Chapter 7. Understanding Content Formats

As you are reading this, some team somewhere is coming up with an entirely new content format we will be able to use soon. With so much innovation happening around us, the content space is equal parts exciting and challenging these days. For content managers, it means that we can never get too used to a given format that we would not be able to shift gears to try a new one. For content creators, it means constantly researching what is new and how much it is trending within the target audience. For both groups, it means activating research mode 24/7.

This chapter reviews some of the most popular content formats available. Aside from defining them, we also look at the types of content that are best conveyed by each format, the kind of audience it appeals to, and how you can tap into this information to diversify your editorial calendar. (We examine a step-by-step method to build your calendar in Chapter 11.)

These are the content formats we will analyze in the forthcoming pages:

  • Articles, both owned and sponsored

  • Presentations

  • Infographics and other forms of data visualization

  • Podcasts

  • Video (including live, long-form, short-form, quick animations, and 360°)

  • Images (including 360° images, memes, humor graphics, and quote cards)

  • Landing pages and microsites

  • Quizzes, questions, and polls

  • Webinars

  • Ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, and industry reports

  • Email newsletters

  • UGC

  • Other emerging formats like Snapchat’s Stories and Facebook’s ...

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