Category: content marketing

Lesson 2: Visual Content

Lesson 2: Visual Content

Visual Content

It is true, especially online, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual content communicates quickly and directly. It can stir powerful emotions and make a real impact. Visual content is very popular online and is only growing in popularity. It’s also relatively easy to create.

Visual content is especially good for social media, where the most shared content is visual. It’s also great for landing pages, advertisements, and mobile sites. Images can effectively communicate your brand to those who see them.

Types of Visual Content

Visual content can take many forms, including:


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You can also create a combination of the above.You can work text into your images to give them more impact. For example, present an image with an inspirational quote. Add a simple statistic to an image to give it more impact. Give your audience a visual outline instead of a text article. Questions also work well with images because they get people talking.

How to Use Visual Content Effectively

Choose images that are relevant. They should be uncluttered, uncomplicated, and easy to understand. Your audience should be able to get the message at a glance. such as this example here.

Use tools to create and edit images. With the right tools, you can do things like get a stock image and add your own text to it. You can cut, crop, and perform other kinds of edits on your images to make them your own.

Things to Avoid

Avoid using images that are confusing or distracting. If it doesn’t communicate immediately, it shouldn’t be used. An image should enhance rather than confuse or distract.

Don’t use images that are potentially offensive or inappropriate. If there’s any way someone could take it the wrong way, don’t use it. A badly chosen image may get you a great deal of exposure you don’t want. Be sensitive and make sure you’re sharing your content on-brand.

Crowdsourcing Visual Content Creation

An easy way to create wonderful visual content that engages your audience is to crowd source. Ask for reader contributions. Give them the guidelines for the images you want, and then share those images on your social media platforms or on your website. This is a great technique because it gets your audience directly involved with your brand.

How to Get Ideas

The best way to get ideas for visual content is to look at what other brands are sharing. Follow your favorite or most popular brands and see what they post. Pay especially close attention to the content that their audience shares or that goes viral. Of course, pay even closer attention to what your current customers are sharing.

Action Steps:

1. Brainstorm a list of visual content ideas and start an idea file.

2. Look at other brands to see what they share and what’s the most popular with their audience. Make a list of those in your idea file, along with links to the most popular content.

3. Make a list of software and online tools to help you create and edit your visuals. Take note of anything you already own, such as image-editing software.

4. Now select one format of visual content and create something related to one of the topics you identified earlier. It could also be based on the topic you used in the text-based content you created or something you’ve created in the past.

Lesson 3: Audio Content

Audio content is extremely popular, especially among people who can listen to it during their commute or during work. For the most part, audio content is made in the form of podcasts, which are like Internet radio shows that listeners can stream or download. It’s easy to make podcasts and post them online, and many podcasts have loyal subscribers. Audio content allows your distinct voice to come through, literally and figuratively.

Creating a Podcast

Each podcast should stay focused on one theme or topic. You should plan the format of your podcast, including its length and any regular features it will have. Your podcast could consist of interviews, or you might have a guest host. In general, it’s good to have more than one voice, although this isn’t always the case.

Length and frequency are important considerations. Short podcasts generally get more listeners than long ones. If you run over thirty minutes, you start to risk losing your audience. If your podcasts go long, consider cutting them up into smaller, more easily digestible chunks.

Choose a schedule that you can stick to. Posting episodes often isn’t as important as posting them regularly. Your listeners will come to expect a new episode at the time you set, so make a schedule you can stick to.

Decide to what extent you want to script your podcasts. It’s good to at least have an outline of what you’ll cover. If you completely script your podcast, make sure you don’t sound like you’re reading it off a piece of paper. Try to sound as natural as possible.

Many podcasts offer transcripts so that their listeners can go back and find key points they want to remember. You can also offer an outline with key points if it’s too much trouble to transcribe.

Other Types of Audio Content

You can create other types of audio content as well. Instructional audio files that teach people how to do things step by step and audio webinars are just a couple examples. However, any audio content can also be turned into a podcast.

Sound Quality

You don’t need a great deal of sophisticated equipment to record audio content. The only essential piece of gear is a high-quality microphone. Sound quality is important in audio files. If the sound quality isn’t good, this will turn people off. As far as recording and editing gear, there are many free and inexpensive programs that allow you to do everything you need, such as the free Audacity software.

Publishing Audio Content

In addition to embedding audio files on your site to make them available, list them in directories like iTunes. This greatly increases their visibility. Make sure that in each listing, you mention your website and where people can find you elsewhere online.

Reviews are a big part of these directories, so actively seek out reviews. Offer audio content on your site and ask your listeners to rate your audios. With a higher ranking, more people will find them through directories.

Action Steps:

1. Brainstorm and list different kinds of audio content you would like to offer.

2. Identify the tools and skills you need to produce your own audios.

3. Select one format of audio that you can create quickly, such as an inspirational message, an audio version of an article, or a brief interview with a colleague.

