16 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic Today

BY AMBER MOORE

Info-Graphic_Freely

1. Infographics
2. Memes
3. Videos
4. Guides
5. Book reviews
6. Opinion post
7. Product reviews
8. Resource pages
10. Case study
11. Podcast
12. Interview
13. Research
14. Interactive
15. Email newsletter
16. Apps

One thing we all know for sure, there’s more to successful content marketing than writing the occasional blog post and sharing Ron Burgundy memes on Twitter – a heck of a lot more.

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But before I run over these 16 unique types of content that we crave, it’s important to be aware of the fundamental commandments of content marketing.

  1. Your content is not defined by its type.
  2. Your content is not defined by its idea.
  3. Your content is defined by its delivery.

The delivery of your content is everything. Combining a great idea with the most suitable content type and mixing that up with a top notch outreach strategy is key to driving more visitors to your site. So feel free to try out as many of these content types as you want, learn from the examples that have already been successful, but always make sure each piece of content has all the fundamental ingredients to create a great piece of content (more of that in our 3-step process to creating shareable content).

So, let’s take a look…

 

InfoGraphics-01

Infographic

Infographics are a fun and quick way to learn about a topic in a visual way, without diving into a ton of heavy reading. There are a huge number of different infographic styles, flavours and visualisations, but the ultimate goal is to make them as shareable as possible.

 

How

Infographics can get super expensive, but fortunately there are ways you can enjoy the success of a beautifully designed infographic without the six figure budget to go with it.

Surprisingly, design isn’t the key ingredient in your infographic arsenal. You know what is?

The topic.

If your infographic touches on a topic that’s trending, it’s MUCH more likely to do well.

Better yet, if your infographic has a compelling narrative with a beginning, middle and a conclusion, your efforts will be a lot more rewarding. Take the user on a journey with purpose.

  • 6-8 data points.
  • Plenty of white space.
  • Your most compelling information at the top.
  • A small amount of text.
  • Leave the reader with some questions.

Once you’ve planned out the narrative you need to get it designed. Not everyone has infographic designers in their network, so here are a few options.

 

When

Infographics are great at communicating almost any idea in a visual and exciting way. They can be especially great when tackling a difficult or heavy subject, turning complex information into a set of easily digestible points.

Let’s not forget repurposing. If you have a piece of content that’s been particularly successful, ask yourself, could this do just as well if it was designed into an infographic?

 

Example

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/20/6040435/als-ice-bucket-challenge-and-why-we-give-to-charity-donate

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This infographic produced by Vox that tackles the difficult subject of ‘where we donate vs diseases that kill us’ has everything that a successful infographic could need. It was published in August 2014 when the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS was in full stead.

While simple, the infographic helped digest some interesting statistics and led the user to along a narrative that would help to show the gap between the diseases that affect the most people and those that net the most money and attention.

The infographic hit a talking point and generated over 6,000 social shares and earned links from over 173 unique referring domains, including Wikipedia and The Verge.

 

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Further reading

 

 

Memes-01

Meme

Three words to describe a meme: catchy, funny and memorable. No rocket science required, just pair an image with a clever phrase – the more relatable, the better.

They’re quirky and hilarious, making them instantly shareable. And what’s more, meme’s can be made around any subject in any industry.

 

How

Memes are one of the easiest types of content to create. Since their popularity has increased, a number of tools have appeared to help you create that perfect meme.

Many of the online meme generators are free, making them a great way to provide entertaining, shareable content for little or no expense.

Brands can be nervous to make use of this type of content, but by attaching brand messages to memes that are already trending, you can remain memorable to a larger audience.

Just remember to consider:

  • Does the meme make sense with your brand? Do they work together?
  • Have you maintained the basic elements of the meme that make it entertaining, funny, and memorable?

 

When

Want to add a bit of humour to a blog post? Need something quick and entertaining to share across your social channels?

Maybe you just want to spice up an important, but frankly boring, piece… See Moz’s ‘Big News Memeified’.

If you answered yes to any of the above, a meme could be a valuable piece of content that you should utilise.

At this point, have a think about your audience…

Are they tech-savvy millennials? Awesome, go ahead. These guys are likely to respond well to your hilarious memes – they’re often the very people that create the originals!

