Content marketing is changing everything. Until just a few years ago, using content as a marketing strategy may have seemed like something you just dabbled in. Maybe you squeezed it in when you had a few minutes in between working on the “real” marketing. But content marketing has grown into a formidable force that can’t be overlooked.
Content helps you attract and qualify potential leads, share your brand story, and piggyback on trending news stories to provide timely, relevant PR for your company.
Here at The Newsletter Pro, we recognize the benefits of a variety of content marketing campaigns. That’s why we’ve done a lot of work in the last year or so on building our website, our blog, and our social media presence.
Obviously, we already have a strong marketing strategy for print content, including newsletters, postcards, sales letters, and other direct mail pieces. But we’re now experimenting with more infographics, white papers, podcasts, and video, because online content continues to be a growth area for us.
It’s probably a growth area for you too, thanks to the growing need for diversification in content marketing.
Put Your Eggs in More Than One Content Marketing Basket
You’re relaxing at home after a long day at work, doing whatever it is you do to unwind. Suddenly, your personal financial adviser calls you and says, “Hey, I just got a great tip on a company making virtual reality equipment. It’s going to be huge, so I’m putting 100 percent of your money into this company’s stock!”
Would you feel good about that decision?
Unless you’re an extreme risk taker, probably not. You’d probably fire the adviser and find someone who’s willing to diversify your funds in a way that mitigates risk. That’s because you know that it’s dangerous to invest all of your money in one stock or sector. You risk having the entire strategy blow up in your face if any little thing goes wrong.
Well, the same thing is true in business. You can’t afford to concentrate all of your content marketing in just one marketing channel, like a blog or a series of YouTube videos.
What if the trends change, or your target audience stops consuming a certain form of content? Your entire marketing strategy is unexpectedly dead in the water. You need to keep your content marketing diversified to protect the business from any individual source of leads drying up or failing to engage.
Here are a few examples of content marketing channels you should consider:
- News section of your company website
- Blog on your company website
- Separate microsite blog
- Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- Direct Mail (e.g. print newsletters!)
- YouTube videos
As part of the process of diversifying your content marketing, create a plan that outlines each channel’s objectives. For example, one company might primarily use Twitter as a platform to drive traffic to their blogs. Another may use it to build a rapport with prospects by answering their questions. For Facebook, the objective may be to build new relationships and drive them to a product microsite, with progress measured in “likes.”
Diversifying content helps avoid the risk of one channel failing. It also gives you the flexibility to use multiple channels in conjunction with each other. It’s all part of a strategic content marketing plan.
Target Content Marketing to Your Prospects’ Learning Styles
Diversifying your content marketing serves another purpose: catering to different learning styles. Some people are more visual, others are more auditory, and still others tend to learn best by doing.
For example, what if you only produce a podcast? Then you’re completely leaving out the people who want to see or do something. And the same applies to people who aren’t keen on reading your blog posts. They may wish you had an audio or interactive component they could enjoy.
People who may otherwise ignore your brand will become engaged if they find the type of content that appeals to them.
In addition to learning styles, you shouldn’t expect most of your audience to consume all of the content you produce across every channel. Some people prefer to listen to a podcast on their way to work. Others like watching a bite-sized video on a specialized topic.
Producing a variety of content in different formats is your best bet for connecting with all of your ideal prospects and customers.
Reuse and Recycle Your Content
This all sounds great, but how can you possibly keep up with the demand for all this content?
Well, there’s good news. You can repurpose content you wrote in a blog for your podcast, or take content from a short video and expand it into an article for your newsletter. Chop up these ideas into small nuggets and share them on your social media. Expand on one solid idea and make a white paper or e-book from it. Hone in on specific points and subtopics and flesh them out. This way, each of your content marketing pieces can complement the others without feeling like a complete rehash or copy.
And after you’ve gotten a new content format up and running, don’t forget to test it! More than just having content, your goals should be measured in terms of engagement, conversions, visitor loyalty, and so on.
See which types of content are getting the best results and emphasize those. It’s pointless to pour all of your energy into a podcast no one listens to while your videos are getting high engagement and social shares!
And remember, what gets a 20-something’s attention isn’t going to be the same thing that attracts a baby boomer’s eye. Don’t spend hours tricking out your company’s Instagram page if your demographic is more likely to connect with you over LinkedIn, for example.
With all that in mind, what can you do to improve your own content marketing efforts in 2017?
Take some time to really think about who your audience is, and analyze which of your marketing endeavors seem to be getting results. Focus on what’s working and don’t be afraid to get creative. Most of all, have fun — the new year is going to be a great year for content marketing!
Put your eggs in more than one basket and diversify your marketing with newsletters. Learn more about us by clicking the button and requesting a copy of our Amazon bestseller, The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters!