Alecs is the Client Accounts Manager at Express Writers.
Content is a little bit like clothing.
We all know which types we like best and, after awhile, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut so to speak, recycling the same 4 items time and time again, leaving 90% of the vast closet untouched.
While you may not be literally reusing the same pieces of content over and over again, I’m willing to bet you probably reuse the same types of content – blogs, tweets, links, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with this content on its own, it can make your brand feel stale, boring and predictable if you don’t branch out – just like that dingy grey sweatshirt you love so much.
But what if you brought in fresh new infographics, ebooks and brochures into your content wardrobe?
It might make your brand feel a little like this…
3 Amazing Content Forms & How to Benefit From Them: Infographics, Ebooks, Brochures
In order to switch it up and give your brand new life, try experimenting with the following types of content.
1. How To Use Infographics
Infographics are the belle of the ball right now in content. Their most obvious winning factor is that they drive insane traffic to your site. Just how insane, you ask?
- Infographic search volume has increased over 800% in the last 2 years.
- The brain processes visual information at a rate 60,000 times faster than it does textual information.
- 65% of people classify themselves as “Visual learners”
- People who use infographics on their site grow an average of 12% faster than those who don’t.
- Infographics are shared on social media 3 times as often as all other types of content, which means they have a high potential to go viral.
Personally, our brand infographics, like this one, have garnered 3x the average shares one of our blog posts gets.
How’s that for content that is in-demand? In addition to being in-demand, though, infographics are also amazingly functional. This owes to the fact that infographics pack a ton of information into a small, easily digestible mechanism and can help your readers better understand your topic. Because of this, they’re shared more often, viewed more often and understood more comprehensively than text-based content.
In order to use infographics effectively in your content, there are several things you need to consider. First of all, the infographic should be strictly information-based. Don’t ever use an infographic to pitch your company’s many virtues. These infographics defeat the point (viral information sharing) and use the infographic’s power for evil rather than good. Instead, focus on taking an issue your industry faces, a hot topic that will encourage sharing or an interesting development and breaking it up to provide your audience with further information. If you need help coming up with an in-demand and genuinely interesting topic for your infographic, consider consulting resources like Google Trends or viral Twitter hashtags.
Once you’ve chosen a topic, you’ll need to gather information. When citing sources for your infographic, make sure they’re reputable sources comprised of industry experts and high-profile sites. Pulling information from obscure sites increases the likelihood that the information will be incorrect and decreases the likelihood that your infographic will receive a good reception (people don’t like sharing faulty information, after all). When gathering info, think about which statistics will make a good visual. Increase or decrease in revenue, for example, can be illustrated by a bar graph. Stick with great sources and highly visual statistics and you’ll have a great infographic in no time.
When it finally comes time to design your infographic, you can either pay a designer (don’t be surprised, though, if prices top out around $1,000) or you can do it yourself. Free web-based platforms like Easel.ly, Piktochart, Infogr.am get the job done with professional results and can help you stand out from the pack in an instant.
2. How to Benefit From Ebooks
Ah, eBooks – the quiet princesses overthrowing the palace one step at a time. Ebooks now top paperbacks in sales numbers and are set to completely overtake the paper dynasty any day now. As a marketer, though, it’s possible that you don’t want to sell your eBook and that you only want to use your eBook as an incentive. This is without a doubt how eBooks rose to prominence in marketing and is still one of the primary ways they are used within content strategy.
The reason for this is that bundling has long been a market strategy to help consumers make purchasing decisions and to help differentiate a company from its competition. For example, when a consumer purchases a piece of clothing from an online outfitter and finds a $100 voucher for a new online wine club (a sister company of the clothing retailer) enclosed, that consumer is much more likely to buy from that retailer in the future. Similarly, when a customer visits your site and finds that you’re offering samples of your content or (better yet) entire courses for free in eBook form, they’re very likely to stick around to see what else you have to offer. This approach also proves to consumers that a company is so confident in the quality of its product that it is happy to literally give some of it away.
Though compiling an eBook may sound complicated, it’s pretty simple. All you need to do is find a topic you want to write about (consider serialized topics you’ve blogged about in the past, consistent questions your customers ask, a problem many of your customers have or a new development you’re excited to debut) and write content (for more information about how to actually write an eBook, check out this HubSpot resource). In order to ensure that your content is as good as it possibly can be, ensure that it compliments your current brand, that it looks professional and that it is executed with precision. Enlist professional help to get your cover image on point and then give the eBook away as an incentive to subscribe to your company’s email list or as a promotional item bundled into more extensive courses or workshops.
3. Brochures Are Coming Back & How You Can Use Them
Did you think that brochures were an archaic form of marketing that nobody used anymore? Did you think that they were reserved for medical companies in doctor’s office waiting rooms and weight loss products? Think again. When done correctly, brochures can be a helpful piece of content that is ideal for spreading the message about your services and helping customers understand your mission. Alternately, brochures can be used to announce new products or services or to promote excitement surrounding sales.
Thanks to today’s technology, it’s completely possible to design web-based brochures that can be downloaded as a PDF or delivered directly to your customers’ inboxes. No matter what form you choose for your brochure, there are a few rules you should always abide by when creating brochures. The first is to be knowledgeable about your customer. Consider what the point of the brochure is – are you looking to promote information? Boost excitement? Introduce a new service? Now think about how the brochure needs to be laid out in order to communicate that – what kind of information does it need? Which questions should it answer? Once you’ve answered those questions, you can dedicate yourself to the writing process. In many ways a brochure is a small sales pitch and, as such, you should be writing great headlines and ensuring that your CTAs are on point. Even though a brochure is a somewhat rare form of content nowadays, it needs to fulfill all of the tasks of any other piece of content: provide information, intrigue audiences and tell them where to go next.
The Case for Content: How Infographics, Ebooks and Brochures Can Overhaul Your Brand
Today, everyone is online. That much is obvious. What people do online, though, is a bit more of a toss-up. While you may have a good audience for blog posts or podcasts, expanding out into other forms of content can help you reach new audiences and promote your message in a different way.
There are dozens of different types of content but for the brand that truly wants to overhaul its image and put forward a brave new face, there is no content so heavy-hitting and valuable as infographics, eBooks and brochures. Customizable, highly distributable and easy to create, these pieces of content are a fantastic way for you to spread information, drive people back to your site and ensure you’re casting your net as widely as possible.
Because, hey, while we all love that dingy grey sweater, it’s time for a change every now and then, don’t you agree? Who wouldn’t want their brand refreshed and dressed as well as a Marilyn Monroe?
Check out our infographic service to get started!