25 CONTENT FORMATS TO FILL YOUR MARKETING CALENDAR
Inspiration for content ideas that will leave your audience engaged.
The need to disseminate engaging content that cuts through the noise and holds your audience’s attention is higher than ever. And the short lifespan of social media posts means that the volume of content your company should be producing is also on the increase.
The good news is that there are endless ways to create arresting content, whether it’s for your internal communications campaigns, your social media, or your presentations to stakeholders. This article provides inspiration for 25 content ideas that will engage your audience.
Kicking off with a classic form of content, articles are an effective way to share company updates and news. Articles are typically fact-based (as opposed to opinion-based), and convey topics in a similar format to a newspaper article. You could either approach articles from your company’s perspective, covering an update such as the arrival of your newly appointed CEO, or you could take an industry-specific approach. Articles are usually time-sensitive.
2. Blog posts
Blog posts, on the other hand, often share a topic from a particular viewpoint, and their content is usually evergreen. This means that your blog post will stay relevant for far longer, and, apart from revising the information to ensure it’s up to date, you can reuse this content time and time again. Possible formats include ‘how-to’ posts, listicles, and industry guides. One example is Nucco’s blog post on leveraging interactive content for your communications.
Podcasts are enjoying an extended period of popularity. Their primary benefit? People can listen on-the-go, or while completing an otherwise dull everyday activity like laundry. For your business, podcasts offer the chance to connect with your audience in a new way, and pull in those who prefer to listen rather than to read. Consider using a podcast to establish your business as an industry thought leader, and to broaden your network by inviting guests to take part in discussions.
4. Case studies
Case studies are a powerful way to convert your audience into customers. It’s one thing explaining your services and telling potential clients what you can do for them, but case studies take things one step further by showcasing the transformation that companies can undergo if they choose to work with you. In your case study, include a description of the client’s specific struggles before working with you, and the results they achieved afterwards.
An example of a case study is Nucco’s work with Deloitte. We include information about the challenge and our solution, and also provide a look at the finished product – one of a series of internal videos – so that potential clients can get a feel for the project.
Video is a particularly fun way to engage audiences. If you’re trying to appeal to a wide demographic, or communicate essentially dry content in a more exciting way, video is your answer. Video can bring ideas to life in a way that words often can’t, meaning your audience actually remembers the information you’re conveying in this format.
An example of video content is Nucco’s work with the European Space Agency, who asked us to create a campaign educating their target audience (young entrepreneurs and SMEs) about their Space Solutions. We created a fast-paced video that got the job done whilst ensuring the target audience remained engaged.
6. Virtual reality
New technological developments in recent years mean that virtual reality is now a solid option when it comes to creating content for your business. Virtual reality allows us to create whole new worlds, and take audiences on a journey that would not otherwise be possible. Whether you’re focusing on external or internal campaigns, virtual reality can bring complex processes to life, educate audiences on how your company’s technology works, and even play a part in your company’s learning and development processes. As far as content is concerned, virtual reality provides the wow factor your company needs to stand out from the crowd.
An example of virtual reality content is Nucco’s work for EDF energy. EDF wanted help in explaining the science behind nuclear energy both internally and externally, so Nucco created a VR experience taking viewers on a journey inside a nuclear reactor, allowing them to see how the electricity production process works.
7. Augmented reality
Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in that the latter involves creating a whole new world, while the former inserts images onto the ‘real’ world. Augmented reality content can help bring future plans to life, and allow audiences to ‘see’ how a familiar setting will look with added elements. A well-known example of augmented reality in action is IKEA’s app that allows users to insert a piece of furniture, an armchair or dining table, let’s say, into a video of their actual dining room, helping them decide whether or not to make the purchase.
An example of augmented reality content is Nucco’s work for global property developer Emaar. We created an app using AR that allowed users to explore the company’s newest Dubai development before it was complete, helping to encourage people to invest in the location.
8. Interactive content
If you’re working with a slightly less exciting topic, it can be difficult to ensure content doesn’t become dull. The overstimulation of the modern world means that our attention span is decreasing, and unless content grabs our attention from the get-go, there’s no guarantee we’ll be absorbing the information. Enter interactive content. Almost like gamification, interactive content requires us to focus by definition. If we zone out for a moment, the content will literally grind to a halt, snapping us back into attention mode.