4. Using one of the topics from the list you created earlier, create your audio content. If you don’t have top-notch equipment right now, just use the free Audacity software and the microphone on your computer to get started.

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The 6 Types of Content You Need to Create Now

The 6 Types of Content You Need to Create Now

Now that you have your essential content brand strategy laid out and some ideas as a springboard, you can start creating some content.

There are six types of content that every business needs to create as part of an effective content marketing strategy for your brand. You’ll work on creating one of each type in the six lessons.

Lesson 1: Text Content

Lesson 2: Visual Content

Lesson 3: Audio Content

Lesson 4: Video Content

Lesson 5: Interactive Content

Lesson 6: Stories

Lesson 1: Text Content

Text content can be in the form of articles, blog posts or social media updates. Most popular text content is of an informational, how-to nature and is geared toward helping people solve problems they’re facing.

The word ‘article’ makes the content sound big, involved, and complicated, like a news story or an article in a magazine, but most online articles are simple and short. Blog posts and articles are essentially the same. The only difference is that blog posts go on blogs.


Since most articles are of the how-to variety, they often lead the reader through a series of steps, like a short step-by-step guide. Take something your audience has to do and walk them through the process. An article may cover how to tie a tie, how to check your car’s oil, or how to set up solar panels.


Many of the articles you find online offer tips. Unlike steps, they can be in any order. These are tidbits of information from your expertise or research that make doing something easier, like cleaning tips, tips on setting up a Facebook account, or tips on getting your kids to listen.

Basic Information

Some articles offer basic information to inform people and help them make good purchasing decisions. For example, you might write an article on the different varieties of red wine, the basics of a golf swing, or how a hybrid engine works.


Lists make excellent content because they’re easy for you to write and easy for your audience to enjoy. Make a numbered list and include a little information on each list item. A list article might be something like the top ten best hiking spots in Arizona, six things you should never say or do on social media, or 38 uses of olive oil.


You can write short news articles that cover a current event related to your customers and your brand. To make it easy, you can simply share a story and write up a summary and your opinion of it. You don’t have to write a whole story from scratch.

Case Studies and Testimonials

Case studies show how someone has used your product or service by looking at a real-world example. A testimonial presents one customer’s point of view on your product, service, or brand. These make great content because they offer social proof.


A great way to create compelling content is to interview someone and have the interview transcribed. You can find an expert in your field or something else you think your audience would enjoy, or have someone interview you.

eBooks and Reports

If you have a big topic to discuss or several articles that can be bundled together, you can create an eBook or report. This is a PDF with a cover that includes text content. You can use it as a free giveaway as an incentive for signing up to your list, or you can sell it.

Writing Guidelines for Online Content

Online content should be written in a tone that’s casual and friendly, depending on your audience. Not everyone looking for information online is a big reader. The common recommendation is to keep your writing at a level that a junior high student would understand (about 14 years old). The most popular content uses a tone that sounds like a friendly email. Although content written for blogs and emails can be more casual, make sure it doesn’t have errors in spelling and grammar.

Each individual article you write should tackle only one topic and present a clear message. Make sure you stay on track. Don’t try to cover too much in one article. If you find yourself doing this, split it into two or more articles.

Readers generally skim the title and first paragraph before reading the rest, so make them catchy. In fact, your title is the most important part of any piece of content! It should give the reader an idea of what to expect from the content and draw them in. Articles should be broken up into small paragraphs with sub-headers wherever possible so that it’s easy for readers to skim.

Text Content for SEO

Text content is great for search engine optimization. It’s good to have a blog on your website so that you’re posting fresh content regularly. Your blog will help bring search engines and visitors to your site.

A great SEO strategy using text content is to make guest posts. This means posting articles or blog posts on other people’s sites. If the other site has a higher page rank than yours, you get a good backlink to your site from it. This increases your site’s value in the eyes of search engines.

Article directories like Ezine Articles have largely fallen out of favor with Google, but there are similar sites where you can post content with backlinks back to your site. Sites like Hubpages (sometimes called “Web 2.0”) have stricter guidelines for content, but can bring you traffic.

Action Steps:

1.Select one of the topics from the list you identified earlier to use for a piece of text content.

2.Select one format of text content and create something based on the topic you identified.

3.Check your content to make sure it follows the guidelines discussed earlier, including a catchy title, readability, subtitles, one clear topic, and keywords for SEO.

If you missed my last post on content marketing check it out here:

Hope this helps with your content marketing ideas. If you require further assistence with building your brand or website just click the link below.