Are they an older audience? Are they likely to take offence? Be wary… You need to make sure your marketing efforts don’t backfire.

 

Example

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The above example works well because it’s funny. If you can elicit emotion from your audience, you are much more likely to stimulate engagement and buzz.

 

Further reading

 

 

Videos-01

Videos

Video is dynamic, shareable and, if it’s done properly, can be much more engaging that the usual text blog post… excluding this one, of course 😉

In 2015, experts believe that video will take up 57% of consumer traffic, and this is expected to rise to 69% by 2017 and 79% in 2018.

Whether it’s just for fun or provides genuinely valuable information, videos are an efficient and effective content tactic.

 

How

First of all, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Do you want to lead people through to your website? Are you promoting a product or service? Or are you generally trying to increase brand awareness?

This will shape the type of video that you use. Tutorials, reviews, demonstrations, animations, and so on… pick the one that will best compliment the goal you’re trying to achieve.

By having a clearly defined goal, you know when you’re winning. Is success based on the number of clicks through to a landing page? Or the number of times the video has been viewed, liked or shared? Keep this clear in your mind at all times.

And as always, consider your audience. Are there creative ways that you can use to capture their attention? Remember, video isn’t restricted to YouTube. Facebook users are now seeing nearly four times more video in their feeds than a year ago.

Which brings us to…

The key to creating entertaining videos to the millions on the web?

  • Personality, personality, personality. Make your audience like and relate to you.
  • Keep it succinct. Research has found that different types of videos have varying optimal lengths, but the rule of thumb is to make it as short as possible.
  • Write a script… And stick to it. It’ll give your video structure and keep you from going off-track.
  • Make sure the information you’re providing is genuinely useful.
  • If you’re using visuals to illustrate your video, keep them simple.

Now you need to make sure you have the perfect environment and equipment to convey your message.

  • Invest in a video camera of some sort. Of course you can use your iPhone, but a proper video camera will give a much more professional finish.
  • Consider using a tripod. Shaky hands do not make for a good video.
  • Lighting is key! You can buy some specialist lights, or you can simply make sure there’s enough daylight wherever you’re shooting.
  • Noise. Obvious, right? But make sure you’re somewhere quiet… That dog barking outside will almost definitely be heard.

 

When

Can you dedicate the time and effort required for a high quality video? If so, they’re great to embed in web pages or blog posts as an easy way to digest information. They’re also perfect for sharing across social channels – especially on Facebook, where recent algorithm updates have put more emphasis on the reach of videos.

If you set up a YouTube channel, regular videos are essential to retain an audience. A great starting point is to create a ‘Meet the Team’ video. This allows viewers to get to know the people behind the brand before they begin enjoying the content you’re producing.

 

Example

https://www.youtube.com/user/sortedfood/videos

SORTEDfood create fantastic videos. They’re short, entertaining, and most of all, they provide value to their loyal subscribers. They create series of videos of easy and fast recipes that are uploaded a couple of times a week, encouraging home cooking and showing that anyone can make super tasty food.

I’m not the only one to think they’re very good at what they do. They have over 1.2 million subscribers and their videos have over 130 million views.

 

Further reading

 

 

Guidelines-01

Guides

The secret to a good guide?

The more detailed the better.

It’s essentially a huge blog post, but it’s not just text on a page… nobody wants to sit and read paragraphs and paragraphs of text, right? You should go above and beyond by adding diagrams, images, videos, and so on – anything that will make your content as valuable and entertaining as possible.

 

How

The easiest way to start is to decide the topic of the guide – this should be something that your audience demands – and then list some subheadings you want to include. Brainstorm under each section and think of ways you can incorporate other types of content (images, videos etc) to your guide.

Once you have the idea, you need a designer – someone to make your content look awesome.

The main things to remember when writing your guide:

  • Use benefit-rich chapter titles
  • Don’t skimp on the detail – think of each sub heading as being the length of a normal blog post.
  • Include links to advanced resources for each chapter
  • Make sure it looks great – visually appealing and easy to read
  • Consider creating a PDF version of your guide. This is a great way to capture email addresses for promotion of future content – make the PDF downloadable by entering an email address.

