One of the commandments of a digital marketer is that “Content is king.” And a lot of businesses have taken this to heart as you may have noticed from the plethora of blog posts on the internet. But while blog content marketing is an absolute necessity, especially for lead generation and high rankings on search engines, you shouldn’t stop there.
Although content marketing has strong ties to written text, it is so much more than that. You need comprehensive content marketing strategies that include other distribution channels such as social media ads, video content, podcasts, forums, and the like. You need to diversify. Create content that can resonate with your intended audience across any device and platform.
Your business’ blog and content marketing channels are not parallel to each other; they’re not strategies that you can isolate. If anything, they should actively complement each other, especially if you want to futureproof your content for the years to come.
For one, blog content contributes significantly to your content marketing efforts by encouraging website traffic. It's non-negotiable when it comes to search engine optimization. Every time you publish blog articles – that answer a user’s search intent – you’re adding more indexed web pages to your website. This way, Google recognizes that your site is active and thus gives you a better chance to rank higher in search engines.
The more questions and pain points you solve through your blog content, people will start looking at your brand as a leader in your respective industry and will more likely turn into a loyal client someday. So you may want to rethink how frequently you publish content, which relevant keywords best resonate with potential and current customers, as well as refine your target audience personas.
As such, offsite content marketing campaigns – may they be on Facebook, QA forums, live events, ads, influencer marketing, and the like – can work seamlessly with blogging. For example, whenever you post long-form content, you could repurpose it into an Instagram carousel, webinar, or even a newsletter for email marketing. This way, you’ll end up reaching a wider audience.
And while we’re on the topic of repurposing, diversifying your distribution channels allows you to experiment with different types of content formats and figure out which ones resonate with your audience better.
Here’s the thing with blog posts: People read them, bookmark them, then leave the page. They rarely leave a comment. Unlike users who spend more time scrolling through social media posts, content marketing campaigns posted offsite are more likely to spark conversation. This ramps up your engagement levels. Just think about any viral piece of content you’ve seen online.
When brainstorming your content marketing strategy, analyze successful content marketing examples. One of which is MailChimp, an email marketing platform, which has gone all-in on content marketing. They have a robust resource center filled with valuable articles, interactive assets, video series, podcasts, and so much more. They leverage multiple social channels to connect with their market, most especially those customers who are living busy, distracted lives.
Nowadays, every company is a media company. You need to create bring-worthy content across multiple channels and drive your audience to a central location, preferably your blog. You need to capture their engagement – not battle for attention against the latest trending videos on a certain platform. Leverage these channels to build a customer base and to nurture long-term brand affinity.
Understanding the many different ways you could distribute content to the world is crucial when formulating your marketing strategy. So let’s look into 15 offsite content distribution channels (owned, earned, and paid) to gain a better grasp of how these can complement your blog:
Not everyone will check their favorite brand’s blog for updates every time they wake up, but people are more likely to check their emails as they start their work day. Email is a conversion powerhouse. You’re engaging in permission-based marketing – meaning you get to directly communicate with people who have given their consent to be updated about your business. Email marketing also means that you own your audience or your opt-in subscriber list.
If you’re marketing a small business, you want to dominate the search results in your niche. You want people in a specific neighborhood, city, or region to find your business online. Your competitors would be other local businesses with similar offerings. So here are some tips to set up your own local SEO content marketing strategy:
Get inside the heads of your target audience and figure out their local queries. It might be something along the lines of [dermatologist New York] or [gym San Francisco].
To move up the ranks of local SEO search engine results pages, you need rich local content (for less competitive, local keywords). You need to connect local users to local entities to local semantic relationships and so forth in order to build a strong local profile. This might mean creating separate city-specific or regional landing pages, FAQs on service pages, and packages for locals.
Make sure to consistently update your Google Business profile as it will most likely be the first to appear when customers search for your business. Provide relevant information (e.g., address, phone number, operation hours, website link) and encourage customers to leave reviews.
Video marketing greatly aids your content marketing efforts as it enables you to communicate your brand message in a dynamic and interactive way. Video content can engage viewers more than text-based content because it appeals to both the visual and auditory senses – not to mention its high potential to go viral.
It is shareable on social platforms and can contain interactive components such as clickable links. Videos can also foster a sense of authenticity and trust as viewers can see and hear from actual people, including other customers or your employees.
Videos can demonstrate how your product functions, its features and advantages, and how it can help clients with their problems. You could also provide step-by-step tutorials and product demos.
Social media marketing allows you to connect with your intended audience on a more personal level. First, social media posts, especially those that are dedicated to the buyer’s awareness stage, have a higher chance to go viral when shared on various social media platforms. This can help expand the visibility of your content which, in turn, increases the number of visitors returning to your website or blog.
Second, with the help of social media marketing, you can interact with your audience in real time and share insightful information in response to comments and questions. This can foster a sense of community around your brand and help you gain your audience's trust.
And lastly, social media platforms provide sophisticated targeting options that allow you to focus on particular audiences based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics. You can then track and evaluate the success of your content marketing campaigns, as well as adjust your strategy accordingly.
It’s difficult to imagine what digital marketing would look like without visual content. It goes without saying that a picture paints a thousand words. Images tell stories. When you have a content bank of the right type of pictures – ones that accurately reflect your brand and offerings – your visual elements will be easier to remember users over time.
High-quality images are essential assets for any digital marketing campaign. These could be used on various platforms including websites, advertisements, and social media channels to evoke emotion. Popular photo stock websites include Shutterstock, Pixabay, Unsplash, Freeimages, Canva, and Pexels; however, we highly recommend using original photos to attract attention and to stand out from your competitors.
When trying to establish thought leadership in your industry, ask yourself this: Does my business provide valuable content to prospects that they can’t find anywhere else? Gone are the days when simply clicking “Post” for a short blog post is enough to drive engagement and put you at the forefront of search engines. You need to offer your expert knowledge, insights, and a peek into the statistics that drive your business.
With all the technological advancements going on in the world, there’s no question that humanity has no shortage of data. And if your business has proprietary data – meaning this is your internal data that you own and was retrieved by your team – this entails so much more value for your content.
You could leverage that data for research reports, white papers, press releases, case studies, and eBooks, as much and as often as you like. You may also want to gather the same type of data annually to compare it year-over-year and identify industry trends.
For example, you can conduct a survey of 100 tech industry leaders about the future of AI and the workplace. You could ask multiple-choice questions such as “How do you feel about the impact of artificial intelligence on the future of work?”
Afterward, craft a research statement that goes something along the lines of “In February 2023, 75% of senior U.S. tech leaders were ‘highly optimistic’ about the impact of artificial intelligence in the workplace.” This is valuable competitive data for your users in and of itself.
The human voice can express considerably more meaning through tone and intonation than written text. Podcasts could be in the form of how-to guides, news updates, Q&A sessions, case studies, expert interviews, or a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes of your business. Don’t forget to promote your podcast episodes through social media, email marketing, and other channels to reach a wider audience.
For small business owners, incorporating an interactive demo on your content distribution platforms can prove to be an invaluable asset in terms of showcasing your products or services to prospects. The biggest advantage of an interactive demo is that it facilitates greater engagement among users because it is able to show the key functionalities of your offerings and how you can solve their problems.
Interactive demos come in different levels of complexity – ranging from simple animations to product tours to fully immersive experiences. Depending on your product or service, you can choose the level of interactivity that best showcases your offerings. Pro tip: Focus on 2 to 3 core features at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with everything that you can do for them.
These demos can be shared on your website or social media, making them accessible to more viewers. They can also be used in live demonstrations or presentations, adding an extra layer of engagement to your sales pitch.
Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a form of online advertising wherein brands pay each time a user clicks on one of their ads. PPC advertisements may enhance brand awareness, direct targeted visitors to your website, and boost your leads and generations.
Your ad copy should be clear, succinct, and captivating. Employ bold headlines, intriguing descriptions, and a clear call-to-action to entice people to click on your ad. Keep note that PPC advertising requires ongoing testing and optimization to improve the campaign’s performance. Test various ad copy, keywords, and landing pages to determine what works best for your target markets.
QA forum platforms, like Quora and Reddit, are powerful content marketing tools to generate social buzz. By engaging in these forums, you could establish authority and credibility by answering relevant questions related to your products and services. This can consequently increase brand awareness, strike interest, and help you build trust with potential customers.
These forums also provide valuable insights into the pain points and concerns of your target audience. When you monitor the questions and discussions related to your niches, you can then identify trends in customer behavior and preferences. These types of data are essential when crafting user-focused content. Take note, however, that the biggest con of staying committed to this content marketing channel is that it takes a lot of time and effort.
