Last month on our Revenue Marketing journey, we discussed content marketing strategy and the steps to developing the best content editorial calendar. This month, let’s talk about channels for multichannel distribution of your content.
If you have a “field of dreams” wherein, if you create great content and put it on your website, somehow, “they will come …” well, good luck with that. The reality is that, in order to engage, we must go to the watering holes where our customers and prospects hang out. We have to be in the channels they frequent in addition to having relevant content for them to consume and share.
Ask Your Customers What Channels They Use
We have many clients who simply don’t believe their customers are on Facebook. So, we upload 5000 of their business email addresses to Facebook and show them the result: Usually a 65 percent match rate for business email addresses. Business people are on Facebook and they “hang out there” every day:
- 63 percent of Facebook users are age 30 and older
- Facebook has more than 1 billion visitors per day
- Facebook has many more video views than YouTube
I only bring this up to highlight that our assumptions about which channels are best for reaching our customers may be wrong. The best thing you can do is ask your customers. The next best thing to do is to experiment with multiple channels and see which ones currently work best for your firm.
No doubt you noticed I didn’t even mention email yet. Yes, it is a channel, perhaps the one you are most accustomed to using. And it is easy and inexpensive. But it should not be the only channel you use. Increasingly there are issues with:
- Information overload in inboxes so your communication gets lost
- Automatic “junk” designation and filtering
- Spam traps (so you decide to do an ABM campaign to 250 contacts at your biggest customer and you email all of them at once…guess what is going to happen.)
My point is that your attempts to engage your audience will be better if you use multiple channels to nurture them. Upload the email addresses in Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels, establish a connection to your contacts through these channels, and start sharing content over them.
Syndicate Your Content
Syndicate and promote are becoming synonymous today because organic social is pretty much defunct. You have to boost or promote your content to your audiences or targeted marketing groups.
For video, it’s simple; YouTube is owned by Google. They have 77 percent of the search market. Since videos are quickly becoming the hottest form of content, it makes sense to place it where it will be found. If you have a podcast, use a podcasting hosting site such as Libsyn to set up your audio RSS feed. This feed can then be used on podcast distribution platforms such as iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher to ensure your audience can access your show regardless of which mobile device they use. Set up a podcast promotion plan for your social media sites as well to drive new listeners to your episodes.
Look for Multichannel and Cross-Device Remarketing Opportunities
Multi-channel and cross-device remarketing are really hot right now. I would suggest adding in some reference or weaving in some of that in this section. The following is an example of a multi-channel campaign.
Let’s say you are going to run a webinar next month. What should that campaign design include in terms of channels:
- One to three emailed invitations and a few variations of follow up emails
- Up to three impressions per person promotion in Facebook image ads
- Blog post promoting the webinar on your blog
- Promoted blog post on LinkedIn, Facebook and a promoted tweet
- Facebook media ad — video promoting webinar
- Retargeting campaign to known contacts in Facebook and Twitter
- Lookalike campaign in Facebook
Hopefully this example makes it clear that your campaign design document has to be very clear on all the channels for a promotion. The graphic and copy (assets) needs vary by channel, and the logistics for lining up all these assets at the same time are much more complex than when you are simply using a single channel such as email. But the results for going multi-channel will be much better of course.
If you have content on your website and you point to it from other online digital content you control, your blog for instance, you can and should be tracking all those clicks by content type and channel. But when creating links to your content from digital properties you cannot fully control, or with embedded links in documents you share, ensure you use UTM codes with the links.
UTM codes were formulated to track channel and content performance. Make sure you use them religiously on all links on ads and promotions and in embedded links in documents. Set up a shared Google doc or spreadsheet to automatically generate UTM codes for your team with an approved picklist of values for Medium and Source. Minify the links to ensure their integrity before using them. Here is an example, a link to a white paper on strategic planning and budgeting for marketing. It goes without saying that you use your Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) form capabilities to grab the UTMs and save them in the contact record.
Use a tag manager, and make sure you “pixel” visitors to your content no matter where they found the link. That way to can add them to your “pixeled” database of unknown but interested parties and do promotions to them through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
By tracking everything you will gradually start to learn which channels and content work best for you to attract visitors to your website and drive revenue.
Next month, we will continue the Revenue Marketing journey conversation, and focus on the marketing technology stack.
Please feel free to share your experiences with content marketing strategy and other insights on the above topics in the comments section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.