Content Marketing

From quality visuals to webinars: Five ways to hit refresh on your content output

Fi Bendall /

Fresh content is a great way to connect with and stay relevant to your customers, as well as being an important driver for your brand’s search engine recognition and optimisation. Producing regular, good-quality content can be challenging, but the benefits do tend to outweigh the costs, especially in the long-term.

As Bill Gates famously identified all the way back in 1996, when it comes to the internet, “content is king”. That is still true today, with content now going well beyond the confines of the text-based online experience of the 1990s into video and audio too. Soon enough, we might be talking about the need for more VR-based content as well.

So how do you keep your content fresh and engaging? Aside from the standard blog and social media posts you’re probably already producing, it’s also worth considering extending your reach by moving into new creative mediums and trying different content platforms. Here are five ways you can liven up your content output and reach new audiences.

Video

YouTube has become a staple platform for many businesses and it’s a great way to showcase your wares to a global audience. However, YouTube is not the only place for your videos. Facebook and the other social media platforms are all geared up for video content, from bite-sized shorts to content of a longer duration. Want something a bit more fun that will appeal to a younger audience? Try out the options on offer at Snapchat. If it’s more about a B2B offering, then LinkedIn is the place to be.

You can create a video on your smartphone with very good results at close to no cost, or else engage a willing and able marketing or communications intern to help you out. If you’re after higher production values, speak to a professional videomaker about giving your video content that added Spielberg touch.

Better quality visuals

In line with video content, visual imagery, mainly in the form of photography, is a great way to connect with audiences. British art critic John Berger said: “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak.” The direct impact of visuals explains why social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat resonate so well with consumers. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Many of us are visual communicators. We comprehend and respond better to visuals than words. If your content marketing is skewed towards words in the form of blog posts and other written communications then you will be excluding and alienating a significant portion of your potential customer base. Visuals also cross the language barrier, making visual communication an essential part of any international marketing strategy.

As with video, you can take your own photos and jazz them up on Photoshop, but it is well worth investing at least some of your budget into hiring a professional photographer to make your key visuals serve your brand well.

Webinars

Webinars are a great way to bring your knowledge and expertise to people across the internet, as well as letting them know more about your products and services. Webinars provide the perfect platform for introducing and explaining new products and services to customers as you are engaged in a real-time conversation and can demonstrate how something works via video. Ask your customers what they want to know about and then set up a webinar date. Webinar technology makes it relatively easy to do and it allows your customers to get a more personal insight into you and your business.

Podcasts

Podcasts are big right now. Beyond the incredible success of true crime and interview podcasts, many brands are using this easy and accessible audio medium to regularly update and inform their customers about what’s going on in their world. As with any type of content, keeping things fresh can be difficult.

Podcasts are technically straightforward to get started, but you need to make sure you have enough interesting things to talk about. Ideally, you should be able to talk about what’s going on with your brand, but you might have to broaden the focus if you want to make your podcast an ongoing and engaging part of your content marketing mix.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz produce a regular podcast that showcases their activities and is an excellent guide to some of the major issues in tech and commerce today. It’s worth a listen.

Find the right content partners

This could be an in-house content creator or freelance specialist, a professional for hire, or even some of your customers who are capable of producing engaging user-generated content. The job of creating content doesn’t have to fall squarely on your shoulders.

Look to your customers and people in your social media network for content such as special guest blog posts, video interviews or product reviews and discussions. After all, you probably have some committed and loyal customers who would welcome the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise on a topic dear to their heart. Reaching out and engaging people to help create content for your brand is a great way to stay in touch, be relevant, and generate word-of-mouth for your brand.

NOW READ: Avoid cliches and don’t be boring: The golden rules of effective content marketing

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Fi Bendall

Fi Bendall is chief executive of The Female Social Network and a Westpac/AFR 2015 100 Women of Influence, who was described by CEO Magazine as 'The CEO's Secret Weapon'. An expert and pioneer in digital strategy, she has over 23 years’ experience in the digital and tech sectors.

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