Have you ever needed to access an online resource to learn something but been intimidated by the page’s wall of text?
Wouldn’t it be much easier to digest the information if the page included one or several types of multimedia such as images, videos, infographics, charts, or visual slideshows?
Using multimedia in content marketing isn’t exactly new in the SEO of 2022.
You can find industry experts going back a decade or more urging users to implement multimedia within their content marketing campaigns to increase metrics such as dwell time and ROI.
And it’s all true.
The fact is this: the average human attention span today is about eight seconds.
It isn’t a lot of time, but as you’ll know if you watch the NBA, eight seconds is plenty of time to make a play.
When it comes to content marketing in 2022, what is that play?
If you can grab that optimal user’s attention within eight seconds using a fun, above-the-fold image carousel or infographic or animated video that explains a complex subject, you could very well be on your way to a sale, form fill, or phone call.
Here’s another stat for you.
The human brain processes visual content about 60,000 times faster than text.
Translation: people like looking rather than reading because it’s easier.
The more aware that you are, the better you’ll be able to strategize on the types of multimedia you should use in your content marketing to capture the audiences you want.
And, by the way, using multimedia in your content marketing isn’t just about figuring out new ways to make sales.
It’s also a thoughtful approach to catering to your audience.
People internalize information in different ways.
One person might be able to sit and read 2,000 words of text. Another might be visually impaired and prefer to listen to a tutorial video.
By offering all these options at once in your content, you’ll be going a long way toward increasing your website’s online traffic and delivering the information users need.
That’s the kind of content Google rewards.
So, let’s get right into the meat of this post.
What are some innovative ways to use multimedia in your content marketing?
Here’s the list laid out for you here so you know what to expect. Below, I’ll go into each one individually.
- Interactive content
- Slide presentations
I’ll start with perhaps the most basic form of content marketing multimedia: images.
It’s my firm belief that just about every piece of written web content out there should include images, and for several reasons.
First, images increase engagement, for the reason I laid out above: people process images faster than text.
Check out this screenshot of a recent LSEO blog post written by my colleague Bill:
This post is called “A Step-by-Step Guide to Broken Link Building.”
Right from the title, you know this is going to be an in-depth post with plenty of actionable instructions.
You probably also know that people follow instructions with different degrees of success.
So, what did Bill do to cut down on any confusion as he explained with written text how to use Ahrefs? He included an image of the part of the site he was discussing.
Go back and look at the screenshot again.
When I read the text preceding Bill’s screenshot, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of “What if I can’t find it? What if the author made a mistake in describing the button and it isn’t where he said it was?”
Those fears are instantly allayed with the inclusion of the image (also, Bill doesn’t make mistakes).
So that’s one great benefit of including images in your content: they show users exactly what you’re talking about so now they can visualize what you just discussed with words alone.
Then there are times when not having images in your content would be completely ludicrous.
Think of the importance of images to, say, an ecommerce site, a professional photography site, or a kitchen-remodeling company site.
In those cases, images serve essentially as advertisements for what is being sold: the product or service.
You could say that businesses of that type simply could not survive without displaying images on their websites.
Then there’s the argument of search engines.
While Google doesn’t view your images in the same way that people do, it does crawl your images to discover what they are.
Here’s your chance to get your website even more ranking power. By including descriptive and SEO-optimized file names and alt text with your image files, you tell Google you’re offering something valuable for searchers.
This is all just common-sense stuff here.
Remember: even grabbing some free stock images for your blog post is better than including no visuals at all.
Videos are up next, and the same idea applies here as with images.
People are much more likely to engage with your content if it includes a video or if it’s exclusively in video form.
You know the rest: more engagement leads to users traveling further down the funnel and becoming more likely to take an action.
Then, search engines notice that increased engagement and could end up serving your content to users in a higher organic position than your competitors.
Once again, if I have something complicated to explain to you, something that involves multiple steps and plenty of chances to make a mistake, would you rather read a blog post about it or watch me do it on video?
That’s the exact thought going through the heads of more than half of online consumers when they search for content.
Videos are also quite portable for people. If you ever needed to, you could just listen to the audio of a video while you’re doing something else.
Not so with written text.
You may not have the capability yourself to produce professional videos to live alongside your blog content, and that’s okay.