Create Your Content Brand Strategy

Create Your Content Brand Strategy

Your content brand strategy includes everything from your initial brand concept to your content ideas list. What you should start doing at this stage is document the essential parts of your strategy, so that you can share it with employees and content creators. This isn’t a highly detailed, lengthy document that no one will read. It should be easy to take in quickly and skim through, so people understand the essence of what you want to achieve with your content brand.

Target Audience

Anyone who creates your content needs to know your audience. They don’t need as detailed a profile as you might make for yourself, but they need a good, solid idea of your audience’s likes, dislikes, tastes, and problems so that they can create content that’s in line with those things. They also need to know your audience’s preferred channels for content, which you looked at in your previous research.

Summarize all these points in a target audience profile that helps your content creators visualize a specific person they’re creating for and talking to.

Topic Ideas and Guidelines

Along with this basic information about your audience, your content strategy needs to include a separate list of topic ideas and guidelines. It also helps to provide links to previous content or the types of content you’re aiming for.

Your guidelines are the rules for creating content for your brand. They include the nuts and bolts information, such as article length and composition, as well as editorial guidelines such as the tone of the writing and what words to avoid using.

Your Content Creation Process

Your content strategy should include a content creation process that goes all the way from the idea brainstorming phase to the publishing of content. It should include a posting schedule and where you’ll post content. Be as detailed as possible.

If you’re creating content yourself, decide when you’ll do it. You can either set aside a time on a regular basis, such as one afternoon a week, or include it in your daily routine. If outsourcing, work with the content creator so that their creating schedule fits your posting schedule. Get into a flow so that there are no gaps.

Monitoring Content

Once content is published, there will be some monitoring involved. For example, you’ll want to check your blog for comments and reply to them in a timely manner. You should also check analytics and seek feedback from your audience on how they’re enjoying your content or what they’d like to see more of. Work this monitoring time into your schedule.

Remember that your content strategy should be set but flexible. Over the course of creating and publishing content, you may need to make changes in order to better meet your audience’s needs.

Additional Considerations

You’re almost ready to get started creating content, but first there are a few more considerations. These won’t go into your Content Brand Strategy, but they’re important to keep in mind before you move into the next modules in the course.

Search Engine Optimization

For each piece of content you create, plan how it will be optimized for search engines. Not all content has to be used for SEO purposes. For example, you may share something on social media that’s purely for the fans you already have. But if all of your content is optimized for search engines, this will attract more people and gain you more exposure.

With content, the main SEO consideration is keywords and their placement. Keywords are not as important today as they were in the past. The days of stuffing content with keywords is long gone. Instead, you should find a handful of keywords and use them naturally in your content.

The ideal keywords are those that have a high search volume but low competition. Long tail keywords, which are long phrases or sentences, fit the bill quite well. So do keywords that include geographic locations (if appropriate to your brand strategy). There are many complex tools and involved keyword strategies available, but they’re not necessary in order to attract search engines. Choose a few and use them naturally.

Article Length

It’s good to decide before you get started how long your pieces of text content are going to be. A general guideline that most content creators follow is 400 to 600 words for each article or post. Of course, this is just a guideline and you can decide what works for you.

The advantage of shorter posts is you can blast them out. If you’re writing articles of 300 words or less, you can post more often, which has advantages for audience engagement and SEO.

On the other hand, longer posts allow you to get into a topic in more depth. It’s also generally true that longer articles get more attention from search engines, but this is on a case-by-case basis.

Plan for Promoting Your Content

You also need a plan for promoting your content. Make sure all of it is easily sharable on social media by including an image and visible ‘share’ buttons. Ideally, your audience will be sharing your content with friends. You can also announce to your email list and/or social media followers whenever you’ve published a new piece of content.

Content Creation Tools

Finally, if creating your content yourself, consider investing in some tools to make it easier. There is a wide variety of content creation tools available, such as video production software and voice recognition programs that write content for you as you speak. As you go over the six types of content and decide which you’ll produce (ideally all of them), consider for each what tools would help.

There are some tools that help you organize your content, no matter what kind of content you’re producing. Editorial calendar programs such as the editorial calendar WordPress plugin, idea organization tools like Evernote, or project management platforms like Asana will help you stay on track. Social media dashboard programs like Hootsuite let you manage all of your social media platforms at once. These are useful tools that everyone can use.

Action Steps:

1.Create a content brand strategy document that includes all of the essential information discussed in the module, including summaries of:

a.Your brand vision (summarized from earlier)

b.Your top content marketing goals (from earlier)

c.Your target market

d.Your high-level content creation process

e.Your monitoring schedule

Make it as short and to-the-point as possible while still including everything essential. Create a separate document if you need more space.

Attach a copy of your content styles and language guidelines also, if you have one. Otherwise, this is a great time to start creating one that includes links to examples of your best content.

Based on the research you’ve done so far, identify 7 to 10 content topics to get started with. Use the worksheet provided to record your ideas.

If you missed my last post on content marketing click here:

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