50 shades of content

Sonja Jefferson
Company Director
Valuable Content
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Pushing the boundaries and coming up with new content that continues to surprise, intrigue and delight your audience can tie you in knots. So here, with apologies to a certain series of best sellers, are our 50 shades of content.  All guaranteed to get your inner gods and goddesses cartwheeling with joy.

Content to teach

Potential clients come to your website to learn new things. Make it easy for them by creating (1) short bite sized blogs of some of your most commonly asked questions, (2) ’how to’ videos that take viewers through a complex process in straightforward steps, (3) podcast of expert discussion, (4) an infographic that makes a complex issue easy to understand, (5) an e-book that summarises key points.

Content to provoke thought

Creating content that makes people think shows you are one to watch: (6) original research that demonstrates authority and a willingness to ask difficult questions, (7) visuals that turn conventional thinking upside down, (8) blogs that explode myths, (9) or that use smart analogies, (10) podcasts that balance both sides of an argument.

Content to engage

The right content can start relationships. Here are some ways of using it to make the first move. (11) Interesting surveys – ask the question on everyone’s lips, (12) blogs that tackle the emotional side of an issue, (13) humour – blogs that make people smile, (14) short fun videos, (15) quick quizzes that offer an interesting reward – Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Is your business social media savvy?

Content to be shared

Some types of content spread quicker than others. Here are some ideas for fast movers. (16) Topical blogs – be quick with your take on a current dilemma, (17) high quality discussion paper that tackles key industry issue, (18) video that makes a serious point with humour, (19) brilliant visuals with a strong message, (20) pictures of cats on pianos/wearing clothes (okay, maybe not that one.)

Content to get maximum exposure

If you want content that makes headlines then try one of these ideas:(21) original research with a column inch grabbing premise, (22) blogs with controversial themes and headlines, (23) the best discussion paper anyone has ever created in your niche, (24) video of expert discussion – pull in names your clients will have heard of, (25) keynote speech that shows your ownership of your niche.

Content to lead

Far better to lead than follow. Show your leadership colours with (26) blogs that demonstrate your domination of the bigger picture, as well as your control over the details, (27) white papers that tackle questions you know people want answers to, but don’t know where to turn to find them, (28) case studies that demonstrate leadership qualities, (29) video that breaks the rules – ditch conventional talking heads and try something new, (30) a book – still the king of content.

Content to experiment with

Innovative companies embrace new ideas. Show your creativity of thought by investing in some content that breaks the mould. (31) Different video styles – can you say it with a cartoon, a film spoof, a music video? (32) Animate it (33), rap it (34), change your usual style – if you usually write 300 word blogs, try creating something more in depth. If you like to write reams, aim for tweet length instead. (35) Doodle it.

Content to reassure

Sometimes you need to show that you’re a safe pair of hands. Make sure your content mix contains some of the following: (36) a good selection of up-to-date case studies, (37) blog articles that hit the keywords potential clients will be using, (38) testimonials – video and/or written (39), longer form content that demonstrates depth of expertise, (40) social media profile that shows good communication skills.

Content to entertain

One of the main reasons we use the web is to be entertained.  Of course, overall your content mix needs to demonstrate depth of expertise and experience, but that doesn’t mean it all has to be serious. Try (41) videos that use graphics with wit and style, (42) beautiful visuals that explain it creatively, (43) brilliant story telling that pulls readers in, (44) clever animation, (45) blogs that make people laugh as well as think.

Content to sell

You are running a business. Be sure to have examples of the following in your library: (46) blogs that get right to the heart of how you help, (47) FAQs demonstrate that you understand your clients’ concerns, (48) client stories to demonstrate your listening skills, (49) ‘how to’ product videos and guides, (50) social media feed that shows you talking easily to a range of happy clients and managing successful partnerships.

And, last but not least, think of variety. Like the book which we are shamelessly plundering, your content needs to cover a wide range of experiences. Don’t stick to the vanilla variety – break the rules for a richer and more fulfilling relationship with your content, and watch your marketing fly.

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By David Evans
12th Sep 2012 17:29

An effective content strategy can really drive levels of engagement between your organisation and your online community. Producing high quality content, be it copy, infographics or video etc is a great way of stimulating debate but also establishing your company as a trusted voice of reason and expertise. Through time and through regular posting of content, the profile of your company will grow and the relationships you will be able to forge with your onine community should result in return on investment. The key is commitment, quality an reliability with your content. 


-- Dave Evans Commercial Director at accessplanit, specialist in learning management system and training management software.

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