Blogs and articles are great, but if you’re looking for ways to wow your audience, think beyond the static page. Creating dynamic and dynamite content is easier than you think. Forget the fancy studio and blockbuster budgets; we’ve got examples of content types that you can create in-house.
Photos & Artwork
Abandon awkward stock photography and start showcasing your brand with your own imagery. You don’t have to break the budget on a professional photographer, either. Grab the shutterbugs and Instagram addicts in your office (believe me, you have a few) and task them with capturing the moments that will speak to your audience. Or how about an internal competition in which employees submits photos or original artworks that best represent your brand? Share the images through your company’s social channels and let your fans vote for their favorites. Not only have you engaged your audience with fun, daily content, but you’ve created a library of photography and imagery you can use later.
Sharpie’s Instagram is a great example of a brand tapping into its internal creativity. When it launched the Instagram account was fed by a steady stream of artwork produced in-house. The results were beautiful, surprising, funny, and most important, totally relevant to Sharpie’s audience. Fans flocked to @sharpie, showering the artwork with hearts and comments. Then, they started sharing their own artwork. Sharpie was quick to return the love, featuring amazing artwork from Sharpie artists all over the Internet. Starting with in-house content that reflected the passion of the Sharpie staff, it now has a funnel of user-generated content that continues to engage and inspire.
Easy to love, easy to share, and easy to create. There are literally dozens of websites and apps that can help you get started. A GIF doesn’t have to be a cat video or swiped footage from a blockbuster movie, either. Your company can create these fun little micro-videos to jazz up product pages, announce company news or just share a laugh with fans. You can post GIFs on Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook, not to mention house them within a blog or email, adding a little action to traditionally static content.
Just think of the possibilities. A university might create GIFs to welcome incoming freshmen, remind students of the importance of sleep during Finals Week and celebrate graduation. A manufacturing company could inspire young engineers with GIFs showing how its components end up in massive excavators, awesome roller coasters and even rockets destined for Mars. How about a healthcare brand creating GIFs that show basic first-aid techniques, or health and wellness tips? Almost every message is better when it’s a GIF!
Thank you, Serial. Before this explosively popular spin-off of WBEZ radio show This American Life hit the airwaves in 2014, podcasts were a mostly forgotten medium for B2C companies. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go to iTunes and download the first season of Serial now. Just wait to start listening until you finish this blog, please. Thanks!) Now a third of Americans 12 years and older have listened to a podcast, and with this rising awareness have come a host of new podcasts covering everything from politics to parenthood to fashion and pop-culture. If you care about it, there’s a podcast for it.
The podcast only makes sense as a medium for the modern, mobile audience. Stored via a podcast manager on smartphones, they’re easy to search for, discover and return to. They’re also the only content that you can fully enjoy while driving. Fans can download and listen to your podcast during their morning commute, or their afternoon workout, or even while preparing dinner at home. Whenever they want, wherever they want.
Making a podcast isn’t as difficult as you might think, but to be successful at it you’ll want to create a plan before launching. Podcast series do best when they’re released on a consistent schedule, so it’s a good idea to have a few episodes “in the can” before you publish the first. Quality is also a factor, so if you’re going to invest in podcasts as part of your content marketing strategy, you’ll want to check out desktop microphones and recording and editing software.
If you’re a podcast junkie like all of us, be sure to check out our Podcasts for Entrepreneurs blog. And let us know what kinds of content you’d like to create for your customers, or ask us a question about digital marketing, technology, our favorite podcasts--whatever you want to know more about!