You need to find a subject that has plenty to talk about – it can start out broad but should get more specific as the guide goes on.

 

When

‘How to’ guides are popular because they find a problem, and provide a solution.

Guides are a great way of showing your subject expertise to your readers. You should ask yourself, ‘has this topic already been covered adequately?’ and, if so, ‘can I do a better job?’.

 

Example

http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/packing-and-accessories/the-ultimate-guide-to-travel-packing

The_Ultimate_Guide_to_Travel_Packing___IndependentTraveler_com

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This is a great example of what an ‘ultimate’ guide should look like. It gives you the different subheadings as separate blog posts so you can click on the ones relevant to you, instead of having to trawl through a huge document.

Each subheading contains a different type of content. One gives you advice on what not to pack, another gives you packing tips for every kind of trip from safaris to city breaks. They’ve also included different techniques (e.g. the bundle approach) and provided the reader with an interactive packing list so that you can tick off what you’ve packed as you go along to ensure you don’t forget anything. Even more impressively, they’ve included a quiz at the end so you can determine your packing personality, adding that all-important fun factor.

This guide received just under 800 social shares and earned links from many different domains, including NBC news.

 

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Further reading

 

 

Book reviews

A book review is an article discussing and recommending or critiquing a book. They’re useful if you know that your audience are avid book-readers and can help establish you as a thought leader in your field.

 

How

Book reviews can be as short or as long as you prefer – there aren’t really any rules and it just depends on what your readers prefer.

Ideally, a book review should include:

  • An introduction to the author.
  • An introduction the the book.
  • Description of the main storyline.
  • The positive points about the book.
  • The negative points about the book.
  • The conclusion – would you recommend this to your readers?

 

When

It’s most valuable to do book reviews on pre releases or new releases – this way you can be part of the hype surrounding it.

It’s also interesting to do a book review on a book that has received a lot of attention, specifically in your field, so it’s relevant to your audience. For example, a book review on a book surrounded by controversy can be a talking point and can set up a discussion or debate amongst your readers – that’s one way to get the comments flooding in!

 

Example

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/goldfinch-donna-tartt-_n_4124413.html

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Huffington Post regularly post book reviews. Their book reviews always perfectly summarise the stories and have great critiques, giving the reader negative and positive aspects of the book.

This book review has a great structure. It gives you a paragraph with a main summary, what the writer’s opinion is and the opening line. Another great part of this review is that it also mentions what other reviewers have said.

Additionally, Huffington Post is a trusted and established source, which makes the reader trust their review.

 

Further reading

 

 

Public Speaking-01

Opinion post

An opinion post has the same layout as a blog post, but a very different tone. It usually consists of people writing down their opinion about something, be it good or bad.

These types of posts are usually quite expressive and may or may not be as thoroughly researched as blog posts and reviews.

 

How

The secret to writing a good opinion post is to avoid ranting too much and writing them too often (people will probably get fed up of always hearing your opinion, especially if it’s negative).

Opinion posts work well when they’re on a trending topic that people are interested in, which could be surrounded by a bit of controversy.

Also, it’s important to note that opinion posts don’t really give balanced views. As it’s the writer’s opinion and they feel very strongly about the subject they’re talking about, they can be quite biased.

Avoid coming on ‘too strong’, though – express your (possibly strong) opinion but be clear about what message you are trying to get across.

When

There’s no right time to write an opinion post. Inspiration usually occurs when the writer is passionate about a specific subject and wants to convey their opinion.

 

Example

https://www.change.org/p/the-mayor-of-greater-london-boris-johnson-enforce-the-guidelines-and-regulations

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In the UK at the moment there is an ongoing debate between Uber and the London black taxis. The above example is a petition to try and get signature to ban Uber from London. This post expresses a very strong opinion against Uber, giving all the reasons why they think black taxis are better.

The campaign has already received 8,902 supporters in 4 weeks, proving that opinion posts can be very valuable.

 

Further reading

 

 

Product reviews

Product reviews are very similar to book reviews.

Instead of discussing the pros and cons of a book, you discuss the pros and cons of a particular product. Research reveals that 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews –  this type of content is great for establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.

