The largest hurdle to digital marketing that I run into over and over again is creating good content. Whether it is for email newsletters, blogs, or twitter posts; most people (including myself) get stuck when it comes to make something other people will enjoy or find useful.
A few years ago, I created this content grid to help myself and the people I was working with to overcome the “blank canvas” syndrome of content creation. I hope you will find it as useful as I have for generating new ideas for your content marketing.
Four types of content (4 N’s)
- Inspire: Content that captures the emotions gets shared, so figure out what inspires your audience. What stories can you tell or what beauty can you share with them? It can be elaborate as Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture or as simple as a famous quote.
- Entertain: Entertainment is by far the largest driver of media consumption. Think movies, television, novels, games of all kinds, and funny YouTube videos. It takes some creativity, but done correctly, entertaining content has the highest chance of being shared online.
- Empower: This is, by far, my favorite medium, as it is the easiest to produce and is often the most useful for businesses trying to convert website visitors into buyers. To empower in the form of content is to educate and you probably wouldn’t have to look far to find something valuable you could teach the world.
- Inform: This category is often dominated by news, but can also be statistics, insights, personal opinions, and forecasts. New information makes for juicy content, but you can also deliver older information in a fresh way. For example, there are often interesting statistics and insights buried deep in reports that can be repurposed by a graphic designer as a more fun and easy to consume infographic.
VITAL Content Marketing Mediums
- Video: While video content is one of the most difficult to produce, it can quickly become one of your most valuable content assets. People of all demographics love video as seen by the success of YouTube. Luckily, technology continues to make it easy to produce, edit, and upload video to the web, so start with you iPhone if you have to and capture something worth sharing.
- Image: Good images get peoples attention. Even before the internet, newspapers depended on a good image and headline to sell the morning news. Images alone can be good content, but also make great supplements to our next medium.
- Text: Text is the meat of all content. Images and video get attention, but nothing carries the weight of the written word. Text content is also the primary driver of search engine optimization when published to website pages and blog posts.
- Audio: This medium is the most neglected of the five, but can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Because it is rarely used, you can use audio content to set yourself apart from others. A few platforms people use to publish their audio content is soundcloud.com or iTunes Podcast.
- Link: Sharing other peoples content online is critical. Not only does it help you make friends, but sharing helpful links regularly can build your own credibility.
More blog posts to come with more detailed examples. In the mean time, if you need help coming up with some content ideas, let me know in the comment section below.