Content Formatting: How to Give Your Audience More of What They Want

One of the most vexing things about content marketing is discovering that you have a great idea, but aren’t quite sure how to share it. After all, there are more than a dozen ways you can put your ideas out on the web, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more visible than others to search engines, for example, while others might be popular in social media or less expensive to produce.

So, which types of content formatting should you favor? How can you make sure your thoughts will have the biggest possible impact and share them?

Unfortunately, there isn’t any hard and fast rule to follow. Much will depend on your market, the kind of following you have, and the resources available at your disposal. Still, we can give you some time-tested tips to point you in the right direction…

Find the Balance Between Time, Interest, and Knowledge

This works in two ways. First, you have to ask yourself how much time you have, and how deep your knowledge of the topic goes. Then, consider your target audience. How much of their day are they willing to invest in learning about what you have to share? How much do they already understand about the topic, and how motivated are they? The answer should tell you a lot about the length, depth, and format you choose.

Experiment With All the Hits

While some marketers tend to stick with blog posts, ebooks, or even memes because that’s what they are most familiar with, we would encourage you to experiment with all the different types of content you can produce. Here are just a few you might want to consider:

  • Written articles
  • Numbered Lists
  • Slideshows
  • PDF reports
  • Infographics
  • Online videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • GIFs
  • Images

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and some of the elements could easily overlap. But, by considering them, you may discover that what you want to show or teach lends itself to a particular medium easily.

Weigh Words vs. Visuals

In a general sense, anything with lots of text is going to be good for your search engine optimization campaigns. On the other hand, visuals tend to be more powerful on an emotional level, and are shared more frequently on social media sites. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other – or you can’t use both – but it should be a reminder that you are marketing your content to achieve a specific effect. Think about what that effect might be, and then tailor your approach to meet the desired outcomes.

Test the Results

Speaking of outcomes, we don’t want you to simply trust your hunches and inspirations. Look into your analytics package to see which pieces of content generate heavy viewership and which are ignored. For that matter, find out what you post online that generates conversions, and where you’re posting it. You should always continue to experiment, but over time you want to develop a sense of which formats are working well for you so you can continue to use them again and again.

There are a lot of different ways you can format your content, and all of them have the potential to help you grow your business. When it comes down to it, though, you have to find the intersection of what’s realistic for you and valuable for your customers. When you can figure out what that is, you’ll have discovered a good place to start. Then, you can keep producing variations of your content in different formats to see what sticks.

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