Even embedding an existing YouTube video in your post to complement what you’re discussing can help with user engagement.
If you do make your own videos, though, you should know that it isn’t enough just to throw this piece of multimedia up on your site and walk away.
Just like images need appropriate file names and alt text, videos need optimizing so they can rank better in organic search.
Video SEO is a subject all its own, but it warrants a special mention here.
Websites compete to get their video content ranked on search engines the same as any blog post.
What factors decide which videos get ranked and which don’t?
Well, don’t complicate a subject you probably already know about.
It’s about usefulness and relevance!
First, is your subject actually engaging?
Does it address user concerns that you have researched using Semrush or by mining the SERPs?
Have you performed keyword research to craft a title and video description that will capture your intended audience?
Have you created an accurate transcript of your video?
These are all core elements of video SEO, and you’ll need to think about them if you want your hard work on video production to be worth it.
Infographics are another innovative form of multimedia that you can and should be including in your content marketing.
The appeal of infographics is pretty easy to see.
An infographic is an image–often one that appears vibrant, eye-catching, and animated–that presents hard data and other information in a digestible way.
On the off chance that you aren’t quite sure what infographics look like, check this one out below.
Look at the data shown there. You see lots of stats and figures.
For instance, 62% of workers say their job causes their primary stress.
Imagine a blog post author writing that statistic like I just did. Then, picture the author writing the next stat in the line under that.
Yeah, that doesn’t make for very engaging content.
Infographics allow content creators to create singular images that convey all kinds of bite-sized information that could otherwise seem really boring.
Again, this goes back to the figure I cited in the intro: people process visual content 60,000 times faster than text content.
So that’s the benefit of infographics for users.
On the SEO side, infographics present a pretty amazing organic search opportunity.
I’ve seen studies claiming that people are 30 times more likely to take in an infographic than read some text.
That increases time spent on the page, which, just like with standard images and videos, makes it more likely that a user will take an action.
That extra time on your website also sends the right signals to Google, showing the search engine that you’re offering users content that is, as always, useful and relevant.
The final SEO benefit of infographics is how shareable and linkable they are.
If you share an infographic with someone, you’ve just communicated a whole lot of information packed into a single image file.
It’s just so easy.
The portability of infographics also makes them linkable.
Oh, you want to reference a bunch of statistics for your readers while also giving them another resource they can use? Link to that infographic you saw.
As my colleague Landis wrote about in her post “Link Building for SEO: The 2022 Guide,” infographics are versatile in their use for organic link building.
Take some time to learn how to do that, and you could really give your SEO a boost.
As you create infographics, just be sure to optimize them for SEO so they have the best chance of ranking organically.
The thing is, as I said above with images, Google doesn’t see images themselves.
However, there are things you can do to ensure you give your lovingly created infographics the best chance of showing up organically.
You can do keyword research ahead of time so you know how to create your infographic copy, as long as you keep in mind that using keywords in that copy won’t directly help you.
It’s more about having your infographic content match user intent.
If you can determine the intent behind the keywords you have chosen, you can write the copy for the appropriate audience.
The real signals you need to send to Google for your infographics are file names and alt text.
This is where you can use the best and most relevant keywords to tell Google that your infographic is about that particular subject.
I’ve been talking a lot about images here, but let’s get into some audio content now: podcasts!
It’s 2022, and you didn’t already know, podcasts have been and remain all the rage in the world of digital content.
As I write this, there are about one million podcasts out there, and more than 30 million episodes.
Here’s another stat: about 104 million Americans, or 37% of the population, report listening to podcasts monthly.
So, if you want to get into the podcast game within your content marketing, you have both a large audience and a lot of competition.
It isn’t hard to see why that is.
There are podcasts for just about every topic under the sun.
Users find the podcasts that pique their interests and then listen to each new episode.
You don’t just sit and listen to a podcast, do you?
Of course not. You take it with you!
You tune into your favorite shows in the car when you’re driving, when you’re running on the treadmill, and as you’re doing chores around the house.
That’s perhaps the key benefit of podcast content: it’s portable.
Google’s been indexing podcasts since 2019, meaning it’s been possible for a while to get your content found organically, right on the SERP.
Podcasts give businesses the chance to connect with users, to put their voices and personalities out there and remind everyone that they’re just people, the same as everyone.
