Hybrid Content: Three Reasons It’s a Hot Marketing Trend

Have you noticed new types of hybrid content emerging recently? Not all content is what it first seems. Sometimes an Infographic looks like a List. Sometimes a Lists looks like a Slidedeck. These are not isolated examples, but part of a bigger content marketing trend.

There’s some real smarts to this trend – It’s a new era in curation and re-use. It’s emerging as people discover the true value of Content Networks. Why is Content morphing and reinventing itself into new formats?

Until recently I’d thought of there being just 5-6 types of media.

Now that these clear categories exist and there’s really no more original categories, it looks and feels like content innovation is turning in on itself. It took time to advance from videos to slides to podcasts to lists, but now all these platforms have emerged it makes sense that content will, in some ways, turn on itself.

This is natural as platforms begin to compete for attention. Instagram adds images, Slideshare adds support for Infographic & Videos etc. This is normal and expected. There are many more examples at a Social / Content platform level, but Hybrid Content is a more grass-roots movement created and driven by marketing people just like you.

This is a natural stage in a market as growth begins to slow or people look elsewhere for easier growth opportunities or for easier ways to reuse their existing content.

People look for adjacent and converging opportunities. I see Hybrid Content as an emerging category. What is Hybrid Content? It is content that crosses over these 5 key content types. It follows the model of a Hybrid or Crossover cars or Hybrid as a term in nature.

The most common example I’ve noticed is the Infographic that’s actually a list. Or the slidedeck that’s a list. I’ve started experimenting turning decks into lists. The Hybrid model works both ways. Any content type can be converted to be anything else.

Here’s a graphic of the 10 base models (and therefore a total of 20 hybrid models – a “graphic as a list” and “list as a graphic” doubles the 10 base models to 20 ). I’d also included 5 curation categories (that are meta types of content –  “lists of lists”, “slides of slides” etc). These aren’t intersections or pure hybrids, but they feel somehow related. They probably deserve their own post or a future newsletter.

What’s also new and noteworthy is media pairing. I often see Infographics with a matching list of text. This makes sense, but I think I’ll save that to explore in another post. I know I’ve started using this approach much more. I’ve experimented with pairing blog posts with audio recordings. There are many such natural pairings.

There the 3 main reasons why Hybrid Content is emerging now (in the list) embedded below.



Aug 26, 2014

When are market slows or begins to meet it’s natural market size (i.e. when supply meets demand), it’s natural for people to look for potential in related / competing categories.

It's also a function of people investing and creating a body of work and finding new and creative ways to reuse and repurpose this content and introduce their ideas to a new audience.

Combing, removing, inverting & reversing are all basic building block for the innovator.


Follower Utility ( Social Networks)

Aug 26, 2014
Follower Utility ( Social Networks)

Some people / brands commit early to a single platform. That could be a Social Network (life Facebook, G+, Linkedin or Twitter) or a Content Network.

When you have a large following it makes sense to invest in that platform

For them it’s natural for them to want to leverage and gain utility from their following, but not to miss out and the attractive properties of other forms of media.


Platform Maximization (Content Networks)

Aug 26, 2014
Platform Maximization (Content Networks)

Another reason for the creation of this type of content is to exploit the existence of the content networks detailed in the infographic / slide.

Slideshare, YouTube, Lists etc are all destination search sites. People go there to find content. Creating compelling content on these platforms ensures you get higher search ranking (a ranking that is independent of Google).

Given to use these platforms you need to create content in a specific format, it makes sense that people will experiment with repurposing content, ideas and formats from other platforms.

What’s your thoughts and experiences with Hybrid Content? Have you noticed it? Have you created Hybrid Content?

I know it’s something we’ve seen with Listly and we built the Chrome Extension with this in mind to make it super easy to convert content into List format. The ease of transformation is a critical factor for content creators.

Listly also embraces this form of convergence as we also act as a universal media player that can play your videos, slides, podcasts etc. Listly also supports lists of lists, slides of slides etc.

Have you thought about the difference between Social and Content Networks? Today its becomign essential to understand the way all these moving parts play together, or that’s my feeling.

How about you?

Image Credit via Tim Flickr / Creative Commons

NIck Kellet (130 Posts)

Nick’s ventures range from a visual segmentation tool sold to SAP, to an award winning board game. Today, Nick is co-founder of Listly, raising the profile of lists to be on par with Slideshare & YouTube.