I have a confession: I don't like video. I know it is all the rage, but video is my least favorite way to consume content. I'm a serial multi-tasker, and the thought of both listening and watching something puts me off; I simply don't have the patience for it.
I've talked to others about this, including my Savvy Sisters, and, surprisingly, many agree that text is their favorite format. I'm sure there are just as many people, though, who consider text "old-school" and would prefer to watch video or listen to a podcast..
Of course, savvy marketers offer their content in multiple formats because they know that prospects' tastes vary. And although I see marketers doing this, I think there are opportunities to improve. With that, here are four ideas to make webinars, text, videos and podcasts more desirable to people who may not gravitate to that format.
Offer transcripts for webinars:
I like webinars - in theory. However, because of my schedule, I can rarely attend them live, and it's tough to make time to listen to the recording. I know I'm missing out on some great content.
I'd love companies to offer a transcript for their webinars (including the corresponding slides if appropriate). I see transcripts offered with paid teleclasses, but I rarely see them offered with free B2B webinars. Yes, there is a time or cost component to creating the transcript, but I think it would dramatically increase interest. If I knew I could see a transcript of a webinar after an event, I would register for a lot more.
Make text easy to scan:
Even though I am a text junkie, I know a lot of people prefer video and audio. There has been a lot written on making your content easy to skim, and I couldn't agree more. Big blocks of text with long paragraphs that lack headers, bullets and call outs are not something that most people spend time reading. I don't.
As one example of what to do, check out The B2B Content Marketing Workbook from Velocity (note: registration is required, but I think it's worth it). I enjoyed the content, but I was really pulled in by the way it was designed. Even though it is 46 pages, it is very easy to skim and read more when you want to dive deeper.
Another alternative to straight text is to use a program like SlideShare where you can upload presentations (with our without audio). Even if someone doesn't like to read much, they may want to click through some slides to get the key information.
Include talking points with videos:
It seems like including videos on blogs are all the rage. It's no surprise, considering my dislike of video, I typically click away when I see a video on the blog, especially if there is only a nebulous description. I don't want to invest my time if I don't know what I'll be learning.
For instance, I see lots of videos introduced with a short: "Check out my conversation with John Smith in this new video." This does not entice me to watch something (unless I am a HUGE fan of John Smith). Instead, I'd prefer to see somewhat detailed talking points about what the video covers, including timestamps for each point if the video is over 5 minutes. (In text, I can scan to the info I want to see, but this is tough in video, so make it easy for me!)
Publish detailed show notes or transcripts for podcasts:
This isn't a new idea, but it isn't something that I see consistently, either. My favorite podcasts include show notes of key points or web addresses noted during the broadcast. Like most people, I listen to podcasts when I'm doing some other activity such as driving, walking or doing the dishes. I love show notes because I don't have to worry about remembering a website or other tidbit I found interesting.
An alternative to show notes is transcripts. One family of podcasts that caters to both those who like text or audio is Quick and Dirty Tips (my favorite podcast of the bunch: Grammar Girl, for all of you writers out there). Although this isn't specific to B2B, anyone can use this format: on their website, you can listen to the podcast, download a transcript of every episode or subscribe. I've often used the search feature to find specific information, which is something you can't do if you only have your podcasts in audio format (and it's great for SEO!).
I'd love to get your thoughts on this. Are there certain formats that you gravitate towards and others that you avoid? Is there anything that you wish companies would do -- or something that you have done-- to cater to various reading/viewing preferences?
- The Eyes Have It: Heather summarizes the key points of a study that shows how scientists are using eye tracking technology to evaluate web news pages.
- Be Unexpected: What B2B Marketers Can Learn from a Resale Shop: This is a post I wrote that includes some other ideas on how to make small changes to be deliver information that prospects want.
Read more Savvy B2B posts from Michele.