The creation of great content is a key step in the overall success of your business marketing plan. Quality content helps to drive traffic to your website, enables you to connect with your audience and add value to their lives, and increase your rate of leads and sales conversions.
The thing is, great content obviously can’t serve its purpose if no one sees it – either because you don’t know where to publish it in the first place, or because it has been posted in places where it is barely visible.
In light of this, finding the best channels is necessary in order to get your brilliant content in front of a readership that is genuinely interested in what you have to say. This will likely require a little testing to see what works best for you.
Here is an overview of seven popular channels you might want to consider trying out as part of your content publishing strategy.
LinkedIn is specifically designed for professional networking. Utilising what is largely a B2B channel such as LinkedIn can make it easier to determine what kinds of information and topics your audience is interested in. It may also mean that your content is more likely to have a receptive audience from the outset.
Number of users: approximately 400 million.
- Long-form post publishing: Generally over 1,000 words.
- Targeting of audiences: According to interests, industry and other criteria.
- Analytics feature: For measuring impact and engagement.
- Preview: Allows you to preview your posts and edit before publishing them.
LinkedIn can be used to connect with and educate your audience, share content from your website (potentially increasing traffic), post images and SlideShares, and establish yourself as an authority in your field or industry.
In Facebook for Business, the focus is squarely on B2C. It is probably safe to say that most Facebookers are looking for lifestyle information rather than business tips or opportunities. The tone of Facebook is also fairly casual, rather than business-like or formal, and this should be taken into account when using it to publish content.
Number of registered users: 1.5 billion.
- Instant articles: Fast-loading articles on mobile that appear as formatted on the publisher’s site. They can also contain ads which allow the publisher to keep all of the ad revenue.
- Targeting features: Your audience can be targeted according to interest and other characteristics.
- Analytics: For measuring engagement. Instant Articles is also compatible with Google Analytics.
- Content sharing from your page: Content such as articles on your website can be shared with a large audience.
- Post boosting feature: To widen your audience and influence.
Facebook can be used to increase awareness of your brand through content, to interact with your audience, showcase your expertise on specific topics, and to test and refine marketing strategies.
A microblogging platform that encompasses both B2C and B2B, Twitter has become enormously popular for marketers and publishers.
Number of users: approximately 300 million monthly active users.
- Microblogs: Short concise pieces of content that can also contain links and up to four images.
- Hashtags: To enable readers to find related content or messages.
- Targeting: Ability to target readers based on characteristics and interests.
- Twitter Cards: Provides users who share your content with ‘cards’ that can be seen by their followers.
Twitter can be used to connect and converse with an audience, post small snippets of content, share news and direct people to your website, blog or other channels, and to entertain and educate your followers.
4. Pinterest and Instagram
These two platforms are focused on the visual, allowing you to have an instant impact with images or video based on particular interests, information or current activities. These platforms are ideal for an audience that responds more readily to images rather than text, or a business that is all about visual merchandising.
- Pinterest: Allows you to ‘pin’ images or videos to your own or others’ pinboards based on interest, theme, topic or hobby. These pins can contain text descriptions, and can be shared on other social media networks. Analytics are also available for measuring engagement and to help determine what your audience is looking for.
- Instagram: Offers instant online photo and video sharing through your networks and communities. Images can also be edited and retouched prior to sharing.
Pinterest and Instagram can be used to tell a story about your band, showcase products or business activities through powerful imagery, communicate themes, and direct people to your website. Given their visual nature, these networks may be particularly suited to e-commerce.
People have long responded well to television ads, and video can be used for a similar impact online. Creating your own video content can enable you to tell your brand story, promote your products or services, educate your audience, and communicate your brand vision and values – all in a fuller and richer way than text alone. Video can also be used to show the ‘human face’ of your business.
Ideas for where to post video content:
- On landing pages: According to the video testers at EyeView, a video on your landing page can boost conversion by as much as 80%.
- On YouTube: With 1 billion active users a month, YouTube can enable you to maximise your audience reach, and drive traffic to your site by providing clickable links.
- On your website: Videos can be posted on your home page, blog, resources page, and in your newsroom.
- Email: Consider attaching video content to some of your emails.
Business blogging is a method of content creation that can help to draw visitors to your site, improve your conversion rate, and enable you to connect with your readers. One of the great things about blog articles is that they can be repurposed into other formats – such as infographics, videos, SlideShares, podcasts, or even a series of tweets.
Some of the benefits include:
- Driving traffic: Blog articles can increase visits to your website, especially if they contain popular search terms.
- Showcase your knowledge: Blog writing can provide you with the opportunity to talk about topics that relate to your business and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
- Increase conversions: Especially where a call-to-action is attached to your articles.
Blog articles are usually filed together on the blog page of a website, often under categories, tags relating to the topic, and date. However, there are other options for posting blogs on a site – such as on a newsroom page, resources page, learning centre, or product information page. And don’t despair if your blog writing skills aren’t the best – look at engaging a blog writing service to assist you.
7. Podcasts and webinars
Podcasts are digital audio files that can be listened to on desktops, MP3s or smartphones. They are a particularly good option for people who are not keen on writing when it comes to creating content.
Podcasts are also relatively easy to produce and edit, and the transcripts can be used to generate extra pieces of written content or mini-blogs.
Webinars are essentially online seminars that can be great for both B2C and B2B. They provide real-time delivery of content, and allow for groups of attendees and live questions-and-answer sessions. And unlike in-person events, there’s no need to hire a venue or travel.
Click on the “MORE” links under each section above for a more detailed look at each element of publishing and promoting business content.
We’ve also shared an incisive infographic below which examines the emerging trends in content marketing that are changing the way business engage with their clients.