12 Most In-Demand Content Types for your Website

12 Most In-Demand Content Types for your Website

Business is all about giving customers what they want. On your website, your prospects expect an awful lot from you. Your visitors want proof you are trustworthy, human, and smart. At the same time, however, your web visitors want, DEMAND really, you keep them entertained, informed and engaged.

How can you keep visitors to your website engaged?

The best method to keep your customers and prospects interested is to make your content interesting. The tactic we are focused on today is diversity of content type. Here are some content types readers enjoy. I encourage you to make your website more interesting by using all of them throughout the year.

1. Video

There are many ways you can use video to engage your website visitors. Sam Fiorella covered some great options using video just last week. I don’t think you need to use video all the time, but you can consider video your secret weapon.  Video can give your website a serious traffic boost. As an added bonus, your regular visitors will appreciate the new medium.

2. Infographics

Infographics have been talked about for some time as a great source of link-bait. For our purposes, I want you to forget all that SEO mumbo-jumbo, and I want you to just think about creating something truly unique for your visitors. A one-of-a-kind graphic can be a simple thing. Some of my favorite infographics are hand-drawn, and they are my favorites because they are so memorable.

3. List posts

What is a list post? Ummm, I want you to open your favorite article here on 12 Most. That is a list post. List posts can be done in a variety of ways. You don’t have to expand on each individual item, but I recommend it. The nice thing about list posts is that these posts tend to encourage reader comments. The posts are “scannable,” and easy to appreciate with minimal effort by the reader.

4. Customer case studies

Case studies don’t need to be long and completely detailed essays. In fact, ideally you want to introduce the customer, the problem, and discuss the solution all in less than 800 words. Case studies also do not have to be buried in their own section of your website. Post a case study once a month or quarter on your regular blog page.

5. Testimonials

Anyone in the sales copy business knows that testimonials are a powerful form of content. You can use testimonials in a variety of ways on your website. You can place them in your sidebar. You can embed them in blocks on your sales and conversion pages. You can even post them on your blog. Personally, I have a dedicated “Testimonials” page on my website, and I pull small snippets of those testimonials to rotate on my sidebar.

6. How to’s

I could write an entire “How to” article on how to use “how to’s.” Personally, I tend to write really long blog “how to” blog posts. Many web marketers take my approach a step further, creating e-books with “how to” headlines. You can, however, write a quick 500 word article that is just as impactful. Your style and strategy will determine the best approach for you, but every website should include at least one “how to” type article. (My most popular article from last year was a “how to.”)

7. Latest and greatest from around the web

Again, you really should not be worried about SEO when working on this type of content. The goal is not to create a link circle. The primary goal is to provide your readers with relevant content from around the World Wide Web. The secondary goal of a “list of links” blog post is to build trust with your readers. It shows you are paying attention to what is going on in your industry.

8. Admissions of failure

If I ever make a mistake, I will be sure to write one of these. (My wife just snorted her coffee up her nose.) It is difficult to have a conversation with someone who is perfect. Just ask my co-workers. (I kid, I kid, but honestly…)

Identify a weakness and publicly talk about it. You don’t even have to commit to fixing it. For example, I will happily admit my company cannot help you create a television commercial. Should a marketing agency be able to help with that? We probably should, but I don’t have any intention of getting in that business.

9. Transformational stories

You know those sappy stories about the guy who would never walk again… but then… he did! People really love that stuff. Oprah, 60 Minutes, Dream Home Make-Over; lots of majorly successful programs have been built around this kind of story. Find a transformational story you had a part in. Does your business support any non-profits? Are any of your employees little league coaches?

Let all of your mushy humanness hang out.

10. Updates on your business

There is just something about seeing the inner-workings of a company that we all love. How much revenue does Joe’s Lawn Shop have? Did you hear that Susan’s Cupcakes is having a hard time in their new location? How does Michael manage all of those employees without any help? Is Jenny’s hair salon going to stay open when she has the baby?

It might feel like gossip, and sometimes it is, but sharing your business struggles and victories helps build credibility.

11. Topic introductions, 101s, and beginners’ guides

“Meat and potatoes” is my kind of content. Give me a big ol’ serving of medium-rare “this is how it should be done.” You can add a little sizzle by giving me a few days notice that your new guide is coming… and IT WILL BE AWESOME.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, will build trust with your audience faster than a comprehensive beginners’ guide. Best of all, there are new topics to cover in your industry! Introduce your readers to the latest technology, service, or theory. Walk them through the differences. Explain how they might want to use this to improve their lives. Then you can show them how to get started.

