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24 Types of content you can create beyond an infographic
1024 682 Jane Hunt

24 types of content you can create beyond an infographic

For some in the digital PR industry, infographics are an outdated technique, for others it is still a valid type of content and for outreach agencies, they have proven to be phenomenally successful to attract visitors and links. The reason for this is that an infographic combines data and story telling and makes information easily accessible for a wide audience.

Stories and data are the ingredients of creative link building and for every successful backlink campaign, you need to decide at some point how you want to tell your story, in other words: what type of content you want to create.

We can generally differentiate between text, visual, audio and interactive content and we can identify four different functions:

  • Attraction (attract the right audience)
  • Affinity (make the audience trust and like you)
  • Action (make the audience take an action)
  • Authority (demonstrate experience and establish yourself as an authority)

When you create content for digital PR and content marketing, it should fulfil all 4 functions and the chances of success increase remarkably if it triggers an emotional response.

Whilst infographics tick all of these boxes (and have for several years), we cannot ignore the fact that the world keeps on moving and consider new alternatives that involve virtual and augmented reality and the rise of audio content in the shape of podcasts.

These are the opportunities you have for content marketing in 2020

1. Podcasts

We all have heard of or even listened to a podcast in recent times. They are on a steep rise and can be considered the most popular type of content these days, statistical data confirms the popularity of podcasts. But is it the right type of content for your campaigns? Think about how you can transform your data story into an audio format. Maybe you can conduct expert interviews to tell the story, but also keep in mind that a podcast might not be the right format and it requires some audio editing skills to sound professional. Apart from that, podcasts are a frequent and regular format, not a one-off.

2. Checklists & Listicles

Content in the shape of a list has always worked and will continue to work because it makes data visually accessible by working like a road map and providing quick answers. In times where attention spans get shorter and readers become lazy and opposed to long pieces of text, a list becomes ever more attractive. Listicles, best ways and top X- headlines usually generate a good number of clicks. The best examples for this type of content are travel checklists such as the one by Eaglecreek.com or the below by Smartertravel.com:

The Ultimate Packing List by SmarterTravel

Listicles are popular in any industry and for any topic, but also for this one, travel is the one that gets our attention as Lonelyplanet.com proves with the yearly “best in travel”:

3. How-to-content

The success behind this type of content can be found in the fact that the reader learns something new by reading or watching. “How to” also is a popular query that users ask search engines such a Google for if they seek advice when confronted with a complicated task. This type of content is often realized in a video tutorial. The first use case that comes to mind are DIY tasks, this example of B&Q proves that:

Screenshot of a B&Q video about how to fix a dripping tap

4. Video content

This leads us to the next type of content that has been increasing in popularity over the past decade: videos. The above is an example for a video tutorial, but you can also use this format for demonstrations of how a product works, customer testimonials or explainer videos with catchy animations. “Catchy” is the keyword here because in times where 15-second-videos on TikTok are on the rise and attention spans decreasing, your video needs to be ever more engaging, educational and entertaining to make it past the first few seconds.

5. Case studies

This is the type of content that allows you to show your expertise and the work you have previously done successfully. Think about how you want to explain what you have done and what you have achieved. Here at JBH we have run several campaigns in the past that we have analysed in our digital PR case studies.

6. Webinars, slides & presentations

Webinars have been around for quite some time but have seen a recent rise during the times of COVID-19 since in-person-conferences and meetups have been put on hold. Running a webinar allows you to prove your expertise and can in similar ways as how-to-content attract an audience that is looking for specific information or to expand their knowledge. A webinar is also a good opportunity for content syndication as you can create additional content such as a video recording, slide shows and presentations that will keep on attracting visitors until the topic becomes outdated. At JBH we have embedded this into our strategy as well, e.g. in the webinar about Digital PR during a pandemic.

7. Expert roundups and interviews

This type of content might come as part of your webinar: You can invite experts of your industry that present at your webinar, you can interview them or even organise a panel discussion. This can also be done offline, but it is always a good idea to record it to use the content you create in different ways and make it accessible for your audience at a later stage. Interviews with experts can be recorded in a video, be part of a podcast or published as text.

In the context of digital PR, the experts that are mostly referenced are journalists and we have spoken to some of them:

8. Authoritative blog posts

A good blog posts answers questions that your audience and potential customers have and provides additional insights into complex topics. Blogging is also a good opportunity to regularly show your expertise and become an authority in your field.

