Expanding Your Reach: The Many Formats and Platforms of Content Marketing
If you work in content marketing like me,
you’re constantly battling for your audience’s attention in the midst of a very cluttered landscape. You likely conduct hours and hours of research to figure out how to stand out and what types of content will resonate with your customers. You work to identify their pain points and how you can solve their problems.
Once you’ve invested the time in researching your topics and creating content, it’s important to ensure that content will have the broadest audience and greatest reach possible. After all, you can create the most relevant content in the world, but if you don’t share it where your customers can find it, you’ll have minimal results.
Good content marketers
not only know how to create content to suit their target audience’s needs, they know they need to publish it in the right format. in the right place and at the right time to maximize engagement.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to how long your content should be – that depends on your goals, your product, your audience’s needs and the context of how the information is used. Still, many organizations struggle when they’re trying to decide whether to go with long-form or short-form content. The right approach is to have a mix of both.
Long-form content is generally 2,000 words in length or longer. Examples include white papers, e-books, how-to guides, podcasts, webinars and longer videos. Two primary benefits to using long form content in your marketing mix include:
- SEO – Studies show that articles with more than 2,000 words typically rank higher on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Although Google doesn’t decide a page’s ranking simply because of word count, its algorithms prefer content-rich pages with quality backlinks that engage readers for longer periods of time. Naturally, the higher the word count, the more time it will typically take a reader to get through the page.
- Thought leadership – Informative white papers, educational webinars and comprehensive blog posts are excellent platforms to demonstrate thought leadership on topics you want to build authority around. Building a reputation as a thought leader in your industry helps to increase trust in your brand and can lead to higher sales and conversions.
Short-form content is typically less than 2,000 words. Emails, social media posts, infographics and shorter videos or articles (including those published on blogs) are all examples of short-form content. They can be used to convey a strong message to your audience quickly and concisely. Short-form content is also more mobile-friendly than long form, allowing for greater reach.
To be more efficient in your overall output,
try to create content that can be broken out and repurposed into different formats for different communication channels.
You may be familiar with the Marketing Rule of Seven, which says it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a prospect buys from you. Consider recycling a long-form content offer into multiple short-form offers, such as checklists, infographics, slide decks, emails and more. Promote all of these pieces with social posts, videos and blogs. By repurposing your content across various platforms and channels, and even updating and republishing a long-form piece once or twice a year, you have a much greater chance of engaging with potential customers more than once.
To determine which communication channels are most suitable, take a look at your overall goals. Typically, content is shared with one or more of the following goals in mind:
- Drive brand awareness / thought leadership
- Generate leads
- Improve keyword ranking
- Increase site traffic
If your goals include boosting awareness of your brand or generating more leads and traffic to your primary website, sharing your content on another site with a guest blog post or on publishing platforms like Medium could introduce new prospects to your products and services. If you go the guest blogging route and the site you’ve partnered with will promote your post through their social channels, your reach will be amplified.
Linking back to your site from your own social media posts or from posts on forums such as Quora or Reddit will help you get even more value out of a single piece of content. In an upcoming article, I’ll share my pointers on writing content for different uses, including social media, direct mail, email and blogs.
For those who can’t wait to dive in deeper, I recommend Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes. It is my go-to guidebook for creating compelling content for any online platform.
Blog posts on your own website or on another site with a higher domain authority – a search engine ranking score that predicts the site’s ability to rank on search engine results pages – can help improve your keyword ranking. The more relevant, high-quality content you create on your own site, the more authority you will build and the more likely it will be that Google will rank your page.
Posting on a site with a higher domain authority than yours and providing a link back to your website also can help increase your site’s overall authority and make it easier to rank for specific keywords. Download the free MozBar Chrome extension to measure a site’s domain authority.
Our talented content strategists at Vela Agency can help you determine the best ways (and best content formats) to tell your brand’s story. Contact us to get started today. And stay tuned for the next edition of Vela’s content marketing blog series on November 10, which will focus on how to write for various communication channels and how to maximize your content promotion efforts.