Why Bother with Text When You Can Use Audio and Video?
With all of the possibilities that audio and video have to offer, one might think that plain old text would be outdated. But even though these things add a great deal to the Internet, there still is, and probably always will be, an important place for the written word.
The Internet was founded on text. And while text is no longer the only thing you can find online, it is still what the Internet is based on. It’s largely what the search engines use to determine whether a page is relevant for a given keyword, and it’s often what people want when they are seeking information that they can share easily.
There are many things online that need to be presented as text. Doing them any other way just doesn’t make sense. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to access your bank account information as an audio file. And you might not benefit very much from your digital camera user guide being presented in video form, although videos showing specific picture taking and maintenance techniques might be helpful.
Text is still an important part of any web page. Audio and video can be great assets to your website, but in most cases, they shouldn’t completely replace your text. Text is still favored by many Internet users, and it gives the search engines more to go on when they index your site.
Text Can Be Portable
Online audio and video are becoming easier and easier to take wherever you go. They can be downloaded to watch later on your computer and smartphone, or you can put them on portable audio and video players. But text doesn’t have to be bound to the Internet or computer screen either.
When people find information that is valuable to them online, they often want to save a copy of it for later reference. They can bookmark the web page, but subsequent changes may move or eliminate the information they want. They can save the page in question to their hard drives, but few people do. Making it easy for your site visitors to take your words with them is good for business. Here are some ways to accomplish that:
* Offer printer-friendly versions of popular pages. Making it easy for users to print pages that look correct will allow them to easily archive information for future reference.
* Consider putting certain information in PDF format. This is the file format that is often used for ebooks and brochures, and it provides easy readability. It prints out nicely if your users want a hard copy. This can also be offered as a content upgrade on your blog.
* Optimize your site for mobile users. Google has made it clear that all websites need to be mobile friendly in order to rank in search results. If your website offers up-to-date information such as news, weather, or account information, your users could benefit from mobile options.
The many recent innovations that utilize text indicate that it is still a medium that should not be ignored. While it may not have the potential or personality of audio or be as visually stimulating as video, it is easy to transfer and doesn’t require any special software to use.
Audio and Video Should Complement Text, Not Replace It
One of the most important things to realize about audio and video is that at this point, they often don’t translate into money as quickly as text can. Utilizing audio and video is more about building your expert credibility and building your brand than immediate monetary gratification. It helps to generate traffic to your website and boosts your business’s image.
Overall, text is vitally important on any website. Audio and video can enhance a website or sales letter, and they can go a long way toward convincing a visitor to become a customer or client. But ultimately, it is usually text that seals the deal. At the very least, text is the most effective way to instruct visitors on how to order or sign up.
Audio, video and text can work together to make your website nice to look at and listen to, as well as highly functional. Each medium appeals to visitors in its own unique way. Taking advantage of the multimedia opportunities available online can boost your site’s popularity while making it more useful.
Planning Your Content
One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video, and text, is to have a comprehensive content marketing plan. Here’s a little checklist that might help you.
Step 1: Set Your Goals
All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers but benefit your business as well.
Some purposes might be:
- Search engine traffic
- Word of mouth and viral effect
- Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
- Establishing credibility and authority
- Reader satisfaction
- Boosting your opt-in list subscribers
- Boosting customer relationships
- Selling your products
Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that.
Make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” — tell them what you want them to do next.
Step 2: Research
Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well.
Here are some things that will make your research easier:
- Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month.
- Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:
- Social media
- Keyword research tools
- Blog comments
- Client interaction
- Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and use that information to create content topic ideas for this month.
- While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content.
- Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter and more.
- Create a content planning system to keep all of your research, topic ideas, publishing schedule, and statistics. This can be a notebook you keep on your desk or an online calendar you manage in Evernote.
Step 3: Creation and Distribution
Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.
- How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself or hire a writer? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline.
- Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places. For example:
- Guest blog
- Social networking page
- Article marketing site
- Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
- Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
Part 4: Repurposing
The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.
- You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video.
- Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind.
It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts. And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering the best content you can to your audience.