9. Standout opinion pieces

Opinion content originated in traditional journalism and you will still find this section in any newspaper online and offline. That is because it works, especially when it comes to controversial topics that people want to get different opinions on. It gives you the opportunity to communicate an informative message and kick-start a discussion. The risk though is to become offensive or to communicate an opinion in unsuitable ways. Better read this type of content twice before publishing it.

Screenshot of the Opinion section in The Guardian on 13/07/2020

10. Original research pieces

Most content nowadays is modelled after other content that has been published online. Therefore, original research data can make you stand out. You could conduct a scientific research or run a survey for example. You also might have some interesting data within your business that you can share. Most infographics these days are based on data research.

11. Trending content

Following current trends and incorporating them into your content publication provides a good opportunity and shows your expertise within your industry. News content is the best example, but keep in mind that it has a short shelf-life.

12. Compelling images

Images can be a good way to convey a message in an emotional way and can break up long form content into more digestible chunks when working with decreasing attention spans. To increase your chances of the image being shared, you can add a quote. A good example for image content is the photo of the day published by National Geographic.

Screenshot of the Photo of the Day in National Geographic, taken on 13/07/2020

13. Screenshots

This type of content should never stand on its own, but it can be useful to visualize how a product works (an app for example) or in written how-to-content. They can make it easier to explain a concept and give the audience additional insights. If you use a screenshot for demonstrations, they work best if accompanied by a customer testimonial.

14. Memes, comics, illustrations

We all have seen this type of content multiple times and memes, also in private messages, do not seem to lose their popularity. They work because they trigger an emotional reaction which in most cases is related to fun and entertainment. As such, they are also memorable, and the chances are high that they will get shared.

Meme with baby saying "Ate Spaghetti while wearing a white shirt. Didn't get sauce on it."

15. Gifographics

This is a combination of the established infographic and the younger version of imagery in the shape of a gif. It works well because it makes an infographic more interactive and keeps the viewer engaged. Quicksprout has published a gifographic that explains how Google works.

16. Long-form content

This type of content is self-explanatory. It is a long piece of content that you can enhance with additional types of content such as imagery. How long this content really should be, depends on the topic and what you are trying to say. You should not write content just for the sake of it. If what you want to say can be said in 500 words, do not create long-form content.

17. Comprehensive reviews

If you are writing a review, you are probably doing so because you want to promote or sell this product on your website. In that case, it is important to keep the review as objective as possible. If there are any negatives to it, you should mention those as well. If you want your customers to trust you, you must be honest and if a product only has negatives or requires you to lie, maybe you should not promote it.

Reviews can now be enhanced with different types of mark-up that will appear in rich snippets in Google and with star ratings. Trustedreviews.com provides examples such as this review of a coffee machine:

Example of a coffee machine review18. Whitepapers

This type of content can be compared to a scientific research paper. You generally need a lot of data and information that you present in a well-written way. Before you start creating a Whitepaper, you should be sure that it is the right type of content for your audience. They should be interested in reading long-form content with scientific character.

19. eBooks

Some would argue that this type of content has been over-used in recent times and it seems to become a technique that is seen as spam. It is mostly used to get users to sign up for a newsletter. In return, they will receive the eBook.

20. Newsletters

Newsletters are mostly used in email marketing to keep an existing audience engaged. They are not suitable to attract new customers or links and therefore not used in digital PR.

21. Contests

This type of content is a well-established technique to get attention and to grow your audience quickly. Participants usually submit their email addresses after fulfilling a task or solving a puzzle to enter a prize draw. Based on the results, you can create additional content where you feature the winner picking up the prize or meeting a celebrity.

Screenshot of a meet and greet to win on Twitter https://twitter.com/corksredfm/status/847901325039894530

22. Surveys

Surveys work in a similar way as contests: Users submit information and, in most cases,, they get something in return, vouchers for example. Depending on what the survey is about and what participants get out of it, it can generate different levels of traction. More important though is what you do with the survey results as those provide opportunity for further content creation.

23. Personality tests, quizzes, tools and widgets

Quizzes and tests draw on human curiosity, use gamification strategies and interactive engagement. They usually reach the audience on a personal and emotional level and the better the topic of your personality test, the more likely it will get shared. Childhood memories such as Disney characters always seem to work:

Screenshot of a quiz "Which disney character are you?"

