We know youâ€™re struggling to get your site just right — and you need an unstoppable plan for your content. Â Even though there are about a zillion different ways you can arrange words to fit on the screen, from reviews to product guides and even the occasional case study, sometimes words arenâ€™t going to cut it. Â You know, sometimes you have to mix it up a bit. Â Thatâ€™s when you break out content thatâ€™s not just about words, words, words.
Now, Iâ€™m not recommending you use word-free content frequently, or even often, but now and again, your readers are going to appreciate a break from more of your self-serving blah blah blah. Â When the dog has started running away from the sound of your keyboard clacking, you know everybody needs a change of pace. Â Here are some of my favorite types of content that go well beyond the written word and can add a little spice to your blog:
Infographics. Â The infographic is todayâ€™s undisputed biggest marketing fad. Â Theyâ€™re in, theyâ€™re out — we love them, we hate them. Â Infographics give you a way of presenting data that other forms of communication simply canâ€™t by combining words with graphics and charts. Â Not only do you end up with something uber-sharable, your resident graphic designer will probably stop sticking your head on cows and emailing the entire office out of boredom.
Slide Shows. Â Slide shows are a cool way of showing a change over time or illustrating a process without wasting words. Â Of course, you can include a voice overlay that explains what the Hell is going on, but thatâ€™s up to you. Â Whatever you do, though, leave out the trite instrumental music for its own sake. Â Unless itâ€™s actually moving your slide show forward or is part of your marketing plan, itâ€™s just in the way — and itâ€™s really fucking annoying.
Videos. Â You can make a big impact with videos, but they can be a very costly form of content. Â Not only do you need scriptwriters and actors, you need a high quality production team. Â You canâ€™t skimp on this stuff because a B-video is just as bad as a B-movie. Â Make a great video related to your product and itâ€™ll set the Internet on fire with how fast it gets shared. Â A B-video might get shared just as fast, but for the wrong reasons.
Comics. Â Aside from sites that belong to comics like TheOatmeal, the Awkward Yeti or XKCD, you donâ€™t really see many comics on blogs. Â This is a real shame, because theyâ€™re awesome and have the potential to blow up the web if done properly. Â If your company has a sense of humor and your brand image allows it, talk to a comic artist about putting together a few panels here and there about your company or your industry. Â Youâ€™ll have blog readers eating out of your hands.
Podcasts. Â At Top Shelf, we have actually done a number of Google Hangouts, which can be a sort of Podcast if you set the thing right, and weâ€™ve found them to be great engagement tools. Â Not only do they allow the siteâ€™s readers to get a glimpse at the people behind the scenes (everybody loves spoilers), podcasts are another way to reach users who might otherwise skip long, boring, blowhard posts.
Memes. Â This oneâ€™s a little trickier — and youâ€™ve got to be prepared to fail, because the chances are good that you will. Â But if you want a piece of content with the potential to go viral, memes might be the thing. Â Make sure you follow a proper format and that youâ€™re actually funny (no, your momâ€™s opinion doesnâ€™t count) before hitting publish, though. Â If your meme falls flat instead of going viral, you can always try making another meme making fun of your last one.
Thereâ€™s no such thing as a perfect content strategy and thereâ€™s no such thing as a perfect blog. Â All you can do is have a rough plan and try to learn from your trials and errors as you go. Â But, by mixing it up and incorporating content thatâ€™s not just words, you give your visitors a chance to see another side of your brand and tell you exactly what it is that interests them.