Content marketing isn't just about having a company blog anymore. With a universe of entertaining content and countless platforms to consume it on, brands will have to do more in 2021 than just post on their blogs to stay relevant.
Grabbing the attention of your market in the year ahead requires using compelling content formats.
Your audience isn't always sitting down to solely focus on consuming written content. In fact, they are rarely dedicating time just to reading. Often, they're scrolling feeds in between activities, browsing the internet while winding down, or listening to podcasts while doing other tasks.
To capitalize on these moments, think outside the written blog — with videos, podcasts, interactive graphics, quizzes, and other types of content that hold appeal when reading isn't the main activity.
Here are three on-the-radar content trends that every content marketer should consider using to elevate your brand's content.
1. Serve Up Snackable Content
Snackable content refers to short soundbites of information. Like a healthy snack when you're on-the-go, this content can be consumed quickly, is easily understood, and packs a memorable punch.
This type of content lends itself well to being passively consumed when your audiences are scrolling through their social feeds, taking a break from work, or relaxing after a long day. Like podcasts, this content type is a good way to get in front of your audience when they wouldn't otherwise be engaging with content or advertising from your brand.
A handful of great options for snackable content include quote graphics, gifs, quizzes, infographics, and videos. Be sure to optimize the content format for the platform where you'll be sharing it, and focus on making it digestible and memorable to encourage audiences to share it with their networks.
Similar to podcasts, you can distill your longer published blogs or articles into tidbit sized content. These content snacks are great for use on social media. A standard blog by itself could yield a number of these ‘snacks’.
For example, grocery store Safeway worked with a marketing agency to develop brief videos
(no more than 20 seconds long) that offered cooking tips and advice. Through sharing these snackable pieces of educational and entertaining content on Facebook, the company saw a 487% increase in engagement rates.
Popular liquor brand Bacardi also capitalized on snackable content to share on Facebook, making short videos
with simple-to-make cocktail recipes that incorporated its product. The company engages audiences with entertaining content that can be enjoyed in under four minutes while establishing itself as an informative and inspiring brand.
2. Produce or Sponsor a B2B Podcast about your Business
Podcasting has seen a giant leap in popularity with consumers over the past five years. And brands have jumped on board by sponsoring or producing podcasts of their own.
A podcast is an excellent way to connect to your audience throughout their day, particularly at times when they wouldn't be consuming your content otherwise.
A 2019 study
revealed that 94% of listeners consume podcasts while performing other tasks, such as doing household chores (61%), driving (55%), exercising, and running errands.
As they go about these activities, they could be listening to content produced by your company. Even if the subject matter doesn't directly advertise your products, podcasting can successfully promote your brand. Hosting your own podcast provides you a platform to demonstrate your authority and thought leadership.
As a business you can use your own podcast to tell the stories of your customers and how they use your product to enhance their own businesses. Interviews like this are akin to a long form audio testimonial, but with more authenticity.
Or you could choose to interview experts in the field or present your own original content. In either case the power of audio content can build a loyal audience.
showed that branded podcasts resulted in an 89% increase in brand awareness and a 24% increase in brand favorability. The same study reveals that podcasts may even drive more emotional intensity and memory encoding around brand mentions than methods such as TV advertising.
For example, Robinhood
each produce their own educational nonfiction podcasts, teaching listeners about topics of interest that relate to the brand's offering. They build a positive reputation with audiences as a source of leadership, guidance, and inspiration in the personal finance and entrepreneurial worlds, respectively. Repurposing your published blogs or articles is a quick trick for adding a personal flavor to previously published content.
Taking a different approach, General Electric (GE) sponsors two fictional audio-drama podcasts
, which serve as quality creative entertainment for listeners and help build GE's reputation as a thought leader and trailblazer.
3. Create Business or Product Videos that Educate
Video is a compelling and attention-grabbing format that performs well on social media platforms. Create videos that center around your products, services, or your brand's mission, focusing on being educational.
Teach them how to use your product, explain industry concepts that consumers frequently ask you about, or help guide them in best practices for the work that your product supports. When you set out to plan a video, start by asking: how can you deliver value to your audience?
Keep in mind, product videos don't have to be 'perfect' productions. Sometimes, it's more effective if your videos aren't polished to a Hollywood-tier level, as it brings a sense of authenticity to your brand. Audiences like when they can relate to brands, so a video that has a 'homemade' feel may come off relatable and, therefore, more likable.
Brands like Fluidstance and Dollar Shave Club
have produced videos that entertain viewers and show off their personality while tapping into audiences' needs or interests that their products address.
• Share snackable bites of content across social media that your audience can "grab and go" throughout their day and motivates them to share.
• Sponsor or produce a podcast related to your industry, products, or your consumers' interests that aligns with your brand values and shows off your brand's personality.
• Create business or product videos that offer educational value to your audience and give authenticity.
a technology company whose AI-driven Content Management Engine (CME) uses machine learning and natural language processing to surface, curate and distribute original, third-party and licensed content. Vestorly’s software empowers companies to make content work throughout their organizations by delivering the Right content All the time. Vestorly’s API creates new content inventory and revenue streams for channel partners through white label or direct integrations into existing MarTech and AdTech platforms.