24. Social media posts

When we think of digital PR and backlinks, we often think of the website content and ignore other channels where our audience might find us. But the content you publish on your website can be syndicated on social media to reach a wider audience. What you should keep in mind is how you portray your brand and how you get the user to click through to your website.

There are different social media channels and the landscape keeps on changing. It is important to find the right channel for your product and your audience to then create content that resonates with them and is adequate for the channel. Video content for example is best placed on YouTube, whereas images are more suitable for Instagram or Pinterest, statements and opinions are for Twitter and short video sequences for TikTok.

What type of content to use?

After having seen so many opportunities it might seem to be an overwhelming decision to make. It can be useful to look at your data, your product, and your audience to find out what would work best in any given situation. The opportunities are endless and if you are looking for advice on your content marketing and digital PR strategy, please get in touch with us at JBH.

1024 682 Jane Hunt

Webinar: ‘How to handle digital PR in the midst of COVID-19’

Prolific North teamed up with Jane and Rebecca to address these challenges in a short, hands-on webinar. Giving anyone in digital PR the opportunity to share concerns, discuss ideas and get an insight into how leading PRs, like us, are adapting their strategy.

As an agency, we have seen client success in the current climate already. It’s meant reviewing all of our campaigns – pausing some, tweaking plenty of angles (as the timing is wrong) and re-visiting some older campaigns. But via this process, we have still been able to generate positive PR coverage relevant to COVID-19.

There are still many digital PR opportunities to be had. Journalists are crying out for content right now – that includes light-hearted content, that isn’t always related to the pandemic!

Watch the whole webinar below…

 

1024 682 Rebecca Moss

What Should Your Content Really Look Like in 2019

What’s at the centre of your digital and social activity? Chances are its content, which bridges the gap between brand and customer like no other media or medium could do previously.

Content marketing has come a long way since the early days of publishing multiple (and mostly mediocre) blogs each week on your website in the vain hope of getting noticed or ranking for a couple of obscure, long tail search queries.

These days, content marketing is a multi-channel, cross-platform behemoth, consisting of everything from landing pages and infographics to podcasts and videos.

The increasingly competitive space in which content sits has also changed dramatically, with things like featured snippets and voice search making any marketing objective even more difficult to achieve.

But that doesn’t mean to say boosting your brand identity, increasing online awareness and engaging with customers through content marketing is impossible…

Here’s the content that performs best in 2019:

Long-form authoritative content

So, if regular blogging doesn’t cut it anymore, what does?

The answer is long-form authoritative content.

This means going into great detail about a particular theme or topic and updating it regularly with fresh insight, imagery and video.

After analysing 912 million blog posts to better understand the world of content marketing, Brian Dean from Backlinko discovered that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than shorter articles. It also generates significantly more social shares, especially within the ‘sweet spot’ of 1,000-2,000 words.

Other industry studies have also found a direct correlation between long-form content and first page Google rankings. This is because long-form content stands a better chance of satisfying intent and maintaining engagement by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of a particular subject.

Best practice: Identify topics or themes that strongly correlate with your brand’s products, services, or industry. Think about how you could demonstrate your authority with long-form content that meets your customer’s wants and needs.

Short-form video

Every year, the importance of video content continues to grow – you only have to look at the success and influence of platforms like Instagram to realise that its here to stay for the long haul.

According to a recent study by Altimeter, short-form video (less than two minutes) is the best performing content in terms of engagement across every industry and every geography. By contrast, long-form video (greater than two minutes) was said to be 20% less effective.

In addition to greater engagement, short-form video can also improve your SEO, make content more accessible to a wider audience, generate a strong emotional connection with customers and lead to more conversions.

Best practice: Generate ideas for short-term video content that will resonate with your audience. Remember to optimise for mobile viewing (where most video is watched), create captions, include a CTA and keep it short!

Influencer marketing

Despite the exponential rise of social media influencers in recent years, this marketing trend is nothing new. However, several brands are reluctant to explore the idea of influencer marketing due to misconceptions that you need to spend thousands (or even millions) getting high-profile celebrities on board.

More often than not, brands have the most success with influencer marketing when they choose people directly related to their industry or niche. Better yet, they collaborate with influencers throughout the content ideation and creation process.

