Understanding the 4 Major Content Formats

Regular content creation is a necessity for successful marketing efforts. In the realm of content marketing, there are four main elements that make up content: text, graphics, audio, and video. Maintaining a balance between these four forms of content, rather than continuing to produce the same material over and over, will keep your audience engaged and produce greater ROI.

Here is an overview of each of the four types of content, and some unique benefits of each.

Content-Formats-Strengths-and-Weaknesses-Chart

1. Text-Based

Text-based content is certainly the most common format of content existing on the internet. It is the basis of just about every webpage you visit. Text-based content is a platform for more thorough information and greater detail than other forms of content. The advantage of text content is its search engine compatibility. Unlike video or audio, search engines can understand text and produce valuable search results. This is an attractive feature for content marketers as organic search can be an incredibly effective and cost-efficient driver of traffic.

 

2. Graphic

The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text, making graphic content an easily digested option for viewers. Graphics facilitate simplified communications and add a compelling visual element to content marketing. Graphics can take many forms including infographics, concept visualizations, animated GIFs, and even original cartoons. Effective graphic content is both entertaining and informative. The secret to success is to be simple, colorful, and clear. And due to its visually appealing nature, graphics have far greater potential to be shared across a number of networks. For Twitter alone, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without.

 

3. Video

We’re all familiar with the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Video content is a dynamic method of content distribution and has been proven to yield strong share rates due to the fact that it is overwhelmingly effective at communicating both a story and a cause. This opens the doors for prompting calls to action, and drives users where you want them to go. Video content can take a variety of forms including scripted informational video, live stream, and even music videos. An important rule of thumb to remember when creating video content is that the script is most important, not the visuals or production itself. While a visually appealing video is of course important, the message customers receive should be clear and informative.

 

4. Audio

Audio content is an element of content marketing that is becoming increasingly popular. Podcasts are an attractive option for those seeking to create informative audio content, and are effective in facilitating thought leadership. With ever improving technology, audio can be streamed virtually anywhere and on a growing number of devices. Audio content has the ability to be listened to while traveling and commuting, making it ideal for those that are on the go. The convenience associated with audio content is appealing to many busy professionals and contributes to its growing popularity within the content marketing world. Additionally, your audience begins to build a connection with your brand as they hear the same voice over and over. This in turn strengthens users’ trust and eventually promotes conversion.

 

There are plenty of options when it comes to creating and sharing content. Text, graphics, video, and audio all have their place in content marketing. A diverse selection of content is incredibly important to successful marketing efforts.

Above all, it is important to remember that content seeks to reach an audience. And each audience requires its own unique mix of content to promote listening, sharing, learning, and conversion. It is your responsibility as a content marketer to uncover the most effective strategy for reaching your audience.

 


 

Let us know what you think:

  • What is your preferred form of content?
  • What advantages/disadvantages do you perceive in each type?
  • Is there anything you would add?

 


 

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