12 Content Types to Increase Social Media Engagement

Content Marketing became a buzzword in digital marketing a few years back and to some it has remained as much.

Content marketing is much more than just writing one blog post every week or every month and promoting it on social media. Even if your content marketing efforts are from scratch, that’s a good starting point. A comprehensive content marketing effort will require incorporating/ including multiple other types of content as well to be successful.

Once you have good original and unique content, the next criteria to figure out is the different content types that you can explore. A well-crafted content ultimately connects you with your audience, results in organic traffic and also generates leads. While a creative video might appeal to the younger crowd, a detailed case study will work out better for a older crowd.

Earlier this year I came across a unique content type, The Periodic Table of Content Marketing, by Chris Lake, which has now received 10,583 shares at the time of writing. The periodic table gives a glimpse into different aspects such as Strategy, Format, Content Type, Platform, Metrics, Goals and Sharing Triggers. This shows or indicates that audience are always open to grasping new forms of content, as long as they are informative and gets their attention.

How do you decide what will be the best fit for your business and the audience you want to engage? There are many types of content, but here are a few of them, that you can never go wrong with.

 

Case study
A case study convinces your audience that your product or service is the best available solution to their problem and support it with a real example. It not only targets your audience but also helps in attracting press, link building and traffic from reputed websites. It basically helps you promote your clientele and demonstrate your competence and most importantly, share your impressive results. A case study essentially tells your customer, what you do, how you do it, and what you have achieved.

 

E-books
This is a type of content that is typically long and usually downloadable as a PDF. They are often given away for free, in exchange for subscription to the mailing list. That way, you get a new subscriber, who could also be a prospective customer in future.

An e-book shows the command you have over your field and is a powerful tool to position yourself as a thought leader or market leader when you share your experience and knowledge with others. A word count north of 6000 words is generally regarded as a good benchmark.

 

Guides
When you have something that you audience wants, they will definitely come to you.
Usually presented as a downloadable PDF, a guide is a detailed and lengthy format of content. Imagine a guide to be a detailed version of a blog post, but in a different writing style and approach. A guide can be very a useful tool to improve your newsletter subscriber list or base. You tell your reader that you are teaching him/her something new with the help of this guide and in return you ask for their email address. It’s basically, “Register here for the newsletter and I’ll give you this very useful guide“.

 

Infographic
As the name speaks for itself, infographics is the representation of information or data in a visual medium. It’s the combination of info (information) + graphic (graphical representation). Infographics are ideal for conveying any thought or idea that includes mostly data points, statistics, research outcome etc. From 2011 to 2015, search volumes for “infographic” has increased 600% and the volume continue to grow. Audience considers Infographics to be the most loved content format, as it receives the most number of views, shares and consumption. They are an extremely powerful way to create viral content, since it takes less time to consume and very easy to comprehend.

 

Interview
Every industry has those successful people and leaders who have a ton of working knowledge and experience. You can garner a lot of respect in the industry and also witness the multifold increase in traffic owing to the popularity of the guest.
Interviews are unique and there will be no other interview just the same as yours or have the same information as yours. Always ensure that a video interview is followed by a written summary. The interview you conduct can also be repurposed into a podcast along with a transcript

 

Listicles
Every type of content follows a thematic structure that distinguishes it from other formats. We have been introduced to listicles long before we even acknowledged them, right from the Ten Commandments to the top 20 Bollywood songs of 2015. A listicle gives you a mental calculation of how long it will take for you to read it and it’s assumed as a short read and hence never saved for later read. With BuzzFeed popularizing the format many others have started adopting it, including international media outlets such as the Huffington post and Quartz. This article from BuzzFeed, ‘26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence’ shows the terrific reach of it. It has 2.5 million shares in just 8 months. You can never go wrong with a listicle. Just make sure that your entries are detailed.
Spend time curating the best title in order to garner more readers.

 

Memes
When you read the word meme, if the first thoughts that come to your mind are 9gag and buzzfeed, then you are on the right track. The word meme is not a recent Internet terminology but rather a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene where he talks about meme as an entity that helps in information exchange among cultures.
Memes dominate the online space just like Infographics and other visual formats. It captures attention immediately, is extremely funny, goes viral and best of all, is very easy to make.

 

Press Release
Often people believe that Content Marketing and Public Relations are two separate entities. Long gone are the days where a press release was used only to notify businesses and media houses of something newsworthy. PR acts as a push medium where you push to launch a product and content marketing is a pull medium, which works on the basis of credibility and influence. While a press release generates a lot of reach, the content marketing effort will help increase the engagement. A release on owned media could be repurposed to be less formal, crisp, including multimedia and making it ready for sharing.

 

Podcast
Podcasts provide you with a unique and personalized way to connect with you audience. It is quite similar to an e-book, where you provide informational content, but in a digital audio format which can also be downloadable. The unique feature of a podcast is that, the listener can listen to it while jogging or during commute or while at the gym. Thus making it one of the easiest formats of consumption. The best part is that, it not hard to create podcasts and all you need is a recording app on your smartphone. If you wish to publish a transcript, it adds value to your SEO efforts too.

 

Product Review
Reviews can help in establishing leadership and command over the industry. Every industry is filled with unique assortment of products, tools, services and more. While engaging with key influencers in the industry, you gain credibility and establish authority and leadership in your industry.
Getting started with a reviews is as simple as sharing your experience with the service/product and provide your personal recommendation. A physical product can be accompanied with a video and a software or tool can be accompanied with screenshots. The images and videos provide a more hands on approach and shows people the genuineness.

 

Quiz
The quiz format is basically interactive in nature and thus has the great ability to engage your audience whilst simultaneously collating data that you need. You not only collect the data which can be roped in to a blog or article, but also cut down the process of gaining responses and using third party tools.
To begin the quiz if it requires a sign up, you already have potential customers. Though, keep in mind that some people might not take the quiz if it does require a sign up.

 

Videos
Videos are the easiest formats of content to consume and share. Your audience of any target group will love videos as long as it’s fun, unique, informative and most importantly, memorable. Videos itself is a broad umbrella term and there is a world of variety within videos. A good video can be extraordinarily persuasive, but do remember that, making a good video isn’t cheap.

Though these are some of the proven types, there are plenty of content options available. The more types of content you use, the more powerful your content marketing efforts become. Content, regardless of its form, speaks to an audience. That audience, in turn, listens, shares, learns, and converts. There‚Äôs a wealth of potential here ‚Äî the kind of potential that your brand needs in order to advance to the next level. Now, you have a plan to get there. What type of content do you prefer and why?”

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