Considering Content Formats for Continued Messaging

Your content's format is as important as what your content says.

You already know that continued content creation and delivery during the COVID-19 outbreak is essential for keeping in touch with your audience. And, you are smart enough to realize that any content plan executed now will be ongoing when things get back to normal (and they will).

But what is the best format for your particular content? Should you write a bang-up blog? Put together a wonderful webinar? Produce a vibrant video? Focus on an intelligent infographic?

With apologies for the overdone alliteration above, the answer to the above question (questions?) is: It depends.

Many types of content formats exist. Finding the right one to execute your content marketing plan, both during and after the coronavirus outbreak, should take into account the following issues.

Your audience. It’s important to understand what content format will best resonate with the people in your prospect and client lists. As an example, there are plenty of content experts who extoll the virtues of video when it comes to increasing audience engagement and organic searches. And yes, there are great advantages to video content. But maybe your audience’s demographic skews older, and the folks in that demographic wouldn’t watch videos, even with free popcorn offered. For these folks, short-form blogs or infographics might be best.

Your message. Speaking of blogs and infographics, the latter is great for statistics and numbers presentations. The former is not. Taking this idea one step further, videos are terrific for visual presentations, tutorials and short statements or messages. Your audience’s attention might wane, however, if the video shows nothing more than a person sitting there, and talking for 10 minutes, with no charts or visual aids.

Your resources. Certain formats are easier to produce and disseminate than others. Twitter’s tweets are probably the easiest content to develop and deliver. Blogs and infographics are also easy to create, though they require writing/editing and layout skills, respectively. E-mails and newsletters need specific content, formatting and list maintenance. And, as for video, while smart phones are turning a lot of us into videographers, additional resources are needed to turn that video into a polished presentation. The gist here is to realistically analyze the resources you have available for your content plan.

The chart, below, lists some common formats for your content marketing plan.

The formats listed below are also useful with a content strategy. They do, however, require more time and effort to create and disseminate, which is something to keep in mind if you want to use them during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Webinars are medium to long-form presentations, workshops or round tables that are hosted online. They can be presented in video or audio format.

  • White papers consist of authoritative content that provides different solutions to a client’s problem, or a specific product or service benefit.

  • Case studies are geared toward using specific examples of how a client/customer benefitted from a specific product or service.

  • Podcasts consist of audio programming, similar to talk radio, which are available as downloads to a computer or mobile devices.

The good news is that many content formats exist for messaging. Determining the best format to use should be part of a well-thought-out content plan. Taking into account your resources, as well as what will resonate with your audience, is as important as producing the content itself.

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