Marketers all understand the importance of great content. But, when building a content marketing program for your organization, creating content is only the first step.
The second step — as discussed in my previous post about reviewing your content marketing efforts in relation to the competitive landscape — requires marketers to ask themselves this question: What does your competition’s content marketing look like and how does yours compare?
Once you work through that audit, then you’re ready for the third step: distribution and promotion. Great content on its own isn’t enough. Great content designed to own a niche will get you closer. Leaping the final hurdle requires properly promoting that great, tightly targeted content. Here’s how.
Channels Is Spelled With an ’S’
In other words, it can’t be about one channel. Very rarely are there industries or niches in which only one channel is required.
That doesn’t mean finding every tiny audience you can and pummeling each with undifferentiated content. Instead, you must tailor content to each channel you have identified as a gathering place for your target audience.
Make sure the channel is appropriate for your message. For example, there’s a reason Fortune 500 B2B marketers advertise on golf tournaments. The audience is their desired demographic. But that doesn’t mean that they’d be smart to pump promotional material about their management consulting practice into an online golf forum. Same (or similar) audience, but much different atmosphere.
Also keep in mind that social media channels are all about your audience and their preferences. Not you and yours. Be sure of whose preferences you are catering to.
Email’s importance and effectiveness as a marketing channel are hard to overrate. They’re easy to overuse, but hard to overrate. And easy to abuse. Spamming unknown users won’t work. Sending purely promotional content won’t work. Provide value, be relevant, and build a relationship. You’ll win business over time, even if the ramp up is slow.
Time share condos in the swamps of Florida have a bad reputation, and with good reason. Similarly, the idea of guest posting and cross-promoting have frequently been abused, but they can be incredibly effective in growing your audience quickly.
A guest post or jointly-produced piece of content is a warm introduction and a stamp of approval all rolled into one. You are being introduced and recommended to your counterpart’s audience and vice versa. These are great opportunities to seek out, assuming you and your partner can provide insights and information relevant to one another’s audiences.
Diversify Your Formats
Video is incredibly popular right now, but not everyone likes to watch videos as they’re researching their purchasing options. (It’s a lot easier to scan a written article to get to the info you’re looking for.)
That’s reason alone to adapt your content to different formats. Another benefit to that form of re-use is the efficiency it brings to the content development process. You can leverage the initial research and writing investment to create multiple related content elements.
The Importance of Relevance
I’ve mentioned relevance a few times above, but it’s worth repeating as we wrap up. None of the above works if the content you’re pushing is purely promotional or fails to provide value to your target audience. Without relevance and value, you’re simply not going to keep your audience’s attention.