Leverage different mediums and content styles will bring variety to your blog, adding spice to your users’ experience and helping to generate and sustain engagement. Here are seven types of content you might not have tried yet, why you should be adding them to your upcoming blog schedule, and what makes them so effective.
Listicles (list articles) consolidate information into numbered sections that are straightforward for an audience to read, digest, share, and action.
This type of post is easy to create, and is attractive to readers because it makes a specific promise about what they can expect from the article, and delivers it in a short amount of time. So long as the content is of high quality, readers will be satisfied, in fact, research from Fractl and BuzzStream showed that lists are shared on social media more often than any other type of article.
The amount of information you should provide for each point will largely depend on the total number of items on the list. A rough rule of thumb, as demonstrated by Bodybuilding.com;
- Shorter lists (less than ten), should provide detailed and insightful copy for each point (for a good example, check out The 6 Best Kettlebell Exercises You Need To Do)
- Longer lists sit well with a single sentence or two for each point (as in 48 Delicious Protein Shake Recipes)
2. Product reviews
Product reviews have a considerable bearing on conversion rates. A study by Sitejabber revealed that 91% of people think reviews are important enough to sway their purchasing decision – even for a brand that they have not previously heard of. This principle can also be applied to other business services too, for example:
- A hospitality review site such as Tripadvisor
- A client testimonial section on an agency website
- Recommendations accompanied by before and after photos on a makeup artist’s site
When writing a review, you’ll want to think about and focus on:
- The ease of using the product/service
- The quality of the product/service
- The value for money of the product/service
- The pros and cons of the product/service
- The type of person that might use the product/service
- What others have said about the product/service
- The alternative products/services that are available, and how they compare
If you’ve got the budget available, employing a micro influencer to create a product review video demonstrating your product in use or writing a post endorsing your brand can be extremely effective in establishing trust, and it’ll also make your content feel more interactive, enhancing the user experience associated with your brand.
3. Guest posts
Getting an outside expert to contribute to your blog can help switch things up by adding a new tone of voice, and a fresh opinion and perspective. Of course, the contributor is probably hoping to drive traffic from your site to theirs, but so long as the content is always valuable and of high quality, readers are going to keep coming back to you for more.
Accepting guest blogs is an effective way to build relationships with like-minded bloggers and brands. This can help draw in a wider audience, establish credibility, and build trust with readers. Just make sure you establish some guidelines with guest contributors:
- Vet their work for suitability and originality
- Ensure all grammar and spelling are correct. Although this is a guest post, it will appear on your blog and you want to protect your reputation
- Any images used are royalty-free, or have the correct licensing and are not violating copyright laws
- Be clear about the number of/ types of links they can include in their piece (particularly links to their own site!)
- Ensure all links they have included are working correctly
- Check that any research or statistics they’ve referred to in their post have been correctly referenced
Recent research has found that 61% believe infographics to be the most effective medium when it comes to retaining information. This is because they amalgamate our human love of visual with our thirst for knowledge. An effective infographic should be:
- Well designed. Does your choice of font colour against the background make it difficult for users to read?
- Easy to follow. Consider the layout of your infographic; do the statistics and data bites flow in a logical order?
- Shareable. Well-constructed infographics take time and resources to put together, so if you’ve got a good one, it’s likely that others will want to borrow this content for their own audience. Make sure your infographic is in a format that is easy to download or embed. Branding your infographic will ensure that it’s easily identifiable as your work, however, there’s nothing wrong with requesting a link back to your original landing page too for extra SEO points!
Here is a snapshot of a nice infographic example on Why Pinterest Matters to Marketing from Social Media Today, which clearly displays helpful information in easy to digest chunks.
Whatever your area of expertise, there’s probably something you know how to do that others are interested in learning about.
As a blogger, the idea of writing ‘how-to’ posts might seem counter-intuitive; why would customers come to you for advice or services when you’re giving away the information for free? Fear not; tutorials are a great way to help establish expertise and credibility. Even in a situation where your step-by-step post completely solves a reader’s problem, they will be far more likely to consider you when future challenges arise, and will recommend you to others in their field.
When constructing your ‘how-to’ post, number each step (lists win again!) and keep things simple by avoiding a glut of industry jargon and using photos and links to other sources to illustrate your points.
Whereas just a few years ago, video marketing was a ‘nice to have’, in today’s mobile-driven market, video content should be an essential part of your brand’s content plan, particularly when it comes to promoting your blog on social media. Amongst those surveyed as part of Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2019 report, 79% of people said a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app, so get it right, and it could have a significant impact on your conversion rate.
Embracing video marketing doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend most of your budget on a market-leading video production company. You can create professional-looking videos using your smartphone or GoPro camera, and edit them in an afternoon using a video editing software. There are plenty of user-friendly and cost-effective options on the market – some are even free.
When planning your video content schedule, decide what style of video would best suit the campaign you’re running:
- Q&A session with one of your experts…
- A product demonstration from one of the designers…
- A review of your product or service by an influencer…
- A video client testimonial…
There are various ways to make your video marketing unique to both you and your audience, so get creative and brainstorm ideas amongst your team.
Video can also be valuable post-purchase marketing tool too. One company that does this particularly well is Gillette. Its YouTube channel is filled with tutorial videos such as how to trim different beard styles, how to avoid shaving rash, how to shave ‘down there’, and nostalgic mini-documentaries about the history of the brand, therefore appealing to consumers of all ages.
While polls aren’t groundbreaking content in themselves, they can be a great means of gaining intel about your target audience. For example, ask questions about future products you’re thinking of launching, or what incentivises people to buy, who they admire etc. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your business or service, however, you can tailor your poll questions to suit your intended outcome, and the interactive content will encourage engagement.
While you’re more likely to get more people joining in with your polls once you have established a bit of an audience, running regular polls can have benefits for both your brand and your audience; on the one hand you’ll gain richer primary insights into what your audience really wants to see, and your audience will value the transparency you’ll be demonstrating by putting brand decisions in their hands.
Don’t stop here…
Of course, there are many other types of content that you can produce for your blog to add a bit of variety into the mix, some that will work better for your niche than others. Whilst this list is absolutely not exhaustive, I hope it serves as a bit of food for thought when planning future posts – you don’t always need to stick to a standard templated 500-ish word post on industry news.