Back in the good old days, blogging served as the primary vehicle for content marketing. That ship has sailed. Now you need a more diverse content marketing strategy if you hope to increase brand awareness and boost your sales. You have many options, depending on the type of business you run, and you might need a partner to help you select proper content channels and manage them effectively.
Blogging Isn’t Dead
Image via Flickr by Anonymous Account
It’s true that you can’t sustain an effective content marketing strategy on blogging alone, don’t abandon your blog entirely. Writing for Doz, Dylan Kissane affirms that blogging hasn’t died. Conversely, it’s simply changed course to meet the modern content consumption patterns.
For instance, Kissane predicts that blog post length will continue to increase. Readers want in-depth articles that answer all of their questions so they don’t have to follow Google result after Google result in search of valuable data. If you’re creating blog posts shorter than 500 words, you might disappoint your readers. Aim for 1,000 words or more if possible.
Kissane also notes that conversations that used to take place in blog posts’ comments sections now occur on social media. The blogger posts a photo and link on Facebook, for instance, and readers share their thoughts on the social media site itself. While some bloggers still leave comments open, monitoring those comments has become far too much work for the potential payoff.
Imagery Needs to Accompany Text
People learn in different ways. Some can read a few paragraphs of text and keep a clear memory of the words. Others need to hear someone else speak on an issue, while still more prefer to see visual representations of data or information.
There’s another type of learner: the kinesthetic learner. These people need to take a hands-on approach to learning if they want to fully absorb the information. You can’t necessarily target these learners through diverse content marketing, but you can help by asking them to follow along.
Imagery targets visual learners. For instance, you could give a list of statistics in paragraph form, which would appease reading and writing learners. However, a simple graph that displays those statistics in a visual format will target visual learners and increase your content’s effectiveness.
Audio and Video Content Can Engage Viewers
Have you ever clicked on a YouTube link or a favorite podcast, then looked at the clock several hours later in complete surprise? People consume audio and video content at stunning rates. They get absorbed by the movement, colors, sounds, and voices that these mediums offer.
Best of all, you can share video and audio content via multiple channels. Post a video on YouTube, for instance, or post a podcast. You can also post the content on your blog or in an email marketing message to give it even more visibility.
You can now use video content on sites like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Audio content works particularly well, even if it’s an exclusive webinar for which interested consumers must sign up. You’re targeting a different set of learners here, which diversifies your content strategy and opens up a whole new audience.
Data Can Attract Links
Everyone wants to know specifics these days. What percentage of Americans commute to work every day? What percentage of customer service workers like their jobs? How many men get prostate cancer every year? Specifics always beat generalities, especially when it comes to content marketing.
While data satisfies your readers and engenders trust, it also helps attract high-quality backlinks. More than anything else, backlinks correlate strongly with Google rankings. However, backlink volume doesn’t necessarily matter as much as backlink quality.
For instance, which site would you rather link to your latest blog post: an educational institution or a generic site with three pages of content?
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The educational institution is the correct choice. Fortunately, you can often attract backlinks from high-quality sources if you back up your content with relevant data.
To reel in the visual learners, consider adding infographics to your content. Not only does it engage the reader with imagery, but it also provides lots of interesting data that others might want to know about.
Email Marketing Still Matters
It’s often the black sheep of the content marketing game, but it still matters. Email marketing allows you to speak directly to your audience. The recipient doesn’t have to click on a link or scroll down a website to find your message. Neither does he or she have to give the email any attention right away.
Think of email marketing as the modern equivalent of telemarketing. It offers all the advantages of cold calling prospects, but without the drawbacks. You’re not interrupting customers during dinner or waking them up from a sound sleep. They can consume your content when they wish.
It’s also a form of permission marketing. Unless you take the low road and buy email addresses, your contact list is made of people who have asked to receive messages from you. Since you’re not violating any social norms, you can expect a high open rate.
Diverse Content Marketing Demands Your Full Attention
Most firms don’t have the staff or the time to create a full-scale, diverse content marketing strategy. You need a well-known partner who can help you generate great content. Whether you’re interested in interactive media or intriguing blog posts, the experts can take these tasks off your plate so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.
Hiring an in-house content marketing team can quickly get expensive. You have to pay salaries and benefits, and you’ll need to train your staff. By working with a third-party provider, you get results faster and enjoy higher-quality content, which boosts your content marketing efforts. The best providers even help you create a diverse content strategy so you reach the broadest possible audience.
If you’ve already started a blog, you’re on the path to greatness. However, diversifying your content makes you more appealing and visible. Try these other types of content to see how well they do in your industry.