An example of interactive content is Nucco’s work for Think Nature, who approached us for help in promoting nature-based solutions to modern issues, as part of Horizon 2020. To keep audiences entertained, we created an interactive game in which participants became the mayor of the fictional Greentown, and are tasked with solving five challenges using nature-based solutions. This interactive approach manages to inform and entertain at one and the same time, helping ThinkNature to build more sustainable societies through interactive educational experiences.
E-Books are an effective way to share in-depth information on a particular subject. The key is to choose the topic wisely, and ensure that it’s something your audience really wants to learn about. E-Books make perfect lead magnets to help you build up your email list, providing value to your audience and helping to establish your company as an expert in your field. They can be an effective sales tool, too: you have the benefit of space, so you can include information about what your company does, and the ways in which you can help potential new clients.
Sometimes overlooked as nothing more than an old-school poster, infographics remain a sure-fire way of communicating information, both internally and externally. They say ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ for a reason – it’s much easier to transmit a great deal of information visually, as opposed to through words alone. Infographics are essentially stylised posters designed to share information on anything from company policies, to how your complex technology turns ocean plastic into fashionable trainers.
One example of infographics in an internal communications campaign is Nucco’s work for the BBC, in which we collaborated on an internal project about information security. Our engaging infographics helped raise awareness of technological threats like identity theft and phishing emails.
11. Email marketing
Email marketing is a highly effective way of sharing content with your audience, because they’re being drip-fed key information on a regular basis. Opt-ins also mean that the people receiving your emails are likely to be invested in your company already, and therefore more receptive to the information you’re sharing. To help your emails stand out in a crowded inbox, make sure the email contains engaging content and a captivating headline.
Newsletters are a great form of content if you want to provide your audience with an overview of what your company has been up to lately. Consider sharing summaries of the events you’ve hosted, business milestones you’ve reached, and roundups of industry news. You could also circulate internal newsletters, keeping your employees abreast of company updates, and give them the chance to provide feedback on what is and isn’t working well internally. Sign up to ours here!
Presentations don’t have to be synonymous with black and white Powerpoints devoid of personality. And when business is conducted from afar via Zoom, presentations are one of the few remaining brand touchpoints, so it’s worth ensuring they’re showing off your company at its best. Recently, Nucco teamed up with Haines Watts to create a Growth Booster toolkit. We reworked existing branded content to create a suite of branded sales material, ready for use at a moment’s notice. The toolkit included presentation videos that create consistent messaging, helping to enhance the company’s image.
14. Motion branding
To spice up your company’s visual identity, consider motion branding. Why stick to stationary images when you can bring your brand to life through exciting visuals and cutting-edge motion footage? No longer just for video, motion branding now also plays its part in web design and user experience. For an example of how motion branding can bring your company’s visual identity to life, check out Nucco’s work with UK Research and Innovation. We created a suite of customisable assets that they could use to inject some creativity into their informative videos, along with a guide on how to use these assets.
15. Social media campaigns
Thanks to its reach and shareability factor, content on social media can be viewed literally millions of times. The added benefits of social media campaigns is that they can be highly targeted according to demographic, region and gender, especially if you’re making use of paid ads. Content on social media should be arresting; there’s a lot of noise out there, and you don’t want to risk your audience scrolling through your campaign without pausing to absorb its messages.
An example of a successful social media campaign is Nucco’s work with Nokia Mobile, who approached us to boost their social media presence and refresh the global brand. Working with the company in an exclusive worldwide partnership, we created a comprehensive social media content toolkit in support of Nokia Mobile’s brand strategy. The result? A huge uptick in engagement across all the main social media platforms of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to get accustomed to conducting business online. Where webinars might once have been considered dull and one dimensional, they’re now a fully accepted form of knowledge sharing online. Webinars can help you position your brand as an industry thought leader, showcasing your company’s expertise through teaching audiences about a particular subject. Webinars also lend themselves to spin-off content: video clips and blog posts summarising key takeaways, for example.
