Heard the phrase “content is king”? It gets tossed around often and may come off as just another marketing soundbite. But the truth of the matter is content is a valuable resource for brands.
Content can generate traffic, build brand loyalty, inform and engage an audience, or even lead to earned media if something goes viral.
But what are the hot types of content, the insights consumers want to read and share?
That’s the million-dollar question every marketer should be trying to solve. Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you. This guide will look at the seven most requested content types and the most shareable content.
Armed with this information, you can tailor your content to reach a wider audience, grab customers’ attention, and build your brand.
Infographics, or visual displays of data or information, are one of the most shared kinds of content, according to Visme. But they don’t work on just any platform. To make an infographic succeed as a shared piece of content, it’s best to launch it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, Visme reports.
Sounds simple enough, right? Take some fun factoid or statistic, dress it up in a well-designed infographic, tweet it, and done, right? Wrong.
There are some critical steps to mastering infographic. First, keep it short. Too much verbiage and your infographic will get overlooked. Second, the fewer numbers, the better. Oh sure, you could pack an infographic with tons of stats, but again, a less is more approach isn’t just better. It’s more impactful and will likely lead to greater reach.
And, the big one, choose your colors wisely. Remember, this is a visual piece of content. Using greys and blacks will just blend in with other text on social media sites. To make it pop, consider the hues of the biggest content sites, like Twitter (blue), Netflix (red), YouTube (red), or Instagram (red, pink, and yellow).
Ahh, the blog. They arose in the mid-90s as virtual journals, where the literary could wax poetic about this or that in life. Now they’re practically a requirement for every brand and for an excellent reason. Blog posts make excellent shareable content, provided they follow a few essential guidelines:
- Well written (no typos, please)
- Informative – they give customers the information they’re interested in
- Publishes regularly – nothing kills blog interest, like failing to post on a regular timeline.
- Compels readers to pass it on – this the whole sharing idea. If you write about interesting topics, your audience will be more inclined to pass on your blog posts.
Some of the best blogs manage to weave a brand and its mission into current events. Say you own fitness that specializes in incorporating great music into every routine. When a pop star releases a new album, you could tap into how you’ll be including their tunes into your exercise class line up and post about it on your blog. This not only provides excellent SEO fodder, but it also takes something you offer and aligns it with what people are already talking about.
This might come as a surprise because eBooks don’t sound nearly as sexy as blogs or infographics. Still, eBooks are not only a hot piece of shareable content; they’re at the top of the list of downloadable content, beating out white papers, according to NetLine.com.
This brings us to another point. Brands can’t sleep on creating downloadable content. Why are they downloadable? Because these are much bigger forms of content. Rather than a mere tweet, someone can reshare, eBooks — ”case studies to thought leadership, can be used to present anything a business wants to feature” writes NetLine.
Giving consumers added value and a resource rather than say, just a bit of data, eBooks are a piece of shareable content that can build a brand’s credibility, trustworthiness, and status.
Now back to the funny stuff. Memes may seem like the work of someone who has a lot of time on their hands to mess around on the internet, but nothing could be further from the truth. Today memes are a full-time job.
Exhibit A. Hyderabad Piyush Dwivedi is a freelance senior meme-r in India, according to Times of India. And he is not alone.
Content marketers have realized the value of these catchy, highly viral, often hilarious forms of content and they’re powerful to amuse and build a good rapport with a brand’s audience.
And far from just visual jokes, memes are actually being used as information tools. Just look at all the memes democrats and republicans deployed in the recent presidential election. These shareable bits of content filled social media in the weeks leading up to the vote, proof of the power of humor in the content sharing economy.
According to Business of Apps, YouTube had 2 billion users in 2019. That is a lot of eyeballs watching videos. And it’s a big red flag that you are missing out if you’re not using video in your content marketing.
Of course, maintaining a brand YouTube channel (although strongly encouraged) isn’t the only way to employ videos in your content marketing strategy. The rise of apps like TikTok has shown that short snippets of video that strikes an emotional cord — could be funny, sad, or relatable — is in high demand.
And it’s not just influencers or comedians using sites like TikTok. A realtor in Charleston, South Carolina has turned it into one of his main channels to connect with his clients using funny gags about the house buying process.
The key to using video as a content marketing tool successfully is to make sure your videos align with your brand, is valuable, does it stir an emotion, or does it tap into a trend?
Answer those questions right and produce a professional-looking video and you’ll be well on your way to clicks and shares.
“How do I….” It’s something people type into Google thousands of times a day. In 2018 just the phrase “How to vote” and “how to register to vote” were the two most searched phrases of the year, according to Word Stream.
Which is to say, we’re all looking for answers and we’re all trying to find them online. So provide them!
Whatever your brand’s specialty, be the expert and give your audience valuable and highly shareable “how-to” content.
For instance, if you’re a luxury beauty brand, then post blog or video tutorials on how to use your products. Or how to do the perfect French braid. Or how to avoid split-ends.
This kind of content not only answers a customer’s question, it’s the advice they’ll likely want to pass along provided it’s created in a visually appealing and easy to share manner.
Another plus of “how-to” content, it’s nearly impossible to exhaust. You can post a blog on a big umbrella topic, then post one each week on sub-topics relating to the original idea. You can become the authority on something — again, building brand credibility — while making your brand a resource for anyone seeking out this kind of information.
And while creating your brand into an expert resource, you can also pull in other experts who can cross-promote (read: SHARE) your content to an even wider audience.
It’s really a simple strategy, it just requires smart execution and planning.
But if that’s not your forte, come talk to content marketers for whom it is. Here at Zen Media, we make it our business to know just how to approach the various forms of content out there and when to execute the appropriate format to get the biggest reach. Part science, part art, it takes a trusted team of marketers to make it work. But our time-tested and data-driven approach makes us leaders in the field. So when you’re ready to up your content sharing game, you know who to call.