Online content can take lots of different forms: from case studies and ebooks, to infographics, images and video clips. Each of these different formats comes with its own benefits; whether it’s to inspire, educate or entertain.
In this lesson, we will explore popular content formats and explain how to choose formats based on the specific needs of your audience.
Whatever format you choose, the purpose of content is always the same - to connect with an audience. This audience, in turn, will engage, share, learn, and perhaps even convert into customers.
Let’s start by exploring some popular content formats.
Blogs are typically published as a subsection of an existing website, and can include original content or guest authored content. Writing unique, quality blog posts can help increase publicity and give you interesting content to share across other channels, like social media.
Infographics are informative and a great way to present knowledge visually. They work well online thanks to their eye-catching format and can help present complex or unusual content in a creative way.
Ebooks are educational, easy to read guides focused on a specific topic. This format provides readers with practical content and will help you stand out as an expert in your field.
Videos can include anything from product demonstrations to tutorials and customer testimonials. They allow brands to create engaging, entertaining, and useful content that can be consumed on the go.
There are many other content formats to consider, including: press releases, webinars, reviews and case studies. To explore even more content formats, please check out the additional links provided at the end of this topic.
Successful content doesn’t have to go viral or reach millions of people. Focus on the creating content should be tailored to your audience, and design it so that it moves customers towards a specific goal or action.
Now that you’re familiar with different formats, the next step is to consider the main goal of your content. In content marketing, there are typically four main purposes of content, which are:
- to entertain
- to inspire
- to educate, and
- to convince.
Let’s take a look at how to match different content formats to your content goals.
Meet Amber. Amber runs a dog grooming business, and is looking to create a content strategy to help boost her online presence.
To entertain her audience, she decides to publish funny video clips of dogs doing tricks over social media. To inspire, she plans to create a forum space on her website where people can post their questions and get insights from both her and other pet owners. To educate her audience, she shares blog posts including top tips on dog care and dog nutrition. To convince people to use her services, she’ll share testimonials from happy customers, as well as ebooks to showcase her knowledge in specialist grooming skills.
In your own business scenario, consider how certain formats are best paired with specific content goals. For example, if your goal is to educate, then guides, ebooks and infographics would be the ideal formats –whereas if your goal was to entertain, a better format choice would be quizzes or competitions.
When assessing which content formats are the right fit for your goals, think about the ones you can easily produce yourself, and consider recruiting assistance for those you can’t. Identify the purpose of your content, and then select the formats best suited to that goal. Finally, when designing your content, remember to consider your audience, and address their specific needs in a format that will wow them.
- popular online content formats
- the four main purposes for content marketing
- how to match different formats to your content goals