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Digital Content: Definition, Types & Best Practices For 2022

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As our worlds continue to move online, digital content is more ubiquitous than ever.

Almost everything you do online revolves around digital content, whether connecting with friends, shopping, researching, or watching Netflix.

Today, we’ll cover the ins and outs of digital content to help you understand more about the medium.

We’ll also discuss how you can leverage digital content to improve your business.

What is Digital Content?

Digital content, or digital media as it’s sometimes called, refers to any content stored as digital data.

It’s an umbrella term that encompasses many forms of media, including articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, ebooks, social media posts, advertisements, and music, to name a few.

Difference Between Digital Content and Social Media Content?

The growth of social media has blurred the lines between digital and social media content, making it more challenging to make heads or tails of these content types.

Social media content is digital content that’s exclusive to social media.

This content type includes social media posts or videos native to the social media platform on which they were created.

Brands often use social media content to “tease” long-form digital content on their website, hoping that users will click through to their site to learn more.

What is the Purpose of Digital Content?

Digital content can serve a variety of purposes depending on your needs.

For example, brands use digital content to inspire, entertain, educate, or convince their customers.

Different content types are used throughout the customer journey, so whether they’re just learning about your brand or almost ready to make a purchase, there are forms of digital content that support the customer’s process.

Why is Digital Content Important?

Digital content is essential because it bridges the gaps inherent in traditional media, allowing companies to connect with customers more meaningfully.

However, you cannot tailor your content to your customer’s needs with conventional media.

With digital, you can provide customers with content tailored to their position in the buyer journey.

The primary benefit of digital content is that it allows you to provide potential customers with highly targeted content relevant to their needs.

Even if the customer isn’t prepared to buy, providing helpful content that meets their needs helps ingratiate you with the customer.

Then, when they’re ready to purchase, they’ll be more likely to choose your brand.

Common Types of Digital Content

There are many forms of digital content today, and we can expect new forms of content to enter the digital world as they’re developed.

So let’s take a closer look at the different types.

vector graphic showing an illustration of the best types of blog content

1. Blog Posts

Blog posts are one of the first forms of digital content and are still quite popular today.

Blog posts can be long-form articles (2,500 words or more) or shorter and more digestible snippets under 1,000 words.

The key to blog posts is to break them into multiple easy-to-digest sections that search engines can easily index for search users.

2. Videos

Video has become the most popular vehicle for digital content, as it can serve various business goals.

Videos can be promotional, educational, or entertaining.

Videos that are all three tend to receive the most engagement and are the most memorable for potential customers.

3. Infographics & Other Media

Infographics are another valuable piece of digital content that seeks to educate and inform the customer.

Infographics are loaded with useful data, and the data is arranged in a highly visual way that makes it easier to digest and utilize the information within the graphic.

4. Reviews

Reviews are one of the most valuable forms of digital content, as they leverage consumer trust while providing your customers with valuable insight into your products or services.

Reviews are short testimonials from customers that give insight into their experience with your business.

What Types of Digital Content Are Most Popular?

Every form of digital content serves a place within the digital ecosystem, but some content is more popular than others.

For example, infographics and videos are almost always included in typical content strategies, while reviews can have the most impact when your customer is ready to make a purchase.

Examples of Digital Content

The best way to understand digital content types is to look at examples of digital content in the real world.

1. OnlineCollege.org

This infographic from OnlineCollege.org is an excellent example of how engaging and insightful infographics can be.

This infographic lays out the subject in detail, and the information is arranged in a visually attractive way that makes it easy to digest.

2. Sheffield Metals

This blog post from Sheffield Metals is a textbook example of how helpful blog posts can be for accomplishing your marketing goals.

The post does an excellent job of informing the customer and providing valuable information while positioning their business as a trusted authority in the industry.

The Sheffield Metals blog also leverages video content to reinforce the subject matter discussed in the blog post and provide an alternative way for viewers to digest the information presented.

3. Ridge

Ridge is a popular company that manufactures wallets and keychains, and its home page is an excellent example of leveraging reviews as part of a digital content strategy.

Scroll toward the bottom of the page, and you’ll notice a sizable social proof and testimonial selection that profiles select reviews and publications that have profiled the company.

Where to Find Ideas & Inspiration for Digital Content

Thought leaders in your industry are an excellent place to start for content creation ideas for blog posts.

Consider what they’re doing and what you could do to improve or expound upon their content.

You may also consider partnering with a business in the industry that makes up digital marketing services, such as a creative agency.

How Do I Get Digital Content?

Digital content can either be created in-house or outsourced.

Depending on the type of content you want to make, you may work with graphic artists, videographers, or web developers to bring your content vision to life.

Process of Making Digital Content

Regardless of the digital content you’re producing, the processes to create compelling content are essentially the same.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to make content.