Each episode gives businesses the chance to discuss another topic relevant to their industry.
And as I’ll say again and again here, that relevance is just what you need to keep in mind when optimizing your podcasts for SEO.
Optimizing your podcasts for SEO is quite similar to optimizing videos.
Your titles, text descriptions, and tags should include keywords and succinctly describe the content.
You should also provide a transcript on whatever platform your podcast is hosted. Transcripts offer you another chance to rank for keywords, as Google can crawl and comprehend the words.
Here’s an example of a strong podcast episode title:
The title and description focus on one particular subject in the digital marketing space: the best e-commerce SEO tips.
As with any type of multimedia, as long as there is search traffic and relevance around your chosen topic, and you know the purpose of what you’re doing and who you’re trying to reach, then podcasts are an incredible opportunity to upgrade your content marketing efforts.
5.) Interactive Content
You’re probably noticing a pattern by now in all of these types of multimedia: they’re all meant to increase user engagement by encouraging spending time on a page.
Now, if you really want users to engage with your business online, one type of media you can add into your content marketing strategy is interactive content.
I’m talking about surveys, quizzes, calculators, image slideshows, and virtual tours.
Let’s think about it logically, like a human rather than a search engine.
Interactive content is going to drive web page engagement, provided the content has a business purpose rather than just a quick bit of entertainment.
I was on Instagram recently and was served an ad for a Spongebob quiz. I saw the sponsor was Paramount Plus, but I didn’t yet know the ask.
Didn’t matter, though. The algorithm knows I’m a fan of that show (for 20+ years now), so I took the quiz, missing a few questions, actually.
But at the end, I was informed that Spongebob Squarepants is now on Paramount+.
And if I didn’t already own the first three seasons (the only good ones), I may well have considered the proposition.
That’s how interactive content is supposed to work.
It engages users. It encourages users not just to take in information, but to participate in it.
Which is what users will do if the interactive content serves the right purposes, has a reason to exist, and ends with a call to action.
Think about this, too.
Users take your quizzes. They hit the “Finish” button, which takes them to a second page on your site that gives them their results.
Those users have already interacted with two pages on your site from one quiz.
That increases pages per session and click-through rate, and those signals tell Google your site is serving up worthwhile content.
There’s a reason Paramount+ designed that Spongebob quiz. It wasn’t to entertain me, not ultimately.
It was to engage with me in a truly human way to get me to sign up for the streaming service.
I thought it was genius in its simplicity.
Interactive courses are yet another innovative way to include interactive content in your overall content marketing strategy.
Just like you’d expect, courses will consist of training users in your particular area of expertise. You can offer them in any way you choose, whether that’s through video, audio, or written content.
The interactivity comes in when you need to test your audience. If it’s a course, present quizzes, and tests through which users can earn badges or some other kind of reward.
Courses don’t need to be free, either. You can charge money for them if you want, or you can do what a lot of big-time bloggers like Brian Dean do and offer exclusive courses for email subscribers.
Instead of money, users exchange their contact information with you.
There you go: you just got an avenue to a whole range of new leads.
7.) Slide Presentations
Similar to courses, you can also offer users slide presentations in your market niche.
If you’re a business that sends employees to many conferences or seminars for which you’ve had to create slide presentations, you can repurpose those and serve them up to your website visitors.
Their purpose is essentially the same as courses. You can post them for free on your website or make them exclusive to subscribers.
The point is that the users who take in the lesson-based information contained within slide presentations got there because they wanted to learn something.
No casual user is going to download a slide deck or subscribe to your newsletter to get one.
This content is for those who care. It encourages and in fact forces interaction.
That’s the activity you want on your site, since it increases your chances of ranking and getting conversions.
Now’s the Time to Get into Multimedia Content Marketing
If your business isn’t doing multimedia content marketing right now, it’s losing out on a ton of traffic.
Sure, I know it’s easier and less time-intensive to pump out nothing but written content.
Blog content has its place, and I don’t think it will ever go away.
If you want to get at where the people are, though, create content they will eat up in a second.
Need some help with your content marketing strategy?
LSEO will augment your own marketing team in crafting smart SEO content that ranks and helps carve out a path to the audiences you want the most.