Content Marketing is being touted as the way to educate your customers and create your brand. For both startups and individuals trying to build a personal brand, content marketing is always being pushed as a means to engage with your audience.
Even though blogging has been the staple of most content marketing efforts on the small startup side for the SMB prospect, and the whitepaper as the staple for the B2B marketer in the enterprise, the rules of the game have dramatically changed for “quality” of content. The bar is much higher given the amount of content and the need to fight through the clutter and noise.
The primary changes are thanks to the mobile phone and the reducing attention span that most folks have.
The things that I think are not going to work anymore:
1. 0-1000 word blog posts. Most folks dont have the time to read a lot of text. On the phone text is being swiped faster than photos.
2. Infographics – most infographics are pretty useless and the bar for what constitutes a good infographic is great analysis and visualization, not just a bunch of numbers.
3. Anything blog post hthat’s not topical, since the shelf life of any blog post is now heading to minutes, not hours. If your blog post is something you are looking to create a book (for personal branding) out of your blog post, you might want to rethink that strategy. Books are being read solely by older audiences now and video trumps reading thanks to shorter attention spans.
What works then to draw an audience and help build a brand?
1. Blog posts that are data rich, visually attractive or long form – CB Insights, Crew and Buffer are proving that there’s still a place for great content in the traditional blog post. If you are into writing long form (1500+ words, choose to host and publish on medium instead of your own domain).
2. Video: Short, 3-5 min produced how to videos, interviews are still working well.
3. Podcasts: This has taken off more than most people anticipated. If you are starting a new company, I’d recommend you to go podcasting instead of text based blogs.
4. Slideshare presentations: Visually attractive, with high quality images, and tons of data in a simple PowerPoint slide is still drawing a lot of attention.
5. Great images and photos that can be shared on Instagram or Pinterest (even if you are a B2B company).
6. Real time video streaming – Periscope and Meerkat are two platforms you should consider.
7. Blog posts with very little text, but a lot of animated gifs: Thanks to BuzzFeed, these are extremely popular if your target audience is younger workers just joining the workforce.