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Should Your Blog Extend Into Multimedia Forms of Content?

Should Your Blog Extend Into Multimedia Forms of Content?

If you’ve been writing for a blog for a while, you’ll likely consider the ways you can spice things up. It might be because your readership is declining and you want to recover swiftly. It might be so you can expand, and possibly trounce your top competitors once and for all. It might just be because you’ve found yourself in a rut and you’re looking for something different. 

In all these scenarios, the solution could be turning to more diverse types of content. 

Multimedia Content to Consider

In addition to written blog articles, your blog or website could present content in mediums like these: 

  • Music, podcasts, and other audio. Audio files are easy to download and convenient to stream, giving your blog a chance to be heard while people are driving to work or doing errands. You could host a regular podcast, talking freely and at length about topics in your field of expertise, interview important people in your industry, or even write songs for people to listen to. If you work with a professional audio engineer, these files can come out crisp and high-quality. 
  • Infographics and images. Articles are easy to share, but people often only read the headline. If you want to capture more attention and encourage even more sharing, consider adding more visual content to your blog. A simple infographic can go a long way in concisely conveying a point, or a clever meme can capitalize on the zeitgeist to bring attention to whatever topics are most important to your brand. You may need the help of a graphic designer here
  • Videos. Videos range from professionally produced to captured with a mobile smartphone camera, but anywhere along this range, they can be valuable. Videos are much easier to digest and understand that written content, and provide much more flexibility, since you’ll be working with both visual and audio elements. 

Why Consider Another Medium? 

So why would you want to integrate a new medium into your blog in the first place? 

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  • New angles. First, you’ll get to see the problems and topics of your industry from a new angle. For example, if you’re having a two-hour conversation about a topic with another industry professional, you’ll get to explore far more depth than you would writing a 2,000-word article by yourself. Videos and infographics, too, can help you visualize problems and showcase solutions more than the written word would allow. 
  • New audiences. People watch more than a billion hours of videos a day on YouTube alone. That’s a hefty video-watching audience your blog may not currently be capturing. Investing in a new medium often means delving into an entirely new market segment or demographic, which can increase your number of visitors dramatically. 
  • New platforms. Most new mediums allow you to capitalize on platforms unique to that medium. For example, if you start producing a podcast, you can syndicate that podcast across multiple distribution networks, giving your blog more outlets for potential visibility. If you start making videos, you can use YouTube to draw in a new channel of traffic. 
  • Competition. If you’re competing with other bloggers and content producers, it’s more than likely that some of them are already producing content in multiple mediums. If you don’t offer a similar diversity of content, it could cost you even your most loyal readers. 
  • Cost. It should also be noted that it doesn’t cost much to invest in a new medium. While professional audio and video equipment can get expensive, if you’re merely trying to spruce up your existing blog, you can get away with entry-level equipment—maybe even the apps and features built into your smartphone. 

The Caveats

There are a few caveats to keep in mind before jumping into a new medium, however: 

  • Inexperience. If you’re not familiar with a new medium, you may not be able to competently produce content with it. Your first few drafts and iterations might be of lower content quality than your readers are used to seeing. With practice, this should be less of an issue. Be sure to listen to any feedback you get from your fans, and take it seriously as you produce more material. 
  • Brand image. Not all content mediums will work for all brands. For example, literary criticism may not benefit strongly from having a video element. Think carefully about your subject matter and your audience before committing to a new approach. 
  • Long-term strategy. Successful blogs need to have some kind of firm, overarching strategy. Incorporating many different content mediums can muddy that strategy if you’re not careful. It’s good to experiment, so long as you’re learning from those experiments, and are tying everything back to your high-level vision for blog development.  

So is a new medium the right way to cure your content malaise or improve your brand visibility? That depends on what you’re willing to invest, and how appropriate the medium is for your industry. However, most bloggers can get at least some benefit from venturing into the world of another, non-written content medium.

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