A robust and versatile content plan has become a must for any business looking to succeed online.
However, some forms of content are easier to produce and more relevant to your business than others.
In particular, there are a few mediums that have captured the public’s attention in recent years, driving the new media revolution we find ourselves in the epicenter of, as the article on the subject covers.
After providing an overview of what content should be right now, we run through four types of content you should absolutely be experimenting with throughout 2021.
What should content be in 2021?
Content is such a catch-all term you’ll find almost anywhere online that it’s hard to know what good content actually is. For many, content has become the answer to failing paid ad campaigns.
Of course, good content is largely subjective, but there are a few things small businesses should look to achieve with theirs in 2021.
- Entertain the audience: At a base level, content needs to be enjoyable. We’re living in an era of ever-shortening attention spans, so keeping your audience entertained is essential. This can be in literal terms (making the audience laugh) or in how it’s created. If you’re not putting the right amount of effort into your content it’ll come across as cheap and frustrate the audience, making it significantly less entertaining.
- Inform the audience: Audiences are almost as thirsty for information as they are entertainment. That’s why we find ourselves drawn to ‘Top Ten’ videos on topics we’ve previously never been interested in. The onslaught of information keeps you hooked and plays to your natural curiosity. Many business blogs, particularly those with passionate or specialist reader bases, employ this tactic, focusing their content output on dissecting complex information into an easily digestible form.
- Provide actionable advice: Once you’ve informed the audience, you need to lay out the steps to take them on the next step of the journey. Ideally, that’s with you, through buying your product or signing up for your services. But if it’s not, actionable content can still have significant value for your brand, drawing audiences in need towards hard to find advice and answers.
Content farms and the endless scrolling of social media might have diminished the value of a lot of what you read, hear and watch online, but there is still significant value to be found in content. As a small business, you can really stand out by putting love, care, and creativity into yours.
Now, let’s look at the four mediums you should be channeling this energy into.
Podcasts are one of the most consumed forms of media in the world today, and that audience is only getting stronger.
Podcasts work for businesses as they offer a space to tell your story and subtly promote your brand while providing actionable insight and advice to a passive audience.
The way platforms such as Spotify leaned so heavily into podcasts should give you a great idea of how strong the audio revolution is.
But how can you benefit from it? Surely you need a household name host and a wacky concept to stand out? That’s not true at all. To make your podcast a success you simply need a target audience and a little bit of personality. Some of the most popular podcasts worldwide actually operate on quite a low budget, but the hosts and producers understand their audience entirely and know what they want to hear.
Getting started is simple, all you need is:
- A microphone
- A computer
- Editing software
- Some guests
The guide to podcasting equipment will offer some direction on your journey to professional audio recording and editing.
Audience feedback has never been so important.
The advent of social media and review platforms has created a world where everyone has immediate (and public) access to their favorite brands and star ratings can make or break a business.
Having a clear idea of what your audience wants is a vital component of producing a product or service people will actually enjoy. Q&As represent a great way of sourcing this feedback while producing engaging content.
Whether you’re streaming on a host site, hosting a Reddit AMA, or simply writing up a blog, a Q&A provides valuable insight into what your audience does and doesn’t enjoy about your brand. It gives them a sense of connection with your business and allows personalities within your company to develop as a welcoming and knowledgeable face they can trust.
Platforms such as Facebook Live and Twitch are great for small businesses with passionate followings, but jumping on a relevant subreddit or simply asking your email subscribers to send in questions allows you to answer FAQs, cover obvious pain points in your business and plot your content plan for the future.
A fun way to add a little personality to your brand.
It might feel a little old-fashioned, but a good old competition is just as effective a way of bringing new people into your business as it’s ever been.
Thanks to social media, competitions are a commonly accepted form of advertising, with whole groups of people seeking out as many as they can, while inadvertently exposing themselves to new businesses, products, and ideas.
If you want to engage with a thriving virtual community, competitions remain one of the best ways to do it.
Simply establish your rules and a prize and create a post on your chosen social platforms. Then ask entrants to share a specific post or tag you in one of their own to give themselves a chance of winning. This doesn’t just expose you to their followers and improve engagement numbers, but establish your brand as one people want to be associated with and are willing to put effort into getting something from.
This is essentially free marketing and traffic for your website that every business with a moderate social profile should be looking into.
Behind the scenes video
Social platforms put a premium on video content, so it’s important all businesses are trying to find new ways to get into that market.
However, not every product, service, or business will lend itself to a quirky YouTube clip. It’s an unfortunate truth that some businesses are just a little bland.
What isn’t bland thought are people. Even at their most mundane, insight into regular people’s lives and specifically a peek behind the curtain into their workspace is always a little exciting, especially if you already have a vested interest in the brand.
Behind the scenes content has worked for years, from making-of footage for films to ‘coming soon’ pictures on an Instagram influencer’s story. It entices audiences by giving them a sense of something they know they’re not supposed to see, while building trust by showing the efficiency, professionalism, and attention to detail within your operation.
Whether you’re an ecommerce store filming the packing process or a technical team showing off your individual expertise, behind-the-scenes content breathes life into your organization.
This content doesn’t need to be limited to handy-cam walks through your office either. Broadcast appearances at award shows, company socials, and what your WFH setup looks like. From vlogs to Instagram snapshots, behind-the-scenes content always garners attention.
Now is the time to get creative with your content output.
Audiences are eager for exciting, informative, and new content to consume. We’ve moved past checking Facebook to see what our friends and family are up to. Our devices are now sources of content to fill the down periods and help us grow as individuals. These mediums will help you reach that eager audience.