9 popular content formats that drive engagement

The internet enables affordable and fast access to information, unlike in the past when it was tightly controlled. There’s so much of it floating around that we’re suffering from information overload. Today misinformation could be just as bad as censorship. That’s why it’s increasingly important to use content formats that immediately grab your audience’s attention. They include:

Blog posts

Blogging had its golden age in the early to late 2000s (roughly 2003 to 2009). The rise of social media had a role in reducing its influence. Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms allow you to post your thoughts to a broad audience without having to buy a domain name, pay for hosting, and build a website. This convenience has always made industry observers question whether blogging is dead.

On the contrary, blogs are still powerful content formats for marketing your brand. Unlike social media pages that can delete your content for whatever reason, you own 100% of your blog posts. It’s also a viable way of building social proof that provides evidence of your expertise in a given field.

blog posts are among the best content formats

Blogs allow you to earn passive income in various ways, including advertising, affiliate marketing, digital downloads, and premium subscriptions. They also place you in a position to take advantage of opportunities. Your audience is more likely to approach you with business opportunities even if you weren’t overtly marketing yourself.

Images

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. From cave paintings to billboards to digital posts, visuals have always had better results than text. They arrest your reader’s attention, are more memorable, get shared more often, and increase trust. The following content formats are perfect for increasing brand awareness:

  • Screenshots: They improve trust among your target audience because most times, you capture projects you’re currently working on. They’re suitable for illustrating the step by step processes. 
  • Memes: These have become an integral part of internet culture. Everyone uses them for comic relief, including companies keen to dispel the notion of rigidity. There are several online generators dedicated to helping you create your perfect image. It’s not hard to create a viral meme that will further market your brand across the internet.
  • Social media images: Internet-enabled smartphones with high-quality cameras make it easier to capture and share photos. This convenience is especially useful if you’re marketing your brand on social media. Platforms such as Instagram encourage their users to express themselves through photos. Images also make your audience more likely to read your blog posts because they break the monotony of text.
  • Infographics: These content formats are among the internet’s best-kept secrets. One significant advantage of infographics is that you can allow other bloggers and social media users to embed them on your page. Since they contain links to your site, you’ll receive free marketing and valuable clicks to your content.
images are powerful content marketing tools

They’re also eye-catching, are easily understood, and show that you’re an expert in the topic you choose to summarize. Other than being SEO-friendly, trackable infographics show you just how well your content is performing.

Video 

Video is undoubtedly the new face of content marketing. Advances in internet speed, cloud computing, and device memories allow anyone to record, upload, and save these content formats. Streaming services such as YouTube keep experience growth, as well as offering alternative sources of income

As with the ubiquitous selfie, Facebook and other social media platforms have made it easier to record live videos. Most online marketers incorporate webinars in attempting to convert leads. More than 3.5 billion people worldwide have smartphones, which further increases the efficiency of video content.

video content formats have some of the highest conversion rates

Benefits of video marketing include:

  • Improved brand awareness due to deeper engagement and social shares.
  • Increased click-through rates (CTR) when used in email marketing campaigns.
  • Improved social proof since your personality can cultivate trust and credibility among viewers.
  • High ROI. A YouTube video shot with your smartphone is capable of making you thousands in affiliate commissions, ad revenue, merch sales, and endorsements.

Audio

Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana. What do these services have in common? They’re all voice-activated. These are just some of the most visible audio-powered solutions in the market. Popular content formats in this category include podcasts, audiobooks, songs, and audio advertisements.

Just like YouTube channels, podcasts are growing in popularity. They’re convenient because your audience can listen as they perform activities such as working out, commuting, and relaxing. They’re also freely available on the web and mobile devices, which increases your potential reach.

audio search and content are the future

Audio will keep playing a significant role in emerging technologies. Other than voice search, it will be crucial for operating self-driving vehicles, robots, smart homes, and wearable devices.

Lists 

You can never go wrong with lists. Also known as listicles, they give a concise summary of unique topics. A good example is this article. Your audience appreciates the fact that you’ve done the research on their behalf and presented it in a way that’s easy to read and understand. 

They’re essential for sales and affiliate marketing purposes. For instance, if you create a comprehensive list of the five best smartphones in the market, a sizeable number of your readers is likely to purchase one of the devices. Other saving your readers’ time, listicles are sharable and trigger useful engagement around the topic under discussion.

Ebooks 

Books have been a source of knowledge for thousands of years, a tradition that digital editions keep nurturing. You can create an ebook by merely converting a word document into a pdf. These content formats contain a lot of useful information that takes up the tiniest amount of space.

ebooks give more value for money than other content formats

The rise of ebook publishers such as Amazon and reading devices such as the Kindle have opened publishing opportunities to everyone, from amateurs to celebrity authors. Other than providing a new revenue stream, digital books have the following benefits:

  • They’re more affordable than physical books because they don’t undergo the same intensive production process.
  • Ebooks help in conserving the environment because of their paperless nature. Your audience can also download one copy countless times.
  • You can download them immediately after purchase. This convenience eliminates shipping and other logistical constraints.
  • Syncing allows you to read them on various devices. 
  • Their small size makes storage a breeze. You don’t need considerable shelves to collect your favorite titles.
  • Other than being searchable, ebooks are easy to update should you come across new information.

Ebooks are essential for digital marketing campaigns. You can offer free copies to your audience in return for their email addresses. This generosity results in a more profound connection that’s more likely to convert them into longterm clients.

Email newsletters

Email remains one of the highest converting content formats. Despite the rise of new types of digital communication, more than half of the world’s population has an email account, with the number expected to keep rising. Email newsletters allow you to market directly to both existing and potential clients.

email newsletters are lead magnets

Even if they don’t spend on digital products, they’ll still drive traffic to your blog posts, YouTube channel, and other online content. There are several types of software to help you convert email leads. They include Mailchimp, AWeber, GetResponse, ConvertKit, and Drip.  

Avoid being too salesy with your newsletters, because they might cause potential buyers to cancel their subscription. Ensure you provide free, meaningful content in your posts. That way, they’ll be more than willing to spend when you offer them a premium product or service.

Social media posts

Although Friendster and MySpace were founded earlier, Facebook revolutionized the social media landscape. It’s currently the world’s largest platform, with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users (MAUs). Facebook also owns Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp, three other platforms with over a billion users each.

social media is growing

Other social media sites include Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest. This places social media posts at the center of your digital marketing campaign. You also have the freedom to utilize as many content formats as you want. Other than text, you can post pictures, videos, audio, website links, and sell your products directly on these platforms. 

It’s easy to gauge engagement by looking at the number of reactions, comments, and shares your content receives. Other than accurate insights, most social media platforms have affordable advertising solutions to help grow your brand.

Longform content

As opposed to standard blog posts that are usually 500 words or less, long-form content could start at 1500 words and include thousands more. These content formats offer your readers thorough, useful information on a topic. Contrary to popular opinion, readers respond positively to long posts that have genuinely engaging information.

long form content is awesome

These kinds of posts are suitable for detailed product descriptions, guides, or presenting conclusive research on a subject. Some are so long that their authors present them in chapters. Sometimes it makes more sense to condense tens of blog posts around a single topic into one definitive guide that provides readers with all the information they need.

Final thoughts 

Now that you know the internet’s most popular content formats, which ones work best for you? You might be comfortable with two or three, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try others on this list. Remember to post detailed and helpful content consistently. Your audience will reward you with likes, comments, shares, links, and purchases.

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