As an entrepreneur focused on reaching your customers online, perhaps by now, you’ve got to grips building your buyer personas and have a pretty good idea of who your niche market is.
(And if you’re stuck here, be stuck no more. We’d love to do this for you).
You’re inside their heads, you know what makes them tick and you know where they hang out online. The question remains, how do you reach these people?
Today we’re going to be looking at some of the best types of content you can create, in order to reach the right people for your product or service. When we work with our clients, we develop what we call our Content Matrix with titles and outlines of the best content ideas. These are some of the forms of content we focus on.
Hang on? What Do You Mean By Content?
Different people tend to prefer types of content. Some love videos, others prefer text. In this context, content can mean anything from a simple blog post, a full blown eBook to an in depth infographic. It’s what people consume on a daily basis, and what you’re chomping on now.
The intents are often two fold.
A. To give great content that educates, entertains and empowers. It scratches where your readers itch and ensures they benefit from your knowledge.
B. To form a deeper relationship with your customers as they engage in your content. This could lead to them clicking a link, filling out a form or buying directly from you. Many purchase decisions we take in life are driven by content. Therefore it makes sense to study which options are on the table and which work the best.
10 Best Forms of Content
There aren’t only 10, but these 10 we use for clients on a regular basis. They all have the aim of reaching people you want to connect with, to help you get great results.
1. The Short Article
There’s much deliberation on what the ideal blog post length should be. Some say the shorter the better, whereas others are adamant that posts should be meatier than 1,000 words.
There’s no right or wrong way of doing it.
It largely depends on the message your providing and where your natural talents lie.
Being short has it’s place. People skim read and get bored.
Seth Godin’s consistently creates pithy blog posts. His blog is hugely popular, and his pithy posts pack a good punch in praise of the precise post.
Can you say in 200 words, what others take 2,000 to communicate? Then do it.
2. The Long Article
Similarly a long, in-depth article has just as many benefits as its shorter brother. Some might argue that the benefits are greater, yet it’s still a matter of perspective. Quality is still better than quantity. But both…now we’re talking!
Long, detailed posts that are packed full of valuable information are almost guaranteed to give you a massive boost. People love to consume this type of of content because it takes thought, time and energy to create. They know to expect something great because they know you’ve taken the time to make it that way.
3. The Infographic
When it comes to visual content, an infographic can be hugely beneficial to the visual learners in your audience. We all absorb information in different ways, so catering to those visually minded is a great way to get your message across.
Infographics also make for great shareable content, performing particularly well on largely visual platforms such as Pinterest. The long portrait orientated layout of an infographic enables it to display in full-length in the Pinterest home screen, helping it to stand out.
4. The Webinar
Webinars aren’t new. But they are increasingly accessible to us all, as costs come down, platforms emerge and technology improves.
The likes of Skype, Google Hangouts and FaceTime makes it incredibly easy to provide live tutorials, instructables and discussions about a topic, all from the comfort of your own office/home. People no longer need to travel for hours to get to a conference or meet-up, making the Webinar hugely accessible to many more people with an interest in your product or service.
We use Webinarjam which operates over Google Hangouts. Simples.
5. The Podcast
Similar to webinars, creating a podcast can also open up your content to new listeners. Since you can make them available to download to mobile devices, it allows people to listen anywhere: on the way to work, at the gym or when they’re at their desk. Being inside someone’s earlobes has to be one of the most intimate places you’ll ever be with your customers. Trust is grown so much quicker. I feel an affinity and love towards those I listen to on a regular basis (but I am a touchy feely kinda guy).
Consider carrying out interviews with influential people in your niche, hosting live Q and A’s with your audience and providing unique insights that people will find valuable.
6. The Inspirational Quote
One way to really get your niche market’s attention is to provide them with something that will both inspire and delight.
An inspirational quote related to your industry, can capture the imagination well. It’s short, already endorsed by an author or public figure who usually holds a great deal of influence. And it’s hugely sharable and works across multiple niches? But it can be twee so use carefully. Because let’s be honest, it’s not often that the highly successful people we know, send lots of highly ‘successful inspirational’ quotes.
7. The Image
They say an image can say more than a 1,000 words. Shakespeare may have disagreed. He did pretty well with his 1,000. But if you’ve got the talents of Monet, then let’s give it a shot. When you have something to say that can’t really be expressed in written form, put together a striking visual that will drive the message home.
Consider using tools such as Canva or Picmonkey to create your visual in no time at all, then post it to your blog, share it on Twitter and Facebook and pin it to your Pinterest boards to gain traction.
8. The Slideshow
With the advent of platforms such as SlideShare, the concept of providing information to large numbers of people as a slideshow has undergone somewhat of a rebirth.
I don’t know about you but I used to think a slideshow was something people put together in PowerPoint, with dodgy word art and questionable graphics.
Not so now.
Done properly, a slideshow can provide easily consumable snippets of key advice, without the fluff and hassle of a full blog post.
9. The Tutorial
Show someone how to do something they couldn’t do before, and you’re on to a winner. People love learning new things – we’re human after all – we’re constantly improving ourselves and reaching for ever greater heights.
So why not feed into that thirst for knowledge by creating a winning tutorial. Providing easy to follow, step-by-step tips on how to create something or make something, will bring value to your audience. You’re giving something to them and asking for nothing in return and by doing so you’re building your niche market’s trust in you.
10. The Video
Why not take your content to the next level and create a video tutorial or guide or simply a video blog ..aka vlog. I like singing to the audience. You could call that a slog. Then again…
The benefit of providing your content this way, is that people can work alongside you, pause, rewind, download it to their phones and tablets and re-watch whenever they please. Again here you’re utilising the power of the visual memory and because videos are great to share on almost all platforms, others will enjoy sharing.
Ultimately the content you choose to create is in your hands. The key thing to remember however, is that not any single content format is the right one. Each has its own benefits, determined by what you’re trying to achieve and what you want to share with your niche market.
What about you? What content do you enjoy creating? What content do you enjoy consuming? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S. If the thought of creating your own content still stumps you, or there’s areas where you need some help, help is at hand. We can build a whole load of this stuff out for you. This is what we do, day in day out.
We work out the target personas, develop the strategy, build a content matrix, create your content and help you reach an audience so it turns into sales. Hey- use us to just kick things off, nick our ideas and then go it alone. We’re cool with that!
Let’s call us the pay as you go agency. No long term commitments. (But trust me, once you get started, you wont want to be going anywhere). Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.