The following influencer marketing statistics speak volumes about its effectiveness:

  • Influencer Marketing Campaigns Earn $6.50 for Every Dollar Spent
  • 67% of Marketers Promote Content With the Help of Influencers
  • Influencer Marketing Is the Fastest-Growing Online Customer-Acquisition Method

Best practice: Think of influencers as an ad-hoc extension of your own content team. Take advantage of their creativity and audience, relieve some pressure from in-house efforts and add credibility to your brand in the eyes of followers.

Voice search

Voice search is slowly but surely becoming a daily fixture for many, especially given the increasingly popularity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and other voice assistants. Estimates suggest there are over one billion voice searches per month, while 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

So with more and more text-based digital tasks moving over to voice thanks to the speed and convenience it affords, every marketer should adjust their content strategy accordingly.

Unfortunately, each device seems to pull data from different sources and offer completely different results. But by creating pieces of content that deliver quick answers to quick questions, you should be able to position yourself ahead of the competition.

Best practice: Think about the words people say, not just what they’re likely to type. Also, most voice-activated searches take place on mobile, so make sure your website is responsive and optimised for smartphones.

Storytelling and Digital PR

There’s a reason why storytelling remains one of the most popular approaches to content marketing – it works, and will continue to work for many years to come. By conveying facts through narrative, you’ll create a connection with your audience and encourage action thanks to the number of decisions people make based on emotion.

One excellent example comes from National Geographic and its content marketing activity that engages with 350 million combined global followers on social media. As Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership, explains: “Staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories.”

Key ingredients to any story include a main character/hero, a conflict/journey, and an ending/resolution. Don’t forget to make it easy-to-follow, relatable and memorable. Support your stories with visuals and data to drive the message home.

Next steps: Try to gain an in-depth understanding of your audience – their needs, pains, hopes and aspirations. Know exactly what you want to say and what you want your audience to do before launching any storytelling campaign.

Take your content marketing to the next level with JBH – let’s create something awesome together.

Utilising video marketing in your content strategy
1024 692 Jane Hunt

5 great examples of video content marketing done right

Have you heard the news about video yet? It becoming a vital part of content marketing.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, and in other news, the Popes Catholic”

YouTube is the second most trafficked site, after Google and according to Cisco, by 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic.

It’s clear that video is a great tool for content marketing and that it’s what users are demanding, but you probably already knew that, so here are 5 great video marketing examples to give you some inspiration for your next campaign.

 

1. Blendtec

Blendtec seems like the obvious place to start. They have proved that there is no such thing as a boring industry and that video works no matter what product or service you are trying to sell.

Blenders are probably one of the duller products on the market – but start putting unusual stuff in them, they suddenly become a lot more interesting.

Blendtecs video marketing campaign is what put them on the map, and while certainly not everyone who watches their videos is going to buy a blender, they have definitely built a lot of brand recognition.

Their YouTube channel now has over 879K subscribers, with their videos still receiving hundreds of thousands of views.

It’s not just subscribers and brand awareness that their video campaigns have built. They saw a massive ROI for their videos, with a 700% increase in sales over a 3 year period.

 

2. Moz

Moz approaches their video marketing in a slightly different way, rather than trying to sell anything they use video to establish themselves as a thought leader within their industry.

Every week, Moz host its educational video series called ‘Whiteboard Fridays.’ The host uses this as an opportunity to share their knowledge on all things SEO. By having a regular series and using knowledge from experts, Moz has become the go-to for any and all SEO questions.

Another element of their series success is that the Moz team are active in the comments section on their posts. They have built a great relationship with their audience and if you write a comment you can actually expect to get an answer, which leads to regular engagement.

 

3. BuzzFeed

Anyone who has social media is thoroughly aware of just how addictive Buzzfeed’s video content can be. Whether its breaking news, funny memes or new recipes, BuzzFeed’s marketing team are social media savvy and able to put together engaging bite-size videos that make their audience stop scrolling.

BuzzFeed knows that social media distribution is the key to their success and create content that will appeal to their audience’s interest – putting a focus on engagement and value.

They have such a varied audience that they have created an umbrella of content with a number of different subtopic underneath it such as Tasty, Celeb, News and have given them all their own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages, meaning their audiences only get content they want to see on their feeds.

This intuitive way of thinking about what their audience wants, and creating of high-quality content that works on the platform it is being viewed on (in BuzzFeed’s case, mobile) has led to a staggering 3 billion video views a month on BuzzFeed.

 

4. Airbnb

Airbnb is a company who has utilised content marketing to thrive and their video marketing is doing just as well.

