I write a lot about content on this blog and assume that for you, content means copy. But that’s doing a disservice for the many different types of content out there that a business can make use of in their communications.
Plus, you might find that written content isn’t really for you. In fact, audio or visual content may be easier and more fun to make. I’m a writer, so it is natural for me to use writing as my go-to form. And you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s all I do. I find it easy to crack out a few hundred words than I do to set up AV.
But over the past month, I’ve been furiously interviewing people about how they do content for my podcast. Yes, I’m yet another person creating a podcast – because the world needs one more, right?
What I’ve found interesting is why these people are drawn to one type of content over another and how they are using it to shape their business.
I’ll let you have a listen in a couple of weeks when I’ve finished editing and polishing up the recordings.
In the meantime, here are some content options you could consider for your business if writing blogs isn’t your thing.
You don’t need to do a ‘podcast’ to create audio for your content. You could plug in a USB microphone and record your thoughts on your laptop or tablet.
Run the transcript through a service like Rev.com or Otter.ai, and you’ve got yourself a bit of audio that people can listen to and a transcript that you can edit into a blog on the page quite quickly.
You could even create an audio version of your existing blogs to add some extra accessibility to the page.
Pros – this is quick and simple to do. If you keep it snappy, there is minimal editing needed.
Cons – Audio files can slow your website down, and you may need to use podcast hosting software if you’re creating lots of these.
So what makes a podcast different to a bit of audio on the page? Well, if you’re using a podcasting hosting software like Libsyn or Blubrry, then you can syndicate it across podcast distribution services like Spotify, Stitcher and iTunes.
You can also play around with the format of the audio. Have segments like a radio show, interview guests, even make a documentary (totally on my wish list of things I wish I had time to do).
The great thing about making a fuller podcast is that you can bring in new voices and create something rich and engaging. Helpful, if like me you have dulcet Yorkshire tones and risk sounding like Father Fitzgerald from A Christmassy Ted.
Pros – A great way to reach new people and bring in new voices. You can take your content off the site and into people’s phones.
Cons – It takes work, learning software and new skills. You’ll also need to plan your time carefully. Plus there’s an investment in hardware required.
Are we all fed up of being told how big video is right now? Every platform has its version of the story – even LinkedIn. We may have reached peak-video on social media.
I read stories being referred to as ‘lo-fi’ the other day, which made me chuckle as that was a style of music from the early noughties, which was essentially a rough and ready recording. Leave in all the feedback, scratches, and ambient noise, it makes it seem more real.
And that’s the point of the mini video – to make it seem more human that it becomes accessible for any of us to do. If we want to, all you need is a camera phone and something worthwhile sharing. Although often people forget the latter.
Pros – Quick to do, gets your face out there, it doesn’t need to be polished.
Cons – You need to be confident to do video. And consider where you are, the lighting and sound.
I have a separate category for the big videos as generally these need to be more polished and more engaging. Trying to film yourself with one hand holding your phone for a 5-minute video segment is going to look at best shaky, at worse unprofessional.
If you’re going for a YouTube Channel or creating a video regularly as part of your marketing plan, you’ll need to make some serious camera, lighting and microphone investment. Although you can do a budget version – at which point I’d recommend a good video editor—one who can brand it for you and sort out any sound issues.
Pros – when done well, this can be a really engaging way to reach a bigger audience. And you can do more with video. You can turn that visual into further content.
Cons – It takes time and financial investment. To get a professional-looking video campaign, you’ll want to have some expert support.
If like me, you’d rather spew than appear on camera, then an animation might be a better approach. You still get that visual appeal but without the world needing to see your mug.
And you can let your imagination run riot with a bit of animation. The main downside is that you’ll have to learn a new skill unless you’re already creating animations. Or hire someone to create this for you.
Aside from some cheesy corporate animations, I’ve not seen anyone pushing boundaries with this content. Plus it can be used in Stories across all the platforms to help, well, tell your story.
Images and PDFs
Content can also refer to the images and PDFs you use alongside your words, audio and video. Let’s not overlook how much fun you can have with the document sliders on LinkedIn if that’s your thing. I’ve seen some fun things created with them by graphic designers, perhaps my favourite being the longest PDF slider in the world.
And you can do lots with infographics and the social media images you use alongside your signature piece of content.
Not just the words
Hopefully, that’s given you some inspiration to create content that is other than the words. I’ve been doing more work on other people’s podcasts recently, as well as creating my own. It’s been lots of fun developing mini videos and soundbites from them, writing the show notes and turning the transcript into blogs, newsletters and social media copy.
So if you are going to try some new content creation, make sure you work out how you can get the most out of it.