Your customers have less time than ever to find, choose, and digest content. Their email inboxes are jam-packed. They don’t always have the time or patience to slog through a 20-page paper. But they may still want to know what you have to say.
A 20-second video, webinar, infographic, or tweet could whet their appetites for your message. And offering content in a variety of forms, lengths, and places can help you reach the right customers with the right content at the right time.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you consider adding popular content-delivery options to your mix.
Video, whether embedded in a web page or on a dedicated YouTube channel, can be a fantastic way to get across a complex idea, introduce a short bite of knowledge or a new product or feature, or showcase a piece of thought leadership. Just make sure your production quality is adequate—and that embedded clips don’t bog down your site.
The longest form for content, white papers give customers a reference document that they can use for deeper information such as comparing products, learning about features, or discovering how to solve a painful problem. Just make sure that you don’t weigh these papers down with too much text. Combine tight, targeted text with infographics, tables, checklists, and images to provide detailed information that’s more accessible, absorbable, and appetizing.
If your goal is to provide buyers and influencers with a detailed checklist of features, requirements, functionality, and benefits, a short and to-the-point datasheet can pack in all the info customers need into a short, shareable document.
No one has time to read through a sales pitch via email—and messages are easy to toss out of the inbox without even opening. Use this content type sparingly, to check in with existing customers or offer short, targeted nurture content that can connect them to longer fare or alert them about upcoming events.
Your website can become a central resource for customers when you add interactive tools such as ROI calculators, chat, polls, and similar functionality.
Once strictly limited to short sound bites, today many thought-leadership posts are coming in longer, averaging around 1200 words to build both depth and SEO. (Google has become good at recognizing content that’s fresh and relevant.) Blog posts are a great way to keep customers informed about industry trends, company news, product releases, and more. If a topic demands more than a few hundred words or is complex, consider a series instead of one lengthy post. Make sure you provide content on a regular basis, and highlight new posts via social media or on your home page.
Build out individual, self-contained web pages to launch a more extensive piece of content such as a white paper, support an event or campaign, or to introduce a new feature or capability. As with any web content, make sure to test landing pages for great delivery via mobile devices.
A visual way to catch a customer’s eye with a clever image or tagline, banners can backfire if they aren’t carefully thought out. Also take care that rotating banners on your site don’t switch out so quickly that visitors don’t have time to digest them and act on them before the next rotation. And provide a way to manually move through the banners in case a customer needs to rewind or move forward.
Posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites can be a great way to open up a conversation with customers and get fast feedback. But if you go this route, make sure you have the bandwidth to post regularly and monitor feeds so that you can respond quickly to customers. Otherwise, you risk doing more harm than good.
This method of content delivery can be an option if you are a standout in your industry or provide extensive thought leadership or training.
From user training to new feature run-throughs to industry trends, webinars can be a great way to show customers your value as a trusted information source. Archiving webinars is also a way to build your resource library, providing high-value content that you can promote multiple times through a variety of channels.
With such a varied menu of content-delivery types to choose from, you have more opportunities than ever to reach and engage customers. Be sure to choose the delivery method that best fits the topic and purpose of your message; don’t create a podcast or a Snapchat account just because it’s the app du jour.
The key to consumable content is understanding your audience.
How do customers find your content? Which topics draw the most interest? How much interest is there for various types of delivery? A customer persona analysis can help you solidify your message and the way in which you package it. Refactored can help by conducting persona and content gap analyses and creating a messaging framework that can make it easier to deliver the right content to the right customers.
Ready to take a closer look at your content and see where your gaps lie? Download our Content Needs Assessment Worksheet to provide an organized framework for your content planning.
Need help? Contact Refactored. We specialize in crafting the right message for the right audience, every time.