They use strong storytelling in their videos to create a sense of community and build trust in the brand. Through their videos, they humanise their brand and they build relationships with their audience by creating regular video content for their YouTube channel every week.

They also use video as their main form of communication with their audience, for large company announcements, rebranding and even for PR crisis’.

Rather than shy away from the scandal, they used video to apologise, explain and cut through all the gossip.

 

5. JBH / Youth Employment Skills

Not to brag or anything, but we’ve put together a few great video marketing campaigns in our time as well. One of our favourites is a campaign we created for Youth Employment Skills.

The aim of the campaign was to boost signups for their service and we did just that – they had a 1,425% increase in signups as a result of the videos.

The targeted audience was hard to reach and wouldn’t want to listen to content created by people that assumed to know their needs. The brand was also unknown and the budget was extremely limited meaning we had to get creative with video ideas.

We achieved such great results by working with influencers at The Wall of Comedy to create funny, authentic video content that was specifically targeted at Facebook users as that was where the audience was spending time online.

The response from the target audience great and in total the videos accumulated:

  • 650,250+ Facebook video views
  • 4,662 Facebook engagements
  • 2,459,413+ Overall reach

Learn everything you need to know about influencer marketing with our definitive guide.

1024 533 Jane Hunt

How House of Cards changed the marketing game

Like many Netflix addicts, I’m all ready to spend my weekend binge-watching the new and final season of House of Cards.

But, before House of Cards became one of the most popular shows around (ranked 44 on IMDB), Netflix took a huge $100 million gamble on an unlikely season that no one was sure would succeed.

Today, we’re all hooked, and all your colleagues will be plugging their ears and moaning about spoilers when you want to talk about it on Monday morning. But just how did House of Cards pull Netflix out of a hole and change the content marketing game?

 

Obtaining the rights

Did you know that House of Cards was originally a four-part series that aired on the BBC way back in 1990? No, me neither until I started doing research for this blog post.

That version of House of Cards is also available on Netflix, set after Margaret Thatcher’s tenure at No. 10; it received really good ratings and momentarily was very popular.

An intern at MRC studios watched the series and wouldn’t stop talking about it, to the point that the studio decided they would look into buying the rights for the show.

Rights obtained all they needed was a director and a star. Naturally, they decided to pitch the show to David Fincher, director of other hits such as Fight Club and were interested in going after Kevin Spacey as their lead.  

A bidding war then began between a number of major networks, which Netflix ultimately won.

 

Where was Netflix before House of Cards?

Netflix was founded in 1977 (that’s just one year after Apple!) and became a public company in 2002 – way back when they were shipping out DVDs to people homes and relying on the postal service.

After seeing the success of YouTube and the popularity of streaming, Netflix began their own streaming project which went live in 2007, and they began to move away from their DVD business model.

At this point, Netflix had 1.2 million subscribers and saw steady growth over the coming years. It helped contribute to the distribution of indie movies and began acquiring rights for its own original content library but in 2011 Netflix took a dip.

Its CEO decided to split off the DVD rental side of the business into its own company called Qwikster, a decision that fostered nothing but ill will with their audience. The new service meant that customers had to create new accounts, something users weren’t happy about and led to Qwiksters short, one month, existence.

 

person streaming Netflix original content, house of cards

 

Then came House of Cards

House of Cards turned things around for Netflix. It aired in February of 2013 and according to The Wire it brought with it 3 million new subscribers worldwide (2 million in the US). This was a huge win for the company and they found that just 3 months after its launch they had already broken even on their $100 million investment.  

Netflix proved that there is incredible value in creating your own content.

With House of Cards, Netflix brought in the golden age of internet TV. From it, we have seen just how powerful original content can be; even the likes of Amazon jumped on the bandwagon, creating original content for its Prime customers such as Mr Robot.

 

Creating original content

You might not have a million dollar budget for your content like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and Facebook but that doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power of original video content.

Even smaller brands are creating their own video series for their audiences to enjoy.

Original video content as part of your content marketing strategy

Moz – Whiteboard Fridays

Moz is a company that creates some great tools and products for SEO who for years now have been creating a segment every Friday called Whiteboard Fridays.

The short (usually under 10 min) segment covers a range of topics related to SEO with the aim to educate marketers. Some of their videos have amassed over 40K views and they have acquired a steady fan base which has helped establish their reputation as the go-to place for anything SEO related.

 

Want to learn more about Content Marketing? Read everything you need to know in our definitive guide.