(Just a heads-up, I'm not going to be mentioning infographics in this post either.)
Blog posts are great. You know it, I know it. But they can get redundant after a while. You site can get stagnant. Followers can get bored. Blog posts are hard to get shared. You need them in order to provide the deep, static content that a large portion of your core audience craves, but the internet has a lot more to offer.
Try mixing things up with the following 5 resources. I expect most of you will find results that are more than worth the effort.
1. Image Macros (Captioned Images)
If you didn't know what they were called, now you do. All those images with superimposed text that populate the majority of your Facebook feed are called image macros. You know, stuff like this:
Here's why you should use them. Supposedly, according to Social Bakers, Evolution Fresh is the brand with the highest engagement rate on Facebook: 7.05 percent. But if you look at the pages that shared the image macros above, at least as of April 8, 2014, a few of those pages have engagement rates higher than 100 percent.
The lowest one is currently sitting at 32 percent.
And you'll probably find the same thing if you browse through your own feed and take a look at the posts your friends have shared from other Pages.
If you want to expand your reach on Facebook, forget blog posts. Post a list of embedded image macros on your site after posting them to your Facebook page.
Now, obviously, I'm not saying you should do this all the time. I am saying that it's probably a good idea if you want to expand your reach, as long as you keep in mind that image macros only work if they are:
And, of course, keep in mind that you don't want to alienate your core audience.
While they aren't quite as popular as they were back in the days of MySpace, quizzes still tend to outperform your typical blog post because of the fact that they are interactive, personalized, and they give users a change of pace.
There's a reason why BuzzFeed, a site that aggregates some of the most viral content on the web, has a section of its site devoted entirely to quizzes.
If you're using WordPress, you can use a plugin like Quiz Master Next to set up one of these quizzes quickly and easily, and show the user a personalized result based on their answers.
3. A Utility or Interactive Platform
There is a reason that the front page of QuikSprout is a free tool instead of a traditional homepage. It's the same reason WordStream has a free keyword tool. Oh yeah, and it's also the same reason little sites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter seem to be doing so well.
If you take a look at the most linked-to sites on the web, you'll see that a huge proportion of them are tools, utilities, and interactive platforms. That's because they give users something that can use or something to do. By putting the user in direct control of the experience, you attract links and attention that blog posts often can't.
4. A Podcast or Skype Interview
One of the downsides of the traditional blog post is the fact that it's basically just one big monologue. We all know blog posts can be valuable, actionable, even awe-inspiring, but at the end of the day there's still something unnatural about having a big long speech about something without having anybody to bounce ideas off of.
Podcasts and video interviews confront this problem head-on. They breathe life into the discussion by making it...well...a discussion.
Obviously, if you can interview somebody with some influence, this already has an obvious advantage over a traditional blog post, due to the simple fact that they can send some of their followers your way. But even if you don't interview somebody influential, conversations make your content more engaging and fun to listen to.
On top of that, interviews can help prevent you from falling victim to the "filter bubble." They allow you to explore topics you might not otherwise think to discuss, and they can lead to more constructive, innovative subject matter.
Even better, when you embed iTunes podcasts or YouTube Skype interviews on your site, the downloads, views, and ratings help improve your visibility on external platforms. Both iTunes and YouTube are designed to help users discover new content providers, and can send additional referral traffic.
5. Slide Presentations
SlideShare, which hosts embeddable PowerPoint presentations, is a better source of traffic than you might think. As of March 2013, it had 50 million unique visitors each month. Like YouTube, it's designed to push users through its archives and discover new things, making it a good source of referral traffic. For some sites, it can easily send more referral traffic than Facebook or Twitter.
Slideshows aren't boring anymore:
The key is to use your slideshow as a short, useful, visually appealing introduction to your topic, then add a call to action with a button link to see more on your site. Then, by embedding the presentation on your site (and elsewhere), you can boost views, which will cause the presentation to be hosted more prominently on Slideshare.
Blog posts are great, but they aren't everything. It's a good idea to switch mediums frequently in order to keep things fresh, appeal to a wider variety of people, expand your reach, and keep your existing audience interested.
Image credit: Kris Krug