What is Content?

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In a world where “content is king” it does beg the question: what is content?

I’m sure you’ve heard just how important content is for the performance of your website – both in terms of improving SEO and in educating, informing and entertaining your website visitors with the ultimate goal to convert them into customers. Content goes far beyond the text you decide to place on the pages of your site (this of course is content, but we’re not going to get into this within this article). So let’s take a look at 10 different forms of content and how you can use them on your website to increase engagement and interest in your products or services.

IMAGES

Images are content, and this means you need to make your images mean something on your website. Every image you use needs to be relevant, it needs to be quality (no pixelated or low quality images!), and it needs to draw your customer to want to know more. Remember that human brains recognize and make sense of visual information faster than textual information, with some sources suggesting that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Make your images count. Simple.

INFOGRAPHICS

Infographics are a powerful way to present data or information visually. And knowing how important visuals are from above, these are a fantastic way to represent data, research, statistics, findings, journeys and more. There are a number of free tools available to create your own infographics (although you’ll probably want to utilize someone with a design background to create them), or you can also outsource the creation to an agency or designer.

VIDEOS

Short videos (say 2-3 minutes long) are a great way to provide educational, informational or entertaining content to your viewers. There are a multitude of different types of videos you can produce from “how-to’s” to explainers, product videos, tours and more. The drawback to videos is they can be costly to produce. However if shared correctly on your website and through social channels like YouTube, Vimeo and of course, Facebook, videos can be an extremely persuasive form of content.

REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS

If you have reviews available to you either from suppliers or customers, use them! Reviews make great content and provide a sense of “social proofing” – giving evidence to new prospects that your products, services or brand can be trusted because other people say so. Depending on the industry and business you’re in, you can also include reviews as part of your articles or blogs on products/services external to your business. This can be a great way to increase your authority in the space.

CASE STUDIES

Like customer reviews, case studies provide social proofing. Social proofing is so important as people will build trust faster in you if others have had success before them. Case studies should provide a summary of the case, the challenges that needed to be solved, the solutions provided and a conclusion. Case studies should be more of a story than a blatant advertising spiel. You want readers to follow the story rather than switch off or close the site due to pushy advertising.

PODCASTS

Podcasts have become increasingly popular for people to listen to while commuting, exercising and sometimes even during monotonous work tasks. Podcasts are a great way to improve authority while educating and informing customers. Podcasts are relatively easy to do – just be well prepared with topics and information before you kick off. Also make sure you utilize your social networks and other marketing (ie email newsletters) to promote your podcasts.

WHITE PAPERS

40% of marketers say white papers are very effective for SEO (brafton.com). Aside from this, white papers are a great way to increase authority within your industry and provide an educational source for customers. Downloadable white papers make a great source of content for your website. They can also be used to increase your database by asking visitors to sign up to your mailing list to receive a free white paper. E-Books (another source of content) can also be used this way.

PRESS RELEASES

Got something new – a new product, a new service, a new staff member? Shout it out in a press release; a great way to increase brand awareness and build excitement.

TREND REPORTS

Trend reports are a great way to statistically present anything from changing customer preferences to changes in the way things are done within an industry. Trend reports will require a lot of research on your part to produce, but done correctly can provide an informative piece which will engage customers’ interest.

WEBINARS

Webinars are a great form of interactive content – a forum whereby you can educate and inform while answering direct queries from your customers on the spot. Perfect for presentations, lectures and workshops. Boost your webinar attendance by promoting it through your social and other marketing avenues. If you’re not set up to take on-the-spot queries from your customers, look at doing a Webcast instead.

 

There are literally hundreds of different types of content that can be used on your website. Have a think about what your goals are and what you want to achieve through your content. That will help you decide the best content avenues for you to use.

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