Given the unimaginable expanse of the internet, it can be difficult for people to grasp the true volume of data currently present on the web. As of 2023, there are an estimated 5 billion active internet users worldwide, together generating an aggregate of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day (a quintillion is 1 followed by 18 zeros).
This data comprises several different types of content that aim to educate, entertain, inform, or persuade audiences. From simple emails to elaborate landing pages, the average internet user interacts with a wide spectrum of online content every day. Given the huge size and spread of the audience, creating internet content can prove to be a profitable venture. However, it requires a precise understanding of what makes each type of content unique and how you can derive the maximum value from it.
In this article, we elaborate on a few different types of online content and discuss how they can generate monetary and educational value.
Different types of online content
Blog articles are simple web pages with a variety of different audio-visual content on them. They are often published to inform readers on a particular topic and garner an audience base.
Who publishes them: Blog articles are typically published by individuals, businesses, government agencies, and educational organisations.
Who consumes them: Blogs are a vital source of information on the internet and are therefore read by huge numbers of internet users regularly. The specific audience demographics of a blog depend on its content and its relevance for particular audiences.
Why are they published: The primary reason why individuals and organisations publish blogs is to attract audiences to their web pages, using the traffic to convert their blogs into valuable advertising space. Among others, they are published by:
- Individuals to garner a loyal audience base.
- Businesses to attract audiences to their websites and persuade them to become customers.
- Educational organisations to inform audiences and serve as information repositories that can be freely accessed by users worldwide.
How to get the maximum value from it: Blogs can be optimised using SEO practices and different audio-visual content that serves to make them more engaging and accessible for the target audience. SEO can help your blog reach wider audiences, while audio-visual content, coupled with engaging writing, can ensure that it holds their attention and gets your points across in the most efficient manner possible.
Ebooks and White papers
Ebooks and White papers can be seen as brief informative and educational guides or reports that inform readers about a particular issue and the writer’s opinion about it.
Who publishes them: White papers and Ebooks are typically authored by individuals or organisations who wish to present a novel idea on an existing topic or introduce a new issue altogether.
Who consumes them: White papers are typically read by professionals like IT and product managers who wish to keep up with the latest philosophical and technical developments in a field. Ebooks, on the other hand, are read by a wide variety of internet audiences depending on their tastes and interests.
Why are they published: White papers are used to advocate a certain position about a particular topic or present a viable solution to an issue. Commercially, they can be used to persuade consumers to try out a novel product offering. Ebooks can either be sold like regular online books and used to entertain, persuade, or inform audiences with their content.
How to get the maximum value from it: An effective white paper or ebook should be:
- In-depth yet simple to read and understand.
- Engaging in a way that allows the reader to care about the problem being discussed.
- Aware of the practical repercussions of the problem on the reader’s everyday life.
- Well-rounded with a definite conclusion, if not a solution.
Educational courses can be a combination of live lectures, recorded videos, ebooks, and other supplementary material meant to help the audience gain academic and professional knowledge about a particular subject.
Who publishes them: Educational courses are published by thought leaders in their respective fields or recognised educational organisations. Subject to the affiliations of the individual or organisation publishing them, you may receive a certificate after you complete an educational course.
Who consumes them: Educational courses are usually consumed by students or professionals who wish to acquire a particular set of skills. They can sometimes be consumed by pre-existing employees of a company as a part of a training program.
Why are they published: Educational courses are published for the sole purpose of helping audiences gain knowledge about a subject and possibly acquire practical or professional skills related to it.
How to get the maximum value from it: To make your educational courses more effective, you should:
- Clearly define course objectives and outcomes.
- Allow audiences to learn at their own pace through videos and other related content.
- Encourage active learning through polls, questions, and assignments.
- Set a clear grading and testing regimen.
- Encourage peer-to-peer communication between students and make yourself or your educators available for doubt-solving sessions.
Podcasts are audio-based content where one or more speakers discuss a particular topic and express their views about it.
Who publishes them: Podcasts are usually published by individuals who wish to build an engaged audience base through their content or by professionals who wish to share their insight and expertise about a particular topic with their listeners.
Who consumes them: Podcasts have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They are regularly consumed by diverse audiences for the purpose of education, entertainment, or being in touch with the latest developments in a particular field.
Why are they published: As mentioned, podcasts can be published for a variety of purposes, depending on the publisher and the type of content being published. The ultimate purpose of a podcast is to actively engage listeners and pique their curiosity.
How to get the maximum value from it: Here are a few tips to help you make your podcasts more effective:
- Find an ideal length that you want to limit your podcasts to.
- Actively seek out comments and feedback and adapt your podcast accordingly.
- Ensure that your podcast adds value to the listeners.
Social media posts
Social media posts include written and audio-visual content uploaded to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
Who publishes them: Social media posts are published by everyone from individuals and businesses to large organisations that wish to establish a better, more approachable brand for themselves. Social media posts are now an integral part of our day-to-day lives and are used for a variety of different purposes.
Who consumes them: Social media posts are one of the most popular forms of content on the internet. There are an estimated 4.89 billion social media users globally as of 2023.
Why are they published: Social media posts are published by individuals and organisations to drive engagement and loyalty in their audience bases. They are also used by businesses for branding and marketing purposes.
How to get the maximum value from it: To be effective, all effective social media posts should be:
- Specially crafted to appeal to target audiences in terms of style and content.
- Helpful in propagating a brand through relatable and engaging content.
A case study is an elaborate examination of a real-world example related to a particular problem or novel solution.
Who publishes them: Case studies are typically published by businesses and organisations that aim to closely examine a particular product or idea in a real-world context and make audiences aware of it.
Who consumes them: Case studies are consumed by academic professionals such as doctors, researchers, and scholars, as well as corporate employees like procurement managers, to understand the real-world viability of a particular idea or product. They can also be used to get an in-depth understanding of the latest innovations within a given field.
Why are they published: Case studies are published by businesses to persuade readers to buy their products by highlighting their benefits through real-world examples. They are also used by organizations to examine and promote new ideas and solutions within a particular field.
How to get the maximum value from it: The most effective case studies successfully weave a real-world story that the readers can relate to. They then highlight the relevance and effectiveness of the solution being examined through solid data. Finally, special care is necessary to avoid turning a case study into a sales pitch. Case studies should always be succinct and focus solely on relevant data.
Making your content more accessible to audiences
The key to successful digital content creation is always ensuring that your content is as lucid and accessible as possible. Viewers should be able to go through your content according to their convenience on a digital device of their choice. Further, the tone and style of the content should cater to your target audience demographics in a way that makes it easier for them to understand and relate to your content.
At Learnium, we provide our users with personalised content-sharing environments. These environments help you ensure that your audiences can actively engage with your content and learn from it using a holistic, hands-on approach. Our solutions range from personalised learning environments (PLEs) to elaborate content communities where audiences can interact with each other and derive higher value from your content.