5 Types of Compelling Content: Using Written, Visual, Audio, Video, and Experiential Content to Optimize Your Key Messaging

Written by: Elizabeth Roan

When using content marketing to grow your business, attention is the key currency. Slice’s founder & CEO, Cassandra M. Bailey, and CSO, Dana M. Schmidt would certainly know; they didn’t just write the book on attention, they wrote two! In Pay Attention! How to Get, Keep, and Use Attention to Grow Your Business, our two leading attention cultivators break down five types of compelling content: written, visual, audio, video, and experiential. While there are so many ways to tell your business’s story, strategizing how to share it can make it both clearly understood and inspiring to your audience.  

The Dominance of Storytelling

The fourth chapter of Pay Attention! shares the five types of content and emphasizes that clear communication is what makes or breaks your ability to tell a story. Content, in a nutshell, is the creation and sharing of online material.

When you strategically create and distribute content, it becomes a vehicle for transporting your audience on an emotional journey and helps them better understand your brand, business, and message.

Check out these five forms of content shared in the book:

Written Content

Written content, in particular, emerges as a potent tool for storytelling. This includes books, blog posts, social media, email campaigns, and much more. By efficiently conveying clear information that is easily shareable, not only is your content better understood by your audience, search engines favor well-crafted, keyword-rich written content.

In one of our case studies, the Center City Business Association, formerly the Center City Proprietors Association, faced the challenge of rebranding and modernizing its marketing strategies post-COVID-19. Engaging Slice Communications, the focus was on garnering attention for the rebrand and attracting new members and sponsors while engaging the existing ones. Slice strategically partnered with the most impacted stakeholders, such as members and city leaders, to create a video highlighting the rebrand and featuring these key figures.

The approach included content development and social media storytelling, utilizing blog recaps, articles, and diverse social media channels tailored to each platform’s strengths. The results were significant, with a 44% increase in social media impressions, a 179% increase in engagements, particularly on LinkedIn, and the creation of over ten pieces of content that successfully amplified the organization’s events and messages, ultimately enhancing awareness and engagement from both current and potential members.

While reinventive strategies are key, being consistent with your current content strategy is a common challenge for businesses. The age-old issue of writer’s block can fog conceptualization and bottleneck deadlines. This can be an area where a little boost from AI can assist in testing ideas, and establishing better word flow, all within scope.

Other innovative approaches like talk-to-text functions or creating content through a quick recording of yourself verbalizing your ideas (essentially thinking out loud and hitting record) can prove effective. You can also support your local (and international) freelancers by outsourcing to content creation professionals.

Visual Content

In the world of marketing, images speak louder than words. Visual content emphasizes messaging through charts, infographics, and compelling imagery. However, not all images are equal, and the power of selecting visuals is where value can be added.

In one of our case studies, we worked together with a recruitment firm that was known for its exceptional employees in the industry. The firm’s team was renowned for providing excellent customer service and expertise to its clients, who consistently returned for their services. During our collaboration on a digital ad campaign, we noticed that previous campaigns that featured infographics showcasing the company’s services lacked impact. When realizing the firm’s true differentiator was its team, we redesigned the campaign to prominently highlight the employees.

The new approach featured smiling headshots along with personal and professional facts, effectively showcasing the individuals clients would interact with every day. Our goal was to visually emphasize the firm’s strongest asset: its dedicated team.

Video Content

2020 was certainly the year that video content surpassed email marketing, blogging, and infographics and changed the game of content marketing. Video is king. However, with a demand for accessibility and fast turnaround time for videos, production value has lowered and it is as if we are back to the days of VHS. (Google it, kids.)

The age-old saying remains true: done is better than perfect.

Low production value shouldn’t stop your brand from using video content. Tailoring videos for specific platforms, such as Instagram, using their features like Stories, and Reels, can still be used even on the lowest budget. As long as you align your video content with brand values and understand the audience’s preferences, production value shouldn’t even matter in the long run.

A former client faced the challenge of low brand awareness for their product despite its positive reviews. We revamped their social awareness by creating original content for organic sharing and paid social advertising. By strategically utilizing Pinterest, curated product-focused and general interest boards, and conducting seasonal photoshoots to showcase product offerings, our team was able to elevate our client’s brand up to current trends. Additionally, the team created engaging digital assets and memes.

To overcome technical limitations on Amazon, PixelMe was used for retargeting campaigns. Creative campaigns, including a video featuring the comedian Corey Forrester, giveaways, and engagement campaigns, further enhanced visibility. The results were impressive, with over 1 million organic social media impressions, 2.9 million from paid advertising, 25.7k social engagements, and 8.2k social media link clicks.

Audio Content

The surge in podcast popularity offers a relatable and commanding conversational approach to thought leadership. It leverages audio content to explore reactions to industry trends and even music associations.

Practical Tips: Hosting or participating in podcasts requires asking insightful questions and thoughtful planning. Complementary content, such as photos or written Q&A, enhances engagement.

Experiential Content

In a post-pandemic world, experiential content has taken a transformative shift. Experiential content–digital content that is purposefully designed to create an immersive experience for its consumers–has traditionally been linked to physical events like trade shows, and has faced a major transformation since 2020. Strategies are currently shifting towards virtual experiences and engagement such as virtual meetups.

Some virtual strategies can include leveraging trade associations for introductions, contributing content, and participating in virtual events. Multimonth and multi-touchpoint engagement plans are advocated for sustained impact.

Slice collaborated with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for the 2021 Flower Show, aiming to enhance social media engagement and overall online presence through experiential marketing. The challenge involved managing Flower Show content on social media, addressing audience inquiries, and orchestrating an influencer program.

To connect with the target audience, Slice prioritized strong customer service and streamlined the influencer program. A comprehensive strategy outlined the approach leading up to the Show. The team executed cross-channel organic and paid Pinterest plans, emphasizing exhibitors and vendors. On-site content creation captured behind-the-scenes moments and highlighted exhibitors, vendors, and more during the Show. This strategy included a balance between online and in-person engagement to drive audience engagement.

Strategic Content Planning

With five different types of content to choose from,  you can reevaluate content creation regularly. Often the changing impact of imagery, photography, or any of the five mediums on a brand’s overall impact, emphasizes the need for continuous assessment and adaptation in content strategy.

Before choosing which content to choose, make sure you know what you’re really doing is investing time and energy in a robust communications plan. Strategic content, as Cass & Dana argue, is the linchpin for business success, making stories memorable and impactful in the ever-evolving attention economy.

Slice is happy to help you identify the most powerful strategic approach for reaching your business goals. Contact us today and let’s get started!

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