 

How

Similarly to book reviews, there aren’t really any hard and fast rules for the length of your product review. It just depends on how detailed you are about the product – more information is always better. Avoid rambling, though, keep a clear and concise structure.

People reading these product reviews are loyal readers, but there’s a strong possibility that potential buyers will come across your review (particularly if they are researching the product).

Ideally, a product review should include the following:

  • An introduction to the product & company
  • A description of the product, including its main features
  • Positive aspects of the product
  • Negative aspects of the product
  • A conclusion: would you would buy this product?
  • A link to where the customer can find the product

 

When

It’s good to do a product review on a pre release or new release of a highly anticipated product. Those are products that customers are more likely to be researching and want more information on – especially if it’s a product with a high price tag.

They need validation that this product isn’t just all hype.

 

Example

http://www.engadget.com/2015/04/30/apple-watch-review/

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The Apple watch was a highly anticipated product which created a lot of buzz (as the Apple products so often do!).

This is a great review. It’s very detailed, giving you a summary of the product, then going on to talk about the hardware, the competition, the main uses of the watch and ending on the conclusion, which sums up if it’s worth a purchase or not.

[Side note: for those of you that have purchased an Apple Watch – what d’ya think?! I could be tempted…] This website has a domain rating of 75, suggesting it is an authoritative source. Additionally, this review has received just over 1,000 social shares and 3.6K backlinks showing just how valuable and shareable good product reviews can be.

 

Further reading

 

 

Lists

Everyone loves a list.

Research suggests categorising things helps us process a huge amount of information quickly.

The format makes content more easily consumable. Ultimately, lists are simple, informative, and extremely shareable.

You can create a list on pretty much every subject, as broad or as niche as you fancy.

 

How

First, pick your topic – obviously a very important part of the process.

Next, pick your number. Not so important?

Wrong.

Data suggests that odd-length lists, over time, will generate more shares on social networks, and therefore gain more attention. That’s why you so often see Buzzfeed, among others, regularly opt for odd-numbered lists – and why they do so well.

So when writing your list, consider your list length. Not too short, not too long, and preferably an odd number!

Now you just need to come up with your content and a catchy title that encourages people to click through. Take this blog post for example: “16 types of content that will increase your traffic today”. It’s a catchy title which gives you, the reader, a clear benefit.

You can create short, to-the-point bulleted lists, or you can opt for a list that explains each point in more detail.

Both are super effective.

It’s up to you to decide the type of list you’d like to use, but this will be the type that best suits the topic you are writing about.

At Freely, we’re generally a fan of providing as much detail as we can. Sure, this post could have just listed 16 types of content, but how much value would our readers really gain from that?

Using more detailed lists allow your audience to skim the titles if they so wish, or really dive deep into the nitty gritty.

 

When

Lists are awesome, especially when sharing on social media. They’re quick, interesting and easy-to-read.

 

Example

http://www.timeout.com/london/food-drink/best-restaurants-in-london-the-full-list

This list has everything a great list should have. It names 100 of the best restaurants in London. Not only that, but each restaurant has a separate link to a landing page which talks about the restaurant in more detail and also includes user reviews. It has all the information a customer would need, even adding contact details for the restaurant.

 

Further reading

 

 

WebPages-01

Resource pages

A resource page is pretty self-explanatory – a page that provides links to different resources across the internet.

This is a great type of content for increasing your SEO and spreading “link love” to other websites.

 

How

A resource page is simply a list of links.

Decide what the main topic your links are going to be on. For example, “Marketing agencies in London”. Next add the names, hyperlink them and number them. Done – your resource page is ready.

If you want to make your resource page more detailed you can write a little blurb about the link and, although this isn’t a necessity, it will add more value to the post.

 

When

This would be a great content type to try if you wanted to drive traffic to your website. People love resource pages because they have all of the links needed in one place.

 

Example

http://www.design-intellect.co.uk/top_50_design_agencies_list.html

This is a perfect example of a resource page. It lists each of the 50 design agencies, gives each a short introduction and image, and then provides a link to each of their websites.

 

Further reading

 

 

EmailNewsletter-02

eBook

eBooks are long pieces of content, which can usually be downloaded as a pdf.

