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Content formats and their application

Video, text or audio – how to find the right format for your content

Author
Portrait von Cornelia Maier. | © punkt & komma
Cornelia Maier
Head of content marketing

The purpose of content marketing is to grasp the attention of your existing customers and to acquire new ones. High-quality content shows them what you’ve got to offer and makes you the go-to expert in the field. To make your content marketing endeavours a success, you need diverse content that informs and entertains your readers. Besides knowing which content is relevant to your audience, you also need to know how to communicate it to them. Do they prefer blogs or editorial articles about certain topics? Do they like to watch videos or listen to podcasts? Choices abound and it’s up to you to determine what’s the right format for your content. But no worries: This blog post gives you an overview of the most important formats and how they can support you in achieving your goals. 

Choices abound

Which format is the most sensible in your case?

As a content marketing expert you know: content types are a dime a dozen. And yes, we admit it, there are many, many of them … That’s why it’s not always easy to stay on top of things. The tricky part: selecting those content formats that are suitable for your product and your target audience or personas. Keep in mind that not every format is right for every target group and every goal . Don’t get side-tracked and don’t get lost in the options – instead, weigh the pros and cons of the formats! 

You could use some help with that? We’re here for you!

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The choice is yours

Not all content types are the same

First and foremost, you need to get an overview. What content types are there? What are their pros and cons? To make this a little easier for you, we’ve summarised the “most wanted”. 

Text content

The “tried and tested one”

Really good text content  never goes out of style. It’s been a lengthy and slow process for companies to realise how valuable text is for improving the quality of their communication – but it’s finally sunken in now! Why? That’s easy: We constantly encounter text – wherever we are – whether it’s online, on billboards or in the papers. Words exist to convey exactly what you’re trying to communicate. Tailor-made for your target audience. Online as well as offline. You can choose from a range of options when it comes to the right text format for your content: 

  • standard articles: blog posts and press releases
  • lists: are an eternal favourite with readers. They allow you to put information and recommendations into an easy-to-grasp format. 
  • whitepapers: are primarily used in the area of B2B and are usually expert texts on a certain topic. They’re often available in PDF format. 
  • e-books: It might take some effort to create them but they help you present yourself as the expert on a particular topic. They are also a great way to get people to sign up for your newsletter. 
  • newsletters: are also part of the various text formats. They allow you to reach out to your audience directly. They provide news, interesting offers and novelties about your company. 

 

Pros of text content: It’s incredibly relevant for SEO – because, after all, you want your beautiful words to be found online. 

Cons of text content: Articles are less frequently shared on social media. 

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Audio content

The “uncommon one”

Whether it’s while driving, while exercising or while cleaning: audio content is easy to consume. It can be both entertaining and informative. 

  • podcasts: are similar to a radio show. If you want to be successful at it, you should provide your listeners with interesting and relevant content – just like when blogging. 
  • music: is the perfect way to let your audience develop an association between your brand and a certain melody, which increases your brand’s recognition value. 

 

Pros of audio content: Emotions and authenticity are easier to convey, and your content can be consumed anywhere and anytime. 

Cons of audio content: People usually listen to it while doing something else, which makes it harder for your audience to process and remember the information. 

 

Interesting: A few years ago, podcasts were pretty much written off as completely outdated. Now they’re more relevant than ever!

Video content

The “versatile one”

You’ve probably heard it a million times already, but here we go again: Videos are awesome! There’s really no way around them these days. The best part: We’ve reached a stage where professionally produced videos aren’t an absolute must anymore. Short, zesty, funny, lively clips are where it’s at. That’s what our personas want, because: Keep it simple, stupid. Heavily produced videos are great – but especially on social media, it can be readily apparent that something was shot on a smartphone. “Quick and dirty”, so to speak. 

From image videos to product videos or standard commercials – anything’s possible. 

Pros of video content: There are no limits to your creativity, and it allows you to achieve high engagement. 

Cons of video content: If you’d like to produce high-quality videos, be prepared to spend some cash. 

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Pleasant to look at

Infographics and images

You’ve probably noticed by now that content marketing is more than providing text content. Images are also part of it – under the umbrella term “visual content marketing”. Pictures are awesome: They attract attention and guide the reader’s eyes exactly where you want them. Content marketing without pictures? No way! You’re still looking for the perfect photo? Easy and without much hassle? We’ve researched the best free image databases for you! 

Infographics are another great way to communicate important information.

Pros of visual content: There’s probably about a thousand reasons that speak for infographics and pictures. The most important one: attention, attention, attention. 

Cons of visual content: You might need some graphic design skills and photography know-how. 

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Made-to-measure

User-generated content

User-generated content (UCG) is content that (potential) customers create for you and your company. It’s particularly valuable because – generally speaking – it’s created by people that match your target audience or persona. UGC is the supreme discipline in content marketing and it doesn’t just appear out of thin air. We really need to work hard for it! 

Pros of user-generated content: UGC boosts trust and increases the amount of time that people spend on your website. 

Cons of user-generated content: UGC has its own dynamics – which means you don’t have any control over it. 

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You’ve made your choice

But who is your content for?

You should be aware of who you’re trying to reach with your content before selecting a format. Always keep in mind your target audience or personas and create the best content for them. You don’t know your target audience yet? No worries, we’ve got a blog post  for you that helps you get to know your customers. 

Tip: Create a detailed concept keeping in mind the various content formats! After all, the devil’s in the details. It’s important that you determine which content formats are relevant for you and why. 

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