Top 5 content formats to try in 2021

Top 5 content formats to try in 2021

Content formats you should definitely take a look at if you want to reinvent yourself a little this year

While we talk about how important content creation is, it's important to voice out the need for a clear content marketing plan before that. Content creation has always been the priority for most publishers. It’s what sets them apart. The angle of the story, the opinions, the diversity that is represented, are delicately balanced pieces of Jenga in the world of news. But how exactly do you plan to push this content across your audience? Because we are no longer in the game with big 5s or 6s. Smaller and stronger voices emerge every day on the internet and therefore it is important to have your content in every form possible to cater to the target audience you have in mind.

1. Interactive content

We’ve seen a lot of content going viral. How do you do this? What makes your content shareable? Besides quality stories and relevant pieces, do you ensure you make interactive content? If not, we suggest you do. Find elements to your stories wherein the audience is encouraged to give feedback. This could be as simple as asking viewers to trigger responses through keys or simply providing a poll.

While publishers often try to use elements to balance the grey text, there are ways to get users to interact with your content rather than passively consuming it.

2. Webinars and courses

Our sources of information have changed. While we’ve all been consuming news through different screens, content distribution has had the time to experiment. Content distributed as webinars has an appeal to audiences that share something in common. Having industry-specific content will not only be consumed for the information but also because it presents a platform for similar clusters of people.

Webinars are also a great source of user-generated content. Where discussions and panels determine the quality of content. As a publisher, you might just have to get the right people and watch the content unfold.

Online courses have become more accessible and niche. The users are able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional setting. This is primarily because people can choose the right place and time for their courses. Learning has changed, it’s time content did too.

3. Audio content

The world has embraced audio assistants. There’s been a prediction that there will be over 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023. While we trust voice assistants with our pets to our locks, content isn’t far off. Is your content compatible with voice assistants?

The rise in podcasts and audiobooks is a testament to the rise of audio-centric content. There is a high demand for the content as it doesn’t affect mobility or active participation with reality to consume such natured content.

The channels of distribution also differ vastly. It caters to an audience that is most mobile-first and does it efficiently. As AirPods sell out with the speed of light, as a publisher you have to ensure that your content is available at every platform - text, video and definitely audio.

4. Visual stories

Visual stories have been growing increasingly popular. Not only do they provide a respite from the common displays of content in the market, but they also function well because of their scope. Visual storytelling has been used by brands, news portals and even academics.

It’s a great way to simplify a large cluster of information into smaller understandable bits. The only limit is your scope of creativity or that of your design team. If done right, it can be done in an interactive forum where users get results based on clicks or scrolls. Visual stories are easy to build if you have a strong storyboard. They’re easy to read but it takes some effort to build.

If you’ve visualized your story right, chances are you’ve got a strong narrative. With the right design support, you should be able to push stories with an impactful hit that interests your audience.

5. Video and Live streaming

Did you also witness a lot of random Instagram lives at the beginning of quarantine? What if we told you that’s a trend that proved to be helpful.

When the lockdown began, users of the live streaming service “Twitch” watched over 1.1 billion hours of content, according to StreamElements. The next quarter twitch broke that record for 3 billion hours of content.

While live streaming was initially something that began as a trend, today, it’s how people attend ceremonies and concerts. Industries in e-commerce and even publishing have started using this as a means to deliver their content. Be it through a panel conversation or a simple one-on-one update for their clients, live streaming has become an immersive experience for many people who are spending time inside their homes.

For news content especially, this has provided a fun interface where one can get abundant UGC and create breaking news stories by just showing the larger audience what they may have been missing out on.

Content is a constantly evolving pokemon that you need to be caught up with. While we witness huge surges in trends based on the launch of something as simple as a wireless earpod, it’s crucial that we follow the user demands. While there is absolutely no competition for a well-researched and developed content piece, there is competition for distribution. With the right content marketing strategies and the ability to experiment with newer forms of content, nothing can stop the renaissance of digital news media.