They are really helpful for establishing you as an authority in your field.

 

How

To start with, choose your topic. It has to be a subject which has plenty to talk about, since an eBook should be around 10,000 words. Sounds a lot? That’s because it is! You eBook should provide a huge amount of value to your reader.

Once your topic has been decided, you need to decide on the chapters or subheadings. These are great as they help to break up your eBook into manageable pieces of text. Readers can easily skip ahead to the section that interests them.

It’s also super important to consider imagery. A good eBook should have illustrations, graphics, images – anything that you feel will support your text in making the content more entertaining and understandable.

Once you have written your eBook, you can ask for people’s email addresses in exchange for the downloadable PDF.

 

When

eBooks require a lot of effort, but you can reap the rewards from collecting an email database of genuinely engaged readers – perfect for promoting future content.

 

Example

http://darebee.com/100-no-equipment-workouts.html

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This eBook example is extremely detailed, giving you 100 exercises with diagrams of how they should be performed, as well as giving the reader specific exercise routines and tips.

 

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This was clearly very successful, generating over 3,000 backlinks and just under 8,500 social shares.

 

Further reading

 

 

Case Studies-01

Case study

Case studies are a great way to tell your audience how valuable your products or services are.

A case study otherwise known as a ‘success story’ should go beyond a simple testimonial, and show real-life examples of how you’ve made a difference – it’s proof that what you’re offering is worth paying for.

 

How

Think of a case study as a story – and tell it from start to finish.

First of all, ask yourself ‘who is my ideal customer’? If it’s someone in the education space, make your case studies about your college or university customers.

Once your customer has read your case study, they should feel that you know their industry inside out and, more importantly, you know how to provide targeted services and results.

So to start, your title should list a benefit, a number to quantify the level of success, and a time period in which this was achieved.

Next, tell your reader straight away the most important part of the story. Don’t save it for later in the post, you want to capture their attention from the get-go. As an example, here’s the first line from Brian Dean’s Viral Marketing Case Study:

“Today I’m going to show you how one entrepreneur used viral marketing to generate 17,584 unique visitors to a brand new website.”

You should also give a little back story to the person you helped, making them more likeable and relatable.

Move on to the bulk of the story, outlining the problem you were facing and the effect it had. Be open and talk honestly, including real statistics wherever possible to draw the reader in. The key here is to approach your story with a level of authenticity that will help you reader to relate.

Finally, you want to dive into the meat of how you solved it. Separate the solution into actionable steps, each with their own subheader. How did each step move you closer to the ultimate solution and how would your reader be able to replicate that themselves? Talk about a specific strategy.

If you wanted to try a different type of case study, you can always put it into a different format. Case studies can be shown through infographics, podcasts, interviews, and so on. Interviews and podcasts can be a nice way to express the case study in your customer’s own words, making it even more relatable to your ideal customer.

Different formats will appeal to different audiences, since some may prefer audio, visual, or text based content. Consider repurposing your content to engage as many prospective customers as possible.

 

When

You should always have case studies somewhere potential clients can find them – somewhere organised and easy to find.

They demonstrate to your clients how you’ve helped others and how you can help them.

 

Example

https://econsultancy.com/blog/65389-six-inspirational-b2b-case-studies-from-the-digitals/

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This case study begins by introducing both companies involved (Liberty and Ve Interactive) and what the aim of their partnership was.

It then goes on to show the problems the client (Liberty) were having and explains what measures Ve Interactive implemented to solve the problems.

The case study ends by displaying the results showing that Ve Interactive were successful in fixing Liberty’s problem.

 

Further reading

 

 

Pod Casts-01

Podcast

The great thing about podcasts is that can convey much more meaning through tone of voice that text ever can.

Research has found that the average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes on average. This means you have ample opportunity to engage your audience and begin to build a long-lasting relationship.

Podcasts are also perfect for busy people. You can listen to podcasts on your commute, at the gym, or even at work.

