Dallas Digital SummitDespite Dallas’s icy roads, biting winds and lesser sports teams (Go Spurs Go!), the 2013 Dallas Digital Summit was a thoroughly enjoyable and educational event. In my second blog of fun facts I’ll be covering the hows and whys of content creation.

Articles & (Info)Graphics

A well-liked and shared blog can be a powerful tool of communication. If you’re blogging right, it will also serve as a great source of information. That brings us to my first point about great content:

Make your content a resource for information. While funny or news-related posts may provide a short spike in traffic, informative resources will bring in a steady source of traffic over time.

You can be sure that your content will withstand the tests of time by planning ahead. Who do you want to reach with your article or graphic? Why do you want to relate to them? What makes them likely to share your idea? Knowing these things before you start writing will help you craft high-quality content. While writing, keep in mind that your article should be visually appealing as well.

  • Segment your article out with headers and bulleted lists. Think of it like a meal. It needs to be broken into smaller sections to be digestible.
  • Forget the word count. Say exactly enough to be useful. Be to the point, yet thorough.
  • As always, put the good stuff earlier in the article. (See: Go Spurs Go)
  • Make sure graphics and infographics have an easy flow. Don’t make your reader work too hard.

Videos

Videos are the perfect avenue for brand and/or product awareness. Over one month, 187 million Americans watched 48 billion videos online. These videos aren’t just of finger-biting babies and sneezing pandas. They’re of advertisements (like Budweiser’s heart-warming story of a Clydesdale and his caretaker), company-created how-to videos and promotional event live streams. Are you taking advantage of this popular and widely shared content?

Knowing your audience, what you want to communicate and whether you’re promoting your brand or a product is the first step in video creation. If you’re promoting a product, take your time in planning. Thanks to E-WOM (word of mouth), shared video increases purchase intent by 50 times. If you’re branding, don’t wait to display your logo. There is no correlation between “sharability” and the level of branding in your video.

If you’re telling a story, tell it fully. There is no wrong amount of time for a video to last. Once you have your general idea, think of how you can play into effective social sharing motivation aspects. A few examples of this are:

  • Making it emotional. Videos that evoke an emotional response are twice as likely to be shared. (Grab some tissues, and check out Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign.)
  • Self-kudos. If your video has something insightful or intelligent to say, others will share it to pat themselves on the back. (“Look how smart I am!”)
  • Zeitgeist. If your video embraces the overwhelming or prevalent feeling of your time or generation, it is likely to be shared.

The worst thing you can do is over-invest in content and under-invest in distribution. Do not, I repeat, do NOT simply post and pray. A video seen by few cannot be shared by many. You need to share when and where your target audience will be. (Narrowing this information down will require research.) That being said: Don’t focus solely on your own content and ignore any organic promotions. If your company is recognized by an outside source for any (positive) reason, share it! Their endorsements will go much further than any self-promotion.

Content creation has become so important in the world of marketing that it’s really its own category outside of SEO in San Antonio. When you find people who are passionate about your project, and willing and capable to transfer that passion into written word or digital art or video, you will truly see the benefits.