We’re all familiar with the most common forms of content in the marketing world: the how-to article, the opinion article, the infographic, the press release, and even the tutorial video have all circulated with such popularity that it’s rarer to find a business who doesn’t use these forms of content on a regular basis. They’ve achieved this level of popularity because they truly are quite effective, hitting that ideal middle ground that allows them to be produced quickly and easily while still holding value for a target audience. As such, I encourage you to retain these forms of content in your own campaigns.
However, diversity is inherent in the spirit of the successful marketing campaign. Utilizing a diverse range of sources, diverse styles of syndication, and appealing to diverse audiences all help drive a higher level of impact, so it’s in your best interest to include forms of content you otherwise may not have considered.
Take a look at these three underrated forms of content, and how valuable they can be if implemented correctly in an appropriate campaign:
Interviews are multifaceted forms of content because you can record and produce them however you’d like. For example, you could record the audio and turn your interview into a podcast or downloadable mp3. You could record the video and upload it to YouTube. You could write out the transcript and make it available for both search engine crawlers and readers on your site. Best of all, you could do all three and take advantage of each medium at the same time!
One-off interviews are never a bad thing, but interviews generally derive much of their power from a series—for example, you could feature weekly interviews with various leading authorities in your industry, or leaders within your own organization. This consistent schedule helps people learn what to expect from you, and makes it easier to build a loyal recurring audience. Plus, if you use the same questioning format, you can theoretically produce new content every week with minimal prep work.
Another advantage to using interviews as a form of content is the residual authority you’ll get by choosing specific individuals to interview. For example, let’s say you interview someone with a strong personal brand in your industry. You’ll be able to promote the interview on your own social channels, and your interviewee will have an incentive to share it on his/hers as well. Interviews are almost guaranteed to feature at least a trifling amount of cross-promotion, and leveraging the power of others’ brands in the title of your interviews lends some authoritative weight to your posts as well.
Let’s say someone peripherally related to your industry comes out with a new book detailing some changes in the pipeline. They’re seen as a thought leader, and they’re currently reaping the profits from all sales of the book. At first, it would seem counterintuitive to promote this book in any way—even mentioning it could lend more authority to the author and draw it away from you, and the listener might purchase the book instead of reading more of what you’ve written. Because of this, book reviews and product reviews have not been a popular form of content writing.
However, writing a book review offers you a number of key opportunities to appeal to your audience and write quality material. First, you’re almost guaranteed to come up with something original. The book is new, and not much has been written on it, so an emergent book review smolders with originality. Second, you’ll have a chance to rebut any arguments the author makes in his/her book, demonstrating yourself as a competing authority rather than someone purely reverent to the author’s authority. Third, simply featuring the book will show you’re well-read in the industry, and up-to-date on the latest information. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll get a critical chance at easy, automatic cross-promotion—especially if your review positions the book in a positive light.
Case studies are magnificent, and they can be used by almost any company. Take a customer, or a client, or even a specific field, and compile all the data on how your product, service, or overall involvement changed things. Then, turn it into a compelling story, which you can then either feature as a piece of written content or design and turn into a form of advertising. Case studies work both ways, and that’s one of their biggest advantages.
Case studies are automatically original, because they rely on you and a specific client, and because they’re filled with data, they’re both reliable and informative. Plus, if you can get some quotes and involvement from the client itself, you can make your case study resound with peer-based authority. Ultimately, case studies are original, insightful, and highly authoritative pieces that require very little additional original research. Take advantage of them.
These types of content are just as effective—and sometimes more effective—than the typical major players in the content field, yet they are underutilized by the vast majority of content marketers. This makes them ripe opportunities for the content marketer looking for a tangential way to differentiate themselves from the competition. Whether you’re looking for something new to spice up your existing campaign, looking to diversify your content for search engines, or are trying to appeal to new audiences, these highly effective yet oft-overlooked strategies are the perfect fit for the job.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.