An example is Nucco’s series of regular online webinars covering topics ranging from internal communications to data visualisation. If you’d like to find out more about our webinars, click here.
Whitepapers provide readers with considerable value, such as a detailed overview of a particular topic, or an analysis of how new regulations might impact certain types of businesses. Whitepapers position your company as an authority, and also provide potential clients with a taste of what you offer, and how you might be able to help them.
They also serve as lead magnets and gated offers: visitors to your website can download your whitepaper in exchange for opting in to your mailing list. This way, you have an overview of potential warm leads that you could convert into clients.
18. Collaborations and guest posts
Guest posting and collaborations serve as an effective way to introduce your company to a new audience, score more leads, and improve your public image. The trick is to partner with a company whose mission and values align with yours, and with a similar target audience. Sourcing guest posts for your own company blog has benefits as well: you don’t need to create brand new content yourself, and the author is likely to share their post, increasing traffic to your site.
Similarly, interviews provide ready-made content, as long as you prepare the right questions. Interviewing experts for your website or social media content allows you to align your company with someone who’s well-regarded in your industry, boosting your credibility. This content is also easy to repurpose, whether that’s snippets in your newsletter or on your social media, or spin-off blog posts for your website.
20. Landing pages
If you’re trying to draw your website visitors’ attention to something in particular, consider creating a dedicated landing page. Landing pages are fully customisable, and you can showcase all types of content, including video, motion branding, and infographics, to engage your audience in a variety of ways. They increase conversions, because all the information that customers need to buy is centred in one place, and they also provide useful insights: you can see which parts of the page visitors are most interested in. This helps you optimise future landing pages to maximise conversions.
21. Industry reports
Industry reports serve a number of purposes. They’re valuable content for potential customers, and help position your company as the go-to in your field, because you’re proving your expertise and insider knowledge, thus strengthening your credibility. If the report is particularly exciting, it can help drive increased traffic to your site, as people are incentivised to download it. Reports can also be repurposed as blog posts, articles, social media content and content for a webinar.
Events serve to attract new potential customers into your business, unveil new products or services, and provide guests with valuable expert insights. Events can take many forms: panel discussions, keynote speeches, workshops and conferences are just a handful of examples. The aim of your event will guide the format it takes: are you trying to encourage audience participation and networking? In that case, an informal meetup could work well. If you’re looking to provide your audience with a morning of insights from industry leaders, a panel discussion is the way to go.
At Nucco, we host regular events on topics including digital transformation and virtual reality in corporate comms, inviting leading experts from blue-chip companies to share their insights and experience. If you’d like to find out more about our events, click here.
23. Product demos
If you sell something that people don’t automatically know how to use, you should work product demos into your content strategy. Product demos satisfy one of your potential customers’ core objections: “I don’t know how it works”. Whether you’re selling fancy Italian coffee machines or software to make freelancers’ project planning easier, demos walk your audience through your product step by step, showing them just how user-friendly it is, and how their lives will be transformed once they click ‘buy’.
Experiential content is perfect for when you really want to get your audience talking about your brand. Experiential content usually involves some kind of physical interaction with customers: a pop-up or exhibition, for example. Projection mapping is another example of experiential content. It’s similar to augmented reality in that it involves projecting images or video onto other objects or buildings. Though this concept might not be as big as it once was, projection mapping can still be carried out in small areas, such as on the floor of an airport.
Nucco’s parent company UNIT9 worked with Nike using projection mapping on one of Paris’ most famous museums: the Pompidou centre. In honour of Air Max Day, the campaign involved a huge library of GIFs and an accompanying soundtrack, creating a visual experience that couldn’t be missed – literally.
Including client testimonials in your content is an effective way to prove your ability and results – and the fact that the praise is from an external source means it holds more weight. Testimonials also demonstrate social proof, and the more well-known the company giving the praise, the more valuable it is. Don’t assume that potential clients know who you’ve worked with. Testimonials allow you to refresh your audience’s mind as to past clients, and also ensures you’re known for the quality of work. At Nucco, for example, we were pleased to share a review from our client De Beers Group, talking about the relationship we’ve built after working together for four years.
If you’d like to know more about how Nucco can help you bring your content ideas to life, get in touch.