Content is everywhere. In every corner and every crevice of the internet, content is being churned out at an unprecedented rate.
It’s no wonder then that we’re starting to see consumers switch off or feel overloaded. Though the content being created may be getting better, engagement with it is down.
So something needs to be done. Now we can’t go back – we can’t stop creating content, the genie is out of the bottle so to speak. We can, however, create more interesting, unique and engaging types of content.
So here I’m going to run through a few ideas for types of content that marketers could really start making more often, and that are particularly engaging to consumers. If you have any other ideas, let me know in the comments.
Though gamification has seen a huge rise in the business world in recent years, marketers have either been slow or hesitant to adopt.
Branded games have been around for a long time, but rarely do we see games created for marketing purposes alone – lead generation or brand building games, for example.
This really ought to change. Studies show a staggering 1.2 billion people worldwide play games regularly – that’s about one in 6 people! Can you really afford not to trying to target this market?
Many marketers may be put off by the perceived cost of game or app development, and it’s true to say it will probably cost a bit more than a blog post, but the ROI on such blue chip content is going to be huge – and if you’re creating an HTML5 web game, for example, development costs aren’t going to be excessive.
Brands like WWE and McDonalds have adopted exactly this approach in recent years to great effect, seeing engagement times with customers averaging 5-10 minutes. Imagine being able to capture a potential client’s attention for that amount of time!
The reality is that a decent game, app or interactive content piece shouldn’t cost significantly more than a decent video, but can have 10 times the return value in terms of engagement.
Podcasts are pretty zeitgeisty right now, and ebooks are a marketer’s best friend – so why not combine the two?
Audiobooks needn’t just be the preserve of Stephen Fry – if you’ve got an ebook or whitepaper, why not consider having it read aloud and recorded?
Studies have shown that commuters are much more likely to engage in passive content like audiobooks and podcasts than active content like reading during their daily journey.
This means that with the right content, you can capture a client’s attention at a time of day when none of your competitors get a look in. Doesn’t that sound appealing?
Humour is by far one of the best tools at a marketer’s disposal.
Sometimes we get bogged down with creating that ‘epic’ piece of content – the mammoth blog post or whitepaper, the shiny video – that we forget that sometimes, simple, engaging ‘snackable’ pieces of content can be just, if not more, engaging.
People don’t have an infinite amount of time, but they’ve always got a second for a funny image here and there.
That’s where a great comic or cartoon could come in. Think how successful Dilbert has been, skewering the foibles and inanity of the modern workplace – there’s no reason this couldn’t be taken as an idea starter for industry-level jokes and humour.
Back in early 2015, I predicted that Meerkat and Periscope were going to be pretty massive.
I’m not sure if either of those two has broken through quite as much as I expected, but what is certainly clear is that livestreaming apps are on the rise. Facebook and Snapchat, two of the biggest social networks, now have the features built in and the public is becoming more and more familiar with the concept.
Yet it is still a tactic underused by marketers – there’s so much scope (excuse the pun!) for livestreaming in our industry – from product demos, to guides and walkthroughs, interviews, seminars and talks and so much more.
It’s cheap, it’s easy and it’s engaging. And more and more companies are going to start doing it.
You can’t afford to be the last one on the bandwagon, so start getting on board now.
UGC (User-generated content)
If the rise of social media has proved anything, it’s that people love posting their opinions on the internet.
Some sites have made the most of this and built communities – others still like Youmoz and Inbound have taken it further and actively encourage and publish longform UGC.
But the majority of marketers still don’t make the most of the opportunity to tap into their clients so early in the funnel.
Whether it’s by contributing a small blog post, embedding tweets, testimonial videos, interviews – the options for incorporating UGC into your content marketing strategy are endless.
So there you have 5 super engaging types of content that marketers really need to start making more often. Have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.