12. Pictures

Photography is everywhere these days. Taking and sharing good pictures can be addictive. If your website is not using plenty of original images, you are missing a huge opportunity to communicate with your audience. Pictures can communicate thousands of words in seconds. A single image can tell me what you look like, who you serve, where you are, and how you work.

There are a few of my favorite types of web content. Using these forms will help add diversity and interest to your website. Your visitors will be engaged for longer periods of time, and your content will be more memorable.

I have no doubt I left out a few of your favorites, but you can help everyone out by sharing them in the comments below. What did I miss? What is your favorite type of web content?

If you liked this article, please give it a thumb up  in Stumbleupon. Thanks!

Featured image courtesy of stock_xchng.

Jeremy Powers

http://windingstaircasellc.com/

After nearly a decade of branding and marketing for large companies, Jeremy is now Principal at Winding Staircase, where he wants to help you with marketing your company.

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13 comments
jenjarratt
jenjarratt

Thanks, Jeremy, for the good advice. You suggest running your website as a news site, with regular newsy tibits.


Please, though, don't advocate long blogs. In my daily horizon scanning I run into many discursive screeds with a huge wind-up and not much substance to be found after patient scrolling down. There may be a good point to be shared, if I had the time to find it.

arpitsingh51
arpitsingh51

i hav dun php..suggest me a website ,so i can earn a bit

dbvickery
dbvickery

I've definitely been using video on my own blog. We've been posting some cool interactive infographics (NFL, NBA, X-Factor, Republican Candidates) on the Business2Community site, and of course I love writing List Posts for 12 Most!

I also focus on high-level How-Tos, and I'm not afraid to write about a failure..in those rare cases, you know ;).

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

Great list, @jeremy powers , and er… partial to #3 at the moment. List posts need not be trite, as your posts here keep proving!

Emmalish
Emmalish

Ha! #8 Admissions of Failure. I use it daily to disarm people and restore the power balance after they realize how awesome I am. How's your wife? Nostrils ok? Hopefully not singed by our sarcasm.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

Jeremy, you are Brilliant. Ever post is drenched with useable information. Keep on truckin.

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@dbvickery

I really need to catch-up with you on the use of video. Using video has been on my "must do" list for about 2 months now. I need to get moving on it.

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@PaulBiedermann Always keep your "voice" in every format, no matter what type of post it is!

Hence, I always sound like a mid-western laid-back marketer.

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@Emmalish

I always know I am walking the line between humor and off-limits when my wife raises her eyebrows when proofing an article. You can bet those eyebrows were 3 inches high when she read this little item. ;)

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@AmyMccTobin You wouldn't be kissin' up in hopes I will start submitting my articles on time, would you? ;)

dbvickery
dbvickery

@jpJeremy I definitely went casual with it. I did go buy a high-definition Logitech webcam w/integrated mic. That allows me to create 1080p videos from the top of my monitor (as well as Google+ hangouts, Skype video calls). But I can also take the laptop and "change venue". My recent social media heroes blog post had my laptop sitting on the top of my Camaro, and I did it in one take. Of course, @westfallonline is the real pro at this - vs a hack like me!

I then use Adobe Premier Elements to edit and add captions, change contrast, boost audio, etc.

westfallonline
westfallonline

@dbvickery@jpJeremy Gents, I'm not sure I deserve the shoutout, but I appreciate the mention! I invested in a nice USB microphone for Skype and webinars, because audio is really important. I wish I could say that all my videos support that last statement, but...well, some are better than others. For my desktop, the mic I use is a Yeti by Blue. It is fantastic! Only set me back about $100. If you do a lot of webinars or Skype calls, I highly recommend decent mic, and it sounds like @dbvickery is all over it. For videos, I've had surprisingly good luck with a Flip video camera, with no microphone. Here's the latest, shot this a few days ago in Dallas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSsT-9oyZJk

Latest blog post: The Source of Inspiration

jpJeremy
jpJeremy

@dbvickery@westfallonline I bought the Nikon 5100 with every intent of doing some video "right away." I tested it. I love the camera, but without a stick or lapel mike, the audio is not very good. I need to get my butt back down to the camera shop and shell out another $120 for a mike.

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