Choosing Your Content: What’s Out There?

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Following on from last week’s post, I felt it was time to move away from the focus of audiences for a while. I’ve covered that a lot recently because it really is essential to making sure your content is as engaging and effective as possible. You can decide what kind of content is good for your audience or you can decide what audience your content might be good for. If you think this is the same thing then I’m going to ask you to think again.

Choosing content you know your audience will like is a solid plan – it will get some traction and response – but it’s also safe. Perhaps too safe? Taking your audience and really evaluating them will open up new ideas you can try. Sure, some of them won’t work but you might come across something that does something unexpected. There, you’ve just struck gold.

What content do we have at our disposal?

There’s a huge range of content mediums, types and formats to use. Using the same thing over and over again will get old. It also limits what you can do at any given time but every once in a while, doing something different will keep interest and show that you are not using the same tricks over and over again.

So what’s out there for you to use? I’ve listed some of the most popular but there are so many more to choose from. This is just a taster and also what I’m going to be looking at over the next few weeks.

  • Blogging and guest blogging
  • Articles, white papers and e-books
  • Pictures and memes
  • Infographics
  • Video and animation
  • Audio files, sound bites and podcasts

How do you decide what kind of content to use?

It’s the million dollar question that every content creator, planner and strategist mulls over before making a decision. Weighing up the pros and cons of each medium, the potential gains it may bring and the reception and sharing power it will have socially all play a massive part. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly difficult to predict what will happen.

Even with “safe” content and mediums, there is no guarantee. The audience and market will change so quickly that your plans one day, while fresh, new and exciting will be out of date the next. Hopping on the bandwagon, so to speak, can sometimes work if you are quick to respond but if you can start something yourself, you’re going to be miles ahead. The first step is choosing the medium that’s most likely to do this, even if it’s supported by other formats.

It’s also important to know what skills you have and to what quality and ability you can make each kind of content. If you’re not visually inclined, working on infographics or pictures will not produce your best results but if you don’t have the technology or programs to make high quality pieces, people will notice and go elsewhere.

Play to your strengths and your capabilities. Putting the time in to make what you can do better will always work out more successfully.

Going forward

There are plenty of formats to look at, but understanding each one takes time and experience, as well as a little trial and error when it comes to your audience. From next week I’ll be starting the next mini-series, going into more detail about different types of content and how useful it is not only now but going forward. Watch this space!

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