FEATURE: Engagement Objects Idea Generator for Content Marketing
Content needs something extra special to stand up to shrinking attention spans and high demands to be entertained — engaged, if you will. Engagement Objects are a class of content with a magnetic pull to keep a visitor on your site and interested in your brand messaging. This includes videos, images and graphics, maps, data visualizations and anything interactive. They enhance user experience, attract links and, if leveraged, may drive conversions.
The challenge can be developing Engagement Objects for your brand. If you want inspiration for content that may capture and wow your audience, you’ll find some starting points here, and free and inexpensive programs to create videos, infographics and images that resonate.
To create an Engagement Object, start by answering questions about what you want this content to do.
Who is my audience? Having an answer to this larger question about who your brand personas are will serve you many times over.
Where is this content going to be included on my site? If there’s a specific page of information on your site that you want to enhance with an Engagement Object, that’s very helpful for determining the subject matter. If you’re thinking of sticky, click inducing content for your home page, the current content en vogue is a video that brings the product to life, possibly with happy customers sharing reviews.
What do I want this content to accomplish? The answer here lies with the previous; if you’re working on your About page, the top objective of the content to instill trust in your company by communicating the people and values of the brand. If for an informational page, the purpose of the content may be to get them to click to a services page by positioning your solution among the information the visitor is seeking.
With these answers you’ll have certainly sparked some ideas, although if you’re still searching, give the Portent Content Idea Generator a whirl. Just plug in a seed concept and see if what comes back is something you think would be a hit with your community. The next question is, what form will this content take?
A classic and always effective Engagement Object to have in your arsenal of compelling, conversion driving content is high quality video. Product videos and customer testimonials are evergreen and can have a strong impact on prominent pages like the home page and landing pages. (Does 144% higher likelihood of buying a product accompanied by a product video convince you?) If you’ve got those bases covered, are looking for something else that may fit in a tight budget or are interested in some ideas you might be able to create yourself, consider screen capture video, animated photo series and recorded interview or event Hangout.
On-Screen Recordings with Camtasia
Turn your on-screen activity into a video with Camtasia. Overlay an audio track as you’re taking actions on screen and you’ll have a high-quality screen recording with your commentary. Create online tutorials and how-to videos to train and educate visitors. Here’s a recent example of how I used Camtasia to share a new search results feature with readers of the Bruce Clay, Inc. blog.
Photo Series Animations with Animoto
If you have a bunch of photos from an event, you can turn them into a nice video with Animoto. For a reasonable fee, upload your photos, choose a theme and a musical backdrop from their library, and text and you’ll have a nice video presentation of the event.
Events, Interviews and Webinars with Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts has become an instant productivity booster, allowing people to meet in the virtual space with ease. The search marketing community has been leveraging the technology to great effect, hosting webinars and discussions, and broadcasting keynotes and product launches. Search Marketing Expo uses Google Hangouts on Air to broadcast popular talks live during events and then posts those recordings to YouTube for later streaming.
Images, Meme Style
When a tired eye lands on a page, an image can turn a block of text into an accessible story. But an image is more than something to look at; an image must communicate a message, support the page topic, and further illustrate the subject at hand. One way to enhance the communication potential of an image, is to use one of popular Internet culture’s favorite things: image memes. The power of image is that it draws on associations beyond the content itself. When you see a photo of Ryan Gosling with “Hey Girl” text, you think of all the other Hey Girls that have made you laugh. The power of the meme is in the convention that reaches beyond any individual image and taps into the larger zeitgeist. So let’s get to generating.
Image Macros à la I Can Has Cheezburger
White block text on a photo. Classic!
ROFLbot is a free and tidy image macro generator if you’ve got an idea in mind.
Snark and Humor with Some eCards
The contrarian greeting cards at Some eCards are very popular on social networks, especially Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. You can search the library for cards on many topics or create your own.
PowerPoint made it easier for anyone and everyone to share a high volume of information in a visually engaging presentation format. If you have a complex topic to educate consumers on, or if you have a long-from story or product pitch that lends itself to a slide presentation, embed it on your site and, the most popular slide presentation sharing and access site, SlideShare.
Your Slide Presentations Shared with a Broad Audience
If it makes sense to you, make your PowerPoint presentations publically available on SlideShare. Presence on this platform can help your presentations be found by a broader audience. Read HubSpot’s 20 Inspiring SlideShare Presentations Every Marketer Should See for ideas that fit almost every company in some shape or form.
Elegant Presentation Software in Haiku Deck
Turn information into a dazzling, modern slide presentation with the iPad app Haiku Deck. Type your text into the presentation software, choose from the collection of images licensed for your use, and embed your final product anywhere you’d like. Here’s a recent Haiku Deck we used to promote the SEO Factors & Trends Midyear 2013 Report.
Data visualization is a powerful thing. There are some easy-to-use tools that make creating your own infographic a simple task with the right data to plug in. For some starting points for where to collect content, read 5 Internal Resources to Mine for SEO Content. Then review Moz’s collection of 10 tools to create your infographic. And finish the process by promoting your Engagement Object with the steps laid out in our 10 Commandments of Infographic Virality.
Alright? Read, set, engage!