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What kind of content is right for your business?

You’ve been diligent about posting detailed and well-researched articles on your blog, but no one reads them. Or, you took a large chunk out of your marketing budget to shoot quality videos, but they have few views and no comments. Why? Your ideas might be valuable but the format you’re using might not be the best way to market them.

Sometimes all it takes is shifting to a different format for your content to take off.

Here are three of the most basic ways of presenting content. See which category you fall into and consider the alternatives.

Text Based Content

Marketing your brand by writing works best for businesses that are idea driven and abstract.

Blog posts and articles allow you to elaborate on topics that people are interested in on a conceptual level. Take business as an example. You can’t visualize it like a travel destination or taste it like a pie, but you want to know more.

Open Forum by American Express is one of the best examples of content marketing done right. Five years ago, American Express was a bank. After launching Open Forum in 2007, American Express became known as a bank that also provides practical information for small-business owners and entrepreneurs. Topics range from money to technology to lifestyle, but the focus is always on the customer, not self-promotion. 90% of traffic for American Express comes from people who search with a question and find an article on Open Forum.

Image Based Content

Marketing your brand with images works best for business that sell a product that looks good and that people can visualize.

Don’t think that you have to explain yourself in writing all the time. In many cases, being too wordy works against you. Telling a story using photographs and collages is the most powerful way to get your message to stick in people’s minds.

Kate Spade is a master of visual marketing. You might argue that they already had a recognizable brand before they started online, but the fact that they continue putting out a lot of visual content shows that it takes effort to stay relevant. Kate Spade sells handbags, wallets, and shoes. They blog about cocktail recipes, favorite places to eat, and travel destinations. Their Pinterest boards are brilliant because they are based on inspiration, not product placement. No one wants to read lengthy articles about handbags. The motto of Kate Spade is to “live colorfully,” which is an aesthetic that lends itself to eye candy.

Video Based Content

Marketing your brand with video works best for businesses that involve demonstration or that have an individual with a strong personality.

Don’t make video content if you take yourself too seriously. People will tune out to fake professionalism quickly and go back to watching cute animals. Do make video content if you are knowledgable about your subject and can explain or demonstrate it in an easygoing, approachable way.

Tara Stiles started making yoga video demos on YouTube four years ago and has since picked up a large fan base, written a bestseller, and been featured in campaigns for Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and other big names. She makes yoga accessible by connecting with viewers instead of preaching to them. Her book “Slim Calm Sexy” was so popular because she understood exactly what most people want out of yoga.

The Takeaway: How you present your content matters just as much as what you say. Of course, you can use a combination of all three formats, but most businesses have time to focus on only one. The success stories have one thing in common - their content is about what people want, not what makes the brand great.