  • Research
  • Plan
  • Develop
  • Release

How to Make Digital Content

Content creation begins with research to surface helpful content ideas, then planning and developing content and releasing it to your audience.

1. Research

Start by gathering information about different areas of interest for your customers as it relates to your industry.

Consider common questions customers have, research popular keywords and search terms, and look at what your competitors are doing with their content strategies.

With this information in mind, brainstorm content ideas that will deliver value to your customers and marketing value for your business.

2. Plan

Once you have some excellent ideas for original content, you’ll want to organize your ideas cohesively and decide on the best medium for the content.

From there, develop a framework for the piece of content so you can bring it to life.

3. Develop

Now it’s time to build that infographic, shoot that video, or write that blog.

Try to present your ideas as cohesively as possible, and ensure your content delivers value to the customer.

4. Release

With your content complete, it’s time to release it and ensure it can reach the widest audience possible.

Host the content on your website, and optimize it for SEO to ensure it’s easy for people to search for it.

Then, share the content across all your social profiles to maximize audience reach, and edit the content as necessary to keep it fresh and engaging.

Best Practices for Digital Content

When you begin developing your digital content, there are a few best practices you’ll want to follow to ensure your content is engaging and valuable.

1. Always Consider Your Audience

Whether you’re learning how to write a blog post or creating video or infographic content, you always want to think about your audience first.

The primary goal of your content is to deliver value to your audience, whether through information, entertainment, or inspiration.

If you’re providing value, it will pay dividends for your business.

2. Provide Your Team With a Brief

The best way to ensure everyone on your team is on the same page is to create a brief.

Your brief should work like a roadmap outlining how to produce the desired content.

Your brief should include your deliverables, project timeline, audience personas, target keywords (if applicable), and what your desired audience actions are.

3. Deliver the Goods Early

One of the best ways to deliver value to your audience is to provide the bottom line up front.

Don’t make your audience watch an entire video or read a 1,500-word blog to find the necessary information.

If your audience can quickly fulfill their needs, your content will have accomplished its goals.

Digital Content Tools to Save Time and Money

screenshot of a man sitting in front of computer screens looking at a bunch of productivity tools on the screens

The most challenging part of content creation is managing the time and money necessary to produce quality content.

Digital content tools can help streamline the process so you can maximize your content spending.

What is a Digital Content Tool?

Digital content tools automate many of the most tedious aspects of creating content.

Popular tools include AI writing and animation software and data visualization tools.

These tools save you time and money without cutting corners during content production.

Our Favorite Digital Content Tools

The tools below represent the best time and money-saving options for producing content in-house.

1. AI Writing Software

AI writing software includes programs that will automatically write copy for you, as well as software that uses AI to provide recommendations to improve the grammar, clarity, or engagement of your writing.

These tools can save you tons of time writing and editing your content and allow you to deliver engaging content to your audience more quickly.

2. Animation Software

Animation software allows you to create polished videos in various styles based on the parameters you input into the software.

For businesses with significant video content needs, animation software can save hours at the drawing table or save you thousands that you’d have to spend outsourcing your content to an animator.

3. Data Visualization Tools

If you’re producing infographics, data visualization tools will be incredibly valuable to your business.

With a data visualization tool, you can input large bodies of data, and the software will create beautiful visuals that present your data in an engaging and entertaining way.

Other Related Content Types to Check Out

As you continue your digital content journey, you’ll want to include several types of content in your marketing mix.

  • Evergreen Content: Evergreen content is content that will always serve a purpose for your organization, as it isn’t tied to trends or current events. Evergreen content delivers excellent value for a business because it continues to provide value long after its creation.
  • Media Content: Media content refers to any digital and analog content that your organization produces. While we’ve focused on digital content today, general media content is exceptionally useful for your business as you can use it to fulfill both your online and offline content goals.
  • Video Content: Video content refers to any media content that includes video, such as vlogs, tutorials, testimonials, GIFs, webinars, or presentations. Video content keeps viewers engaged, and among popular content types, it’s usually the type of content that receives the greatest audience engagement.

Frequently Asked Questions

When people begin learning about digital content, they usually have a few additional questions, which we’ve answered below.

What is good digital content?

Good digital content delivers value to the audience while also serving the marketing goals of the content creator.

The content must be engaging, informative, and closely aligned with customer intent.

How many types of digital content are there?

Digital content can include everything from your website and social media pages to infographics, blog posts, videos, photos, podcasts, online contests, and graphics.

As the digital landscape expands, you can expect to see new types of content invented.

Wrapping Up

Digital content is a critically important component of a 21st-century marketing strategy, and there are myriad ways digital content can benefit your business.

Quality digital content can help serve your marketing goals while delivering value to your audience, so consider how your business can leverage digital content today.

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