 

How

Creating a podcast is pretty simple and cost effective – the main equipment needed is a microphone and a laptop.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose a distinct theme, an appropriate format, enlist your friends and get the right podcasting equipment.
  • Record an audio file, being aware of technical problems.
  • Convert the audio file into podcast
  • Get huge on social media

For more information on this, check out Digital Trends guide to making a successful podcast: http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/how-to-make-a-podcast/

Of course, the content from the podcast can be repurposed into a blog post or infographic, meaning you get more bang for your buck!

 

When

Podcasts can really help you reach a different audience type who might not be reading your other types of content.

If you want to increase community engagement and build brand awareness, offering podcasts can be very effective.

 

Example

http://www.stuffyoushouldknow.com/podcasts/

The ‘Stuff You Should Know’ podcast is popular because not only is it funny and entertaining, but it also brings genuine value to listeners by being educational.

This podcast has over 100 million downloads on iTunes and over 300 podcasts published.

 

Further reading

 

 

Interview

Interviews are not necessarily the most shareable content, but they can be the most insightful.

Interviewing someone your readers are interested in and consider important can really give you a lot of respect, and gets you unique information that nobody else has.

 

How

Find someone that you think will provide valuable information to your readers and set up a time and place with them. Once that has been set up and you have your script with questions, the interview should take the following format:

  • Introduce the interviewee.
  • Begin the question/answer format (you ask the question, interviewee answers).
  • Conclude the interview and thank the interviewee.

It’s important to note that the questions you prepare can just be a rough guide. If you feel confident enough then it’s great to question the interviewee further on different points if they come up during the interview.

 

When

Interviews can be used for many different reasons. It may be that a particular product is about to be released and you want to interview the creator or it may just be that a particular person is a leader in their field and their knowledge would be interesting for your readers.

 

Example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4Ezruu1oeQ

Even though this may not be a typical interview, the interviewer was endearing and got more information about Mila Kunis that many viewers would not have known. The interviewer made his interview different from all the other journalists, hence making his interview go viral (this interview has over 13 million views).

As long as you get unique information that is interesting or helpful to your readers / viewers, then the interview will be a success.

 

Further reading

 

 

Blogs-01

Research and original data

Statistics are awesome.

Research and original data can really bring value to your content, whilst simultaneously establishing your authority in that field. What’s not to love?

 

How

The key to having useful statistics and original data? Research, research, research.

The first step before the research is finding a good topic. Find a subject you know there will be lots to talk about and that people will find engaging. Once you’ve carried out your research, it’s important you present your findings in an interesting way.

Using other pieces of content such as infographics or images to illustrate your research is a great way to get people talking about your findings.

 

When

This type of content is great to use when you have a topic that is quite data heavy. It’s a good piece of content to gain trust from your audience and drive more traffic.

 

Example

http://www.takepart.com/an-inconvenient-truth/film

Pretty much everyone in the past 9 years has heard of, or watched, this film.

An Inconvenient Truth is so famous because of it’s controversial and engaging nature. This film shows how you can present your findings from your research in a clear way and engage your audience. There’s content such  as videos, animations, public speaking, which all highlight facts and figures around the topic discussed – in this case, global warming.

 

Further reading

 

 

Interactive-01

Interactive

Interactive content is the new kid on the block.

It’s still a relatively new form of content but becoming more and more popular. Using interactive content is a sure fire way of making yourself different from the competition.

It can contain audio, video, animation and anything else to make the content unique to anything else on the internet.

 

How

Interactive content can be suuuuper expensive. But don’t let that put you off just yet!

It’s usually a good idea to plan the user journey and then hire a developer to build it for you. The great thing about this type of content is, as it’s not used nearly as much as other types of content, it’s more likely to be shared and spoken about. So basically, if you can spare some dosh, your efforts will most certainly pay off.

If a developer is out of your price range, here are some tools to help you create that interactive content:

  • http://contenttools.co/ – Use this tool to create quizes, polls, competitions and more.
  • http://slides.com/ – Create slides so you effectively have a presentation as your blog post.
  • http://www.snapapp.com/ – Offers a range of interactive content tools such as quizzes, assessments, interactive video, interactive infographics and galleries.

 

When

Interactive content can be useful when trying to drive more traffic to your website by generating buzz.

They are also useful when communicating difficult subjects. As like infographics, they can turn complex information into more visual, easy-to-understand points.

