Digital content helps your website get indexed in search engines and disseminated across the web. While search engines love the seemingly endless stream of articles and blog posts you write month in and month out, they may eventually become monotonous and uninteresting for your audience.
To spruce things up for your brand and website, consider other forms of content. Alternative (or rich) media such as videos and podcasts break up the monotony, giving you new ways to draw in new audiences, raise awareness of your business and even help you make a sale.
These tools might seem scary at first, but they can do serious good for your brand. And as with many online tools, they don’t have to be over the top investments. Here are some of my favorite tools for creating and sharing rich media.
Videos and Training
Videos are an awesome way to tell interesting stories about your business. An article can only go so far to help your brand show its true colors. A video, on the other hand, can hold an entire narrative about your products, services or employees. There will also be people who have no interest in reading about you and your business, but will gladly watch a fun or informative video to learn more about you. Without videos, you completely miss this group of customers.
YouTube, now owned by Google, is the world’s 2nd largest search engine, serving up millions of videos every day. Those videos can easily be shared in your blog posts and on social media.
What should you post to YouTube? As a business, you can host HD videos from your employees’ iPhones or a Go Pro camera. You can also use it to house your professionally produced commercials and product videos. YouTube has even expanded its hosting capabilities, letting users upload many hours of video at a time on personalized channels.
Lessonly is an Indianapolis based training and education software hosting service. Its user-friendly interface makes it super easy for your small business to finds hundreds of hours of training on a wide variety of topics. You can also make training videos and lessons about your products or services for your customers to use. This is particularly useful if customers or sales representatives need a certain level of expertise to use your product properly.
The software lets account holders add new videos, tests, audio voice overs and training logic with grading keys. The service itself is relatively cheap and lessons are shareable on social media
LICEcap is a free point and click screen capturing service. I learned about this one via my friend Chris Theisen, Director of Digital Communication for FlexPAC. He used the platform to make a fun 10 second video to visually explain and explore a quirky Twitter function, and then shared it to his Twitter followers. All LICEcap media is saved in .gif format, so it’s easy to share on social media.
Screen capturing can be especially useful if you want to visually walk your customers through something like your businesses’ online purchasing form.
Audio is another powerful alternative tool small businesses owners can use to capture and educate new audiences. Many of your potential customers may work in very mobile careers, and only have time to listen to a podcast to learn more about you and make a purchasing decision. Relevant and interesting audio content from entertaining hosts is also a good way to add the “human element” to your brand and build consumer trust.
Podbean offers free hosting services for podcasts. You’ll need audio hardware (an iPhone works just fine) and editing software (I recommend Audacity) to create your show. Once it’s finished, you can host it on the Podbean website and share it with your audience, either in a blog post or on social media.
iTunes is a great way to reach a wider audience. You must host your podcast elsewhere (Podbean works just fine) and then submit the feed to iTunes. As you upload the feed, don’t forget to add tags with relevant keywords and a good description to make it easier to be discovered by new podcast searchers who you may never have been otherwise able to reach.
Don’t forget to encourage reviews of your podcast so you build authority and trustworthiness! Popular podcasts with good reviews are more likely to be featured on the iTunes home page.
More than a Few Words is a weekly podcast discussing marketing topics for small business