Content is always king, unless the ‘king’ is poorly written, inadequately displayed, or riddled with errors that make its consumption impossible. In that case, content migrates from being a leading facet of your brand to an ankle weight of enormous proportions.
Whether you are just beginning your journey into content marketing or are a seasoned veteran, you know how important quality content can be. While there is much to be said on the quantity and quality of your content, the ultimate platform (or digital vehicle) of that content has a lot to do with your overall success.
Not all digital content drives brand authority, and not all platforms or mediums should be used to market your brand. There’s a good, bad, and ugly tier of digital content, and it is highly important to understand this before entering the market.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the best forms of digital content for brand authority.
Blogs And Articles
Blog content and written articles are the most widespread form of content marketing, and are perhaps the best form of marketing for generating brand authority. Not only is written content the primary method for SEO generation, lead production, and audience retention, but it is easily the simplest method of producing an online presence. Businesses that choose to run a blog or article repository on their website receive up to 434% more indexed pages than sites that do not. Ultimately, written content should be leveraged for brand expertise and authority in respective fields.
Videos / Podcasts
Audio and video content is quickly becoming some of the fastest-consumed digital marketing in the world. Over 55% of the U.S. population has listened to some form of podcasting in the past, and that number is only continuing to increase over time. In the case of video content, the numbers are even more staggering. Over 83% of audiences would prefer to see more video content made by their favorite brands, while over 56% of videos published by brands are less than two minutes long. More and more short form videos and high-quality podcasts are being cast into the market, and with great effect.
The best part about both forms of content is that they are relatively easy to create. A simple cellphone is enough to record both audio and video content, while free online platforms can boost productivity by a huge degree. Showcasing what you know through audiovisual means is an excellent method of boosting brand authority.
Emailed promotionals, newsletters, and personalized content brochures offer the largest market for content marketing success. 2020 saw an increase in email use from 3.9 billion users to 4 billion, which is nearly half of the entire Earth’s population. What’s more, email marketing provides one of the highest content marketing ROI rates, with every dollar spent converting to an average of $42 dollars. Many professional content marketing managers use email metrics to track their overall content success. With so many personalization options to choose from, email marketing is a sure bet for success in generating brand authority.
Now that we have established the content mediums that should be used more often for brand authority purposes, let’s take a closer look at content mediums that are often worse for brand authority (when used incorrectly). We’ll review them in depth below.
Infographics can be great ways to send eye-catching and informative messages, but this form of content has the ability to go downhill fast, and subsequently lower your customer’s concept of brand authority. A number of bad infographic examples can be found online, many of them made by large companies and other big-box brands.
A great case study of an infographic that destroyed brand authority can be found in the New South Wales’ Ministry of Health graphic of 2013. Not only was the infographic itself messy and difficult to read, but the information included in the graphic was false, confusing, and misleading. As a government enterprise, this mistake was quite costly in the eyes of civilians.
Unless you are a well established brand with a content marketing team and graphic design platform, it would be wise to avoid infographic marketing for the time being.
Polls, Contests, And Social Media Surveys
Online engagement content marketing such as polls, contests, or surveys usually sound great on paper, but rarely come to fruition when widely used online. The sad fact is that content is only as effective as its online community will permit. If viewers are interested in sabotaging your polls or content results for the sake of a few laughs, chances are it is going to happen.
Consider the failure of Mountain Dew’s “Dub The Dew” campaign, where suggested names ranged from the silly and outlandish to purposefully upsetting. Another iconic example includes the 2012 Taylor Swift visitation campaign that polled users on where the singer should perform next. After being hijacked by pranksters, the poll voted that she perform at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Bottom line: surveys, polls, and contests rarely go over well. Stick to traditional contest formats if you really want to make a splash.
Memes Or GIFs
In a general sense, the use of meme and GIF content is quite popular among the more ‘residential’ users of social media. However, this fact alone does not prove that any practical gain comes out of brand meme use. What’s more, the improper use of memes or GIFs may infuriate an audience rather than delight them, sending the wrong message about your brand authority.
Popular burger brand Wendy’s is known for having a raucous social media account with many interactions and community engagements per week. During one of the company’s many ‘arguments’ online, the brand posted a meme image associated with negative connotations. In response, Wendy’s audience poked fun at the company for being ‘out of the loop’ and ‘insensitive.’ Unless you are completely sure that your meme is non-controversial or will be pleasing to all aspects of your audience, it’s probably best to avoid this form of content marketing.
Content Reviews: What Should You Do?
While these guidelines can be used to great effect, it is important to remember that much of today’s content marketing takes place on a highly competitive scale. If you aren’t sure exactly how, where, or when to start implementing best practices into your work, now is the time to investigate primary content solutions that generate real results. Develop the blog posts, videos, and web pages you need to start generating leads even while you sleep.