You may reach out to your past clients and request for their testimonials in different forms – written, video, or social media posts – to improve your brand’s credibility. Afterward, add these direct quotations to your landing pages, Google Business profiles, print materials, and other marketing campaigns to foster confidence in your products and services. Always remember to ask for consent from your clients before using their reviews.
Artificial intelligence, which is often abbreviated to AI, has become a buzzword in modern business practices. Bear this in mind: AI isn’t just a trend. It’s well on its way to becoming a necessity in online content marketing. Simply put, AI-powered marketing refers to the inclusion of AI and machine learning systems in content tools for content creation, distribution, analysis, and so on.
For one, you can enhance the user experience with AI-powered chatbots. These chatbots can offer information and relevant content that aligns with your user’s search intent or query. And two, AI can generate data-driven insights, allowing you to steer the direction of your content into something more personalized, something that addresses the needs of your audience.
By partnering with publishers that cater to a specific niche, you can share your marketing message with a targeted, but even wider, audience. In other words, sponsored content can be used to target specific demographics or regions, helping brands create more personalized and relevant content for users.
One of the primary benefits of sponsored content is its ability to overcome ad fatigue. Consumers are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional advertising, and sponsored content offers a way to break through the noise and connect with consumers in a more authentic and engaging way. By presenting valuable and relevant content in a non-intrusive way, brands can then build trust with their audience.
Influencers are skilled content creators that bring a fresh and creative perspective to a brand's marketing strategy. They typically have a specific niche or audience that they cater to, and so partnering with the right influencer can help businesses reach a more engaged and receptive audience.
Influencer marketing allows brands to tap into the power of social proof. Given that influencers have built a loyal following by creating entertaining and relevant content, their endorsement of a brand can have a powerful impact on their audience's perception and willingness to try it out.
“Don’t buy from that brand – they have the worst customer service!”
Word of mouth is the oldest strategy in the digital marketing playbook. People trust the real experiences of real people. Believe it or not, the future of your business can depend on just one review. Each customer review has the power to alter the perceptions of a greater segment, may it be positively or negatively. That’s why – similar to online customer testimonials – you need to be proactive when it comes to handling word-of-mouth influence.
Some word-of-mouth marketing strategies include referral programs, hashtag campaigns, social proof, and mostly user-generated content. When you reshare shout-outs of your brand on social media platforms, you can draw attention to the public attention that your brand is getting.
Your content marketing team should also engage in real-time conversations, whether they relate to marketing, customer service, the product itself, or even recent events that affect your industry. So what are you waiting for – get your customers talking.
As we like to see it, “Content is king, distribution is the kingdom.” Choosing the right distribution channels for your content marketing strategy is essential to ensure that your brand’s content reaches the right audience, engages them effectively, and achieves your business goals. Here are some tips and tricks to help you identify the appropriate content distribution channels for your marketing strategy:
Analyze which content distribution channels are most beneficial for your business and audience. See which channels your audience spends most of their time on. These can include social media, blog posts, online forums, streaming services, and more. You could also look at your competitors and maybe take a page from their content marketing playbook to see which channels are doing well for them.
Consider the funds and resources you have at your disposal to produce and disseminate your content. Certain channels may need more commitment in terms of time, money, or staff, while others may be more cost-effective and require less work.
Choose your content formats carefully since some channels perform better with different content formats. For instance, long-form blog material is better suited for social networking sites like LinkedIn, while video content is more popular on platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
Think about your goals. Set your content marketing KPIs in a SMART format – with each one having dedicated content marketing platforms. Be intentional and reasonable. For example, you can’t exactly track comments on an email newsletter nor can you tell if people were staring at your paid ad because of the eye-catching visuals.
You’ll never know until you try. Experiment with several channels, and track your results to see which ones work best for your content marketing plan. Modify your approach over time depending on the data and insights you receive, and focus on the channels that give the greatest outcomes for your organization.
Keep in mind that selecting the appropriate distribution channels is a process that calls for constant exploration, testing, and improvement. Be open to new prospects and change your plan as your business demands and customer preferences evolve over time.
Your content marketing efforts don’t have to be in vain. When done well, a content marketing campaign that incorporates a multi-faceted distribution strategy – one that complements blog posts with email marketing, paid ads, and social media channels, among others – can expose your brand to a much wider audience. When you leverage various content formats, you’re able to complete the full picture; you get to tell the entire brand story that you want your readers to engage with.