Brands as Publishers: 3 Types of Content You Should Be Using to Reach Consumers
Research from Forrester suggests that content volume is growing at a rate of 200 percent annually. With the volume of custom content increasing, experts have predicted that 2015 will be the year that brands begin to truly think like publishers.
Retailers may not be trained publishers, however, with more self-publishing and online promotion strategies available than ever, they can draw from publishing's successful history and become publishers in their own right. One lesson that retailers can learn from publishers: the importance of producing various content types that stand on their own merits, as opposed to a piece of collateral promoting a product or service.
As you consider how you can use content to grow your business, make sure that you're considering the following types of custom content:
The widespread prevalence of tablets, e-book readers and mobile devices has increased the popularity and effectiveness of e-books. Although the name suggests otherwise, e-books can serve as both a digital and print asset, especially for businesses that can take advantage of the internet as a distribution channel.
Although e-books can certainly be used by retailers to differentiate products and services by adding value, the same e-books can oftentimes be used internally to train and motivate employees. Consider Avaya's VoIP for Dummies, which was used not only to educate customers, but also partners and employees about emerging communication trends.
Visual content such as infographics and data visualization can help communicate a message in both a concise and engaging way. Marketers are taking notice. According to the Content Marketing Institute's latest B2B Content Marketing report, infographic usage increased among B-to-B marketers from 51 percent in 2013 to 62 percent in 2014. Infographics can serve as a compelling brand-side asset, but can also be used for other purposes, including earning media coverage.
Although typically not thought of in terms of publishing, video can help explain a complicated concept in a compelling way. The widespread availability of video recording devices and the variety of in expensive avenues for hosting and promoting video — including YouTube and Facebook, which serve both purposes — mean that video as a content tool is more accessible than ever. It's also arguably more important, with brands seeing more ties to conversion. Over 70 percent of marketers said their video content's conversion performance was better compared to other types of marketing content, according to a 2014 video benchmark report by Demand Metric and Vidyard.
Our everyday lives are crowed with content. Learning from publishers and understanding what types of content are at your disposal can help your content — and your business — stand out amongst the noise.
David Palmer is a marketing director at Wiley, a provider of knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education.