactive content like quizzes and polls are engagement magnets. They’re not saying, please read/listen/watch me. They’re saying, play with me!
- Quizzes: These are highly efficient ways to get prospects to spend some time answering questions that can help you tailor your offer to them. The most successful quizzes are fun and informal. They’re seldom more than five questions, which have close-ended answers to create a quick finishing time. Answers to the quiz are entertaining and designed to deepen relationships.
- Polls: How do you grab a prospect’s attention? Ask for their opinion. Polls are fast and efficient ways to capture attention. They’re excellent ways to start a conversation, and it’s a low investment for prospects. The cost to participate is just a click.
You can’t get around talking about the superiority of video when it comes to capturing attention and engagement online. But, prospects are attracted to other types of visual content, as well.
- Photography: Relevant photos are an absolute must for your online content. Even quizzes and polls will generate higher interaction levels when images are used. Many of the most popular quizzes feature multiple choice questions where the answers are images or animated GIFs.
- Infographics: One of the most important parts of the inbound marketing sales funnel is content which demonstrates that you understand a prospect’s problem and that you have the knowledge to solve the problem. You’re dealing with facts, figures, and statistics. That could get pretty boring as a series of articles, but informative and easily consumed as an infographic. From an interactive perspective, people enjoy sharing good infographics with their social networks.
We have to find a way to fit a brand into our worldview if we’re going to buy its product or service. We select our friends because of what we have in common, and we’re looking for reasons to do the same thing with the companies that manufacture what we buy. Often, it’s a simple text-based piece of content that does this best.
- Memes: Take the issues specific to your industry and turn them into memes. Humor is a powerful way to connect with prospects, and memes are a way to add an enjoyable human aspect to your brand online. Memes are some of the most shared types of content on the Internet.
- Quotes: Humor’s not for everybody. If you choose to take a pass on memes, consider quotes. They tend to be more formal so quotes might be a better fit for your brand or industry. Motivational quotes can strike prospects at a very personal level, and they can create an association between your brand and the author of the quote. They’re highly shareable, but it doesn’t help to remind people – which is why you often see “tag someone who could use this quote” attached to marketers’ Facebook posts.
Engagement makes people come back for more. Interaction sparks engagement. Video is king when it comes to capturing attention, but other types of content actually do a better job of creating interaction.
Smart marketers know they’ll make deeper relationships with prospects and customers by creating a variety of content. Make it a buffet! Learn how you can attract more clients with a variety of custom content with our free guide.