Armitage, T. (2014, May 07). “101 different types of content.” PR Daily. Retrieved 3 Sept. 2014 from http://www.prdaily.com/marketing/Articles/16375.aspx
This article I chose was a little different from the classic paragraph explanations of working with PR that PR Daily usually shares. Thomas Armitage is an Internet marketing specialist based in New York who compiled a list of 101 different forms of content that a company can use on their website to encourage customer interaction and site traffic.
I chose this article specifically because when I am looking at increasing web traffic, even within my student organizations on campus, I usually go with the classic Facebook/Twitter/Instagram route. Beyond these social networks, I’m stumped. This list is incredibly important in the PR field because, as they say, “content is king.” Content drives users to a website, engages potential customers, and generates buzz. Many companies go with blogging as their number one choice to engage customers. However, Armitage writes that you have (literally) 100 other options.
I will not post every one of these 101 content options, but I have included a few that were the most interesting/unique ideas. The first item on the list was A/B testing. I had to look this up, because I had no idea what it is. A/B testing is a form of hypothetical statistics testing based on random experiments. If a random experiment pertained to your company (i.e., something new that was being tried out), this may be interesting to your customers.
I also liked the idea of using animated gifs. We see these images a lot on social media sites, particularly via Buzzfeed, but they also can be used to draw people to your site. Animation is an attention grabber in itself – and humor engages many different types of people. Along these same lines, Armitage recommends using comics, cartoons, and even “stupid, fake and funny images.” I follow a business that caters to women (jewelry, clothes, crafts, etc.) on Instagram, and every week they post a funny “TGIF” image, usually involving a woman drinking out of a wine bottle. Entertainment garners interaction! These images always result in myriad comments – i.e., engagement with consumers.
A few more of the unconventional ideas that Armitage suggests could be simpler for companies to employ, and may not require much more in marketing dollars. For instance, background and experience information on company executives may give consumers more faith in the company’s leadership. Charts – as opposed to blocks of text – are usually easily understood for those not familiar with the technical jargon, and provide visual aesthetics. A company could also post videos (music or other) that pertain to their products or services. Send out a newsletter, host a creative promotional contest, create a podcast, or share an infographic informing the customer of what’s going on in the business. As we read in the text, the peer is often trusted over the CEO in today’s businesses. Armitage also recommends consumer reviews, surveys, polls, testimonials, vlogs, user generated content, or even photos to build interaction.
This article contains many other ways that I have not specifically mentioned to drive traffic to a company site using the buzz of content. When creating a PR campaign, many of these routes may not be your first thought – but could contribute as much, if not more, to a company’s success than simply creating a blog. If this online presence is created and cultivated, consumers will interact. In the creation of new content, your company will not only have a stronger web presence, but you will increase your social media shares, strengthen your SEO results, and build your brand reputation. Armitage ends the article with a tagline: “Entertain, educate, persuade, convert.” This is the goal of your web presence.