Interrupting the blog post series on optimizing your blog for users and search engines alike for a quick post on content formats.
Make it about the user
Let’s think again about the users under different conditions.
Need and context will dictate content format
Content consumption, purchasing behavior, and learning style varies based on context, need, and time available.
When I’m in the car for an hour or working on something relaxing like photoshopping images, I’d rather listen to audio.
Depending on how quickly or slowly people talk on a podcast or audiobook, I run it at 1.5x to 2.5x speed.
If I have some free time and undivided attention, I might want to watch a video, in 2x speed.
Video also helps me size someone up and decide whether there is enough trust and credibility for me to pay attention immediately.
If I’m looking for multiple perspectives on a complex topic, I’m more apt to open a bunch of tabs from a google search or two, and then click through and skim them until I see something that seems credible and interesting.
If I find someone’s content that really resonates with me, I want to binge on it – it’s not as easy to binge on audio or video.
A written body of work is easiest for that. And the benefit to the content creator is that I’m “getting indoctrinated.”
If I want something more formalized – like something I want to pre-learn and set goals around – then I’ll build or select a mini curriculum around guides and downloads.
“Go where your users are” ?
There is a lot of advice about “going where your users are” and in some cases tribes are more likely to hang out on Youtube or blog networks or forums but I don’t think this should dictate content format.
Rely on your strengths
I’ve seen a lot of good advice out there about this.
Should you start an interview or discussion format podcast?
If you want to network, you’re reasonably extroverted, and you’re a good communicator with a likeable personality – all other things equal, sure.
If you do start a podcast, just know that it’s sort of cash-in-hand, in that, you can lose a chunk of your audience if you take off for too long.
Should you start writing?
Philip Morgan says writing is thinking. And recommends it as a good starting point for a content format for introverts.
Written content can be wrangled, remixed, reused, and strategically optimized for the highest impact.
Should you use a video format?
If you appear trustworthy, and show-and-tell can enhance your ability to convey your thoughts, this might be great.
Are you tired of the current format?
Maybe time to try something new.
Video – the one stone, three birds approach
The nice thing about video is it can also be made into an audio file, uploaded once and aggregated to multiple podcast player sources, and for a fee, be transcribed and tidied into a post format.
I’ve tried all formats and like them all, but I am learning that writing is thinking and that’s where I am in my journey.