 

Example

http://www.oceanoutdoor.com/ocean-news/case-studies/twitter-and-topshop-democratise-fashion-in-ground-breaking-campaign/

In this example, Topshop had live billboards highlighting live trends during London Fashion week. Customers could then tweet the hashtag on the billboard to receive a curated shopping list relevant to that trend. It was a great way to get people talking about the brand and really positioned Topshop as an exciting leader in their space.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/apr/09/carlsberg-poster-free-beer-billboard

It’s important to note content doesn’t have to be digital to be interactive, as shown by the above beer dispensing billboard example. This content marketing example received a lot of publicity  from the press and the public. Doing something that hasn’t been done before is great for gaining attention and increasing brand awareness.

 

Further reading

 

 

EmailNewsletter-01

Email newsletters

Email newsletters are definitely one of the most popular types of content – 247 billion emails are sent every day (Capterra, 2014).

And it’s no surprise why. Email newsletters are easy, inexpensive and they get results.

 

How

You’ve got two choices – go for plain text or design something using HTML.

Before you write off plain text emails for something more exciting, they absolutely have a time and a place.

Users are flooded with spam every day, so their default response is to click the trash can. Compose something in plain text and put real thought behind the copy and the person you are talking to, and you can achieve an incredible response.

The second option of designing an email using HTML is a popular choice. Whether you use an in-house designer or outsource this to an agency or freelancer, once you are happy with the overall look and feel, you need to import this into your email service provider of choice. Here are a few great, easy-to-use options to get started:

Another great thing about email newsletters is that once you’ve added them to your email service providers, you can carry out A/B testing to see which emails have better response rates. The types of things you can test are subject lines and the time in which it’s sent, enabling you to optimise your email newsletters as much as possible.

Additionally, more and more people are learning to target their specific audiences which in turn is driving more traffic and sales.

It makes sense.

Why would you send a woman an email promoting your menswear?

Unless she’s bought menswear in the past she probably isn’t interested.

It would be more beneficial for you as a company and more useful for her as a customer to receive womenswear emails tailored to her tastes (which can be analysed through previous orders).

Obviously, email newsletters are only useful if you already have a healthy database. A great way to build your database is to create a downloadable guide or eBook that captures readers’ email addresses (mentioned above).

 

When

You need to have a schedule.

It’s good to organise how often you send out an email newsletter and this will depend entirely on your readers’ demands and also how much time you have.

Larger companies may have more resources to send out email newsletters more often, but as long as your newsletter provides genuinely valuable content, you will still reap the rewards.

 

Example

This email newsletter example just shows exactly how creative you can be. The email is on brand appealing to their email subscribers whilst also delivering their message and promoting their bridal collection.

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Further reading

 

 

Apps-01

App

Apps are great for building a more interactive user experience.

You can find an app for pretty much everything making our lives so much easier.

 

How

Developing an app is a looooong process and can be an expensive one. You need to make sure there is a demand for the app you are building otherwise you are reducing the chances of its’ success.

Here are some steps to guide you along the way:

  • Research your idea. If it’s been done before, figure out how yours is different.
  • Sketch out your idea and create a testable wireframe prototype (you will probably need the help of a developer for this part).
  • Design the individual screens of your app (high resolution versions of your wireframe).
  • TEST TEST TEST! (Very important to know what works & what doesn’t).
  • Once testing has been carried out and you’re happy with the app, it’s launch time!

 

When

The most effective apps are the ones which have solved a specific problem for a user.

If you find an idea which is different or better than the competition, then go for it!

Just remember time and money are essential.

 

Example

http://www.charmin.com/en-us/charmin-relief/sitorsquat

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Charmin’s SitOrSquat app allows consumers on the go to find the cleanest public toilets worldwide. The site and iPhone app delivers user-generated listings of bathroom locations and ratings, as well as handicap accessibility, changing tables, and more.

This content is aimed at women with children – exactly the target audience that is likely to be buying the toilet roll for their household.

 

Further reading

 

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many content types to choose from.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive – there are many more content types around. These are some of my favourites that I find to be particularly effective.

Just remember: content that is engaging, entertaining and informative will be the most inherently shareable and will ultimately increase your traffic.

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